If you talked to 100 Christians and had to choose 98 who would become missionaries, I WOULDN’T BE ON THE LIST.
When I was 10 or 11-years-old, I remember stuffing candy from the grocery store down my snowsuit. I didn’t get caught so there were no consequences.
I began to steal small amounts of money from family members, $5 and $10 at a time.
WHEN I WAS 15, I WAS AN ALTAR BOY! And what’s an altar boy to do, whose side gig is stealing? I stole from the church offering. (Other than my wife, you’re the only person I’ve ever told.)
I graduated to stealing with friends from high-end stores and eventually stole a car at 3 in the morning so I could get back home after a night of drinking. I parked it near the police department so it could be easily found and returned. It sat there for 2 weeks.
When I was in High school my ‘friends’ introduced me to Mary. I immediately fell in love. I couldn’t sleep without her. Every single night for almost a year, it was just me and MaryJane.
Miraculously, my senior year, I broke it off with Mary and was (mostly) done with my life of crime. I say ‘mostly’ because it was a THICK, DEEP SEEDED habit that took years to fully quit. I had stolen so much from so many people; I couldn’t begin to document it.
Sounding like missionary material yet?
One of the reasons I LOVED university was because I could re-invent myself. I didn’t have to be a pot smoking thief. I could be anyone I wanted. I could be myself.
During my last year of college, I got the girl I was dating pregnant. It was at the end of the first semester and I had ELEVEN credits left to graduate!
We decided to drop out of school, keep our baby girl, get married, and make the best of it.
The “best of it” ended in divorce 5 years later with shared custody of our beautiful daughter.
WHO COULD LOVE ME NOW? I had some massive, DEEP scars.
In 1996 I met the most beautiful girl in the world…at church. I know. Crazy. And she LOVED Jesus.
I somehow got her to marry me in 1998, scars and all. We’ve been together for 22 years.
Little did I know, my wife prayed for me for the first thirteen years of our marriage, “Lead my husband Lord. Show him how to be a man after Your own heart. Show him Your steadfast love.” THIRTEEN YEARS. Who DOES that? When you find someone willing to pray for you like that, marry them.
I’m confident in saying that at 32 years old I knew ABOUT Jesus but I didn’t KNOW Jesus. (Do you know what I mean???)
So how do you get from THERE, to selling everything you own and uprooting your family to poverty-stricken Guatemala as a full time missionary?
Until next time.