Raised in a seriously broken Christian family, there is only one story to tell. And that is the story of redemption that God has worked not only in my life, but my entire family’s life!
Born in northwestern Pennsylvania, I was raised by my mom and step father in the small town of Edinboro. My mom and dad had divorced before I was 1 year old. And Both had remarried by the time I was 5. After that, I spent summers with my dad here in Saint George, and the school year with my mom in Edinboro.
Life with separated parents in hindsight was difficult, but as a child it was all I knew. So I enjoyed the days as much as I possible. A family with 8 children, separated parents, and with an even more complex family relationship than can be described. I learned one very important thing. Both my mom and dad, though separate and struggling, said the same thing, “We are not perfect people, and if you use us as your role model, we will fail you. The only person you can look to for leading your life, is Jesus!”
I took the words of my mother and father very seriously and found myself confessing Jesus as Lord at the age of 9. They had taught me the message from the bible, that everyone is sinful and has made mistakes.(Romans 3:23) And the only cure to sin in life is Salvation through belief in Jesus Christ.(Acts 4:12) After that time, I believe the Lord saw fit to draw 12 year old me to choose to live with my dad in St. George, rather than finish my schooling with my mom in Pennsylvania. It was at that time that I learned much about faith, and how to take belief in God and see it become a life dedicated to God. My main mentor in this was CCSG’s then youth pastor, Ryan Shaddix.
Even though I had godly council straight from the word of God, after high school I decided, exactly like the prodigal son, to leave the life God had for me and try life on my own.(Luke 15:11-32) I thought that all I needed to succeed in life and relationships was a desire to do good and to love more. However, not quickly enough did I realize, that all the good works in the whole world can’t bring the true fulfillment and “success” I was looking for.(Philippians 3:9)
Remembering the faith of my childhood and young teen years, the Lord called me back to him in a radical way. Not only did God call me back, but my mom and dad as well, and all my siblings. God has uniquely redeemed the life of every one of my family members, and proven His word true! That He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life!(John 14:7) Now we as a family rejoice in the God who set us free and look forward to the promise that he gave of Life, Everlasting!(John 3:16)