As a child, I was raised in the Roman Catholic religion. Although I went to church and participated in all the necessary sacraments I never believed in what I was doing. As I look back, I am thankful that through the Catholic Church I was given the knowledge of many Christian concepts, such as God, the Trinity, sin and forgiveness.
Growing up, my father was in the Navy and we moved quite a bit. I went to fourteen schools in twelve years. This constant changed caused me to avoid making friends and isolate myself. I became a voracious reader, typically reading a book every day. Because of this I gained a wide knowledge base, and began nursing school the summer I graduated from High school. I then graduated from college with my RN degree by my twenty-first birthday. It was also in nursing school that I met my wife, Jane.
As I aged, I leaned towards agnosticism. I felt there could be a God, but didn’t know who, what or even if He really existed. When I was thirty-eight years old, I was working in a locked psychiatric facility when the Lord brought in a bold Bible believing coworker who attended a Calvary Chapel. She eventually gave me a cassette tape to listen to, as I had a eighty-mile daily commute. I did not immediately listen to it, but eventually played it to stop her nagging. The tape broke in my cassette player. I brought it back to her, and she gave me another one. This time my cassette player broke. Undaunted, she gave me a third tape to listen to in my other vehicle.
One day as I drove to work I listened the tape “From Mafia to Ministry” which is the testimony of high ranking mafia member’s salvation journey. Because I was heading to work early, I stopped by a local mall to browse the bookstore. As I entered the mall, I went into a trance-like state in which my vision was changed, causing people to look tall and thin. My hearing was also affected; I couldn’t hear people speak, even though I could see their lips move as they passed by me. This trance stayed with me as I went into a bookstore, eventually ending up in the religious section. While scanning the myriad of books, I saw one titled “WWJD” and purchased it. I knew what the initials stood for only because my Christian coworker had an armband with the same initials. As I was leaving the bookstore I started weeping with the realization that I could not go on with my life the way I had been conducting it. I realized I needed Jesus! I had never been in a Christian church, did not know the Bible, did not know John 3:16, did not know what being saved meant, or what a sinner’s prayer was. Nonetheless the Holy Spirit guided me through a prayer asking Jesus to come into my life, to forgive me of my sins, and to be my Lord, and to take control of my life. There was an immediate change in me even though I had no idea what just occurred.
The next few days were crazy…. The best way to describe it was that I had a war going on in my soul, as I entered a spiritual battle I knew nothing about. Eventually, things stabilized as God guided me in my walk with Him. The change within me was so radical that over the next few months my wife considered divorcing me because I was reading my Bible, listening to Christian teachings on the radio, going to church and trying to live my newly found lifestyle. I was no longer the man she had married. Praise be to God that before her thoughts could bear fruit, He arranged events in her life so that six months after my salvation, she accepted the Lord as her Saviour!
One little known fact of the nursing profession is that as a career, it has one of the highest rates of alcoholism. I had fallen prey to this and was unable to free myself from it’s twenty year hold on me… no matter how hard I tried or what I did. Nine months after being saved by the Lord, He did another great miracle in my life by instantaneously freeing me from the bondage of alcoholism!
In 2013 my walk with the Lord led me to leave my nursing career of 32 years and come on staff at Calvary Chapel of St George. I now oversee the logistical aspects of the church, thereby freeing the Pastors to minister to the people. It is my joy to assist the Pastors by serving the Body in this fashion.