Even though I grew up in a Christian home, attended church weekly as a child, and “prayed the prayer” during a revival when I was a young boy, I never truly had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ until I was 27 years old. I had chosen to follow my own desires and carve out my own path in life. In fact, my wife and I met in a local bar before we were saved, got married 6 months later, and had 2 children during our first couple of years of marriage. We fought frequently, and by 1993, our marriage was ready to collapse. I had become a bitter, angry, and spiteful person. I had managed to make quite a mess of my life, and was dragging others down with me.
In April of 1993, my family and I were involved in a head-on collision between our small car and a pickup truck. The last thing I remember was seeing the grill of a Ford pickup truck right in front of my face. I lost consciousness due to a head injury and eventually woke up on a cold, hard table in the emergency room as they were repairing the damage to my face. Not only did I wake up physically, but God used this traumatic event to truly open my eyes to my depraved spiritual condition and my need for a Savior.
Just prior to the accident, we had started attending a local church so that our children could “learn some good moral values.” After the accident, we continued attending that church, but now something was different. Every sermon seemed to be directed toward me personally. I soon realized that instead of waking up on that table in the emergency room, I could be dead and my eternal fate sealed forever. As I sat with tears streaming from my eyes while the preacher delivered a sermon on the parable of the sower and the four types of soil from Matthew 13, I prayed that God would change the soil of my heart forever into that good, fertile soil. I prayed for His forgiveness and mercy because I couldn’t stand to remain the person that I had become anymore. I committed my life to Him and to His service from that day forward.
The bitter, angry, spiteful person is gone. Not only did God change me, He also healed my marriage. Lori and I have been married for over 25 years, and now have 5 children. Even today as I write this, I’m amazed to look back through the years and see how God has been working through all the myriad events of our lives to bring us unto Himself. Shortly after my salvation experience, God led me to Romans 8:28 which I then claimed as my “life verse” which summed up what had just happened…
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
—– Paul —–