Remarkably Different

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“I thought if I made enough money, my problems would go away. I could fix everything with financial security.

“After a torn ACL shortened my college track career, the identity I had formed around my athletic achievements was stripped from me. I found myself surrounded by people who spent their time drinking and doing drugs. I was doing things I said I would never do. Emotions I had pushed away for so long started to stack up. Past family problems, an addiction to pornography, and trust issues fueled my depression and isolation. Inevitably, this led to suicidal ideation.

“After graduation, I thought money and career success would be the solution to my problems. So, I moved to Dallas to start a business and attend business school. At first, I thought this was the start of a new life – I could put everything else behind me. My struggles could stay back in my college town, and I could start over fresh.

“I soon realized, if you bring a broken heart to a new place, it’s still a broken heart. Dallas offered more temptation than I faced in my small town, and I soon found myself right back into drinking and doing drugs. This lifestyle led me to a point where I was completely at the end of myself. I was looking in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person I was seeing.

“Desperate, I came to Watermark and sat in the balcony. Although I couldn’t make sense of everything the pastor was saying, the first message I heard was convicting, and it kept me coming back week after week. At one service, I met two girls who talked about re:generation, Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry. I had nothing to lose, and I knew if I didn’t like it, I could leave, and no one would notice.

“The first night, I ran into one of my peers from graduate school in the Watermark Town Center. We sat next to each other in class and had become friends, but we had never had a religious conversation before. So, we were both surprised to see each other.

“A couple of days later, he reached out to me, offering to be my mentor through re:generation. I wasn’t sure what the next season would hold, but I committed to the program. It felt so personal of God to send the person who sat next to me in class to answer my questions about faith, science, and religion.

“One night after one of our talks, everything clicked for me. I understood the truth of Christ, the gospel, and the reality of eternity. I realized I’d been running away from the only person who could save me: Jesus. At that moment, I felt conviction and fear of a life apart from God. That was the moment when everything in my life began to change.

“Through re:generation, God was faithful to show me all areas where my identity was misplaced, the idols I carried, and the hurts I was still holding on to. It wasn’t an overnight process by any means, but as I read the Bible and learned more about God, I grew closer to Him. My life began to look remarkably different. I was surrounded by people who loved the Lord and encouraged me to pour my life into ministry and into sharing Christ with others. It was a great season where God pulled me from the temptations of the world to show me the joy that was found in living for Him.

“Life isn't perfect, and at times I still struggle. At the beginning of last year, multiple friends got married or moved away, and I found myself in another season of isolation. Depression began to creep in, and I fell back into old, unhealthy patterns. But, when I stepped back, I realized that this time it was completely different. This time, I was rooted in Christ. The Lord showed me that no matter how difficult my circumstances became, He was there with me. He also put people in my life who were rooted in His Word to hold me accountable and surround me with truth. They stepped into my isolation and helped me to fight sin and find continued healing in Christ.

“As I serve at The Porch on Tuesday nights, I see an opportunity to steward the story God has given me. He has rescued me from darkness, and He has given my life a new purpose. I want to make Christ known and help others know the joy and freedom that is found in a relationship with Him.”

Join us at The Porch every Tuesday night at 7 PM with thousands of other young adults gathering to worship and hear messages about faith, dating, mental health, and more.