I’ve spent most of my life in church knowing Christ as Savior, but never as Lord. My faith was always in the faith of others; I never stood on my own. Needless to say, I came to the point where I stopped seeking God for myself. This led to me getting involved in a number of things. Many times when you live your life half in and half out with God, it’s easy to look at the world and think you’re missing out on something.
It started out with me just hanging out, going to bars, and drinking alcohol. From there I experimented with drugs and eventually began selling them to make a few extra dollars. At this point, nothing really mattered anymore: not my wife nor my children not even my job. Needless to say, my wife and I separated. The glamorous nightlife I upheld was only to camouflage the emptiness I felt inside. To all my friends, I was “the man”, but only I knew that I went to bed and cried some nights.
The type of life I led only leads to two paths, death or jail, and I ended up with the latter. Because I lived such an openly flamboyant lifestyle, I was assumed to be the man, thus becoming target of a sting operation. When I was busted, not only did they charge me with several counts of trafficking and possession, but they also had videotaped evidence against me. I was facing over 20 years having to serve a minimum of 5 years without parole. Things were happening so fast it was as if I was watching someone else’s life, but waking up in jail let me know that it was mine.
The weeks I spent in jail were the jolt I needed to bring me back to reality. Fear gripped my heart at the thought of spending the majority of my adult life behind bars. After making bond, I was determined to get my life straight. As sincere as I was in jail, I didn’t stay strong with the Lord because I returned back to the same environment thinking that I could change "myself". Even then, God was convicting my heart. I was more and more miserable but trying to work out my own salvation.
God used my brother-in-law to rescue me from death. He started visiting me at work and taking me to lunch. Even to this day, I have to stop and give God praise on how He delivered me. My brother-in-law, who’s now my Pastor, used to be a deputy sheriff. When he was researching my case, he found out the arresting officer was someone he formerly worked with. He talked with the officer and explained how I’d turned my life around and had become a new person. The day of my court case, I appeared in court.We stood before the judge, he asked questions, and I had my say. after I spoke the judge said "you don't seem like the same man on this conviction". The judge then looked at my Pastor and asked, “Don’t I know you?” I couldn’t believe it! The judge remembered him from when he was a deputy sheriff. The judge gave my pastor space for words. After speaking, the judge replied to my Pastor by saying, “We need more Pastors like you. Sentence reduced to 2 years probation and a $100 fine.” God had just given me back 20 years of my life! But that’s not all. Because of the nature of my crime, I lost my driver’s license. Both my Pastor and I went down to the DMV after getting permission to have a provisional license. When we got there, we discovered the woman behind the counter went to school with my Pastor. She then said she would try to rush the process, but she would have to take the information upstairs to have a manager sign.
After a few minutes, a DMV manager came downstairs with my information in her hand. She had a weird look on her face as she approached me. She looked at me and said, “Sir, I don’t know you, and I hope I don’t offend you, but when I looked at your picture, I saw "SECOND CHANCE”, God told me to tell you that you have a "SECOND CHANCE IN LIFE". I relieved her apprehension by telling her I was a Christian, and then told her my testimony. Revelations 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him and supp with him and he with me.
Throughout the whole ordeal, God was showing me he was there. But it wasn’t until I opened the door of my heart to let Jesus in that He delivered me and taught me to trust Him. So now, I’m on Page 2, the second page of my life, totally surrendered to God.