The revival was nothing new, the church had many in the past; however, this revival proved to be something different--something that would ultimately change my life forever. I do not exactly remember the particular theme the evangelist was preaching on or exactly what he said; but something, right in the middle of his message, triggered a burst of guilty emotions within me. Instantly, my heart started pounding, to the point where it felt like it was going to burst out of my chest; and right then and there, at that very moment, the Holy Spirit came over me, and I knew I needed the salvation of Christ--so, I bowed my head, prayed to the Lord, confessed my sins, and asked Jesus to forgive me and save me. Right after my prayer, my guilty emotions and pounding heart went to unspeakable feelings of peace and joy--no doubt that the Spirit of Jesus Christ came to live within my soul that night.
The first two years after my salvation where relatively good years; however, I was walking weak in my relationship with Jesus Christ--not praying and seeking the Lord’s guidance as I should. I truly believe, due to my lack of strength in my Christian walk, Satan saw an opportunity to deceive me and manipulate me down a road to where the glorious light of Christ’s beauty is only seen in the distance. The start of my troubles came about in the summer of 1995 just before my senior year in high school--wrong influences coupled with bad choices started to manifest in my life. Although these manifestation where the roots of my soon to be rebellious attitude; it was the very places that I knew as security that would draw out my rebellion to a destructive level--the church and the school.
When my senior year started, it seemed from the first day I could not stay out of trouble. My troubles my senior year were not really related to breaking the rules, but having a certain attitude about myself that the school faculty felt was not appropriate for one of their students, especially, a student from the church. There were two major situations that happened that year in which feelings of getting a raw deal by the school faculty transpired; and in turn, brought on internal feelings of betrayal towards the very people who I thought were suppose to guide and direct, and demonstrate compassion and thoughtfulness the most. Both situations turned out to be very damaging at the time; and in all, worked to develop much resentment within me
After graduation, the wounds of resentment towards the church and the school grew into destructive bitterness, pride, and rebellion--my attitude was, “I can do whatever I want and no one has authority over me.” Needless to say, that rebellious attitude lead me deeper down the road away from Christ, where for nine years (1996-2005) “all the wrong things” were controlling my life; however, the Holy Spirit did not lose fight in His conviction in my life; but sadly, instead of listening, I just ran to anything that would take the convictions away.
Throughout those nine years of “doing things my way” rather than God’s, I was progressively drifting into a world that is not of God--where self indulgence is the function of living, self denial justifies the living, and self destruction is the means to the end. However, in the mist of my wayward years, the Lord showed His love towards me by blessing me with a beautiful wife and three wonderful boys--clearly something I did not deserve. Even though the blessing of having a family helped to slow down my self destructive ways, I still proceeded with them, but in more secretive ways. Every day, I did my best to cover up what I was actually doing behind the scenes; I may have looked good and in control on the surface, but behind the scenes, I was truly wicked and out of control. Throughout the years of living an act started to rub off on me, soon denial set in, to the point, that I never realized my lie was destroying everything around me, including my own precious family. However, in one night, by hitting rock bottom, God in His love and mercy would take my hand and guide me out of my denial sinful state, and turn me back into His right direction.
It was the fall of 2005; I just finished my evening college class. A few of my fellow students were planning an evening out on the town; at first, I was reluctant to go, but in my state of mind, I ignored my thoughts and went out with them anyways. Eventually, I came home that night, around 3 o’clock in the morning--staggered through the front door and my wife looked at me and said “Get out; I am through with you…” Needless to say, this was not the first time I did this, but my wife made sure that night was officially the last time. The next day, while at work, a thought hit me, “What am I doing, I am destroying my family--I just need to stop this…” and then, I heard a still small voice that was not my own say, "Turn around Tim, and come back to Me."
Six months had passed since that day at work; the spring of 2006 just started. Thankfully, after much convincing and follow through in cleaning up my act, my wife forgave me; however, no matter how cleaned up my life was at the time, a very important decision was still needed to be made. A married couple, who were our neighbor’s, came over one day and invited us to their church; it was an interesting thing I thought at the time, my wife and I were previously talking about starting to go to church any ways (no coincident that God was surely working through our neighbors) so the next Sunday we went to our neighbor’s church. We faithfully started attending the church thereafter, but on one particular Sunday, while listening to the sermon, my heart once again began to heavily pound, and I heard that still small voice again telling me, “Turn around Tim, and come back to Me.” And without hesitation, I prayed, cried out to my Savior to forgive me my wrongs and take me back--though now I know, He never let go.
That day, I will never forget--my life once again found peace and joy; and along with making that decision, many glorious things soon transpired in my life. Although my family no longer attends our neighbor’s church, we have since found a great home church these last two years, which has helped my wife, my children, and I gain a much closer walk with Jesus Christ. Moreover, the Lord has blessed me with the abilities to serve Him by encouraging others in whatever their needs through my writings and my music in glorifying His kingdom.
I do not look at my testimony as one to brag about; I took the back road in finding myself as a Christian. My wish is that other Christians, both young and old, will not go through what I did to find clarity, and the best Christian walk is a continuous steadfast walk with Jesus Christ--never wavering to allow the advisory to deceive and manipulate. I was weak by not properly pursuing the recourses that God has giving us to gain strength in Him. In my weakness, pride, bitterness, anger, and self indulgence manifested a wicked life of denial and deceit which almost destroyed me. My testimony speaks of weakness and shame; but more importantly, it speaks of the saving grace, the enduring love, and the protection that our Heavenly Father has to His children--even to a wayward child.