02 Apr What’s Your Story?
A question I hear quite a bit around our Young Adults is, “What’s your story?” It’s generally Tomi asking it, but I hear it from others as well. It’s a genuine question that threw me off when I was asked. The usual question is something like, “Hey, how’s it going?” or, “How are you?” to which you can respond, “I am good, you?” and move on. But this genuine question is something I think we should ask even more, because it glorifies God by the word of our testimonies. “What’s your story?” probes into a person’s life and how they became a Christian, which is something we should all want to share. Please allow me to share mine.
I did not grow up in a Christian home. My mom and dad got a divorce when I was 6, and both of my parents remarried. My family would say prayers at dinner, but it was always either “Come, Lord Jesus…” or, “Bless us, oh Lord, in these thy gifts…” – two common prayers. There was never any Bible reading, prayer, worship, or proclamation that Jesus is Lord.
My dad’s side of the family prayed for me relentlessly – for this I will be forever grateful. They would often tell me that they prayed for me and that God loves me, to which I would respond, “OK”.
I was never a good student. The Lord has gifted me with a natural intelligence (not a brag), but I hated applying myself. So, I never studied, I did the bare minimum, and I slacked quite a bit. Add to this the fact that I was a misbehaved child (to put it mildly), and I earned myself a lot of detentions and suspensions. I got into some mild drugs, and even some underage drinking. I was a bit of a bully, too.
One kid in high school, Ramsay Piche, was bullied a bit more than others. I made fun of him a lot. Lord, forgive me. One day, as I was making fun of him, he stopped me and asked me to come to his house and play Halo – a HUGE deal at the time, because all I had was a SEGA Genesis, and he was inviting me to play the new Xbox!
Eventually, he invited me to youth, where I heard the gospel every week, and eventually the Lord opened my eyes to all of the stuff He had been showing me through my dad’s family, to the love of Christ, and to the gospel. I don’t remember the day or time, but I know that the Lord transformed me one day when I was 16.
Fast forward a few years – I loved the Lord, and I loved youth ministry and felt the Lord calling me into full-time church ministry. I went to Heritage for a year. While I was there, I got engaged, but that woman cheated on me. I was devastated. I left Heritage, I left the church, and I had quite the Jonah moment (running from the Lord) for about three years. During those years I did different things – restaurants, network administration, greenhouse work. But none of them fulfilled me.
When I was 23, the Lord shipwrecked me and turned me back to Nineveh. I went back to church, read my Bible regularly, and became a youth leader. The next year I was at Tyndale doing my degree for youth ministry. Over the next few years, God would lead me to Hope Bible Church Markham, and then here, to Redemption Bible Chapel.
As I look back, I can see the Lord’s hand in everything. He is the one who gets the glory for all of this. He is the one who opened my eyes, who brought me through my darkest times, who had people praying for me, who restored me when I was broken, who has blessed me with everything I have, and He is the one who will strengthen my faith in Him until the day I die.
Psalm 143:5 – “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” He is so good!
What about you? How has the Lord moved in your life? How can you remember the works the Lord has done in your life and praise Him? What’s your story? I would love to hear it! Send me your stories – firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will glorify God together.
Young Adults (and everyone reading this) – you are loved!