My Personal Testimony of Salvation

I've always liked this photo! It's about 10 years ago.
Nineteen years old and sobbing!  What nineteen-year-old guy cries in front of anyone, let alone his dad and stepmom?!  But that was the day everything changed!

I grew up in San Diego, CA, but when my parents divorced, my sister and I moved with my dad to start a “new life” on the East Coast.  It was plain awful.  From sunny So-Cal to the cold winter of Maryland, sixteen and depressed, and desperately wanting to be somewhere else, I had to go to a new high school.

Quickly my grades dropped because of depression, and although I found some new friends, drugs and alcohol were at the center of all our lives.  

Yet somehow, I made it through high school and graduation.  On my graduation day, a salesman knocked on my family’s home and demonstrated a Kirby vacuum.  We only had hardwood floors, but this guy wasn’t going to take no.  This salesman's resolve to convince us to buy it lit a fire in me.  His presentation drove my pride and ego to say, "I can do that better."  

My dad thought it was crazy and left the room, but I asked about training, and signed up!

Soon I was selling Kirby’s everywhere and making use of my gift to sell anything to anyone.  I relished the challenge and did very well.  With the money I made, I had more friends, alcohol, and drugs.  My best friend from California called me around that time and we moved in together into an apartment.  

For months, I worked and practically lived with the other Kirby salesmen.  Selling vacuums, staying out late, drinking, and doing drugs. The money was exceptional, but the pace and lifestyle that I was living were crazy.  After nine months in the express lane, there was one night when everything shifted.  I was on some pills (speed) that I just picked up and did my best Kirby vacuum cleaner sales pitch ever...  I was ready for a huge sale, but they didn’t bite.  I was shocked.  It rattled me.  If I did what I thought was my very best, but it wasn’t good enough, what then?  That thought kept bugging me.

That was the beginning of three months of ‘the great humbling’.  I barely had any sales, constant arguments with co-workers, and then my best friend and roommate freaked out, having weird transcendental experiences in our apartment.

Life was going downhill fast.  The worse thing, which started gripping me, was I could not, no matter how hard I tried, succeed.  Everything I attempted to do FAILED.  I would give it all my strength and all of me was not good enough.  I felt as if something did not want me to ever win or finish something.  I knew that I was helpless on my own; I was not strong enough.  Amid deepening depression, an argument broke out in the office at my work, and my boss chewed me out.  In effect, I was told I wasn't good enough, and all my efforts were in vain.  I was humiliated and spoken of as a nobody in a few brief exchanges...

My soul died that day....

I worked half a mile from my parent’s home, where I occasionally visited and got advice, though I never listened.  That short distance was the longest walk I have ever taken.  Crying, I realized that I was a failure and a loser in the world.  I had nothing, no future, no real education, only a high school diploma in a world that wants degrees.  I had no money, car, true friends, and no real job.  I felt at the lowest place in my life.  I was a nobody, and I knew it.  The reality hit so hard, that I mentally and physically could not go on.  I don't know how I made it to my parent's home, but I walked in and sat on the couch.  I hurt so deeply inside, anger, confusion, brokenness, anxiety, and hopelessness, are not good enough words to describe the level of worthlessness I felt inside.

My dad and my new stepmom came in from different directions and asked me what was wrong.  I tried to clean up my face but eventually sobbed out the last couple of weeks of my life to them.  In such despair, I heard my stepmom tell me that God had spoken to them three weeks previously about me, saying that something was going to happen to me soon.  When I heard those words, all my abandonment, despair, rejection, worthlessness, loneliness, and burdens rose out of me, and a love so sweet and real, accepted me. I knew then that God loved and cared for me, and that He accepted me as I was.  It wasn’t her words; it was the Presence of God.

A supernatural change occurred in me that moment, that brought such love and joy, where before there was only loneliness and despair.  I was cared for, and I knew everything now would be fine.  I felt none of the other feelings of the world I did a minute ago, but only His love, joy, and peace.  God was in me, loving me.  I felt like I floated back to work and quit my job while still crying over what just happened.  A totally changed life stood before my boss, tears in my eyes, thanking him for his actions an hour before.  Wow.

That was May 12th, 1994.

This is how I began to follow Jesus Christ.  From that moment, I gave him all control and my life was his.  It has been FULL of His love for me.  You can experience what I did.  Just pray, “Jesus, I give you my life, invade my space and let me experience your love for me.”  His next step will change your life!