I met this guy recently and we became fast friends. He has been such a blessing in my life in just the way that he is. He has a gentle and kind spirit, and a heart for people. Right now, he has been thrown back into a huge battle with his health but God is a good God and it’s cool to see how these trials strengthen his faith. I hope you are as blessed as I am by this story!
1)How did you come to know Jesus on a personal, life-changing level? What has God brought you through?
Coming to know Jesus has not been an easy journey. I didn’t grow up in the church, which means I didn’t know I could have a relationship with Jesus, period. I’ve had life-long kidney problems that have taken a toll on my well-being, which made me angry at the idea of God existing.The very few Christians in my life were acquaintances in high school who didn’t really lead by example, and I was turned off to the idea of even wanting to know God…or so I thought. A longtime friend of mine, who was also one of my band mates, invited my younger brother, younger sister, and me to a worship night at his church. We all decided to go in order to support him, since he was a part of the worship team, and we wound up loving it; we thought it was super cool! He then invited my whole family to come to church the following Sunday, and we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there, the first thing we all noticed was how unbelievably friendly and loving everyone was. This was something we never would’ve thought to experience. Once we got in there and we heard worship start, something stirred in my heart that I’ve never felt before, and I had chills from head to toe. The stirring in my heart soon led to a heart that was pounding very fast, with a huge sense of love and passion. I accepted Christ into my heart that Sunday morning, along with my parents and my younger siblings. Fast forward three months, I embark on a trip to a youth conference in Colorado. On the last night of the conference, during worship, the strangest thing happened to me: I heard an audible voice unlike any other call me by name: “Jeremy,” the voice beckoned. I was in such shock and awe that I couldn’t move. “I love you,” the voice said to me. In that moment, I instantly knew it was Him– Jesus. There was no other way that could be anyone or anything else. In those words, I knew that He knew everything about me: every awesome memory I’ve made, and every difficult circumstance I had been in especially in regards to my health.
It was Him. That’s when I realized how real my relationship with Christ would be. My life hasn’t been the same since.
2)What has God been teaching you in the past month?
In this past month, I’ve been having to relearn one of the most crucial parts to having a relationship with Jesus: Trust.
The past 6-7 weeks have been incredibly tough for me. My kidney transplant began to fail out of nowhere, and I was hospitalized for a week as a result. I then had to be put on dialysis three times a week to help sustain me, which I’m still having to do, I’ve had to undergo several infusions to try to help the kidney wake back up, and I’m currently having to prepare for another kidney transplant in the next 6 months. I’ve experienced so much anger and frustration towards God because of all of this, especially knowing that hundreds upon hundreds of people, if not thousands, are constantly praying for me to be healed– only to see things get worse. The thing that God is having to remind me to do is to trust Him in the midst of darkness. I honestly don’t know what the next few weeks are going to look like, and sometimes I struggle to know what the next day would have in store…but I know that if God hadn’t been here with me each day, I would have already been dead. Because I am still alive, because I am still breathing, and because I can experience another day, I know God is with me and He is working this seemingly bleak situation for my own good. Whether He heals me or not, He is still worthy of glory, honor, and praise. I will still follow Him and trust Him through it all.
3)When it comes to Gods Holy Word, how often would you say you fully immerse yourself in it to a point where God reveals a transformational truth to you? If often, what truth comes to mind? If not often, what holds you back?
For a while, this was something that became a bit of a rarity. I was only in God’s Word once a week at most. I had allowed myself to get too preoccupied with school and two jobs, and my focus had been directed towards those things because they were incredibly stressful. In the past two months, however, that quickly changed with my current health experiences. I wound up not being in school due to the summertime, and I was placed on medical leave from one of my jobs because of my health. As much as this bums me out, this gave me lots of time to refocus and to once again put Jesus first and to study His Word each day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Sometimes God will reveal something to me while reading scripture which can speak to a specific issue or circumstance in my life that I’m currently experiencing, but often it’s during my prayer time when God will shine light on truth in my life or He will bring about conviction in my heart, which will allow for me to make a change to my life. In some cases, He will tell me to simply let Him transform me. I tend to put a ton of responsibility and pressure on my shoulders that don’t need to be there. I must allow God to take those burdens off my back so that I can be more like Him.
4) Have you ever experienced a moment of pure peace in Gods presence? Explain.
It’s not often that I would experience this, but the few times I have are some of the most incredible moments in my life. A moment of peace in God’s presence can be unbelievably challenging to put into words, but it feels something like this: All sense of time is gone, chills run throughout my whole body, and all my worries are suddenly falling off of me. Sometimes, it is completely silent, and overwhelming joy overtakes me to the point of tears. I become awestruck by the nearness of the Lord and by the vastness of His love for me and for all mankind. It’s something that I would never want to end.