• North Ridge Stories

From Slavery Into Freedom

How much did it take for me? I have said this to a diverse number of people, even my own family who continues in their paths of sin. I'll never forget the day that I simply said, "Lord Jesus, just take care of me." Three events took place before I would surrender.


It all started with my Grandmother Lois, who rested in the Lord. It was she who took her three Grandchildren in tow to church. It would be her bold access into the throne room of grace, a grand intercession on my behalf begging God to free me from the bonds of sin so that I might live outside of homosexual identification. To be freed from sin. Her access into this grace began to cause a sort of stumbling.


In 2009 I began to have moments where my hardened heart and mixed up mind that had been swathed with drugs and alcohol started to see wrong. At first I didn't associate the unrighteousness to myself, but only in general judgement. This was, I suppose, a sort of softening to what was coming next. This same year I was diagnosed with two viruses contracted sexually that would require medication. Born in 1975, I was completely immersed in the fears and prejudices of a new epidemic that history has show was exacerbated by those with similar proclivities.

All of my life it was said that indecent and reckless sexual behavior could result in destruction. It did. The news came to me from a stranger who had revealed the devastating news to countless men. Surely their regret was the same as mine, but for me it was much more than regret. Death surfaced into my reality. Unfortunately, two of the events mentioned wasn't enough to usher in the urgency to repent.


The man who I call ‘my evangelist’, a fellow drinker, user and homosexual peer didn't die so that I might finally get the point. He lived in the community and was a friend for more than a decade. Although I knew him, we were never together. I didn't like his fervency to bend the truth. But the day he came into the bar and witnessed to me, somehow I had no choice but to take him seriously. "Guess what I've done?” he said. “I gave my life back to Jesus." Very soon after our conversation, my evangelist died.


The culmination of these three events would help me cry out to Jesus. Psalms 107:17-22 perfectly describes this moment and the continuation into an absolute freedom that today I would never trade in for the temporal moments I clamored after for those, what can be described as the most horrible fifteen years of my life.


I, in Christ Jesus, continue to say no to a nature buried into His death.

The life that I live today I truly live unto God. How could I live any other way but the way of righteousness? The unbreakable truth for me and everyone throughout the body of Christ is this, "By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" Romans 6:2


Nine years later the Lord sent to me, my wife Angela! A blessed woman in Christ. She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. We share a deep love and my Father's favor forever gives me an example of His personal provision for me.

God has given more than I deserve. He has allowed Angela's daughters and four grandchildren to see me as father. They eagerly garner wisdom that has been liberally given unto me. But God didn't stop there. Together my wife and I have adopted twins. A boy and girl that I love so much, more than myself. God has given me a sort training, a constant training, in understanding His, my Father’s, heart as he has prepared my heart to be just as He is, a father.

 

Submitted by Chris R. on 11/23/2021

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