Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hello, God.

For all my life, I grew up hearing the word God. Both used for the good and for the bad. I grew up learning about Him, learning about prayer, His plan and His son Jesus Christ. I grew up in a home where as little kids we would pray as a family and where my parents spoke of Him often. I grew up in a state and area where God, especially religion, is talked about openly and frequently. But, I don't remember as a kid praying to God personally that much and especially as a teenager, I don't remember saying personal prayers at all. Then when I got to High School I began to distance myself from God and started to question who He is and wondered if He even existed?

The distance between me and God all started when I was in High School when I found out I had developed a fractured lower spine and a very rare back disease that kept me from playing and trying out for the two sports I loved most; basketball and football. I became so upset, I started to distant myself from God and the very thought of Him. I became very mad at Him and I blamed Him for my injury and I would shake my fists at the Heavens and questioned Him: 'Why me? Why did you do this to me?What did I do wrong? You know this was my dream, how could you do this to me?' Me questioning God and being upset with Him went on for years and I began to not even believe in God at all. As that distance grew, I made many mistakes that taught me a lot of lessons, but ultimately it was leaving me feeling alone.

Long story short, when I was 19 years old I had God back in my life.  It happened at a very pivotal moment into my life. He and His son Jesus Christ came and rescued me from my dark, lonely, and depressing state that I was in. He saved me. For the first time in my life that I can remember, God became the centered piece of my life. With what I went through and the changes I made and the things I overcame, I thought I finally knew God. I wanted to start doing what He wanted me to do. I changed my whole life around, a full 360! I stopped questioning and being upset with Him and started to pray about what I should do with my life. God answered my prayers and told me to serve a mission, something I was very much opposed to my whole life. But, I decided to go and was called to serve in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For two years, seven days a week, from 10am to 9pm all I did was talk to people about God, His plan, and His son Jesus Christ. In that two years, I taught and talked to over a thousand people about God, that He is our loving Heavenly Father. I taught them from my heart because I knew what it was like to not have Him in my life. Rejected at least about 8 out of 10 times, people just didn't want to hear. I was cussed out, mocked, shoved, hit, and some things probably not good to tell, but a lot of people did accept us and our message. Many people I met believed in God or believed in something which is great, but we were offering something to people to bring them closer to God than ever before.

For the past few years I felt I had a great relationship with God and finally had a pretty good idea of who He is. But, it wasn't until my wife got pregnant, and mainly it wasn't until my wife was in labor that I really started to understand who God really is. Seeing my beautiful baby be born I have a better idea who God is then I have ever before.

My beautiful and lovely wife was in labor for 42 hours! I wish no woman has to ever be in labor for that long. It's pretty much insane. My wife is my hero now. I felt so helpless being in the delivery room with my wife. Seeing her go through so much pain, literally to hell and back to bring our baby into this world. I couldn't do anything, except talk or rub her back. I hated seeing her in so much pain that brought her to tears. I prayed for 42 hours straight, not all verbally but in my heart and mind. Praying for my wife's health and pain, our baby Gracie, the doctors, praying that our baby would hurry up and get out! When I saw my beautiful girl come out at 12:58 pm on June 18th, 2014, I wept. I didn't just cry or shed a tear, I put my head on my wife's shoulder and I seriously wept my eyes out. It was seriously the most beautiful and coolest thing I have ever seen or experienced. Labor is insane and out of this world, but I saw God work that day. Ever since then God has constantly been on my mind. I know Him more than I have ever before because of that experience. Having a baby is God's plan for us, I'm humbled that He trusts me to be Gracie's father. God trusts two imperfect people to be the parents of one of His perfect and innocent children.

My life has changed these past 3 weeks since Gracie arrived. My wife and I saw God's hand that day when she was born; she brought more God into my life. Seeing my baby be born, I don't believe in God anymore. I know God. He is real. I know He exists. I know He loves all of us. I know He is my Heavenly Father. It's not a belief, it's a knowledge. I wouldn't trade that in for anything.

To all those who feel rejected by God, or abandoned, alone or feel like you've just missed to many chances in your life. I say just turn around. It's us that turn our backs on God way too soon. God is LOVE. The very definition of love is God. All the time there are things that suck in life that could make us question whats going on? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said: "God is in your corner. Everything will work out for our Good." God gives us bad and hard times so we can know what good feels like and that we can know what God's love feels like. He will never leave us. He will not leave you. He is our Father. He is yours and mine. He has changed my life again and again. He can change yours. You can know Him.  I love my Heavenly Father and now fully aware how all of this came to be.