In God's amazing grace, He laid a foundation of awareness of Him very early in my life through church and Christian schooling. Unfortunately, it wasn’t far along in life before my focus turned inward to my own desires. From about 8 yrs old until my early 20s I was far from Him. Looking back over that time in my life, my character would be best described by Paul's words in 1COR1:26 - "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are". I often cringe at the thought of the influence that I had on people during that period of my life. I must admit that I have to remind myself at times that He is sovereign and His plans and purposes will succeed regardless of my failings.
In God's timing, somewhere in my early 20s, He opened my eyes to see the emptiness in all that I had valued in life. I slowly started to realize that while I had been ignoring God for most of my life, in his unanswered faithfulness He had kept some level of connection between us. Only in the years following, did I start on my understanding of how patient He is in His love for us. The longer that I walk with Him the more I understand sonship; that a son is justified in his father's love (not his own actions), works for the glory of his father (not his own glory), and runs toward (not away) from his father in times of weakness and failure.
I am certainly not all that I should be, but am amazed by His sacrifice, encouraged through His chastening, desire to be led by his Spirit, and overwhelmed that He is willing to receive me as a son.
My wife, 5 children, and I started attending Resonate Community Church in 2015. We are drawn to this church by the burden that the leadership has for biblical teaching that is both relevant and challenging. I look forward to where God will call this local body in the future.