My sophomore year of high school was the darkest period in my life; and one I will prayerfully never return to. Skipping church service, spending time with people I knew only cared about them, doing what felt right, rather than what was right. My relationship with my family became strained and our household was in constant turmoil due to my behavior. The fighting never seemed to end; my parents constantly nagging me about school and preparing for college. I was impulsive, impossible and selfish; until my parents forced me to go to Camp Orlando in the summer of 2007. I fought with everything I had; why would I want to spend a week with kids from a church I didn’t go to and a God I cared nothing about. But to my relief plenty of my classmates would be accompanying me as well.
Ignoring the messages and only there for my friends God got my attention in a major way. As Doug Pierce and the rest of his band members stepped on stage and began to sing, the lyrics hit me head on. Music has always been a major part of my life; it relates with us on an emotional level. To know that someone somewhere has felt the way you do in that moment gives you a bit of hope. God began to use the words of those songs and chip away at my hardened heart. By the end of camp I had broken down and made the commitment to rededicate my life to Christ and leave behind the childish side of me. Returning home to my family repentant and abashed we were able to start fresh.
As my senior year drew closer I felt convicted about my choice of major for college. Now that I was spending time in the word on a regular basis, I felt that my choice to go to school for veterinary medicine was a mistake and that God was calling me elsewhere. Terrified to tell my parents I continued to pray about it hoping that the Lord would reveal what alternative he would have me do. September 8, 2008- my eighteenth birthday and Student Life Orlando, I was spending time with Chad West in the tech booth of the Student Center of First Baptist Church of Orlando. As Chad began to show me a bit about what each board did and what his duties were I began to take interest rather than just mere curiosity. Introduce Simon Hunt. Simon was in charge of the students that were helping out with the event. Attending Wednesday night services on a regular basis I had seen him around, but not taken too much notice. At that moment a little over two years ago, never would I have seen myself where I am today.
Over the course of my senior year in high school Simon, guided me and taught me everything I needed to know about the technical world. We had plenty of times where we didn’t see eye to eye, but everything always worked out in the end. He provided me with opportunity after opportunity to build myself into a better technician and farther my opportunities. Finally I knew what my calling was- to allow people to worship together on a larger scale; now I just had to tell my parents. It was mortifying having to sit there and tell them I didn’t want to attend veterinary school after all of the time and research they had invested. Skeptical at first, my parents have now grown an appreciation for my passion for this ministry.
Camp Orlando of 2008- I went to camp as a technician for the first time and student for the last. The excitement of load-in and the extra privileges were almost too much to handle. When the band members- and now close friends- began to play, I felt such a sense of admiration as I was able to mix the band that God had used to break me. And a year later at Camp Orlando 2009 to share with them exactly how He had used them to push me in the direction I needed to go.
Over three years have passed since the first day I began my interest in audio engineering and I have been blessed beyond measure. God has placed so many people in my life that have pushed me towards the goal that he had for me. As this new season of my life begins I would like to take the time to individually thank each person that God used to direct me. Each of you cannot fathom how much the Lord used you to influence my life.
God has done such a work in my life and I know he will continue to do so- the story is in the journey.
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1