I was the prototypical “good church kid” growing up. Yet I specifically remember doing bad things and feeling guilt. Even at a young age, I knew that I was not perfect—and that I too had “sinned and [fallen] short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
I responded to the gospel when I was just six years old. I admitted my sins before God, turned from them, and placed my faith in Christ to save me. I did not immediately understand the full implications of my new faith, but the Christian life is more than justification; it is the lifelong journey of sanctification. My conversion, then, is only my story’s beginning.
In my teen years, my faith matured through my church’s youth ministry and daily quiet times. I learned that salvation was not just a passport out of hell, but a life-altering course correction that impacted my everyday life. I sought to share Christ with my peers through a campus ministry in high school, and I developed a burden for the Hispanic community through weekly ministry to immigrants in college.
I began to sense God calling me to ministry as early as middle school, but I ignored it — until I emotionally surrendered to him at 17 on a mission trip. I originally thought God was calling me to missions. To that end, I studied Spanish in college, and my wife and I nearly applied with a mission board before heading to seminary. Yet in our time at seminary, God has slowly been changing our plans. Specifically, I have developed a passion to serve the local church, a calling which has been affirmed by others.
God daily refines me into the man he wants me to be. I seek to mature spiritually by sitting under my pastor’s teaching; fellowshipping with my small group; studying the Bible and praying; serving others; and being a husband and father. Christ’s work in my life has caused me to make decisions that seem absurd to the outside world — like leaving a well-paying job with a promising career path to go back to school to prepare for a life of ministry.
I am living proof that Jesus can — and will — radically change your life.