My life a few years ago could have been described as angry and aimless. I was lacking fulfilment and it seemed that no matter what direction I took, I was not finding it. I grew up in church going every Sunday with Mum and my brother, out of obligation. It was a ritual that I deeply resisted. It is a great church to this day, but back then I had no friendship with God and as a result it was as I described boring.
From an outward perspective I probably looked very successful young, healthy, middle class, studying a Certificate IV in Youth Work. I was holidaying and had an active social life. I had even planned a trip to South America. I had paid for the air fare and other costs which exceeded a few thousand dollars. But throughout all of this, never once could I say that I was truly happy. My motives were all wrong. I was determined to be an independent young person and become reliant on no one but myself. I wanted to prove everyone wrong.
Underneath all this I was caught up in drug abuse, destructive relationships, and bullying, which caused me to become a bully. Even in the darkest past moments of life, I would always inwardly cry out knowing that God was there somewhere and I needed His help. However I could not have planned for His great response to my cry.
It was at this point that God revealed a part of Himself to me. It was one morning at my Youth Work course when Teen Challenge visited as guest speakers. I was amazed as although I had studied Youth Work, a secular learning environment, I had never heard of such miracles about drug addicts getting saved! It deeply touched me and left me wanting more of what I had heard. I later realised that God was drawing me as His child to Himself into a place of safety.
This marked the beginning of a long road for me in which I can never repay my Father in Heaven. He made it clear to me that the path I was heading down was dark, prideful and selfish. This led to a step of faith to cancel my trip to South America. God wanted to show me His plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-12)! I have come to realise that God knows us all better than we know ourselves and that we should trust in Him for our decisions. I can now reflect and see that my past life decisions were shaped by me and I did not allow God to have any input. Because my decisions were so often shaped by me they were destined to fail. My decisions were of a rebellious nature, I was defiant to prove others wrong and I was unteachable to those around me.
From this point onward my life was suddenly taking a new course of direction, surrounded by the great folk at Teen Challenge. My new direction led me to further fulltime study of Mental Health. I also experienced rehabilitation and discipleship as an intern in the Men’s Living Free Program, which later led to a leadership and volunteering role in the Program.
Today I am still a servant in the Men’s Living Free Program doing life with my brothers. I also lead our TC Young Adults Bible Study. The sudden change in my life has sent me down a radical path with God that I could not say was easy. However, His love has been greater than my weaknesses (Romans 8:38-39). Teen Challenge has taught me that I am a new creation because Jesus Christ has paid the debt for my imperfections and sins. He has personally impacted my life like no other (Romans 5:17, 21).
I encourage you to do the same and discover this truth for yourself.
Mark 2:14 – As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, Follow Me. So he arose and followed Him.