My name is Charles H. and I became a Christian on June 27, 2013. I was brought up in a Christian-based household and in junior high school I started attending summer and winter camps with our church. I was introduced to what it meant to be a Christian but never responded to the gospel message because I didn’t know what exactly that meant at the time. In high school I met my wife Amy and we attended and served at our church leading our peers on our high school ministry team. Although Christ was the reason for the serving, I continued living my life the way I wanted. I knew what Christ had done for me, but the response of repentance and full faith in Him was not there.
After graduating high school I was determined to fulfill my dream of becoming a Fireman. My life consisted of volunteering multiple days a week, working on an ambulance, working construction and fitting church in on the weekends when possible. It was not a priority. My father told me at a young age that the people you surround yourself with would dictate the way you act and impact your lifestyle. I slowly started drifting from God. My pursuit of a career was the driving force of all that I did. Christ was mixed in a little but not the forerunner in my life.
A few years passed and God graciously gave me a position in the Fire Department. I continued living my life the way I wanted not even thinking about how blessed I was. Days I wasn’t at work were filled with excessive drinking and partying. I developed bad habits and was blind to how much God had given me, completely masking the real reason I was there. Lusting and pornography was a problem I struggled with from a very young age and was still a roadblock to what God had planned for me. Drinking was excessive and Amy and I were struggling as a couple but always managed to work things out. We were living the way the world tells you is right, knowing God was there in the background of our lives. We were married July 6, 2008 and bought our first home together a week later.
A few years went by and we had our first child, Grant. Our life was changed the moment he entered this world. God was slowly prepping me to be a spiritual leader in my household. Conversations at work and with friends started to morph from worldly living and sin to what awaits us after this life. I remember explaining to close friends at work who God was and what He did for us and realized I was a complete hypocrite calling myself a Christian. I remember the morning so clear as I was driving to meet a friend to go mountain biking God revealed Himself to me. Listening to a Christian song I had heard many times before, it felt as though a piece of duct tape was ripped off of my eyes. I broke down, and knew God had something bigger in store for my life. I am so blessed that the Holy Spirit revealed Himself to me that day and brought me to a place of repentance.
Since that day my life has changed dramatically. I’m now aware after researching the Bible that a saving faith is more than “asking for forgiveness” and “accepting Christ into your heart” and that your response of repentance and faith is the crucial part of salvation. Sins that once ruled over me are not a part of my life anymore and my main drive on this planet is to further my relationship with my Creator and to do what He commissions us to do as Christ Followers. I am human and still sin daily, but know that I am justified in Christ and know that daily interaction with our Creator is needed in our sanctification process. My life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This drives me everyday to realize that I am made new in Christ. My old life of habitual sin and selfishness is dead on the cross and just as Jesus rose from the grave, I have been born again to live for Him and Him alone.