Let There Be Light | Kevin

I grew up the youngest of four boys in a home without God and we never went to church. From a young age, I got into a lot of trouble at school and I struggled with school work. Eventually, I started to believe that I was a bad kid and wasn’t smart. Like a lot of kids, I found my identity in sports. 

By the 8th grade I tried smoking cigarettes, I tried alcohol and marijuana for the first time, and I started having more serious relationships. By freshman year in high school, I became sexually active and I started experimenting with drugs. This is where my drug and alcohol addictions began. In high school, I lived two lives. I was a three sport athlete: center fielder on the baseball team, shooting guard on the basketball team, and quarterback of the football team, and I was partying and dating many different girls. Drugs and alcohol began to take over my life. After high school, after I was no longer an athlete, I struggled with my identity. I traveled out west and ended up in Montana.  My drug and alcohol addictions continued to get worse. By the age of 25, I had hit rock bottom. I was a wreck, I was broken. I didn’t know who I was. I had no dreams in life. I never thought I would live past the age of 30. I had nothing to live for. I had no purpose.  

Then I met Julie. Julie was the first person that I met that said she was a Christian and believed in God. But our relationship was full of sin with drugs, alcohol, and sex. We got engaged the night that we moved in together.   Shortly after that, we started attending a little church in western Montana. The church was made up of mostly older couples and we were the only young couple there. They embraced Julie and I and loved on us. I started to change when I walked through those doors. About a month before we got married, I decided to give my life to Christ. I was baptized in the Bitterroot River and became a born again Christian. Julie got pregnant about three months after our wedding. I didn’t completely stop drinking or doing drugs after I was baptized, but when I gave in to those temptations, it didn’t feel the same. My addictions made me a slave to drugs and alcohol. I would wake up every morning and grab my pipe, dope, and put my chains on for the day. Now that I was born again, I was trying to put on those same chains but they would just slip right off, it wasn’t the same, I wasn’t the same.  About six months after I was baptized and through the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit, I became sober. I became a new creation in Christ. God had restored me. I began to transform. I graduated college, our son was born, and I got a good job. Things started to go right for me. I had a purpose. But there were still struggles and for the first time I reached out to God and really prayed. My prayer at the time was for an opportunity to support my family and be with them every day. God answered that prayer with an opportunity to move to North Dakota and for the first time in our marriage, Julie and I took a big leap of faith. Right after we made the decision to follow the Lord and move to North Dakota, we found out Julie was pregnant with our second child. I eventually got a promotion and transferred to Bismarck.  We started attending Evangel and this is where we really started maturing spiritually. We have had two more daughters since moving to Bismarck. And about three or four years ago Julie and I prayed for forgiveness, we asked God to forgive us for the impure lives we led, the drugs, the alcohol, the pornography, and the sex before marriage.  Together we sat down and held hands and cried out to Him. We repented for our sins and He forgave us. He healed us, He healed our marriage. God restored us as a couple and strengthened our marriage. One year ago Julie was baptized. And this last February, our seven year old son gave his life to the Lord and was baptized! 

I have been sober for eight years now. Julie and I have been married for over eight years. We have been blessed with four children. I have been completely transformed. I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I am continually growing and being refined through that relationship. I try to read His word every day and I try to seek Him first in all things. I am trying to live my life according to God’s will.