My name is Joseph, and this is my testimony…well at least my testimony summarized. If I wrote everything it would be hours of reading and therefore, I will try to just simply summarize the major events from the past sixteen years. Sixteen years ago, as I was flipping through channels, I heard a sermon on the Ten Commandments. The preacher was making the point that although we have never physically committed murder, that the seed of it is when we hate another person and while we never committed adultery (possibly) physically, we have done so when we lust after someone who is the spouse of another or who is not our spouse. He went on to explain every commandment in such a way that I would be completely surprised if anyone who heard that sermon, left not feeling conviction of violating the commandments of a Holy and Just God. This brought me to my knees and I wept more on that day than I had ever wept in my entire life. This was the beginning of repentance, but the battle was far from over.
It was a short time after this awakening that I moved in with my Grandpa and started working in landscaping at a place down the street. I was still not right in the head and struggled with smoking cigarettes and using certain drugs, but I was trying to get better. I remember that it was not an easy thing to quit using, but I continued to fight and had a temporary victory. It didn’t last because I began working with a couple of individuals who ended up leading me back to a life of drugs, one guy more so than the other. I started out just giving into smoking marijuana and cigarettes, but this eventually led to me getting into harder drugs, such as cocaine and crystal meth. It was the meth that almost cost me my life. Being awake for over 72 hours has the potential of causing someone’s heart to stop beating and that is how long I was awake during this hellish event. There are ignorant people who would say that it was just a bad trip and that I wasn’t dying, but these people are just plain stupid and seek to justify their foolish behavior rather than seek that which is true. People have died from legal substances, such as energy drinks. I knew that I was close to death and unless you have ever been there, you are fooling yourself to try to justify your stupidity.
I spent hours pacing around my Grandpa’s basement pleading that God would not let me die and that if I lived, I would devote my life to seeking that which is true. God has been faithful, and I strive and have attempted for the last sixteen years to keep my end of that promise. It has led me to places I never thought I would ever end up going. I have had to admit that I am wrong, that I have been wrong, and that I still have the potential of being wrong. I have discovered that beliefs that I once thought were true, are in fact not true. I have had much opposition over the years, but God never promised that our lives would be easy when we came to Him. In fact, He states the opposite. He says that anyone who would chase after Him would be persecuted for righteousness sake. Jesus states that if we seek to save our lives we will lose them, but if we give up our lives for His sake and the sake of the Gospel, then we will find eternal life. Therefore, this is and has been my goal. To lay down my life for the sake of the Truth, the Messiah and to never look back. I pray that God will give me the ability to become obedient to Him and the Gospel.