This story of rebelution ties very closely to the previous story of family, church, and work. In many ways, this story of the past weaves in and out of that story of the present. Within this story though — hopefully not a boring, but rather an encouraging piece — you will see from the very beginning how God has allowed me to participate in the Rebelution that is sweeping the nation. It is really the story preceding the prior story. It is the history.
I was born in 1990, and have been brought up in a home that believed in the Bible. My parents taught me Godâ€™s Word from a very young age, teaching me how to act and behave, disciplining me when I sinned, and instructing me in righteousness. That, I beleive, layed the foundation for the rebelution in my life. Through participation in Bible study, church, school at home, discipline, prayer, sermons, Sunday School lessons, and the teaching and example of my parents, I grew closer and closer to God.
Through his sovereign call and by grace through faith I was saved at a young age, repenting of my sin, and turning to Christ as my Savior and atonement for my sin. Everything hinged on that moment.
I was eight years old and heading off to a Bible study — studying what I considered at the time the worst portion of Scripture ever written: the Minor Prophets. So many lists of names that I was forced to read! I cried over that Bible, not because I was emotional about the text, but because I hated it with a passion. Words on a page mean nothing. Yet once again, godly men and women guiding me in my life pushed me once again in the right direction. My teacher for this Bible study finally brought things together. All of the material my pastor and my parents had been telling me over and over came together that Monday night as I heard how I was just like Israel was in the Old Testament. I was not good. I was full of lies, of murder, of covetousness, of lust, of disobedience. I knew it all too well — I could name so many times when I directly went against my parents for whatever reason.
So, there I was, just like Israel. Yet praise be to God, Israel was given mercy. And just like Israel, Christ came to give me mercy, to justify me, to become an atonement for my sin, to take my place on that cross. This truth overwhelmed me, and that night I prayed with my mother asking for God’s forgiveness and asking Him to be the Lord of my life. It was that night I was saved.
Yet like any â€œconversion storyâ€ it does not end there. After my repentance of my sin, things began to change in the spiritual realm, as all that had been taught to me through my younger years finally made sense and took on whole new meanings. The Holy Spirit truly was working in my heart through my elementary years, and was using my parents, my pastor, and my Sunday School teachers to help develop me spiritually. I learned the whole purpose in life was to glorify God, and a life lived to glorify God is one that is not wasted. I did not want to waste my life — and my parents have played a huge role in helping me understand what a life not wasted looks like.
In my middle school and early High School years, I began a blog. It was just a place where I could sit down and record my daily thoughts on life and my faith. Yet the more I wrote, the more people came and read my material and enjoyed it — and I was only thirteen at the time. I met many like minded young men and women, something I was missing in my life, and began to converse with them about my belief’s. It was through this blog that I also met many enemies of the faith — atheists, agnostics, Christians who believed things contrary to what I’d been taught, and just simply people who disagreed. I learned how to talk to these people, and many times had to learn the hard way how hard it is to put your feelings into words and not offend someone.
The next two or three years were highlighted by my blogs â€œsuccess,â€ invitations to write for magazines, a one time appearance on the Albert Mohler show, a meeting with Alex and Brett Harris, fellow young men who were on this mission to rebel against the low expectations of our culture, a trip to the Southern Baptist Convention, and a tug in my heart from the Lord pulling me towards ministry. I decided I would ignore that tug as much as I possibly could — and paid the price for it as I entered into what I would consider the desert and valley during my sixteenth year.
I started a job and was fully immersed in â€œthe real world.â€ I still stood strong in my faith, yet the Devil was hard against me, pushing me, tempting me, wreaking havoc in my mind and my heart. I allowed him to lead me down a path of complacency, weakness, and sin. I found myself falling short more often, lacking in Bible study, in prayer, and in worship. I pretended on the outside that things were fine, but in my heart I knew that I was slipping. One night, as I was lying in bed, I just couldn’t fall asleep. My heart was torn apart over my sin, and I went upstairs to my mom to confess to her and to God my failure. It was that night I finally told the Lord â€œHere I am.â€ I got on my knees and prayed for forgiveness and for strength and for wisdom.
During that time period God was still strong at work — I was contacted by C.J. Mahaney, who sent me a letter that now sits in my room as a encouragement each day. Along with that note came three of his books, and some of the Sovereign Grace worship CDâ€™s. I was now exposed to the great teaching of Sovereign Grace, as well as to the gospel-centered music from Sovereign Grace and Covenant Life.
For the story of the present, you can see the past story. For right now, I continue onward in my rebelution — struggling and wrestling with what the Rebelution and â€˜Do Hard Thingsâ€™ really means in this story of mine. Perhaps it means nothing — I highly doubt it. Instead, I truly believe it means a great deal more than even I can imagine.
This story is still going on â€“ and I want to thank you for joining me as we traverse just one story of Rebelution in just one life. There are many, many more stories out there (for which I cannot wait to read in the up-and-coming Do Hard Things book that is coming out next year.) For now, I pray that this one story will encourage you to continue to do hard things in your own life, and to see that there are other teens out there who are struggling, wrestling, and fighting to do hard things. It is so important to network, to talk to others, to interact with others who believe as you do and are fighting the same battle. Together we stand, divided we fall.
For Godâ€™s Glory.
Still To Come // Do Hard Things In My Life // My Story of Rebelution // The Struggle of Rebelution // Holiness and the Rebelution