“Don’t call me anymore!” My mother said this to me when she found out I was following Jesus. Everyone that I knew decided they did not want to have anything to do with me because I loved Jesus. This was because I had been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness for 17 years of my life. I thought these people loved me, but there was something missing. The love that I found in Jesus drew me closer and closer to Him. In contrast, I would see people that I had grown up with and they would turn and walk away from me. I felt that no one loved me. In fact, I felt so alone that had it not been for the loving influence of my grandmother, I would have taken my own life. I was living with her because I had been evicted from my mother’s home. I had enough and was going to end it all because I felt that nobody loved me and everyone had turned their back on me. I was going to wait for my grandmother to go to sleep, and then I was going to take my life. But she didn’t go to sleep like normal. She usually goes to sleep at seven but now it’s 8 o’clock, now it’s 9 o’clock, and then she asked me, “Son what’s wrong?” I hesitated and I said no one knows me, no one loves me, my mother doesn’t love me, nobody at the congregation loves me anymore … nobody loves me. She turned to me and said something that changed my life: “Jesus loves you.” Since that moment, my life has totally changed.
I went from standing on the corner telling Christians how wrong they were to being an outcast among everyone that I grew up with to showing and telling everyone that the love of Jesus is unimaginable. I’ve learned to love people. I love them the most when they deserve it the least. I refuse to stop loving them.
I originally wanted to join a class at Grace School of Theology because I desired to meet people that I could talk to about Jesus. I knew so many other people that did not want to talk about Jesus. They said they loved Jesus, but as soon as I started talking about Jesus, they looked at me crazily and asked, “Why are you always talking about Jesus?” I carried all kinds of books with me, several different translations of the Bible, and I sought a place where I could learn more about Jesus. That’s when I found Grace and discovered that I could study my Lord Jesus. Grace also provided an opportunity to meet other people with a similar love for Jesus Christ.
I love the fact that Grace has instructors like President David Anderson and Professor “Dean” Haywood that take time out to teach the deep things of the Word of God. Everything that God has poured into them, they pour into us. They give you encouragement to keep going forward. When my biological father passed, I called Dean Haywood and asked him how I should feel. I did not know him very well and he had not taken much time for me. The last time I saw my biological father, I tried to talk to him about Jesus and he ignored me. Dean instructed me to love him and to do what I was supposed to do. Dr. Anderson and Dean have been like a father speaking to a son, and I am so thankful for the family of Grace. These men, along with other faculty members, have been such an inspiration in my life. My Grace brothers and sisters are such a blessing to me. I love them so much, and I thank God for them. They have truly been a blessing to me. When I go through situations as a pastor, I so look forward to seeing my brothers and sisters in my Grace family. I love that we are truly a family. I love that we are led by men and women who truly love God and are committed to teaching others about the Grace of our Lord Jesus. Hallelujah!