God Stories #1 – Eric

March 16, 2013 under God Stories
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God Stories #1 - Eric*

God Stories are powerful, but only when they’re shared.  Here’s the first, in what I’m hoping will be MANY, God Stories to be shared on UnlikelyChristian.com.  I hope you enjoy!

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I was a mistake.

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Well that is how I viewed life during my early years. And when I say early years, I mean 22 years to be exact.

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Before I jump in the deep end I want to warn you. I am not a blogger, I am not a writer, and I am not good at keeping it short. So please bear with me as I tell my Unlikely Christian story.

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In 1978 my bio-parents got pregnant with me in Acuna, Mexico. Only one problem, my bio-mom got pregnant when they were going through a tough time/separation. They decided to work it out but my bio-father made a stance, my bio-mom had to either abort me or give me away because he was not going to raise another man’s baby. So my bio-mom made arrangements to give me away for adoption.

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She reached out to her cousin who lived in Texas. He had married a Fort Worth girl but she could not have children due to an illness she had since childhood. Well they jumped all over the opportunity and before they knew it, I was here. Getting over the Mexico/Texas border would take me an hour to write about and could possibly get people in trouble so I will just fast forward 10 years. 🙂

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Now between the ages of 1-10, my life was gravy! We didn’t have much but I was spoiled rotten.

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  • I had too many toys, and I didn’t pick them up.
  • I took over the TV after school everyday.
  • My dad took me fishing or hunting every weekend.
  • My mom made me my favorite meals when I wanted them.
  • I had the best dog ever and his name was Skippy.

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Now up to this point I knew I was adopted but I never felt adopted. It was just a word to me. Then it happened.

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Around 10-11 years old, I had to go back to Mexico to finalize some paper work for my citizenship. Well part of this visit included getting signatures from my bios. I will never forget this day. I remember walking up to a strange couple, both crying, reaching out their arms to hug me calling me son in Spanish. My bio-sisters were there as well which made it even weirder. Now all of this was a bit overwhelming for me at this young age. First off, who are these strange people and secondly, why does this old man resemble me?

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As you can imagine this was tough to process as a kid and no one really spoke to me about this day or even asked me how I was feeling. It was at this time I realized that I was not wanted when I was born because I was a mistake. The bright side to all of this was at least my adoptive parents wanted me.  I was just looking forward to getting home and getting thing back to normal.

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This was not the case unfortunately. A short time later my dad, left my mom and I. I won’t get into details but it was not pretty. My mom was disabled but had to go to work to put food on the table. She worked full time and also ran on dialysis. My dad was off running around so our fishing days and hunting days were no more. Now this left me home by myself with nothing but time. I remember one day listening to a Jackie Wilson tape trying to wish my dad home. It didn’t work and that feeling of unwanted came rushing back to me. So with out my dad there to guide me, who would I follow?

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The answer to this is, I chose the wrong person!

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I was 12 when I started hanging out with my neighbor who was 3 years older than me. Now I wanted to be just like him, he had the latest clothes, the cleanest fade in all of GP, the newest Jordans, an Alpine in his truck, and money in his pocket. Now he was a complete ladies man, he would bring girls home daily it seemed. He always looked after me in our neighborhood and treated me like a little brother. I remember watching him pick up girls, thinking one day I’ll have that same game. It seems harmless but this was the beginning of something bad. I wanted to be just like him. He had everything that made you popular, so I wanted to be just like him! Like I said, this was the wrong person to try and emulate. I picked up some very bad habits from him.

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Six months after turning 12 I was sexually active. But this was not my decision. My neighbor’s niece stayed the summer and flirted with me daily. She was 18 years old and most young boys dream. Looking back at this I was completely used and many would call it child abuse. At least that is what the counselor told me. 🙂 I struggled calling it that for a long time because I wanted it too and I didn’t like the idea of being a victim of sexual abuse. But it happened and this led to bad habits I battled for a long time.

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My dad eventually worked things out with my mom when I was in HS but the damage had already been done. I was going down a path that was not God’s design. I don’t blame my dad for any of what happened, he is my pops and I love him dearly. I am grateful that he adopted me and spent time with me. It is just a shame that he left when he did. I understand he had his own brokenness to deal with. Unfortunately it happened at a vulnerable age for me.

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By the time I hit 19 my life I had little going right. I got my High School girlfriend pregnant and I was a father at the age of 17. I dropped out of school with 2 days left in the year because I got in a fight. Yep that right, 2 days left in school. Not my proudest moment. I was involved in a neighborhood distribution business to make ends meet since I couldn’t get a good paying job to take care of my little one.  I helped my cousin as a bookie taking payments and bets. Not too dangerous but later found out it was illegal. I treated sex very casual like the rest of pop culture.

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Then it happened. My mom passed away in May 1999. With no siblings to lean on and a father that completely fell apart, I was more alone than I had ever been. Between the months of May 1999 and Dec 1999, I don’t remember much. I know there was a lot of drinking with my dad and long sad nights.

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One night my boys drug me out to the club and wouldn’t you know it I met my future wife. Go figure huh.

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I met my wife in December 1999 and within 6 months we started living together. We had something special but we were living together out of wedlock, which led to all kinds of drama. She had mentioned church a few times and sometime in 2001 my Aunt invited us to church. I know invites might not seem important but this invite changed the course of our lives.

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June of 2001, we attended Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX. Ed Young Jr was on stage with his brother Ben. The message was titled “The One”. It was about finding your spouse. I don’t remember anything from it except for this line.

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“Ladies, if you are living with your boyfriend and having pre-marital sex, why will he buy the cow if he is getting the milk for free?!”

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#TruthBomb

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I remember thinking “Oh great, she is definitely leaving now.” What I didn’t know was that God had planted his seed inside her and me.

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A few days later, we had an argument and I asked her if we should try it God’s way? Well she moved back home with her mom and I thought for sure we would fail. God had something else planned for us. Three weeks after she moved back home, I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart. We were baptized together on the same day.

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When I got saved I realized something, I wasn’t a mistake. God had a plan for me the entire time. All I had to do was accept his grace and love.

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Four weeks later, I proposed to her at church at the same fountain we were baptized in. Eight months later we got married in her grandma’s house and she made me the happiest man in the world.

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It has been nearly 12 years since I accepted Jesus in my heart and it was my best decision ever. I am not proud of my past or the decisions I made but I am thankful for my lessons learned. That my story so far, but that’s not the end. I am just getting started!

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GP TexMex

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I am truly blessed to call Eric a friend.  He’s spoken so much truth into my life and helped me to grow as a Christian & spiritual leader, more than he knows.  His faith, I aspire to have.  Thanks Eric, for FINALLY sharing your story!
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Want to share your God Story?  E-mail it to me at me@unlikelychristian.com
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“You never stood a chance.”

June 10, 2012 under Unlikely Christian
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I had a conversation with my Mother-in-law the other day regarding my becoming an Unlikely Christian and she said the coolest thing,

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“As far as you becoming a Christian, you never stood a chance.” 

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I thought, “Yeah, I know.  The decks were certainly stacked against me, especially given my non-Christian upbringing, my age, my absolute loathing of all things Christian etc….”

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Then she said,

 “There were simply too many people praying for you.”

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Wow…..

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Unlikely Christian?

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Not for her God.  As far as she was concerned, the outcome had already been decided.  It was just a matter of when.

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That totally blew me away.

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I call myself an Unlikely Christian because there was no way, NO WAY, I would ever become a Christian.  You couldn’t find a person more cynical than me when it came to all things church / Jesus / God / Religion / The Bible etc….  And Christians?  Well they were nothing but a bunch of weak-minded, hypocritical, goodie-goodie, weirdos that never had any fun.  To say I was completely closed off to the idea of any of the above, would be an understatement.  Want to see a guy go from zero to antagonnisitc in .003 seconds?  All you had to do was ask me about my relationship with Jesus.  I could go on and on, but I’m guessing you get the point – “Who has 2 thumbs and would never become a Christian? – THIS GUY!”

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Yet here I am.  Turns out I never stood a chance.

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I hope that gives you hope.

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I’m guessing everybody who reads this knows some Unlikelys and HIGHLY Unlikelys.  Some of you may even think, as they do, yeah….that’ll never happen.

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But …..“Take heart, because He has overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

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So helping someone overcome their aversions to church is no problem for God. 

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Melting hard hearts? – Layup for God. 

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Hopeless case? – Sure Thing for God. 

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A zero percent chance?  Odds are worldly, God doesn’t recognize them or play by their rules. 

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Bottom line is, He’s God – The Good Shepherd.  And there’s nowhere a good shepherd won’t go and nothing He won’t do, to bring one of His lost sheep back to the flock. 

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With God EVERYTHING is possible.”Matthew 19:26 – NLT

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So think about the Unlikelys in your life and keep praying for them, keep lifting them up in faith.  You may pray for 15 years, like my mother-in-law did for me, before they come around, or it could be even longer.  But don’t give up, keep praying in faith, and look forward to the day when you can tell them,

 “You never stood a chance.”

 
 
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