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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“Oh no! They got him too?!?!”

July 7, 2011 under Unlikely Christian
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When I became an Unlikely Christian, I’m convinced hell froze over. If there was anybody in the world who wasn’t going to ever and I mean ever become a Christian it was this guy right here. No way! No how! No! No! No!

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Have you ever seen a basketball player block an opposing player’s shot? It’s a thing of beauty. I’m not talking just getting a finger on it type of block, I’m talking full hand swatting it into the stands with a mighty force type of block. And even though they don’t say it, I know what they’re thinking as they swat it, “Get that weak stuff outta here!” That was me whenever somebody tried to bring up religion, Christianity, God, Jesus etc… to me.   I turned into Dwight Howard, defensive player of the year for the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

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“If you were to die today……”

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SWAT “Get that weak stuff outta here!”

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“You know Jesus loves you and He has a…..”

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SWAT“Not in MY HOUSE”

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“For God so loved th…..”

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SWAT“Oh no you di-ent!”

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I was a shot blocking extraordinaire.

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But then I became an Unlikely Christian.

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Me.

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Yes ME.

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Bill Mitchell.

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I’m sure hell froze over for a second, some pigs took flight and somewhere a monkey climbed out of a butt.

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Because something that just couldn’t happen, happened.

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Now at the time I didn’t think about what kind of effect my decision might have on others. Not that I really have any type of influence over others but a decision like that, which involves such a drastic 180, will usually get people’s attention.

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I certainly didn’t expect anything but looking back, I guess it would’ve been nice to see my unlikely conversion help others to look at Christianity in a new light, different than they might’ve before. Like maybe somebody who’d written it off years before might decide to give it a second look. Like, “Wow! If Bill Mitchell, of all people, is now a Christian, then maybe there really is something to it.”

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Instead, I’m afraid there’s been more of an, “Oh man they got him too?!?!” reaction.

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Seriously, the other day a family member compared me to a Jehovah’s Witness, which was their way of saying religious nut job. Let me just say that I haven’t knocked on anybody’s door in the name of Christianity. Nor have I been spotted handing out religious materials at the airport, nor have I started handing out religious tracts on Halloween in lieu of candy. In all fairness they didn’t really compare me to a nut job but they said they don’t read my blog because it makes them think of me in that way.

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Seriously? I pondered that for a long time and wondered if I would’ve thought the same thing had the shoe been on the other foot. Maybe? Probably? Who am I kidding, of course I would’ve. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind a little part of me would’ve been like, “Hmm…….I wonder….”

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Look, my main goal in life isn’t trying to convert people. That’s certainly not why I became a Christian. In fact, unless you ask, I’m probably not even going to bring it up. That’s just not my style. The last thing I want to do is become one of the people I used to despise because I know there are a bunch of the old me’s running around out there. But I’m not going to hide it either, not going to live my life as an undercover Christian, not going to be a walking oxymoron.

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My life has changed in so many positive ways since I became an Unlikely Christian. Numerable, tangible, measurable positive changes. I’ll go ahead and throw this out there, since I likes to keeps it real. I used to be a complete mess. Depressed? Yep, clinically. I was on meds for many, many years for that. Anxious? Yep. I was on meds for that as well. I used to battle anxiety attacks on a regular basis. My first anxiety attack, I thought I was having a heart attack, paramedics were called. Angry? Yep. Shortest temper in the metro area (Now that’s never been proven but trust me I could go from zero to steam coming out of my ears in a split second.) A joy to be around? Not so much. Oh I could fake it around people, most reading this who know me, outside of my wife and kids, might find this all very hard to believe.

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But now, thanks to Christianity I’m perfect. The end.

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Yeah that’s not true but I can tell you this. I’m not that guy anymore. No depression. No anxiety disorder. No anger issues. No meds. Life is brand new. That’s Life Change right there. I’m in a totally different place right now. And that’s something I didn’t do on my own. That’s something I couldn’t do on my own.

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So does becoming a Christian keep you from life’s problems and troubles?  Is it a cure-all?  Nope.  But nowhere in The Bible does it promise that.

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But it does say “…that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. And if that doesn’t make you at least go, “Hmm…….I wonder…” I don’t know what will.

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