I grew up in a little town just outside Palm Springs, Ca. My childhood was normal, but I never felt normal. I had a lot of friends, yet I always felt alone even in a crowd. I had radical mood swings and never really felt comfortable in my own skin. I started drinking and using drugs very early, and by the time I was in my mid teens, I was basically a junkie. Meth, Coke, heroin, booze, pills; heck it didn’t matter to me, it was all good.
I was in and out of juvenile hall for everything from car theft to drugs and assault. I finally went to prison for armed robbery in 1980, which began a 25 year cycle that would ultimately cost me over 18 years of my life. I’d been brought up on three strikes allegations two separate times, yet miraculously had been pleaded out. I realized I was a dead man walking, that if the drugs didn’t kill me, the police or my homeboys would. However, this was not my greatest fear. My greatest fear was in the thought of rotting away in some maximum security prison, dying the slow agonizing death of a broken and hopeless heart.
I was at the end of my rope, yet there seemed no way out. I could not stop what I was doing because it was all I knew; yet I realized that to continue would mean certain death, or worse yet, a life behind bars. My world was black, the enemy had taken me for a long dark walk, and now in this hour he preyed upon my very life. Inciting me with thoughts of suicide, accusing and condemning me before God, reminding me of every bad thing I had ever done, and how hopeless my current situation was. Looking back at it now, I realize that God had other plans. That He was all in the moment.
Reminding me in that still small voice, bringing to the forefront of my mind all the good things life had brought me over the years. The few friends that had stuck with me through thick and thin, my loving mother, and of course my precious Lisa, in whom I knew I’d still be with if not for the choices I made. Knowing the depths of her love for me in that she would still be loving me somewhere out there in the abyss. God was irresistibly drawing me into Himself, and was about to perform a sequence of miracles that would eventually lead me to Christ.
The first being this- while I was still contemplating these voices, both the dark and the light, my mom stepped into the room and said: ‘You’ll never guess who just called..Lisa, and she wants to see you.’ Now before I go on, you must understand that I had not seen her for a long time. In fact the last time I had heard from her was when she was in county jail facing a murder charge. Now here she was some eight years later wanting to see me. The light of God’s merciful, loving grace had begun to shine through the darkness.
It was not too long after that I had an incredible first hand encounter with my Lord Jesus Christ and began this incredible walk of faith!
Enter part II:
I will never forget the day I realized that my mentors were deceived! I distinctly remember feeling like Daniel after the interpretation of his visions. I was grieved in my spirit and my thoughts greatly troubled me. My entire countenance fell, and I became faint and was sick for days. I just could not believe that these great men of God in whom I trusted were actually preaching another gospel. And little did I know at the time things would only get worse.
My christian experience up until that time had been fairly normal. I was finally beaten into submission by the depravity of sin at age 40, and received Christ and the gift of salvation with gladness! In fact I wept for three straight days as the pain of my previous life rolled down and off my face in the form of tears. The merciful cleansing of a compassionate and loving Father! I was born again and I felt free. So I did what most do, and joined a local church and began to serve.
Everything was good for a while, but then I began to feel as though something was missing. And it wasn’t long after that, that I began to feel condemned and burdened. It seemed that no matter what I did in terms of service, it was never enough! I felt at odds with the Lord, and experienced very little peace. I can remember crying out to the Lord one day asking Him, ‘What do you want from me?’ And I will never forget His response! He asked me a question in return, ‘What do you want from Me George?’ And I distinctly remember asking like Solomon, that He would give me an understanding heart; so that I could judge people fairly. I didn’t realize until months later that this was the turning point both in terms of my life and my relationship with God. That this one simple question and answer would hand me the keys to the kingdom in terms of divine revelation, and clearly show me what it was that I had been missing.
When God asked me what I wanted from Him, the key word in my request was judge. That I may understand and judge people fairly. What I didn’t realize at the time is that what I was really looking for was a merciful God. That what God was revealing to me was the fact that I had not been fully reconciled to Him myself! And as a result, my judgments were wrong both in terms of myself and others. This is when I started to see the error. The fact that I was being taught to live between two covenants simultaneously! Two covenants, which by the way, were never meant to co-exist. So that all the burdensome self-condemnation I had been experiencing, which by the way I blamed on myself, had really been a direct result and response to false teaching. My heart was under law!
It is for freedom Christ has made us free! Gal. 5:1
To pick up where this left off, just follow along on my blog! The journey is recorded in detail!
May you find rest for your soul, and some new friends. God Bless!