I played in really good statewide collegiate all-star summer baseball. I started a relationship with a girl. Our relationship wasn’t very healthy. We were sexually active, and it just wasn’t good for either of us. I was viewing it as a great summer of baseball, not from God’s point of view. I thought, “I don’t have anything to worry about. I have a pretty girl by my side. I’m having a great summer of baseball.”
She went to the doctor for a sports physical. While there she was asked if she was sexually active. She panicked and froze. When she answered, “Yes,” stuff hit the fan. Her parents didn’t want us together after that. She found another guy she was into. Everything in my life started to sour. I blamed it all on her. That led me to quit baseball. I became really depressed all the time.
My dad is a teacher. One day he was waiting outside for me after my first class. He told me my friend Jonathan had shot himself. I didn’t get why someone so happy and upbeat would take their life. It all started to get too much. I thought a lot about Jonathan. He had done so much good and was such a happy person. I thought, “So what’s the point of me sticking around?” I was on the verge of not waking up the next day. I thought, “I can’t do this anymore. No one cares too much about me.” Something in my heart told me to keep holding on.
For Christmas, my big present from my mom and dad was getting to go to Young Life Winter Camp. One of the camp activities was getting to just sit outside and enjoy nature, having one on one time with God; which is something I never believed in. The camp is in North Carolina. It’s beautiful. It’s in the mountains. It all looks painted. The sky is completely clear. There are stars everywhere. Through that experience, I felt comfort and a lot of pain being eased. I realized there is a God who loves me no matter what I had done. That was the exchange. It was like I heard Jesus saying, “I’m going to meet you right in the middle of that brokenness, and if something breaks, the next time I’m going to meet you, and be right there.”
I finally said, “Ok. I want in.”