I became a successful high school soccer coach. At twenty-three I was the head coach at Azusa Pacific University, and at twenty-five, I was living the American Dream. I really thought I had it all together on the outside. I owned my first home at the age of twenty-five. I drove a nice car. I had money. My university soccer team was successful. My high school soccer team was winning. I was a rising star as soccer was developing, and yet I was the most miserable person on the planet. At least, that’s how I felt. I was plagued by fear, doubt, worry, frustration. I was often discouraged, depressed, and even lonely. Yet on the outside people never saw that because I never let on. The more my teams won, the more miserable I became.
I came to a point where I really didn’t think I wanted to live anymore. I remember waking up in the middle of the night at my home in Claremont, California. I decided I was going to get up, and I decided I was going to get in my car and drive up Glendora Mountain Road, where teenagers would always drive drunk, and every few years someone would end up driving off a cliff. Well, I had decided at that point that life wasn’t worth living and that I wanted to take that road and miss a turn.
As I was walking across the living room of my home, somehow I found myself on my knees looking up. I remember exactly what I said. With tears streaming down my eyes, I said, “Lord, I believe. Help me to believe. If you can straighten out the mess my life is in, I’ll become a missionary and go to deepest, darkest Africa, and I’ll get up in front of people and speak.” The irony is that I was afraid of having to do just that. Growing up in a great mission-sending church, I remember missionaries always coming to our church, and I thought they were really weird. Well, I am one of them now. I said, “Lord, whatever you want me to do. I have no idea what you want me to do.” All of a sudden, I opened up the Bible, and it was like the scales had fallen from my eyes. I realized how God loved me and cared for me, even though I had been so afraid of Him.
I began reading about David, who I was named after. I read that King David was a man after God’s own heart, and I looked at the things he had done. He had sinned greatly and was driven by his lust. He had lusted after a woman and had her husband put to the front of the battle, killed, and then he took her as his own wife. Later the prophet Nathan came to him and told David that this was a great sin that he had committed. This was the man I was named after. I can’t think of many sins that are more despicable, yet God loved David. David loved God, and he repented. I said, “If God can love him with all the sins and failures he had, he obviously is going to love me.” I literally went from having no self-esteem to developing self-esteem and confidence because I knew that Christ loved me and had a purpose for my life.