I think I was probably the most awkward junior high schooler in the history of the human race. I was a real sensitive kid, pretty book smart but not that great, socially. For example, a group would be laughing, and when I would come into the group, everyone would stop laughing and leave. I’m not saying that for pity. It’s just the way it was.
At Youth Ministry you’re supposed to be nice and loving, so they were all really loving to me in Youth Ministry. Some were really nice people, and I totally understand this, but some of them wouldn’t talk to me at school. That totally drops the cool factor for them. I am a sensitive kid, so I’m feeling it big time. When you’re a kid and you’re looking for all your acceptance from your friends liking you or girls thinking your cool, and having everyone making it real clear that they don’t want anything to do with you, it’s painful.
One time in Youth Ministry I said something, just trying to be funny. I was so socially inept and ridiculous. I got the “Don’t be too mean, but give him the look,” you get when you’ve said something really stupid. I am socially inept but not dumb, and as I see this, it’s just breaking my heart. I remember feeling like I didn’t want to live and thinking, “No one’s ever gonna like me. I’m never gonna be accepted and loved. It hit me, emotionally, like a freight train. I went up in the balcony of the church, and really praying for the first time in my life. It was more than the usual, “God bless my mom, my dad, and my little dog, Spot.” I prayed, “God, will I ever have friends? Will anyone ever care about me?” For the first time in my life, I heard God speak. He didn’t say, “Accept me as your Lord and savior.” He just said, “Yeah, you’re gonna have friends.” God knew exactly what I needed. That word took me from despair to “Okay, I can do this.”
I had been to many meetings and heard about Jesus many different times. I’d had many opportunities to pray, but for me, I was alone in my attic one day and said, “I want to do this.” I gave my heart to the Lord. I said yes to God. So many people have come into my life who are now by brothers and sisters and love Jesus, who I really like to hang out with. That’s not the most important thing to me. The most important thing is this God who is the best friend I’ve ever had, and the only one who has never let me down. He was a friend when I had no friends, and He loved me when I felt like no one loved me.