Ok I’m going to try and wrap it up. Sorry for all the story breaks :-).
So after I left the church I did my own thing for a while…that really wasn’t working out so well. I kinda hit rock bottom having to move back in with my parents and all. That was humbling to say the least. Even then I still wasn’t doing the whole church thing until one weekend my dad asked me to go with them.
I reluctantly went and sat there feeling a little awkward. The sermon began and John was preaching about the prodigal son. Talk about hitting close to home. At the end of the message he had us break up into a few groups and pray for each other. At the end of that my dad pulled me close and said “He still loves you” I nearly broke into tears right there.
I started going back to church pretty regularly. I was working retail so it was hard to get there as much as I would have liked. I moved in with my soon to be wife into our first shoebox sized apartment. I started to play once again on the worship team. I felt like I found what I had been missing for a while. Lee stated to sing on the team which was great because we go to do it together (and she’s a reeeeeeaaaaly good singer).
I began to work on my voice and started leading with Lee in the new “Fireside” service at church. It was great! We did that for about a year and I suddenly felt I needed to grow. I prayed about it for a while. Sarah, who was overseeing worship at the time, asked if Lee and I would be able to lead at the Auburn site. We didn’t know she only meant for a few weeks, so we prayed about it and said we’d love to take over there. Totally not what she meant but it worked out well. 🙂 We have been there ever since and recently moved much closer to be able to become more involved at our site.
So that’s kinda my personal journey. Now I’m not sure what I’ll talk about next week…AHHHH!
We started going to church regularly. My dad became more and more involved with ministries (host/hospitality/small group) which in turn made me more involved. I enjoyed some of this and begrudgingly did others. I was still drawn towards the worship. I thought man I’d love to do that! A few years later we were in the process of moving and in the basement I found my dad’s old 12 string guitar. It didn’t have any strings or a bridge or a nut but I didn’t know what any of that meant :-). I asked him if I could have it and if he would teach me how to play. He agreed as long as I saved up an paid for it to be repaired. I spent the next few month scrounging up every last penny I could find and finally had enough to get it all fixed up.
I slowly began to learn how to play. I was able to play just about as well as my dad, enough to the point where he couldn’t teach me anymore. I took some private lessons with some great teachers. I eventually felt confident enough to audition for the worship team. I spent a good long time learning all the lead guitar parts to the songs. When the time to audition came I was so nervous. This was the reason I wanted to learn how to play. What if they didn’t think I was good enough.
The audition went well and I joined the team. It was great being able to help lead others to worship. I was on the team for a long time. I lead worship in a few small groups and even lead a few groups. I became rather burnt out and left the church for a few years.
And yet again I leave you with another cliff hanger 🙂
It’s my birthday…I’m allowed!
I’m going to have to make you all wait another to continue my story. Today is a very special day. My wife and I have been married for 5 years! Her and I have gone through so much together. Ups and downs, Laughter and tears. I’m so glad to be able to spend the rest of my life with my best friend! I love you so much and look forward to seeing you and our beautiful son every day!
I still remember my best man trying desperately for me to go on one last crazy adventure. “It’s not too late to go to Vagas!” Still cracks me up. I remember seeing the sea of people in the church and as soon as she walked through the door they all disappeared. It was just me an her all the way until we walked back up the isle as husband and wife.
So I’ve shared with you my recent history. I guess I should go back a bit further and kinds give you where I came from. I was born in Syracuse New York. I lived in Liverpool until I was about 5. I don’t remember much/any of it so I guess it kinda doesn’t count? We then moved to Cicero around the time my brother was born. It was in a new development and I remember there were roads with no houses on it…very strange. My parents divorced when I was 12. Still unsure how I felt about the whole thing but it is what it is.
My dad started dating my future step mom that following February. She was going to church regularly. Up until this point my family was off and on church goers mainly Easter and Christmas. She invited us to go with her one weekend. I was expecting the same thing I always got when I went to church. The hard benches with the cool slide out knee things, Hundreds of people in a giant room barely able to hear what the guy in the middle was saying. But this place was different…It was above a pizza shop. What kid doesn’t love pizza?!
We walked up the stairs and it was completely different than I could have thought. There were what looked like comfortable chairs in rows facing one direction. There was a band…like a real band with guitars and drums. I was trying to figure out how that worked. My parents socialized with people they knew as I stood off to the side awkwardly. We took a seat and the band started to play. This was different. This music actually said something. Something I could understand. Sure the words were on an overhead off to the side but it was something more. I hadn’t ever heard anything like this! I was excited. When service was over and we were on the drive home my dad asked us if we would want to go back. I said yes enthusiastically.
As I’m realizing this has turned into a wall of text and many may lose interest it looks as though this story is also to be continued. 😉