Hayden’s Faith Story

I knew about the Lord from growing up in the church, but never formed a real relationship with Him. Always seen him as invisible guy and the examples I had weren’t the best growing up. We didn’t have godly men in my family. And my experience from seeing people in the church on Sunday and then really seeing them outside the church was discouraging. The lifestyle beyond the church, it seemed, was horrible. So I stopped going and put the Lord on hold.

When I got into my early 20s, I was living for myself and never truly happy or at peace. I had an empty void inside that God was trying to fill. But the devil had me tight. I rejected any chance at a relationship with God out of shame and fear of rejection. Trying to fill that emptiness myself had only led drug addiction and depression. But God still loved me enough to continue reaching for me. It wasn’t until my buddy, who I’ve looked up to for a while, convinced me to pray for me. I remember him asking God to convict me and remove the scales. I left in tears that night on the way home, I was crying.

For once I had felt the burden of my sins and he was truly convicting me. That night I gave my heart to the Lord and he had delivered me from a lot of stuff. The empty spot was filled with love and peace, and at this time it didn’t feel like I was praying off script to an invisible man in the sky. I felt like he was right there with me the whole time.

A couple of weeks later, I got an invite from my aunt to come to Tabernacle. And looking back now, I know it was God leading me here and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. I still struggle from time to time with things like why haven’t I stopped this or what I still do this if I’m truly saved? That’s when one of the men here told me it’s about progression, not perfection. And since then, he’s placing godly men in my life through this church and put me in a group with a few of them that have helped to strengthen my relationship with.