My Autobiography

Part Nine–Growth and Discipleship

Although spiritually, I had got right with God, I still dealt with a mistrust of Him and the church. But I did go on Sunday mornings. Once, I accidentally set my clock ahead an hour while setting my alarm for church. I arrived the next morning an hour early for church, so I went to Sunday School. There, I met a guy named Dan Starcher, who for the next year and a half would disciple me, almost unknowingly. I got a job working at a hosiery mill and vowed that I would not leave North Carolina again until I heard the voice of God. I grew slowly, but steadily. I would take heavy theological problems to Dan and he would help me sort them out. There grew inside of me a love for God and a love for the Bible.

Toward the end of 1997, I almost made the decision to move back to Michigan and go back to school, but at the last moment, I decided not to go. Then in April of 1998, I was kicked out of my house. There had been a long feud between me and my stepfather and it finally boiled over one morning and I was told to be out by the end of the week. I had nowhere to go, but I did not wait until the end of the week. I took the day off work and left that day. I moved into a motel that cost $90 a week. The most amazing thing to me was, although I hated the circumstances, I was completely at peace and resigned to the fact that God was working and doing something in my life. But the stress did mount up.

In May, just a month later, there was an altercation between a co-worker and me. I lost my temper and lunged at a co-worker, being held back only by another co-worker. I completely ruined my testimony and sinned. I was fired that day, but when I came back later to pick up my check, I apologized to all my co-workers and my bosses. I called my friend Steve that night who happened to be getting married in June. I told him what happened and he said, “Ready to come back to Michigan, yet?” After praying about it, I felt that it was time. When I told Dan about it, I said, “I know that God does not use sin to work in someone’s life, but I do know that he worked through it to bring it for good.” Dan replied, “Yes! You were listening to me!” I have often wondered why God did not have me leave under better circumstances and the only thing that I could think of is that my move to Michigan in June required a much greater step of faith than it would have six months earlier.

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