Hello, my name is Bill, and this is my story…
“Abandoned at 5…Accepted at 22”
I was born and raised in MO, the youngest of 5 children. My mother abandoned me at the age of five. Shortly thereafter I, along with my siblings, went to live with our father and stepmother and began attending a Southern Baptist Church for the next 13 years.
Though I desired to know the Lord in a personal way and have a relationship with Him, I struggled with the assurance that this had occurred. I responded to the invitation to receive Christ twice…once when I was 6, then again at the age of 12. And yet, the acceptance that I craved eluded me. Thinking that sincerity and feelings were the key, I prayed constantly to the Lord for some feeling to indicate that I truly belonged to Him.
At the age of 18, I joined the Army, and though, at the time I hoped that I belonged to God, my lifestyle and language declared otherwise. My personal living was very immoral, and my language was filthy. So much so that at the age of 22, while witnessing to a friend, he turned to me and said, ”Bill, if you are what a Christian is supposed to be, then I don’t want to be a Christian.” I was stunned by his words! I realized that I was nothing more than a religious hypocrite!
Shortly thereafter, while spending time in prayer walking to work, the Lord challenged me and impressed four thoughts upon my heart:
- “Bill, by the life you are living, will you be able to lead your brother to me?”
- “Bill, do people know that you are a Christian, or do you have to tell them?”
- “Bill, you show more affection to dogs, than to me.”
- “Bill, you say that you know me, but I don’t know you.”