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This Is My Story

May 1, 2005
I am a thirty-six year old husband and father of three. I was born in Biloxi Mississippi, raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and brought up in a good, stable home along with one brother and one sister and a lot of traditional values and ideals.We were members of a local church and attended every Sunday. 

I was raised to be independent, logical, practical and self-reliant.  As I became older some of these characteristics became more prevelent in my life and in my rush to grow up and be my own man, I became over confident in my own abilities and wisdom.  I stopped going to church completely and all but abandoned my family and childhood friends.  I developed a "I can whip the world" attitude and thought I could handle anything that life could bring my way.  All my focus and concern was on doing what I enjoyed in life getting what I could for myself. All my energy and time was directed toward self and what seems good for today. With no direction or discipline in my life, I was headed down a road to self destruction.

Although I managed to become a husband and father, my lifestyle remained very self-centered. I loved my family very much, but I seemed to still put my desires first. After a while my family seemed burdonsome and heavy. The responsibilities of heading a household felt overbearing and my life appeared to be slipping away from me.  The more things I was denied, the more I blamed the family. The financial, physical and emotional strife in my life became so overwhelming that I lost all hope. My own wisdom and abilities were no longer enough.

Long before I realized it, the Lord had begun a work in my life.  My mother-in-law began to take our children to church.  Not long after, my wife, who had been raised in that same church, began attending with the children. After some time, I too reluctantly went with them. Before long I realized that there was something missing from my life.  There was an emptiness, an unfilled void in me.

Even as I began to realize the great works that Jesus Christ was accomplishing in the lives of my wife and children, my own pride and self-reliance would not allow me to respond to the Lord's call. I actually made myself content with simply attending church.  I thought It was enough for me just to see the lives of my children changing for Jesus.  Yet, the more involved I became in church, the more my heart became burdened by the Holy Spirit.   I found my thoughts becoming consumed by God.

Then one day, while focusing on the recent changes in my family, my mind began to focus on my children. I thought about how they were saved and how much difference Jesus had made in their lives. They had a new outlook that was different from mine.  They had hope and joy. I was glad and thankful to God for rescuing them from the destructive path I had been leading them toward, but there was still a burden on my heart. I felt true joy as I pictured my wife and children in the presence of the Lord, but there was something missing from the picture.  It was then that Jesus spoke to me in one simple question, "What about you?" At that moment I realized that I was lost without hope and in desperate need of a Savior.

I don't know the words to properly describe all the difference Jesus has made in my life.  Sometimes life still gets tough and circumstances seem to go against me, but now I have peace knowing that the Lord is there for me.  He will always be there.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."Proverbs 3: 5-6

May 1, 2005
Before I even get started on my story, I want to first and foremost give Jesus the glory and honor for this opportunity to share my testimony and tell you about my redemption through and relationship with Jesus, Christ.Ohio and raised up in church. The church I attended as a child was Baptist and although I never made a formal commitment to Christ or got baptized as a child, I do remember having a strong belief in Jesus and faith in the things I learned about Him. My parents taught me that if I put my trust in Jesus, God would then work all things out for my good. I know I did trust Him even way back then, and remember being very much aware of his presence with me. He was my friend, my protector and my Savior.

 Being raised in the country with a sister ten years older and a brother five years older, I spent a lot of time playing alone and entertaining myself. My brother, who was closest to my age, did not like me very much at that time in our lives. In fact, you would probably be safe in saying that he could not stand to be around me. Consequently, he made me tough by making my life tough. Looking back, I realize that it was all for a purpose and he really did me a favor because his roughness toward me turned out to be the means of building my character and making me stronger.

 For most of my childhood, my parents were faithful churchgoers and spent a lot of time and energy in studying and knowing God’s Word. I specifically remember my mother being involved in an intense study of the book of Revelation, the “rapture” and the second coming of Christ. I did not understand the prophesies concerning His return and therefore it scared me and even made me sad at times. I was very young and wanted to be able to grow up and marry and have a family. I prayed that God would allow me to do those things. I especially prayed that God would let me have two sons that would be closer in age than my brother and me so that they could grow up together, play together and just be close to one another.

 As I moved into my teenage years (14 –15 years old) I started to turn away from the Lord and the church. About that same time my parents began to have marital problems that eventually ended in divorce. The instability of our family may have somehow contributed to my loss of faith. It was then that I began to drift even farther away from the Lord and doing things that I knew in my heart were sinful and wrong. Over the years, the joy and love I had once had in my heart for the Lord slowly dissipated until it was gone completely. It was so gradual that I didn’t even realize it was happening. I knew that something was missing from my life, but I just wasn’t sure what it was. I had no satisfaction and, although I would not admit it, I think I knew that it was the absence of Jesus. I was living wrong and would not listen to the Spirit of God that kept trying to bring me to salvation.

 Finally, both my boys and my wife received Christ into their lives and began to pray for me along with my Mother, my Mother-in-Law and both of their churches. I believe it was the power of those prayers that caused God to give me another chance and to open my eyes to the truth. After watching the film “The Passion of the Christ” with my family, I was sitting on the couch. Then, as if the Lord Himself was sitting beside me and talking to me, I was reminded of the prayers I had prayed so many years before. God has answered every one! I realized that through all my pain and tribulations, he had never forsaken me.  I surrendered my life to Him that night and the following Sunday made a public profession and commitment to Him as my Lord and Savior. I am so glad that my Father did not allow me to become hardened against Him. I now possess the full promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. I praise the Lord for my two beautiful Christian boys and my wonderful loving wife. God truly blessed me. Each day I feel a little more close to Him.

 Jesus loves you too.

 Your brother in Christ, Douglas Priddy