Matt’s Story

“I grew up going to a Baptist Church. I acknowledged and loved God as my Savior, but was never on fire for Him. Growing up, I was faced with many forms of abuse, both as a child and a teenager.

In High School I found out that my substitute teacher was a pastor at a church, so I started going to His church and felt on fire for God. However, I fell away from the Lord when I was around 19. I turned to alcohol and drugs and ran around with rough friends from various gangs. I did not keep myself pure for marriage, which is the one thing I had really wanted to strive for in life. The devil had a strong hold on me in many ways.

I struggled off and on, going in and out of churches, never really fully committing myself back to God. I would get excited about re-committing my life to Him, but then would just fall away again.

Around 25 year old, I met my wife in California. We came back to Jersey and got married. We were married for almost 3 years. Then in 2006, she passed away at a young age due to a siezure in her sleep. I was crushed. And to make matters worse, our apartment building had a fire a month or so later and most of our possessions were ruined. This is when I should have turned to the Lord. But, I didn’t. I still flip-flopped in and out of churches. Again, I turned to heavy drinking and partying to forget all the pain. I drank most days of the week and was getting myself into trouble. I drank so much that I’m suprised I lived through it.

One day I had finally had enough and stopped the drinking. I started going to church on and off again. I’ve definitely been unfaithful, but God has never left me! He has always been there to speak to me all throughout my life. Through my ups and downs, God sent little messages my way to let me know He was still reaching for me!

I was back in church again, off and on. God healed me of sickeness, and I firmly believe that throughout this time God was pulling me back in.

God was always there speaking to me, one way or another. It makes me cry thinking of how badly I have treated God. But, through His mercy, He was and is always there wanting me back!

Finally, I gave it all to Him! I have been alcohol free from almost 4 years now – and that means not even one sip! And even though drugs were never a huge issue for me, I have been drug free for more than 4 years now.

I praise God for what He has brought me through! I could have been killed or drunk myself to death. God brought me through all the pain and grief of losing my wife in 2006, and then losing my mom last year. I praise Him!

I have only been going to Word Fellowship for a couple of months now, but I feel a strong presence of God here. I feel this is my church home. It’s where I belong. I am feeling in touch with God again, and I praise the Lord for all of this. He has given me freedom!

God has always wanted me back, no matter how dirty and filthy I was. He always saw me differently and it just brings tears to my eyes to think of this. Praise you, my Lord and Savior!”

-“My Story” by Matt, 07/11

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