Hey hey friends. This week, I applied for a program called Trials, which is a law school preparatory program that will take place during five months of this summer. Part of the application asked for a two-page essay explaining why I wanted to attend Trials, why I am interested in a legal career, and in general, letting the program get to know me better as a person. So I shared my testimony. As I wrote it, I realized that many people reading this blog don’t know my story entirely. Out of respect for spiritual nakedness, I copied my application essay and pasted it below (without the law school stuff)
“I was born and raised in the small town of Flowood, Mississippi, in a modest yet loving family. My parents instilled Christian values in me at a young age, and my faith has shaped me into the person I am today. I credit everything to them because I would not have made it if they had not raised me in a Christian household. My mother had severe back problems including excruciating pain and a spinal AVM, which progressively became worse as time passed. However, because of my mother’s health problems, we were able to come together as a family to get through it. When I was in eighth grade, a confusing time in any young man’s life, I lost my father, the greatest man I had ever known, to liver cancer. The stress of my father’s death and my own rebellious, argumentative attitude intensified my mother’s health problems to the point of confining her to a wheelchair. As a thirteen-year-old boy without a father who constantly fought with his mother, I began to battle with depression. I lost sight of the Christian values that my parents had taught me, and I abandoned my real friends for people that would make me well-known and popular. As a freshman in high school, I began to give in to sexual impurity, and I spent the following summer in England, where I started abusing alcohol. These things became my life, and that was a dark time for me.
I found clarity in the middle of the worst depressive episode I had experienced. I looked at myself and my life, and I realized that the person I had become was not the person I wanted to be. My head cleared, and I realized that I was better than that. I spent that night on my face, returning to the God that I ran away from. I began meeting with a small group of sophomore boys, where I reconnected with some of my real friends that I had abandoned when my dad died. Ever since, I have been grateful for the life and fulfillment that I have received because of the grace of Christ. Because of Him, I have something far greater than the life I had been living.
My life philosophy comes from Colossians 3:23, which says to “do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men.” For me, this means two things: first, to give everything I have in everything I do, and second, to operate with integrity in all of my endeavors, no matter the immediate personal cost. I think this applies to any aspect of a person’s life, whether that be personal relationships or in the workplace. The way I see it, if you live by this principle, you will be successful in anything you do. God has planted seeds of greatness in each of us. It is your responsibility to culminate them.”