What is the definition of a real man? Without guidance, a man can easily find the wrong path while looking for what it means to be one. The personal salvation story of Juan accounts his journey from ruining other people’s lives to saving them.
A Dark Start to the Story
At a young age, Juan’s parents got divorced and he grew up without a father figure. Growing up, he was at the stage in life where he is on a journey to find his identity, so he relied on movies since he had no one to guide him. He was led to believe the definition of a manly man is someone who is the toughest guy with a lot of money and women.
Juan was introduced to older kids in his neighborhood in New Jersey. At the young age of 13, he learned how to use and sell marijuana and cocaine. With the crowd he hung out with, he felt accepted. He also figured that since it was what he needed to do to become a “real man,” then he have to emerge as the best in the trade.
When Juan moved to Texas a few years later, his goal is to become the biggest and main distributor in New York City and New Jersey. He first sets his eyes on the patriarchs of the family to let have a taste of what it is like getting “high.” From there, he was able to snake his way into the families in the suburbs.
Juan believed he did not do anything wrong since he had always believed that it is just the way it is. In fact, he felt it was an accomplishment for him. He got a lot of money after all.
Personal Salvation Story: A Voice Led Him to Light
Out of nowhere, Juan heard a voice that asked him, “Why are you killing, stealing, and destroying the very lives I’m giving people?”
And for the first time in his life, Juan felt guilty. He wept for the things he did and the lives he destroyed. When Juan was still a child, he went to church and heard about God and he was sure it was His voice. However, some habits die hard. Stopping was not immediate yet everytime Juan hands his deliveries, he now becomes aware of the lives he is ruining.
Maybe it was His way to help Juan stop his doings or maybe it was just fate, but Juan was then arrested for meth possession. The delinquent is convicted to face 25 years of sentence in jail.
Encouraged by a cellmate, Juan read the Bible. He realized and repented for the things he did not just for himself, but also towards all the other lives he had dragged with him. One thing he is sure of the most is that he wants to have God in his life.
When he surrendered himself to the Lord, all earthly desires, including drugs, vanished. Most of his time in prison was spent in growing his faith and his sentence was reduced to four years.
After Effects of Salvation
Juan has now found his path and lost the need to get the approval of other people. He is now out of prison and has a family he can call his own. Juan also serves as a pastor to the neighborhoods and people whose lives he had ruined before.
Juan says, “Jesus fills every void.”
In fact, every void one feels empty can be filled with God. When he had no father, the Lord became his Father.
What Juan realized on his personal salvation story is that ultimately, Jesus wants to give us the gift of life.
Photo source: Unsplash Creative Commons
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