CONVERSION & CALLING
I came to faith in Christ on the evening of April 2, 1984 at a marriage counseling session. After barely a year into our marriage, my wife informed me she wanted a divorce. We’d met on a cruise ship where we were both employed as entertainers, she as a dancer, and I as a musician. We dated briefly and then married. Six months later, a knee injury put her dancing career on hold and so we moved in with her parents so she could convalesce. To my dismay, as her knee healed, her interest in our marriage diminished. I suggested we get counseling at the church in which she was raised; we had attended a few times. The young pastor was eager to meet with us, but suggested he meet with us individually first, beginning with me.
About 15 minutes into my first counseling session, I was angry because the pastor kept talking about how I needed to put my trust in Christ. I thought, “I’m here for marriage counseling, not for this.” I decided to try to make the pastor look foolish by asking him what I thought were questions so profound he would not be able to answer them. “Good question,” he would reply, and then he would page through the Bible and say, “Here’s what God’s Word says about that.” As Gamaliel warned his fellows in Acts 5:39, I found myself opposing, not the pastor, but God. An hour later, by God’s grace I was regenerated and given the gift of faith. I humbled myself and put my trust in Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus’ death alone paid the penalty for my sins just as God’s Word promised, and that God had raised him from the dead, just as God’s Word promised. I walked out of that room confident that my sins were forgiven and that I was now a child of God. The news of my salvation did not go over well at home. My wife complained to the pastor that something was wrong with me. The pastor replied, “No, something is now very right with him.” Sadly, she remained resistant to the gospel, did not come to faith, and pursued a divorce. I came home one day to a note informing me that she had left to pursue her career.
God used the devastation I felt to make me aware of my utter dependence on him. I became an avid student of the Bible poring through it looking for God’s promises to his children and building my life on his promises. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purposes” (Romans 8:28, ESV).