Hello my friends, my name is Ricky, I’m 20 years old, live in the United Kingdom’s and I’ve been a born again Christian for over 2 years now.
This is my story.
At the age of 1 and 2 years old, me and my older brother were adopted by my Grandparents. The reason we were adopted was because my mother and father were unable to look after us, our mother was suffering from severe depression and mental health issues and would reject us and our father was a heroin addict and a drunk.
I never saw much of my Dad growing up, just some memories I have where he’d stumble into my Grandparents house drunk or high on something and pass out in front of us and my friends, it was no wonder my friends parents didn’t let us play with them after moments like that.
I didn’t have a mother-son relationship with my Mum until I was around the age of 15 but before then I didn’t even know her name.
Growing up for me was hard, emotionally and sometimes physically, even though our Grandparents spoilt us so much, they couldn’t do anything when I use to go to school. I got severe bullied every day for 4 years in primary school(middle school in you’re American) in fact the only happy memories I had of school was when the bell rang at 3pm and I’d be the first one out of the door running into the arms of my Granddad who’d be wearing his big dorky glasses! Man, I’d never forget those glasses..
My Granddad passed in 1999 and it really tore our family apart my Nan had to look after two young children by herself and she was already retired and old (bless her heart) she did a great job but majority of the time she struggled, with two boys in the house, we needed a father figure and we never got one so we controlled the house growing up and I use to force my Nan into buying us expensive things and got her into so much debt.
High school wasn’t different either for me, we couldn’t really afford nice uniforms so we’d get the old ones which were sometimes ripped or smelly and everybody use to laugh at me for it, it wasn’t nice and before I knew it I started getting physically bullied every day, I was the small smelly kid who didn’t fight back so I was an easy target for most people.
When I use to get home from school my Nan could see I was being bullied but I never told her, I didn’t want to upset her but then my frustration from being bullied just exploded on her, I use to shout at her, scare her and even hit her. I was such a lost child all I wanted was a father to help me with my boy problems but I never got it.
It was the year 2003 when we had a knock at the door, it was the police and they told us that my Dad had killed himself and to be told that at my age literally destroyed me and my innocence. After that night I started getting depressed. I dropped out of high school and started hanging out with the guys on the streets, in fact it was the guys who use to bully me but when I started to do what they did, drink, steal, break things etc. they I guess, accepted me into the gang as it was. I was now 15 when I started hanging around on the streets.
After 3 years of contently on the streets drinking, fighting, stealing, sleeping with women and then some, I thought to myself that I’m not getting anywhere and there must be something in life better than this.
In 2006 I enrolled myself into College, College in the UK is just another version of high school in the USA, it’s free and the same age 16+ I didn’t know how to read and write at the time so I thought going to College would help me, which it did and it was great at times.
In my first year of College, my life had two major moments, the first one was when I met a guy called Dean, he knew who I was from stories and things from the streets and one day at College he randomly invited me to a Football match (Soccer to the Americans reading this) If you don’t know, Football in the UK is the main sport and there is a lot of violence in it, that’s what I got into, the violence not the sport.
After about 6 or 7 months of petty football violence I got really tired of drinking early, wasting my money going around the country to watch my team play and I got really tired of getting beat up by a group of guys! So towards the end of my first year I left that side of football behind and started focusing on College again.
About a month of just getting head dip in college work, I met a girl called Tracey, she ended up being my first real girlfriend, I was so excited and happy! Previous years I’d just be a joke to a girl or a drunken mistake but now at that time a girl was actually interested in me, for me! I was over the moon!
Anyway after all the loveable aww’s’ in the relationship out of nowhere she fell pregnant, it was a shock for us both, we were both young and this was both our first times so we had no idea what to do. I always thought I’d be a good Dad because I was never good at anything else in my life but when a child was around me, I’d look after him or her like a hawk and make sure they were happy and enjoying themselves and I thought I could of done that with my child.
After we told my girlfriends parents they strongly disagreed with it and told Tracey that if she doesn’t get an abortion she will get kicked out of her house, Tracey was so scared she felt she had no choice in the matter and before talking about it she went and got an abortion which destroyed me and broke my heart so much.
After months and months of fighting me and Tracey were just about to break up, it didn’t happen because she told me she was pregnant and after that even though I didn’t want the relationship with her I felt that I needed to stay because I didn’t want my baby growing up like me without a father so I stayed.
It eventually happened and we broke up, it was such a horrible and heart destroying break-up. I felt like I had no hope and no reason to live. Tracey took my son away from me and spread lies about me which the police then got involved and told me I’m not allowed within a 100feet of her. She just lied so much, and I didn’t know what to do.
After a while of drinking and just falling apart I met this girl in my last year of College she wasn’t like any other girl I met, she was different and we eventually became really good mates.
She could see that I needed healing so she invited me to Church one day, I turned her down a good 6 times or so but after a while I felt I needed to go.
Coming to Church for the first time with somebody like me was totally alien, I didn’t know what to expect or think really, I just thought Christians were all just crazy Bible bashing freaks, ha!
When I arrived at this Church the leaders were so welcoming and loving, I’ve never been welcomed into a place before and I just felt so much love coming from them and after 2 months of going I really wanted to know how I can be happy like them and I really wanted to know who this Jesus guy was they were talking about all the fricking time!!!!
About a month or so later after asking for help they really got alongside me and started teaching me about Jesus and the Bible and invited me to places all the time. It was great! I thought I was making so many great friends and I eventually said I would like to become a Christian but I didn’t do it with all my heart at first it was just a thing to make new friends, maybe even meet a nice Christian girlfriend and I loved the free gifts.
I was in a sermon once and I learnt I was forgiven for everything I have done and before anybody could even explain it to me properly. I thought with an immature mind that I can still drink and sleep around and be forgiven because I still loved doing that, so I did! I carried on sleeping with women every weekend, drinking heavily and getting drunk.
I remember talking to my best friend and telling him what I’ve been doing, told him about Jesus and how we are forgiven for everything we have done so we can still do bad he took one look at me and said, ‘Ricky, YOU ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT!!!!!!!”
I said to him, ‘what do you mean I’m not doing it right? I’ve forgiven so it’s all good”
He just left shaking his head and told me to grow up, I got so offended with him! I was like ‘How dare he say I’m not doing it right! I’m forgiven, I can do whatever I want!”
The next few weeks that was still in my head, I was thinking to myself, am I doing it right? What is the right way? And one night the most amazing, most beautiful thing ever happened. I found myself at 1am on the bottom of my bed randomly praying to a God I didn’t fully believe in. I couldn’t control my words, they just came out. I said to the Lord that I want to really know him, I want Him and only Him and I want to find my identity in Him and nothing else.
I prayed for a good hour or so and after I was finished the Holy Spirit came rushing into me for the first time in my life and all I remember that night was I cried so much, so much was healed that night, all my problems, all my fears just instantly went, it felt like it wasn’t in my hands no more.
I felt so alive! I just knew Jesus Christ is Lord and HE DIED FOR ME! I was so happy I just felt at peace with everything. I became a Christian that night in November 2009. It was the most amazing moment in my life, even better than the birth of my son.
After that, within these 2 years I found my calling as a street evangelized and my heart is for the broken, the lost, and the poor. If I can describe my calling in a Bible verse it’ll be this exact one
Luke 4: 18-19 which says ‘
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”
I could go on all night about what things Jesus has done for me in these two years but I just want to leave you with this.
The night I became a Christian felt like I came home for the first time in years being away from it. My God is a faithful God, and He healed my pain. He can heal yours, will you let Him? God bless my friends.