Why I Came Back to Jesus

To Honor a Father’s Memory

My dad didn’t survive, but we did. A lot of people survived.

My dad was a great dad. He was firm but fair, and very witty. There was a lot of laughter in our house growing up. Dad was also a teacher, a coach, and an assistant principal at my high school. When I was 18 and about to graduate, he went out to the high school before church to take care of some last-minute details for our baccalaureate service that afternoon.

Why I Walked Away from Jesus

There was another teacher there who was turning on gas and Bunsen burners in the science department to blow the school up. He had brought a gun with him. When Dad walked back there, he shot him twice and killed him, and then he proceeded to set fires to cover up the murder.

From then on, I was devoted to keeping him alive in any way that I could. I was loyal to his memory and created a distance. I walked away from God. I walked away from church. I was going to do it on my own.

When Something is Missing

April and I both felt like there was that there was something missing. Both of our jobs were really good. Our kids were good. You know, everything’s good. But there’s something not there. Chris and I started watching online services, and we kept coming back to The Church at Harpeth Heights. It was on Easter Sunday that I turned it on and decided I was going to watch the Easter service.

Brandon said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” I froze. That’s what I’d been doing with my dad. We started watching faithfully and going in person when when the restrictions were lifted, and I just took off from there. We just couldn’t get involved fast enough, and we wanted to get involved in anything we could.

A Place to Belong and Heal

We just felt at home. We felt like we belonged here within the first week or two. Small groups have helped me to feel comfortable and safe talking about what happened to my dad, whereas before, I wouldn’t go there. Sharing it with many other people, I have done some healing. I have always been a believer in Christ, but now I feel like I am a follower in Christ.

We decided to get baptized last summer, and we were able to get baptized in the Little Harpeth River. The baptism was the public display of the person who I am now. I’ve rededicated my life to Christ. I just felt fulfilled.

Why I Came Back to Jesus

All of our groups were up on the banks there, and looking up at the river and seeing all those people there, I was nervous. I was anxious, but I was ecstatic, too, at the same time. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is the most important thing in the world to me. Every single day, I spend time with Him and His Word. He never gave up on me, and He never left me. If I look back through my life, I can see His hand in my life all those years.

You could lose anybody, but you’re not going to lose Christ. That’s what I would say.