Friday, August 24, 2007

A Call Out...

As of this moment I am back in Buffalo for another school year. I wait in anticipation, yet find myself still at awe of the graciousness and blessings that God has provided me this summer. I met both brothers and sisters who are on fire in their walk and hearts for the Lord. There is an amazing feeling one gets when he is immersed with people who just beat to the drum of the Lord....

I'm all alone in my apartment at the moment and in all honesty i feel so surrounded and alive. Surrounded by the greatness that this world offers through God's good grace. I'm so glad to be alive so I can shout His praises. I know people may ask me, what is going on with you Mike?
Where did this all come from? Well for those who don't know or haven't heard my testimony I'm laying it out on the line for you....

I went through a rough childhood (there are many worse case scenarios but in my view at the time) with my parents being divorced. In all honesty, at first I didn't really think much of it but once I hit my early teen years I felt the ache for a unified family...like I saw everyone else had. In addition I put pressure on myself to always do good, be it in sports or schoolwork, I had to do good or else. All this pressure was overbearing! I tried to fill it with drinking, relationships, drugs, anything that could fill that void in my heart....it never went away. I fell into a deeper hole trying to search for meaning to life. The drinking was just a fix for a night, the drugs just wore off and never gave me what I needed, I continually hurt and wanted sufficiency in life. Not knowing where to turn I just kept on walking life as it was one big party/game. What's going on tomorrow night and not caring about where I'd go if i died right then...

I grew up in the Catholic church. Went through confirmation knowing ABOUT God and Jesus, but just knowing them as examples I could never live up too. I was invited to Grace Assembly of God in November of 2003 just because I wanted to meet new people....this was at a time where my life was consumed with desperation for something more but still trying to fill it with drinking...Never did I expect to hear what I did that night...

I heard about a God who I could know personally. A Jesus who died for ME... A relationship that I could have with God through Him. I had my doubts still but found myself drawn back for an unknown reason. I met people sure, but I was drawn back to hear about this fulfillment that Jesus provided, this bridge between ETERNAL life and death, that he made possible. Still I dabbled in my seasonal activities, but felt a tug on my heart to pursue what this Jesus had to offer. Then I heard about the struggles he went through for me, through for all of us, and I felt a pull on my heart like I could feel the pain he went through. I felt myself being opened in my heart, but I still held out because I doubted that this could wipe out my pain and heartache with the things that life confused me about. It couldn't wash away my family's problems, it couldn't heal the wounds that I endured, this relationship couldn't wipe all that out......but I started to question at that moment...or could it?

I decided to tag along on another outing where I saw people worshiping. Now at the time I didn't know that worshiping involved songs that were new age. I was so use to hymns that just weren't heartfelt to me personally. Then I saw people shouting out to this Jesus who I grew up knowing of and lifting their hands in thankfulness. What are they doing? But as I questioned, at a single moment, I saw a peace and happiness that they had on their face while worshiping this Jesus. I saw a calmness of life that they had. It was as if they didn't have any problems and that pain ceased to exist in that moment...I wanted that? I wanted that peace! I wanted that calmness! I wanted that hope! I wanted my pain to be wiped out!....As I started feeling that, I called out, called out to this Jesus that I heard about and said Jesus I want that, I want that peace, I want everything you have to offer....At that moment, a lifechange happened...I felt broken, but in that brokenness I felt lighter, lighter in a burden sense...I had a peace about me, a calmness that was scary at first but I realized that it wasn't this Jesus I heard about....it was my Jesus...It was me believing that he died for me and now knowing God personally...On January 25, 2004 my life changed for good.... I was a new person...

From that day until now, life has been amazing beyond what words can describe...I've been through my struggles yes, fallen back at times yes, but I carry that hope around in my that Jesus provided, that void is filled with a love that never ceases to exist, it follows me and is always with me...and I'm so thankful...Even in times when I fall behind, I realize I can always turn to the thing that provides fulfillment and get my fill of God's amazing grace and mercy...Now I know that God and Jesus aren't just examples, they are living so that we can know them personally and take hold of their spirit....I can truly say that I look forward to the day I die because I died in Christ already and it'll only be better afterwards....So if you have any questions about wanting this amazing relationship I'm here, if you think your not good enough, think again, we all fall short, but He died for all of us...if you totally think I'm a hypocrite for what I write we all are but my footsteps are being directed by the One who saves and lives forevermore and in all honesty I'm unashamed now, because I've found my reason in life and it's amazing and good...I'm here for whatever reason and just thought everyone should know the real Michael Anthony Tropea...transparent and humbled because He humbled himself to die on the cross for me...God Bless

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