Kenneth, 29, Michigan, USA
I grew up in an abusive household in a lower-class neighborhood riddled with gang violence. When my mother finally got away from my father, she started going to church. I willingly went with her. I had a solid relationship with the church, at first. But eventually, my rebellious, “hood” mentality — a product of my upbringing — became a problem for the pastor and his wife. I felt judged and rejected, so I left the church altogether — “church hurt.” I didn’t know Christ personally, so when I left the church, I quickly fell into the world.
I entered the secular music industry as a rapper and drummer. I was making money and on an upward trajectory; but, time and again, the opportunities that arose required me to compromise my morals. I eventually came to a crossroads. I didn’t have genuine faith, but I had enough knowledge of the spiritual realm to recognize the forces at play. It quickly became clear: I could either serve Satan or God. I continued making music, but my heart wasn’t in it. With time, I left the industry.
God was now on my mind, but I was still living an ungodly lifestyle. I was consumed by all sorts of sins; drunkenness, lust, pornography among them. As is usual, many of my sins stemmed from a sense of emptiness. Eventually, I got into a relationship and had my first child. I tried to better myself, but never by calling on God — I navigated life only on my own strength.
Then, last summer, I hit rock bottom. I was drinking every day, my relationship was falling apart, and I was rarely seeing my kids. My life felt purposeless, so I decided to end it…fortunately, God had other plans. In the days after I made my decision, something pushed me to turn to Him, as I never had before. “Alright you have my attention,” I said. “I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?” He replied, audibly: “You have a purpose. Do not kill youself.” There was no one around me; I was so freaked out! I knew it was Him.
The next day, the mother of my children asked me if I wanted to visit her friend’s church with her. I knew that this was the answer to my prayer. For one thing, she and I had split up and only spoke to each other when necessary for our kids. Moreover, neither of us attended church. We had no intentions of hanging out, let alone going to church together! But as I later learned, she was also undergoing a major spiritual attack in the form of depression. Her friend had been asking her to accompany her to church for a while, but she’d always rejected the offer…until now. God was moving.
In service, the pastor spoke on purpose and not letting the devil stop you from doing what God has called you to do. The entire sermon, it felt as if he was speaking directly to me — he even looked at me and pointed at me. Towards the end, he invited anyone who wanted to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus up to the altar. To my surprise, the mother of my kids and I BOTH stood up. We recommitted our lives to Jesus that afternoon and are now engaged.
My fiance and I both grew up in broken homes, but division and strife ends with us. When Jesus renewed our faith and restored our relationship, He broke a generational curse! The Lord has also restored my love for music. He’s turned my talents, which I once used for Satan, into instruments of His glory. God is also using me to encourage young men to repair their families and step up financially.
God took me from a place of literal disaster and depression and put me in a place of ministry. His grace is enough for me and it’s enough for you, too.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Learn more about Kenneth’s ministry here.