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Thrill Seeker Tries God In Search of Next High

Nate desperately longed for a family, but after his parents divorced he tried to fill the void with thrill-seeking, partying, and money. But when his life began to unravel, he turned to something he'd sworn would never work. Read Transcript


I had this ongoing joke I'd tell my friends-- has anyone

ever told you that God is always there beside you or behind you

to support you?

And of course, the kids are like, yeah, yeah,

I've heard that.

Then I'd just punch the air behind.

I'd punch it behind me and beside me.

Because He was always there beside you,

He was close enough to hit him and to be mad at Him.

I should be mad at Him for what happened to me.

I had what I felt like was a perfect life.

My dad was a barber.

My mom was a nurse.

There was fighting here and there,

but to me, as a 10-year-old, it seemed like a regular family.

One day I came home, and all my dad's clothes

were stacked up on the couch.

I remember my mother telling me that my dad wasn't going

to live in our house anymore.

Could I have done anything differently

to make this not have happened?

What is it about me that would make him want to go?

I started to be anybody that I needed

to be to be liked-- everything my friends needed me to be

and everything teachers needed me to be

and coaches needed me to be, my mom needed me to be.

Make sure people have a great time when they're around you

because nobody can disapprove.

Nobody can not like me because nobody can leave anymore.

My grandfather gave me a Bible for high school graduation.

And it was in a box in plastic.

And at the time, I wondered why.

What was I going to do with that?

So I put it away and carried it with my stuff.

Anything that felt like family again, that was

stuff I was keeping, because that's

what I desperately wanted.

I wanted a wife.

I wanted kids.

But the fear was that I wasn't a person that could do that.

I wasn't worth that.

Don't allow yourself to even dream those things

because you can't have them.

I made a promise to myself that I was not going to do that.

I was going to be rich, and I was going to be wild,

and I was going to live an adventure.

And family wasn't going to be part of that.

Heading to college, was all about thrill seeking,

extreme partying, and death-defying adventure--

anything that would make me happy again.

I got great new jobs that felt like were

going to be the thing I needed.

But it wasn't ever this is it.

We're into the mid- to late-'90's with the tech boom.

And I'm investing in the stock market.

I was starting to have literally hundreds of thousands

of dollars in an account that could

feel like I had something.

And it didn't work.

There was literally no joy in it.

All I thought about was losing it, which brought up

all the fear I had about losing my dad

and losing the people around me and losing my sense of myself.

The breaking point for me was coming home

to my mom's house to stay with her and my life

being so out of control.

She said I couldn't stay there anymore.

That started the real questions.

I started real questions in my life of where am I going?

Where is this all taking me?

I remember a friend of mine at work, at that point, saying,

why don't you come to church with me?

And church had never been an answer.

But I think in my brokenness, I said, I'll go.

The guy speaking actually had stuff to say about my life.

He said, you can't be a husband the day you get married,

and you can't be a father the day that you have a baby.

It's got to start before then.

That spoke to me.

I started to think about what my life start

to look like now to start preparing for that?

It's not this.

It is not what I'm doing right now.

What I'm doing right now does not lead to any of that.

But I thought there was a chance.

I felt hope.

I felt like I could be more than me or more than what I was.

Could I?

Wow, I mean could I get married?

God, could you heal me enough?

A friend of mine took me out to lunch one day and said,

I see you at church all the time.

Have you ever given your life to Jesus?

I said, no.

Do I need to?

He said, you should, and you can.

Let's do it right now in this restaurant.

I left that restaurant, and all I could think of

was do I still have the Bible my grandpa had given me

for high school graduation?

I've been carrying it around for years.

Do I still have it?

Drove home as fast as I could on my motorcycle, found it,

opened up the package, still wrapped in the plastic seal.

Started reading it, couldn't believe

it spoke to my life right where I was at.

It was one of those moments where it was God and I

and sang, I've got you.

You don't need all that.

You need anything but Me.

I realize I think I really believe this.

I think God really does love me.

I think I have hope in Him and I can trust Him.

Having a family of my own, I've seen over and over again

that I can trust Him, that He is a good father, that He always

was my father.

I was mad at Him for a long time, left Him for a long time,

abandoned Him for a long time, didn't think of Him for years.

Yet when I finally wanted Him, needed Him,

turned to Him-- right there.

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