Josh Lopez: 'Free to Live'
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
In the words of Josh Lopez:
“We grew up poor, just not with a whole lot of material things. I remember times when we didn’t know what we were going to eat. There were months when we went without electricity. I remember there were times when we were homeless.
Josh Lopez was a baby when his parents left Puerto Rico and immigrated to the United States. But financial burdens and the challenges of living in a new country weighed heavily on his father.
“My dad would have breakdowns. Sadly, he got to a point, when I was 13-years-old - I watched him go from being a family man to being a heroine addict. And, it was a very tragic time in my life. I remember as a teenager being filled with lots of anger a.nd lots of questions.”
Josh’s father later returned to their home and the family moved to Austin, Tex. But to escape his turbulent home life, Josh took to the streets again.
“At 15-years-old, I was actually on the streets, homeless - just roaming the streets. I remember going out because I had older friends that could get me into night clubs, just this crazy fast paced life.”
Soon, Josh got tired of being cold and hungry on the street and decided to return to Puerto rice. A government grant enabled him to enroll in college.
“I decided that if I just pursued some success, if I just had some success and money, maybe that would be the answer to this hurt inside. I finished school. I landed my first record deal out there.”
“I had a place on the beach, but still felt very empty inside. There were points where I had all of these people around me but I felt so alone. I felt so sad. I still had anger towards my dad. I so desperately needed something to change.”
After five years away from his family, Josh received a visit from his older sister. She brought the message of change he was looking for.
“She spent a little time with me and then she looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Josh, you are so miserable.’ No one had spoken that way to me in a long, long time. She saw right past my façade and straight into my heart. She began to share the story of Christ with me in a way that I had never heard before. It had more to do with what Christ had done for me on the cross, and how he had taken my place on the cross and given me a life through his sacrifice. She told me that God could take my past, and he could take my brokenness and the mistakes that I had as a teenager and growing up, and that he could give me a new life.”
“A few weeks later, I broke down in my one bedroom apartment and I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. In that moment, I felt such a weight lifted off my life and just a tremendous peace, to describe with words. But it is just the peace that only Jesus can give; and it was the best decision that I have ever made.”
After surrendering his life to Christ, Josh made another decision.
“I knew it was something I needed to do; I needed to forgive my father and it was a process. God can restore relationships and all it takes is taking that step of forgiving.
I had the opportunity to lead my father to Christ. He has been serving God ever since and it has been a wonderful testimony of what God has done in our relationship. I absolutely love my father.”
Today, Josh has a family of his own and he’s pouring his passion for Christ into his music career. With a fan base in both the U.S. and Latin America, he has revitalized his music, with a new message and a new purpose.
“We just recorded an album called Free To Live. It just basically talks about the story of my life, which God, through different things, has shown me how to really embrace the freedom that I have in Him - the freedom that I have to love; how He has made me to love other people and really give that gift to people who really need it. There are so many young people that are looking for something just like I was: lost and broken. There are so many people that are searching for that. And, that answer can only be found in Jesus Christ. God is greater than our past. His love is greater than our mistakes. His life is greater than all of our sin and there is nothing that we have done to change that love that He has for us.”
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