I’ve been debating on writing this for a LONG time, and a long time ago I just decided against it because I didn’t think it was interesting enough. However lately, it has been in the back of my head to do so again, and so I am.
After finishing this, I feel like I have missed so much. I know there was so much more that I had wanted to add, but it never came out as I was writing this. I hope to add more as time passes. For those that are interested in reading, but don’t want to read this much all at once, I am making a new page on my blog called My Life Story, where you can come back to it in the future.
I was born and raised a Lutheran. As a child I went to St. Martins Lutheran School up until 7th grade. There is not a point in my life where I can I can say I accepted Christ, I just always have. In the summer time I went to a christian camp, called Camp Victory. That always was the highlight of my summer, and that is where/when I learned I wanted to be involved with younger generations for the first time.
As a child I can only think of three favorite memories as a child. The first of which is anytime it was just me and my dad in the car. Every time we rode in the car together my dad always taught me a new life lesson. I took so much of what he said to me, and put it dear to my heart. These conversations with him, is what formed me to be who I am today. I firmly believe that the character I am today, is a direct results from the conversations. I enjoyed them a lot, and my dad always had so much to say. Even at a very early age, I could feel that these were life lessons he was teaching me, and so I always looked forward to them. I never really wanted to talk, but rather just listen to him and learn. I remember one time he told me “I know God made you for a special purpose.” Nothing can make a childhood better than a father telling you that. As a child, this ment to me that God had a HUGE, GIGANTIC, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, NO ONE ELSE BUT ME CAN DO PLAN! I constantly wondered what made me so special that God would choose me (me of all people!) to do something special. I never could understand it, but I kept it super close to my heart. I know realize what is ment by it. Every member of the christian body has a “HUGE, GIGANTIC, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, NO ONE ELSE BUT ME CAN DO PLAN.” God has given all of us our own unique special plan. That is just awesome!
My second favorite memory as a child is from an action of my mom. It was the first time I realized how awesome my mother was, and how much she loved me. What she did was actually a small task, but it ment the world to me. One morning before school I was organizing my toy car collection. I was making one line of Hot~Wheel cars, and a second line of all the other brands of toy cars. I only got a few cars into it before I had to go to school, and I was bummed. I spent the whole day at school just waiting to go home to finish the lines of cars! As soon as I got home, I walked into the living room and I saw that all the cars were organized in the right lines according to their brands, not only brands, but colors! I was extremely happy! My mom told me that she had finished organizing my cars for me. That is when I knew I had the best mom in the world!
My third memory, definitely my favorite memory, involves my dad once again. Every night before I went to bed, my dad would tuck me in before I went to bed, and pray with me. For me, it was the most comforting thing. There was some nights that I would go to bed and my dad wouldn’t be there to tuck me in right away. So I would wait in bed, sometime for hours(at least felt like hours) waiting for him. Eventually he would always show though. Never once, do I remember, him forgetting to tuck me as a hotdog in my blankets, and say our goodnight prayers together. I remember the night when he encouraged me to pray on my own. Before that the only times I prayed with at meals, and before bed, all times with my parents. The thought to pray on my own, I had never thought of. But after the night he encouraged me to, I would constantly pray over and over again. I remember I became obsessed with saying “Amen.” I was so scared that the Lord wouldn’t hear me unless I said “Amen.” It got to the point where when I was praying I would say ‘amen’ after every word, I would say it about at least 10 times before I fell asleep, throughout the night when I woke up I would repeat my whole prayers and say amen many more times again, and when I woke up I would once again start repeating saying ‘amen’ just incase I didn’t. This lasted for a few years, I just wanted to make sure God would hear me. Any who, my dad praying with me at night and tucking me in, is my favorite child hood memory. (for those who haven’t read my post about my dad, you can find it here)
My eighth grade year,we moved up north and I attended a public school for the first time ever. At the time I was actually excited. I was excited to be outside a christian school and be able to witness to others. Well in short, that didn’t happen. I unfortunately never once shared Jesus with anyone. What was good about that year is I became a lot closer with God. My prayer life, and relationship with Him improved dramatically. It’s when I first started thinking about how what I do reflexes Christ. Apparently (my mother will occasionally remind me of this), at 8th grade graduation I won the best character award. Thinking back on that, it makes me feel better about not ever talking about Jesus with others. Instead I was able to share about Him through my actions.
Eighth grade is when I learned to respect my elders, BUT also not to take everything they say as God’s word; Don’t be afraid to question what they teach. This happened one night in 8th grade conformation, it also happened to be parent night at conformation. I don’t remember exactly how it started but it had to do with God knowing a child’s future. My pastor tried to tell me that God doesn’t have the ability to tell the future, because it hasn’t happen. I was shocked! This formed the very first argument that I can remember being in. Him and argued for a few minutes over the topic, a few parents chimed in, joining my pastors side. I wasn’t about to change my mind on this issue, but I knew it was pointless to go on, so I just pretended to side with him. It still gets to me this day how he didn’t believe that God could tell a child’s future before it even happens. God is not defined by time. After that confirmation metting, my dad and I talked about it on the way home, thankfully he agreed with me on the matter. So this is when I learned that you can’t take everything someone says as law, and not to be afraid to question it. We are all make mistakes, and we must learn from them.
For highschool we moved back to my home town. I attended Hope Lutheran High School. This high school was created for my class. At the time I was in 6th grade, my parents, and a few others, didn’t want us to go to the public highschool in my town. Some of them had gone there, some had only heard stories, but they all knew that the children they were raising needed to be surrounded by Christians. So they created a christian high school for us. By the time I started high school, Hope started its third year.
My relationship with Christ, was a strange one in high school and I have no idea how to describe it. When looking back on it, I feel like religion became just a subject in school. I learned an incredible amount about the bible. Being who I was, and who I was raised to be, I became a leader in all that I did. I won an enormous amount of leadership awards, as well as christian character awards. My junior year I was even picked to be among a select few students in the entire school distract to participate in a leadership program. The most humbling award was from my hockey team. I played hockey through the public school, and I was awarded the Hobey Backer award. The odds of you knowing what the Hobey Backer award is very slim, unless you know a lot about Minnesota hockey, or college hockey. In high school it is awarded to the best positive leader, one who shows a positive attitude, never gives up, and has a positive character. The high schoolers who win it get to go to a Minnesota Twins game, gets to go down on the field and have their name announced to the crowd. When I think back about high school, I do not think I deserved any of it. In high school I felt my relationship with God, as more distant. I didn’t completely get that relationships are two ways. My relationship with God was more one way. I prayed to Him often, but only to ask for stuff. He was just a connivence to me I guess. I was doing the right things, but my heart wasn’t in the right place. My heart was distracted by someone else. (I’ll get into that in minute). In high school I did whatever I was asked, and to the best of my ability (except my education itself). For that reason I believe is why I was rewarded what I was, but I just do not think I deserved it. Sometimes I just like to think it was because there wasn’t much to choose from.
In high school I had a girlfriend. She has been one of the best, but also one of the worse things that has ever happened to me. I still don’t feel comfortable talking her, even though someday I need to. I have learned a great deal from what her and I went through. She was a distraction from my relationship with Christ.. Alright, next chapter of my life..
One more thing about high school that I wanted to add about high school, was that I was EXTREMELY happy to not ever have to worry about science classes again!
College, where to start. I started off attending Concordia College in Nebraska (it is another Lutheran school). I still yet to this day have no idea how I ended up there, it was really an act of God. All during high school it was set in my mind that I was going to Concordia College in Minnesota to be a school teacher. There are many different Concordias throughout America, and I had always mad fun of the Concordia in Nebraska. I thought it was a joke, as well as my friends from high school. My senior year of high school came and a representative from Concordia Nebraska came to my high school and gave us a presentation. I didn’t think much of it. It was than question and answer time, and as soon as we finished that we had to go back to class. I had no interest in going to class, so I just began asking questions to past time and even make fun of Concordia Nebraska. Well God was working that evening. I asked a bunch of questions that the man shocked me with, but there were two in particular that put me off guard. He asked me what I wanted to major in. I knew very well that they had a good teaching program, so I lied to him to try to make him look bad. I figured Nebraska, they probably don’t even know what technology is, they are all on just corn and farmers. So I told him, I wanted to do graphic design. His reply blew my mind at the time, and he told me that their graphic design program just got done being the best graphic design program in Nebraska, throughout all the whole Concordia system, and one of the best in the midwest. At that, I was just shocked. Immediately, I tried to ask him one more question to put him down. Since I am huge into sports, I asked him what the athletic fields were like. I thought there is no way they have a decant field, it has to be a joke of a sports facility. Wrong again! They had just finished building a state of the art athletic facility center. This blew me away! At that point I was thinking maybe God was calling me there.
I signed up for a visit to Concordia Nebraska, still hesitant about it, and started to strongly think attending Concordia St. Paul again. However trying to be open minded I went and visited it(7 hours away). We arrived! Ever had one of those moments that we can just feel God? Well that is what it was like when I visited. Within just the first minute of being there, my dad and I both knew God wanted me there. It was a calling from God that I have never felt before. We were so sure of it, that we did all the finical paper work as soon as the tour was finished. We were told no one had ever done that before. It was funny to, because the lady who did our paper work, was one of my high school teachers younger niece (it’s a small world). At that time I thought I was going to play soccer in college, so I visited the soccer coach while I was there. Since they were going to have practice that day, he asked me to join them. I did, and it went great! The coach wanted me on the team and asked me to come during the summer to the tryouts. Well, by the time summer happened, I totally forgot about the tryouts. The coach called me up as soon as tryouts was over and asked why I wasn’t there. He told me if I still wanted to play I could, but he couldn’t let me join that years team because I missed tryouts. But he asked me to make sure I come to try outs the next year. But I didn’t and for another God reason that we will get to way further down!
First Year of College
I tried to become both a teacher and graphic designer, but my advisor told me I could not do both, I had to choose one or the other, so I choose graphic design. The graphic design program was absolutely fantastic! I learned a great deal through it, but it isn’t much to talk about.
I joined a club at the beginning of the year called CYM (Christian Youth Ministry). The point of the club was to help youth groups all through out the midwest with lock-ins. They would call us and ask us to do lock-ins for their youth. I always said no, and left the club full time quickly, but I still considered myself apart of it because so many good friends of mine were apart of it. I met two extremely important people in my life because of CYM though. The first was the leader of this group. This person has played a huge part in my life, and has helped me grow up so much! This same friend came be found in this blog post. I am extremely thankful God has paced this person in my life! Through out the year though, CYM continued to ask me to go to lock-ins and I continued to tell them no. It was just an automatic routine to say no to them. After the first semester was over they finally quit asking me. About halfway through my second semester, at random I felt the call to go to a lock in. Just a few days later, I was asked again to go to a lockin, without thought I said yes. It was the second time in my life like I felt like God was calling me to be somewhere. I was happy to know the three other people I was going with, were my closest friends from CYM. So we went. Right away there was one particular girl I got an instant vibe about, we connected pretty good pretty quickly. She pretty much became my partner for the rest of the night with everything we did. Her and I have only been together physically for about 12 hours, but since than we have gotten extremely close. I consider her my little sister, and she calls me her big brother. She often begs me for the day we can talk on the phone, but little does she know (she does as of reading this) that talking to people on the phone is one of my all time top fears! However I still do look forward to the day we talk in person again. She is one the people in my life that I know God has a plan for, and you just can’t help but see Him in her. Her and I often talk about how crazy it was that we met there, and how grateful we both are because we did!
After my first year was done, I came home for the summer. I started the summer off by plowing one of the meanest things I have ever done. I purposely broke a girls heart (in the end she got me back though ha).
It started out at a benefit concert by dad and I were video tapping for, for three girls that had died in a bad car accident. It was a local concert so I knew most of the people there, and was very good friends with a few. One of the bands playing was called Lightswitch. I knew the members of the band pretty well(we had become good soccer buddies). There was a girl at this concert who asked for one of their cell phone numbers from my friend. He initially told her they dont have cell phones(cause they didn’t at the time). As soon as he had told me that, I told him to go back to her and give her my number and tell her it is the particular band members number. So he did, and she fell for it. After the concert she texted me(thinking it was the band member) and we started talking. I felt bad right away, so I kept pretending I was busy (packing up the band gear). This continued the whole weekend, and I could definitely tell she had completely fallen for the person I was pretending to be. On Monday my good friend from the concert was telling me how at their school she was constantly talking about the person I was pretending to be, and even telling the stories I had made up. (I want everyone to know, I very very rarely lie, but when I do, I have been cursed with the ability to lie like none other!) At this point I couldn’t take it anymore so I told my friend I was going to tell her. He asked me to wait, for her sake. Apparently she had a huge thing to do (I don’t remember if was some kind of scholarship presentation, an important test, or something, I just remember it was a big deal). He asked me to wait a few days, until after she does that, to tell her. So I did. By this point she was completely crazy over this person I was pretending to be, everyone knew about it. So telling her it was all a lie, and a stupid joke, was extremely hard. Not only would it break her heart, but everyone who knew her, would know how much of a jerk I was. But I did do it. I had never felt so bad in my life, about what I did to her.
But the story with her doesn’t end. A few weeks later my dad and I was video tapping a softball game for my old high school. They just so happen to be playing the school that girl went to. I didn’t know this until the end of the game though. At the end of the game my good friend told me that, that girl was there and showed me her. I literally stood still for a good 5 seconds in panic. The rest of the time I tried to look completely busy and avoid her at all costs. In less than two minutes I get a tap on my shoulder. I look back, AND IT’S HER! I was completely scared and was expecting death. It was nothing like that though. She just came over to say hi, tell me she is over all that, and than we just talked and joked around a bit. It was weird. I thought that would be the last time I see her, again. I was wrong, a few weeks later I went swimming with my good friend. There was a girl he liked and he wanted me to come with to help him be his wing man I guess. This girl he liked also brought a few friends with, one of them was that girl. I was super nervous when I found out she was coming. I was scared of death again. However when she got there, her and I seemed to have connected instantly. I knew there was something between us but she was going on a date later that evening, so I didn’t care about that feeling. She texted me shortly after that day. We texted a lot, but I thought it was all friendship. I thought she was still dating the guy she went on a date with after we went swimming. After a while I realized she liked me, and when I became extremely confused. At that point I started to try to avoid texting her as much as possible, made up lots of excuses. Eventually thought, like so many guys before me, I fell for her. She is a very attractive personality, and she is also very attractive in general. Our relationship was just like every summer relationship from the movies(but the one that stands out in my mind is Grease). It moved extremely fast, we were young, and just yeah. However she broke it up on one of my last days of summer. She was extremely afraid that I was going to go back to Nebraska and cheat on her with so many girls, and just leave her in the closet. She was absolutely sure of it. When we talked about it, she treated it as a matter of fact type of deal. It hurt me a lot at the time, but I am glad she ended. As much as I liked her, she was missing an important key quality, God. It’s not that she didn’t have God, cause she did, but she wasn’t a positive role model to me towards Christ. I thought maybe she was at first, because she had told me early in our relationship that one of the main reasons she liked me so much was because I was a man of God.
A second thing happened that summer, that I won’t get into detail. But I was at a 5 christian event halfway through the summer. At this event, I spent a lot of time thinking what I want to do with my life. I saw these people on stage speaking about Christ, and I knew that was something I wanted to do, but scared like crazy to do. But talking about Jesus to youth, and being an inspiring character on earth, is something I was definitely feeling called to be. Many times in high school I was told by adults, especially older adults, that I should be a pastor. However I refuse to be a pastor. Just refuse. But I was open to the idea of being a speaker of some sort. I texted a few friends of mine to get their opinion of the matter, hoping someone would tell me I was being ridiculous. Nope, in fact I was told I would be perfect at that. A few weeks later, I had a discusion with God about speaking that I still maintain to this day. I told God, I was open to speaking, however, I am going to do at whatever I can to not ever have to speak. I will avoid it to the best of my ability. But that if it is something He wants me to do it, I know He will make me do it, He always does, and I will do it gladly. To this day, I hold onto that.
Second Year of College
There is not much I can remember during the first semester of my second year of college, I just remember always being busy with art. That semester two of my best friends left. One of them graduated from college, this was the person that was in charge of CYM. A second friend, transfered to a different college. I had thoughts starting in the summer to transfer to a different college in my home town, Winona State. I wouldn’t let myself transfer than, cause I felt it was because of the girl I dated during the summer, although I did feel a higher power pulling me there, but I was scared. So I continued at Concordia Nebraska. However I felt that calling back to Winona State again close to the of the semester. I thought deeply about it. I realized I no longer felt like I was suppose to be at Concordia University. I was scared to leave though because I was extremely comfortable there. I was scared to leave my comfort zone, and I was especially scared to leave the christian university, and enter into a public university. I was confused. I questioned why God had wanted me to be at Concordia, and why I know feel like I am suppose to transfer away. It was all very confusing, but I did what I felt like God wanted me to do. So I sent a transfer application and I was accepted, and finished the whole year off at Concordia.
God likes to send us curveballs, and a curve ball He sent me. The start of my second semester, of my second year, God put another person in my life. This person now means a whole lot to me, but it wasn’t easy for her. This is a friendship that I put 0% effort into, and she put 120% into it. I still feel incredibly bad for it, but I am glad she deemed me worthy of it. That semester her and I came extremely close! We pretty much started to do everything together. So many people accused us of being a couple, we got it left and right, all the time. But we weren’t, we were just extremely close friends, all thanks to her. Till this day, she puts all the effort into our friendship. She made transferring extremely hard. She has played a huge part in my life, and like everyone else, I am extremely thankful for her. Before the second semester was over, she started hanging more with one of my good buddies, and she started doing to him, what she did to me. So it made my heart a little more satisfied that when I left, she would have him to be close to.
Not much to say about this past summer. Busy with work, and always poor sums it up.
Third Year of College: First Year at Winona State
Starting off the school year I was extremely nervous! I was at a public university, completely our of my comfort zone. I quickly started questioning why I was there, I could find is sexual filth everywhere! I was praying like crazy for God to help me do whatever He wanted me to do there. The answer arrived quickly. Before the school year even started, I started coaching soccer for my old high school with my dad. For the record, our season went undefeated. The school had also asked me to be a teacher for their multi-media class on the first day of school. Just being a coach, and teacher to these kids was enough to make me feel like that’s why God had called me to be there. But God didn’t stop there.
Like every semester so far, God has brought into my life an important person. He continued this tradition once again. I met a person like I never had before, despite being surrounded by a christian community all my life. I met someone whose heart is completely filled with the Lord. I have found her faith completely inspiring. The best way I have come to describe it, is ‘child like’ faith. Not saying it has much to grow, because it must certainly doesn’t. But that she loves the Lord like a child loves its father or mother. I have never talked to anyone that gets as excited as she does, when talking about Jesus. It is truly inspiring. I wish everyone to find someone like her in their life. But to continue on, she had down an extraordinary amount to my relationship with Christ. I know that the reason God has put me at Winona State now is to be coach and teacher for the youth, but also to meet her, be inspired by her faith, and to do to the youth, what she has done to me! <-She is also who told me to start blogging on WordPress. You can find a link to her blog here.
Starting way back after my first year at Concordia, I had the thought to change my major. I just didn’t feel like it was what I was suppose to do. I stayed in the graphic design program though because it was extremely comfortable. The program was amazing, and I was just comfortable doing it, there wasn’t any worries. So I kept in it because it was comfortable. Well after spending the first half of the semester in the graphic design program at Winona State, I knew I had to get out of it. I just felt like there was no way God could be calling be to do that, but I had absolutely no idea what to change into though. Thought about it for the longest time, and I prayed hard, but couldn’t figure it out. I knew God is calling me to be a teacher, or to some kind of position over the youth, but I knew it wasn’t time yet to go into youth work, there was still something God wants me to do before that. I prayed and thought, long and hard about this, but could never figure it out. I stayed in the graphic design program for the meantime just in case. God didn’t like me keeping the graphic design as a back up plan. I guess He wanted me to completely trust in Him. So He took me out of school for two weeks, making it completely impossible to stay in my graphic design class. Because of complications, this would mean I would have to wait a full year before I could enter into another graphic design class, making it a year and a half at least before I could be accepted into the graphic design program. God’s message went through to me, switch majors! Now back to why I was out of school for two weeks. I don’t know how to make this not disgusting. Basically, two years ago I had surgery for a hernia, and there was some major complications, but in the end it was all taken care of. Well, apparently not. First off something happen in my system that caused excessive vomitting and diarrhea all week. This did two things to my system, it made me extremely dehydrated(doctor said I was 4 days dehydrated), and it did something to my hernia scar tissue. It made it rip a little bit in my intestines and cause a leakage and a blockage of waste products inside my body. I had surgery again, they took care of it, I stayed in the hospital for a week , and I was all good. During that time in the hospital I fell in love with all my nurses and everything they did for me. Because of that, how much I love sports, and the fact that I am teaching my friends proper nutrition and work out habits, I decided to become an exercise science major. Complete change from where I was before.
I started the second semester off in exercise science. This is where I am at now in my life. This semester is half over, and I am deeply excited to see what else God has in store for me at Winona State.
I am also extremely excited to see what God is going to do with me in my life. Half a graphic design degree, lots of experience in the youth, experience in coaching, and will have a exercise science degree. I am not sure what God has planned with that, but I will just patiently wait and see. I do have an idea, but it is a big idea! This idea extremely excites me, but I am not yet ready to share it.
But this is where I am at now. I didn’t cover even a third of what I wanted. In the future I will add more as I see fit though. For anyone that actually read all of it, I hope that in some way you can use it, or connect to it in some sort of way.
My goal in life is for one thing. To be like John the Baptist, and just point the way to Jesus. I just want to be a bridge, or jumper cables for the Lord. Pointing people, and leading them to Christ. God Bless