The image above is a ‘screen grab’ that I took off of my PC Monitor after watching this past Sunday’s service @ Journey (which, BTW you can watch by clicking here – especially the moment that took place at the end of the service). I cannot put into words how meaningful that moment was for me. The man holding the microphone is a gentleman by the name of Aaron Hunter…and he is responsible for me being where I am today.
This past Sunday happened to be September 15th…for me…this is a special day. For it was that day, 20 years ago where God’s grace captured me and I accepted Christ into my life at the age of 15 years old. It was a powerful service that night for me in that little youth room in Troy, MO…but what was even more powerful was the drive home that night.
A 16 year old kid by the name of Aaron Hunter approached me that night and asked if he could take me home – b/c he felt he needed to share some things with me. So, I accepted that ride, jumped into his little red Mazda, and began the 15 minute journey to my house. That journey home was a landmark moment for me – as Aaron began to tell me how proud he was of the decision I had made and that he saw tremendous potential in my life to do great things for God. He began to tell me of the steps I needed to take to make Christ a priority in my life and that he was willing to take every step with me.
I didn’t realize it at that moment, but I was sitting in the car with someone who would end up becoming the very best friend I could ever hope to have. Someone who helped shape my walk with God, placed challenge in me to keep my focus on Jesus, to keep my convictions sharp, and my life walking in the direction of the destiny God had prepared for me. He has stood by my side through everything – whether it was a trial I was facing in my life or a time of tremendous blessing as he was the Best Man at my wedding. This guy spent day after day pouring into my life…time that exceeds my ability to even count.
I’m so thankful for him.
And it just so happened that he was in the building on this day this past Sunday during the service. You see, he and his lovely wife, Desiree are on staff at a wonderful church in Daphne, Alabama – which minister’s don’t often get the opportunity to be away from ‘home base’ during the weekend. However, Aaron’s amazing grandmother, Imogene Oarga, who was a founding member of Journey Church had passed away just recently…and they were up to celebrate and honor her incredible life at her Funeral this weekend, to which I had the overwhelming privilege to be a part of as well.
Imogene’s life is a representation of faithfulness…and she passed that very torch into her grandson, Aaron…who ensured that my life received that very same flame also.
God’s timing is beyond me sometimes…I just couldn’t believe I was able to share in that moment with him this past Sunday. But I did get to share it with him…and it will be a staple moment in my life from here on out. I was able to thank the man who took hold of my life and helped shape me into a true follower of Christ in front of my church. Wow…it meant so much to me.
I asked him to pray for our church – in which he gladly and graciously did. In that prayer – he made a statement ‘…that your future would be brighter than your past…’ as he prayed that – I thought about the ‘brightness’ in the past 20 years of my life…of all of the incredible experiences I have had with God and the people God has sent to my life. And in that prayer – I felt that what God holds for me and my church in the next 20 years is EVEN BRIGHTER than the last 20.
Thank you, God. I truly, truly thank you. I thank you for the people you have placed in my past that have served to be the greatest catapult to the places you have laid out for me in my future…and bless Aaron Hunter, for all that he has been to my life. Bless him greatly, Lord…in Jesus’ Name. Amen.