- Get Involved
Drew is an i195 alumni & has interned in the i195 Academics Department. This excerpt is from a testimony he shared at a recent i195 Friend Day event.
“In 1 Corinthians 15.22 it says ‘For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.’
I am writing this to tell you that the time we are given is short, and that in this short amount of time here on the earth - there is nothing more fulfilling than letting the lover of your soul, satisfy your soul through service to Him.
I was raised in a family that went to church every Sunday; I understood who God was. I had a great community with good friends. I had dreams and aspirations. I took what life was offering me and rolled with the punches. Though I had my parent’s blessing to serve God in the ministry, eventually I gave my heart to seeking a career and pursuing money. I was motivated to make a life for myself and not be dependent on anyone else. Identity issues and family drama inspired me to strive even harder to get the career and salary I thought would bring me life and bring me freedom. I somehow fit God into my weekly schedules, but I must confess the Trinity I was worshiping was me, myself and I.
I was 19 and I thought I knew it all.
Then one morning, at the end of January in 2004 my father woke me up from my sleep. It was 5AM and he was frantic. My father was ill, so I thought he needed medical attention. But it wasn’t my father’s health that was causing his panic, it was the health of my mother. She had a horrific headache. Deep in my gut, I knew something was terribly wrong. I arose from my bed and got ready. I walked out of my room and met my mom in the hallway. In my distress, with a hint of sarcasm I yelled out to her, ‘Are you sure it’s not a brain aneurism?!’; she suddenly collapsed. I caught her right before she fell and lost consciousness.
I remember looking at her face, eyelids closed, not moving even though I was shaking her to wake up. ‘Mom! Mom… Wake up! Wake up...’ There was no response. My heart was pounding and I laid her flat on the ground and ran to the phone to call 911. I paced back and forth staring at her lifeless body on the floor and tried to stay calm. The paramedics arrived and drove her away.
Mom actually did have a brain aneurism.
I visited her in ICU. Her head was shaved because of an emergency surgery. When I looked down at her, she was a lifeless vegetable. The next day they pronounced her brain dead and allowed her to die. The hospital did so without our family’s consent to a do-not-resuscitate approval. I was heartbroken. This was unjust!
I thought, where was God? I had visited him every Sunday for the last 19 years. Where was He now? Where was He when my mom collapsed in my arms? Where was He when I gazed upon my mother’s body for the last time? It felt like He had abandoned me.
Though these events had shaken me, I continued on in my faith. My mother’s death had awakened me to how short life was. I was more aware than ever that there was something beyond daily routines and careers. As I came to God with my questions – He answered them one by one. As I sought to know Him more, He revealed more of Himself to me. God was with me. And He began to heal me. I realized He had been with me at my mother’s side. And He had never left me throughout the days of hurt and pain and darkness that followed her death. Jesus loved me so much that He pursued me in the times I was at my weakest so I would get closer to Him.
In Eph 5:15-17 it says, ‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.’
I began to live out this verse. And the will of the Lord was for me to know God more and to serve and love others. I began to serve at Young Life as a youth counselor mentoring multiple students and showing His love and discipling them. I did that for a good chunk of time and gained rich and beautiful relationships! Then a couple of years later God directed me to attend Impact195. It was there He rocked my world and took me to a whole new level of understanding of His goodness, His love and His plans for me. He took me on three week-long retreats to Catalina, east county & Big Bear where our class studied 1John, Nehemiah & Joshua. He began to reveal certain unique characteristics about myself, so that I could stop living by default and starting living by His design.
He let me live out what I was learning from the Bible on weekly outreaches and I literally got to be His hands and feet to those needing hope. Just a few months ago He took me on an Impact195 International Trip and let me climb Mount Sanai with some of my favorite friends at 2AM in the morning, where we sang to Jesus and did a devotional at sunrise. Days later I was baptized in the Jordan river and able to offer up prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Perhaps my favorite moment this past year in knowing Jesus was at the feet of a homeless man at the San Diego Mission. I had the privilege of washing his feet as Jesus commanded us on an i195 outreach. God touched this man in that moment and the Holy Spirit fell upon many men in that room. Tired of doing it their own way, many broke down under the mighty love of God and we got to hold them while they cried; we prayed and spoke life over them. This man was no longer ‘a homeless man’ in my mind. He was my long lost sibling in the household of God. No career or paycheck could satisfy my soul in the way Jesus did in that moment.
Though I have faced death, with the loss of now, both of my parents, I have found life in Christ and I am not wasting any more time.
Perhaps there are some of you reading this today that realize you need to stop wasting time. Perhaps you have been pursuing the temporal things of this life or perhaps you’ve questioned ‘where was God?’ in some difficult moments. I want to encourage you, God is here and He is with you and as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. And there is nothing more fulfilling than letting the lover of your soul, satisfy your soul.
A real, eternal, and glorious life can be found in Him!”