I FOUND GOD AT THE LOWEST POINT OF MY LIFE
On April 10, 2021 I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and I found myself in jail. I remember sitting in the back of a cop car with my hands handcuffed behind my back thinking ‘What is going on? This can’t be real.’ They took me to a detention center where they told me what I was being charged with, took my mugshot, and allowed me to make a call to my dad. After I got off the phone with him, officers told me I was being moved to the county jail
They loaded a few of us up in a van, and it was all I could do to get a hold of my emotions and try to stay calm. I was scared and so mad at myself. I kept thinking ‘Is this really the way I want my life to go? How are other people going to see me now? A criminal? A convict? A disappointment?’ It was then that I realized that I needed to turn my life around. I needed to change. My dad posted my bail and when I went home I contacted a lawyer. My lawyer told me the best case scenario: they dismiss my case. Worst case scenario: I go to jail for two years.
I had known Matt Feldkamp (Redlands Campus Pastor) for years. My brother told me that I should reach out to him if I really wanted to start changing my life. We connected on Instagram and decided to meet up. I was so ashamed of my actions and I didn’t want anyone to know about what I’d done. But I knew that if I really wanted to change, I needed to open up. We talked about everything and it really helped me a lot.
Matt invited me to church, and even though I was skeptical, I agreed to give it a try. The first time I went to Eastside I sat right down in front with Matt. It felt amazing just being there. He invited me to join him at a men’s group, and again I was skeptical, but agreed to try it out. I went and was welcomed like a brother! It made me so happy to be a part of it. Going to the men’s group was what I looked forward to the most.
I met with Matt every week, and we’d talk about any news or updates. He always knew what to say and encouraged me to stay positive. When my court date arrived, I thought ‘even if I do end up going to jail, at least I’m finally on track to becoming a better me.’
The day came and I waited in the courtroom for my case number to be called. My anxiety was through the roof. Finally, the judge called me up to the bench and told me that the D.A. had decided to not press charges. I was so relieved! I remember calling Matt and telling him how excited I was that God had given me a second chance!
I still meet up with Matt and attend my men’s small group. I am so lucky that I had the best group of guys around me, and I found God at the lowest point of my life. I got baptized on August 22, 2021. I remember standing in the baptism pool crying my eyes out because I was so happy to have been given this second chance.
Now I’m a Change Maker on the weekends and I’ve met some of the greatest people in the world. I hope my story shows people how God can work in their life and that we don’t have to go through things alone. I learned that the worst thing that ever happened to me actually turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because it led me to God.
If you were inspired by this story, we would love to tell you more about Eastside. We have a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve in our local communities and help our global neighbors. We are passionate about finding solutions, building bridges, and bringing the love and hope of Jesus to hurting communities. We would love to invite you to join us in person or online. At Eastside we believe that this is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside, please visit eastside.com.