“I am a cherished son”
My name is Stephan, I am a cherished son of the heavenly Father and a disciple of Jesus Christ. I didn’t always think of myself in this way, in fact when I was a child, I had no idea about God or the work that Jesus did for me. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood where I saw a lot of violence and drug abuse, that lead to a general distrust for people. My parents were good people, but they were ill equipped to handle the things we were going through. Around the age of 8 my dad checked out of any emotional connection he had with us and basically became absent going to work and then the bar. This was a time that I needed him the most and lead to a deep feeling that I was unworthy of love.
It wasn’t until my brother took me to a local church on a Wednesday night that I was told about Jesus “the lord of my life” as a young man I rejected the idea, “I knew that it was too good to be true” and I didn’t want to let anyone have control over my life again. In my early thirties God really got a hold of me when I found a group called Celebrate Recovery, there I found a community and lessons that made sense and lead me to trusting God with my life. I knew from that time that I wanted to help people find God and recovery from the struggles of this broken world. I had no idea where God would lead me, but I knew I needed to follow him on this path.
I look back to that time when my brother took me to church and I smile, because now I can see the image of the Father with his arms wide ready to embrace me as He sees me far off. I also remember so many times when he was trying to get my attention and capture my heart. It is this love that I was looking for and this love that drives me to continue to follow him.