I was raised by a Catholic father and Protestant mother, and baptized during infancy in the Catholic Church my parents married in. Anticipating my sister’s birth, we moved from LA to Palmdale when I was 3. Differences in doctrine came up at our new church, and my parents could not agree on one to attend. Subsequently, I did not attend church regularly for most of my childhood. During high school, my family attended mass for almost a year, but stopped after a disagreement arose between my parents on one of the priest’s messages. Still, I learned much about God from my mother. Growing up, I knew Christmas was not about presents, nor Easter about candy. I knew basic Bible stories, and that Jesus loved me. I prayed with my parents until I was old enough to put myself to bed. By high school, I considered myself Catholic through my father, though I’d never done First Communion or Catechism. I became religious, and was made Chaplain of my Junior ROTC unit. I wrote prayers for ROTC events, and managed community service projects. Most thought me a “good person”; many considered me a moral compass. I became president of my high school’s Christian club. Jesus gained a foothold in my heart, but I bound myself to legalism and morality. After graduating, I fell in love with my best friend. I joined the Army, and it seemed inevitable we’d soon be dating. Coming home from training before leaving for military college, things between us seemed wonderful. Boarding the plane to Alabama, I opened her departing letter to me: She was placing whatever was between us on hold. I later learned she was dating someone else. Devastated, I became bitter towards God. Deciding God was heartless, I began running from Him. The moment I was able, I drank as often as I could. Embracing my new identity, I lied to my parents, pretending to be the same moralistic person. Every Monday night, Zach, one of Marion’s baseball players, invited me to FCA. I told him no every time. After almost 7 months of drowning my sorrows and insecurities in alcohol, I hit bottom. At a party in February 2010, my friend called, wanting to catch up. The bitter argument we fell into left me more depressed than before; after hanging up, I went back into the room, drinking until I was belligerent. Drug into a room by myself, I was laid on my back. Incredibly sick, I began vomiting; barely rolling onto my side, I continued for almost an hour. I woke with 30 minutes to be in uniform at work. I knew my life needed to change, but how? I was dead in sin and devoid of hope. The next evening Zach invited me to FCA. Something told me to go, though I was tired and reluctant. Brett, Zach’s coach, led worship and taught from Matthew. Afterwards, they invited me to church. That Sunday, after hearing “I Saw the Light”, I found myself on my knees at the altar of New Beginning Family Worship Center, accepting Christ as my savior. Through Jesus, not only did I stop drinking: I now walk in the newness of life.