Before I can tell you who I am now I first need to tell who I was. I grew up in a single family home with a brother that was 15 months older than I was. Cape Verdean Families were very tight knit families and you always did what elders told you to do, especially if it was your parents. My grandmother had a falling out with my dad and told him never to come around her daughter anymore. This is all I know of why my father wasn’t in my life.
My mom tried to raise the two of us on her own. It was very difficult. We went from place to place and my mom went from job to job. Because of the way I grew up, broken home, no father, poverty, instability, I was very angry. At the age of 14 I drank my first beer, smoked my first joint and lost my virginity. It was a summer of a lot of first time things and the beginning of a life that would spin out of control. I was athletic and played sports in school. Sports was the only thing that kept me in school. After high school I was drinking and partying a lot, and smoking weed. By the time I was 21, I would drink to get myself to sleep. My whole life revolved around drinking and getting drunk. Once I got a taste of the night life I became hooked.
I found myself depressed, lonely in a crowd and empty even though I lived the night life and had many women at my disposal. I soon began to wonder what life was really about. By the time I was 24 I was burnt out and had had enough. I was invited to come to church by a friend, Jermaine, who had given his life to Jesus and changed. I knew in my heart that was the right thing but I wasn’t sure if it was for me, after all, how could a guy like me live like a Christian? On March 20, 2002 I finally came to a church service with Jermaine, and I asked Jesus to take control of my life and asked him to be my lord and savior. Today I am a different person. I have a family and stability. Before I never would even let myself think about being a father because of who I knew myself to be. I didn’t want to have my children go through what I did. I’ve been married for 14 years and I have a complete family; a beautiful wife and two wonderful boys, which is a miracle considering the cycle of my family history.
God didn’t just help me stop drinking; He completely changed me inside so that the desire and need to be filled by alcohol wasn’t there at all! He filled me with His peace, and I was no longer angry and bitter. I am a changed person in my heart because of Jesus Christ and his forgiveness. I have a friendship with the God who created me and know that I have a secured place in Heaven because of what Jesus has done for me.
So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.