Welcome to by forbygrace.org, a blog created out of a desire and a need to express and share my new spiritual journey as a follower of Jesus Christ. By no means do I consider myself an expert on the Bible, Christ and/or Christianity, Instead, I consider myself an excited and willing student who is eager to build a lasting and meaningful relationship with God.
The story of how God came into my life and gave me the gift of grace started to unfold very naturally in the later months of 2014 and into the early months 2015. I was 30 years old at the time, and for the most part, I was a happy, responsible and healthy adult. I had job, was able to pay my bills and still have a little money left over to go on occasional trips, I had a roof over my head and a family who loved me.
But ironically enough, a series of events starting on Christmas Eve of 2014 sent me into a depression through the first half of 2015. I had a dramatic falling out with my father (we have since made amends), went through a heartbreak/break-up and became unhappy with my job/daily grind. Now, I know many people have gone through much more trying, tragic and difficult times in their lives, but these events really brought me to a lackluster and dark point in my life.
I was never suicidal, nor did I have any thoughts of harming myself or others during this time, I was simply living a life without joy, purpose or direction. I have battled moments and periods of depression, melancholy and heavy self-medication throughout much of my life, as most of us have, thankfully it was never to an extreme extent where I was a danger to myself.
It was during this point of depression and isolation (something else I’ve always been rather good at) that I turned to music as a source of comfort and healing. Specifically, I got heavily into two bands, Killswitch Engage and Times of Grace. Both of these aforementioned groups are fronted by a singer, Jesse Leach, who has used his own struggles with depression as a source of inspiration.
Leach’s lyrics and vocals reflect the depression, anger and frustration that many people in the world feel, but at the same time preach the love, compassion, faith and strength needed to overcome the darkness.
I had no idea at the time, but God was planning to bring me out of the darkness. I planned a weekend trip to Pittsburgh to attend a Killswitch Engage concert in July of 2015 while simultaneously staying and visiting with a lifelong/childhood friend. It would turn out to be a weekend that would change my life.
Unbeknownst to me, my friend, whom I have known since first-grade, had at the time recently devoted his life to Christ after his own personal bout with depression. We spent the entire weekend catching up, sharing laughs and drinks and discussing the Bible. I couldn’t help but think how the previous six months of my life had prepared me for this one weekend.
Those three days I spent in Pittsburgh completely inspired and energized me to start living a new life, a life with Jesus Christ. Upon my return to Tennessee, I went out and purchased a Bible and was amazed at how both the book and the word of God opened itself up to me. I couldn’t help but feel that the trials I recently went through were part of a higher purpose, to bring me closer to God.
And for that gift of grace, I am eternally thankful, and forever changed. I look forward to growing, learning and sharing God’s grace.