Born in Moore, Okla., I am the youngest member of an immigrant family. Whether it is the stigma of being born of another culture, being the baby of the family or just a natural inclination to compete, my childhood and adolescence became marked by the pressure to perform. I found value in proving myself better than others. My parents were faithful to the local church and made sure our family attended each weekend. However, as much as I was present in church, it quickly became another arena where I could perform.
During my sophomore year of high school, the Lord revealed Himself to my heart. Throughout a particular season of difficulty, the Lord exposed the hurt I felt from my lack of success in certain performances. In those moments, He extended to me forgiveness that I could not earn. While I received His offer of salvation, I continued to attempt to perform well enough to erase the debt I knew I owed.
I walked with the Lord through my education at the University of Oklahoma, though I continually battled feelings of failure. After graduation, I was hired as a full time staff member at my home church. Again, I framed all of my life on performance. I perceived my ministry “success” was predicated on how well I had performed. Even my dating relationships were built off of the pretense that if I could do and say all the right things, I would achieve marriage.
In this season, the Lord exposed the folly of my heart. In a dramatic step of faith and humility, He transitioned me from the church of my upbringing to an unpaid internship in Sachse, Texas. Here, no one knew who I was or what I had attempted to accomplish. I began to be openly exposed to His grace. I was hired on staff at this church as the young adult pastor.
It was by His grace that I met the love of my life, Sky. We’ve been married since February of 2012. I began to walk in community and friendship with some great men at The Village, and I am now joining the incredible staff of this church.