I Gave Up In Old Towne Orange

Jonathan shared this testimony on Sunday...

I was born in San Diego, raised in the city of Orange, my father abandoned my mother and I when I was 2 years old, and my grandfather passed away while I was young. I grew up going to church, but you could definitely say my family was broken and so was I.

I started using drugs and then selling drugs in middle school. I was kicked out of McPherson Magnet School and then my mother’s home at the age of 16.

I made many enemies here.

I hurt a lot of people in Orange. I attempted to take my life many, many times here in Orange. It was here that I gave up.

Two years ago, after surviving one last attempt at suicide, I returned to my parents home. They took me in and that’s when my life began to change. That day, as I looked around my childhood bedroom, I prayed a simple prayer and God answered. I began attending a church. I was baptized. People began discipling me. It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t perfect, but I was beginning to change. I was growing.

Jesus had become my redeemer. My shepherd.

Long story short, I arrived here at Sovereign Grace in July and found my home right where I began…in Old Towne Orange. And you have to understand. I was afraid to walk these streets alone. I was ashamed someone would recognize me. Or worse. 

It’s kind of surreal. Just walking around the Plaza with you.

Everything is so different now.

Yet God has called me back and I have been so blessed and encouraged by you. You love Jesus. You are living for his glory andI want to be a part of this. I want to be a part of you.

I want to add my voice and my life to yours and tell people in Orange that whatever you are facing…trials, hopelessness, whatever. When your world comes crashing down , put your trust in Christ.

He will bear with you in mercy like he did for me. He will protect you like He did for me. He is good. He rules the world. In Him is found salvation and new life.

I never thought I’d be here (in Orange, of all places) saying this. I never imagined I’d be a member of this church. Sovereign Grace Church. But today I am.

I am a grateful man.

I’ve been forgiven of much and I have been loved much. And now I want to tell my home town that they can be too.