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Garnet Smith Story

My name is Garnet Smith and I am a member of the Haltom City, Texas police department. I would like to tell you my story.

Arrogant, self-indulgent, and worldly absorbed are but a few of the characteristics to describe me before calling upon the name of Christ in sincerity. The greatest identifier would be “hypocrite.” I was raised in church and I was willing to pray as long as the Lord repaid me in an abundance of athletic success.  The Holy Spirit was drawing me to Jesus, but my heart was far from Him. I had no knowledge of God’s laws, sin, or the consequences. I received recognition for my athletic ability. I was a “good kid,” but my arrogance was a victimless crime.  Or so I thought.

 

August 31, 2003 appeared in all its glory to be the beginning of the greatest day of my life, my first start for the University of Texas Longhorns. I was untouchable, no element could touch what I had declared in my own mind was to take place. Lights, camera, action. Everything appeared in slow motion, as I was taught to see the details. Always easier said than done, because you never see the whole picture, as was my life, it mirrored this specific play in the second quarter. Reckless, self-energized, and not seeing the consequences of my actions.

“Get Up” were the first words I heard as I opened my eyes staring at the grass, eyes blurry, and in pain but not comprehending. Why in my mind are flames and the torment coming into play? What does this have to do with football? Why am I unable to get up? I had a severely strained ankle, which would cause me to be suspended for the entire season, but I couldn’t escape this burden on me at this moment. I could not pick myself up, powerless and in tears, I cried wanting to know how could this happen? Why me? Not now! I knew at this moment my life was forever changed.

Two weeks later I met Mr. Kevin, a representative of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He pulled me aside and told me he’d heard a lot about me. This was the strangest meeting of my life. In boldness he declared my need for a Savior and for me to denounce my preoccupation for women. How could he know that his words would pierce my heart? I sped away, disturbed in conscience. I couldn’t shake the truth that was spoken to me. I laid helpless before the Lord and all things were revealed. I went back to my dorm and opened the Bible. I had no idea where to begin.  I started in Revelation and it frightened me. I’ve always been an objective individual and questioned everything. This moment, I realized I was going to hell.  
So I went to teammates who had a true love for Christ and took me under their wings and showed me a practical faith I could emulate and live. I went home and spoke to my Pastor of my desire to serve in the ministry at home and spoke with him of my struggles. He issued one challenge for me by saying I had zeal but lacked knowledge. Therefore, I did as he told me and read my Bible. It all made sense, the literature and poetry were beautiful. The law was reasonable and logical. No longer was I confused. Jesus became real. He wasn’t this God of rules and restraint but of freedom.

What I perceived as the worst day of my life became the greatest. Because of that day, I actually gained my life and sought to live for Christ. He didn’t strip me of my desires for greatness, but those very gifts and skills were merely being nurtured at that time of my life. I continued my college years searching for the truth and observing the sinfulness in the world. I found Christ, and then I knew all things I had once pursued were vanity.  Therefore, I studied the scriptures with the same enthusiasm I used as a linebacker. I knew the temptations of Satan would not end. I needed something to validate the faith that I had accepted and Jesus was the solution. He provided me opportunities to witness to players and coaches and express my faith. I realized it wasn’t about me. I continue my passion for evangelism everywhere I go whether openly at the mall or at night outside car washes or clubs. I’m that guy with Gospel tracts in hand ready and willing to present Jesus. I aspire to go forth as a chaplain in the US Army and shepherd my own flock one day in a local church.
I despise not my small beginning; I am content in all things now. Neither death nor hades can keep me from preaching Jesus Christ to a lost world. I know my place in the body of Christ and couldn’t feel safer.  My friends never gave up on me.

In August 2003, I truly lost little to gain all; I now want to share with others what was freely given to me. I am not ashamed of the gospel with its message of salvation, because the God of this universe now lives in me.

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Do you need forgiveness like Garnet experienced? Check out the Salvation - Coming to Jesus teaching, or our survey to find out for about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also see Mentoring the Joshua Generation.