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Josh Simmons Story

I guess I really noticed the void in my life when I was nine years old and I lost my dad.

I didn’t become a rebellious little kid. I stayed good and I put my dad’s death behind me. I did try to fill that void with father figures, but I never could. I made it all the way to my senior year in high school without a true father figure. I decided I was going to try to fill up this void in a different way. I decided I was going to party.

Things did not go as I expected.  I ended up drinking for the first time and getting really messed up.  That was the start of journey I never thought I would end up taking. I started drinking more and partying more. I started doing what was right on the weekdays and then doing the opposite on the weekends. That’s how it went for most of my senior year. I would quit for a little bit then start right back up.

 

I got to a point where I was asking God for help, but I was not listening because I didn’t want to change.  I still wanted to have fun.  One of the big changing points in my life was prom night.  After the prom was over I decided I was going to go to party and have fun one last time. I said, “God I’m sorry but I’m going to do this one last time before I quit.” Man I can only imagine what God was thinking when I said that. “You want quit? Oh I’ll help you quit.”  It was a pretty famous activity in Greenville because the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department ended up arresting over 40 kids and gave out about 200 tickets. There I was at the after party having a good ole’ time and at 3:00 in the morning there was a flashlight in my face. My heart sunk in my chest and I knew I had to make a change. I ended up getting a ticket that night and I didn’t know what to do.  That next Wednesday I went to my youth pastor and told him what I did and asked him for help. I joined a friend for a preview weekend at the Honor Academy, and when I did, God opened my eyes. Into the first three minutes of listening to the first guy talk I realized I didn’t want anything except God.   From that point on I was reborn. I really understood that God was it for me. I was on fire for Him and for everything that He could do.  The void that I always had was finally filled.  I had wanted a father and now I had one. I had a heavenly Father that would never leave me and that would never hate me. That would always love me and that would hold me close in His arms no matter what I did wrong.

I had people come up to me and tell me that they could see I was glowing. I didn’t even know what this meant.  It was God’s presence shining through me. I was on fire for God.  He knew I was ready for something that I didn’t think I was ready for. He sent me back into the parties. There were points were I was going to hang out with them and I’m in tears just arguing with God.  I was telling God, “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be in these situations.” And God calmly said, “You are supposed to be here. This is where I want you.”  My friends were looking for someone to show them love and compassion. God wanted to teach this to me. He also wanted to teach me that it wasn’t going to be easy serving Him.  Those friends are now out of those situations that were hurting them.  I was given an opportunity to help them.

I started going to church more than ever after I was saved, but it was a lot different going to youth group now. I used to party with half of them, and I knew that they were not really walking with God. I developed a passion for the youth group and wanted to guide them back to God.  They just needed to see an example from someone closer to their age. There was a point at church camp where we were at Bible study and God just came down and made His presence known. He put tears into everyone’s eyes. God lead me into His presence, and I ended up breaking down. I said, “I’m sorry God for ever doubting you. I see where you are leading me. I see what you want me to do.” I ended up going to Texas A&M-Commerce and joining up with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.  God is teaching what I need to know to become a youth pastor. God has lead me to meet people from all different walks of life and from different countries that have accepted Christ as their Savior.  He has also let me struggle to show me that it is not always going to be easy.  I thank God for taking me, for caring for me, and for showing me that I do have a heavenly Father who can lead me.

I volunteered to work in the Godmobile at the Bois D’Arc Bash and my passion for sharing the Gospel increased with each person I shared with.  The following week at a Bible study I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I now have the power to witness.

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