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Finally, I Got It Right!
-Adam Santos

Finally, I Got It Right!

My name is Adam Santos, and this is my story.

I come from a broken home. My father left us at an early age and was absent most all of my life. My relationship with my stepfather was a complicated one, filled with struggles and unrest. So, my life was marked by anger and hatred. I was given an understanding of God by my grandparents who were faithful to church. And in my eyes, they were faithful to God, as well. But with the issues I was dealing with, God was just something I “did” to be accepted and loved by my grandparents. But truth be told, I never saw myself as accepted by God because of my heart issues.  If my real father and stepfather could not love me, how could a heavenly father love me? That is why I found myself in trouble at school and seemed to be drawn to causing fights. 

I remember, in a dark moment in my young life, having a dream. In this dream I saw what to me was Jesus (based on pictures), standing far off. All I did was run and run to Him, but was never able to get to Him. As a young man, this was hard and marked my mind and heart. I went to church and was in the eyes of most people a troubled, angry kid. In school I was more careful not to cross any lines with my behavior, but when no one was looking, I was able to be more myself. They say “hurt people will hurt people.” That was me. During this time the only thing that was an outlet for me was sports. I loved sports.
"If my real father and stepfather could not love me, how could a heavenly father love me?

At a certain part of my young adulthood, I was no longer able to keep wearing the mask of a tough guy anymore. Nor was I able to continue to go to church only to be seen as something I was not. I no longer wanted to be fake, so I left it all behind. I went into a season of wrong doing and loose living. It was a time of fun and excitement in my eyes, to me to finally be free from the fake life of a so-called Christian I lived. I thought myself to be free. 

But I remember so many times of feeling even more empty at the end of the day. It was a dark time for me. I had no plans of going back to church, and so the only thing I could do was keep living that way. “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: But the fool rageth, and is confident.” (Proverbs 14:16) It was in this season of life that I met the one person who would end up stealing my heart. I met my wife, and as we dated, I finally felt that I was able to be loved by someone who would accept me just as I was. We got married, and life seemed to be going in a good direction. 

One night after coming home from playing a basketball game, I remember looking for something to watch on TV. I stumbled on a program about a trip to the Holy Lands. In this program, the person said that the Holy Land trip would open my eyes to the beauty of the Word of God. Then the guy pointed to the screen and said, “You need Jesus, come and see His land.” I was like, “What? Me?” Today I understand it was not “for me,” but it was something the Lord allowed to show me that I really did need Him. So, I did the only thing I knew at the time, I went back to the church I used to attend, a Pentecostal church. This did not go well. It caused some stress with my home.

It was around that time that my wife’s grandfather was getting to the end of his life. We were starting to look for answers. So, my wife looked online and found Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. She went first, and little by little, I followed. “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight, in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice.” (Genesis 21:12) We ended up meeting with Pastor Roland and did a couples’ Bible study. As the Bible study went on, I started the path of self-righteousness, and yet both the Lord and Pastor Roland were very patient with me. “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:21

"It was that kindness that the Lord used to get to my heart."
It was that kindness that the Lord used to get to my heart. The verses of scripture and the challenge of Pastor Roland affected my thought life every day. Along with that, the increasing understanding that my wife’s grandfather was going to pass into eternity really grabbed by heart and mind. I came home one day from work, dropped on my knees, and literally cried out to the Lord for salvation. 

He did save me that beautiful day, 2/18/2012, and has been working in me ever since. I have never been perfect, but God has worked on me from that blessed day. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

I had nothing to offer Him, I have never been good enough. Why would God want me as a son when no other man in my life did? The anger and pain, the many masks, the false appearances, all that began to just melt away at the powerful love of God. The mercy and love I received that day has been breaking chains that had keep me in a prison for so long. I am free today, not by my power or might, but by the love and might of Him who loved me when I did not love Him. Taste and know, my friend, what I have tasted and known: the powerful love of God. I am not presently perfect, but He is working that out in me every day, all day! “O taste and see that the LORD is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8