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Personal stories from the people of First Euless

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Tom Simpson

I grew up going to a Catholic church with my family where I learned about God and the Bible. As a young man I would have definitely told you that I believed in God, but you could look at how I lived my life and not see any evidence of a true faith in Christ. I lived my life by pursuing happiness in worldly things – and I was too easily wrapped up in how others viewed me. I did not have a true and transforming relationship with Christ during this time in my life, and although I was practicing Catholic religion, my identity was defined by worldly influences instead of finding my identity as a genuine follower of Christ.
I generally thought of myself as a good person, and my family and others would have told you the same thing. I was confused by a lack of knowledge in the true gospel, but I considered that if I lived my life generally as a good person that I would be okay when it came time for consideration in Heaven – that God would look at the sum total of my life and see that I was a “pretty good person”, worthy of His consideration. Despite being considered by many to be “a good kid,” I struggled to fit in with my peers throughout my teenage and young adult life. I was always trying to find my place a bit, and was too worried about receiving the approvals of others as well as just too caught up in pursuit of my own worldly happiness. I turned to alcohol, some recreational drug use, and pursuit of relationships with women as means to find my happiness and acceptance among my so-called friends. My life was headed down the wrong path, until after college when God uprooted me in one, short 24 hour period.

In the same day, I lost my job, I lost my house and I lost the woman I was in a serious relationship with. My life had been turned upside down by God so that He could begin leading me back home. Up to this point, I had always longed for a greater purpose in life, believing that there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing and pursuing with my time and energy. And now I was quite literally lost and in complete despair – overwhelmed with an immediate sense of worthlessness and depression at the sudden condition of my life. At the age of 24, I had enormous levels of credit card debt and without a job or a place to stay, I returned home to my parents to regroup and figure out what to do with my life. Once I returned home, I was reconnected with a long-time friend of mine that I knew from junior high & high school days. This friend would actually later become my wife, but during the first few months of me being home, she helped introduce me to what my life would look like if I had a true relationship with Christ. She helped me understand my need for God’s forgiveness and the freedom found in Christ alone. I had never known such freedom from the bondage of sin, nor understood the magnitude of God’s grace that covers me. There was a difference between Religion and a Relationship – and she helped connect me with a better understanding of this through sharing truths from God’s word and getting me involved at our church where I could be encouraged by other believers and learn more from God’s word through the various preaching.
I chose to accept His forgiveness and put my faith in Jesus Christ. I chose to pursue a life-transforming relationship with my Heavenly Father rather than an external religion that would still leave me separated from God headed to an eternity apart from Him. Since then, my life has looked much different as Christ is now my source of happiness and acceptance. My identity is found in Christ, as through Christ, I am an adopted son of our Heavenly Father – chosen not just to be saved, but chosen to be an heir to His kingdom. Justified not by my works or me being a “pretty good person”, but justified by the blood sacrifice of Jesus – my savior, my advocate with the Father.
I have found purpose and meaning in my life to bring glory to my Heavenly Father, and I now experience greater joy as an accepted and adopted child of our loving God than I ever thought possible. Part of this purpose was revealed when God chose to bless me with three adopted children of my own; bringing our total to five children. I am convinced that God brought about the adoption of my children into my own family to further my understanding of His love and adoption of me into His family. What amazing grace He has extended to me that I now get to be the earthly father over these children and experience even just a shadow of the picture of His great adoption story over us – I am so thankful for His rescue and His love – and my life will never be the same again.

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