Found purpose and fulfillment
In the West generally, talk of a relationship with an eternal (Christian) God is despised and dismissed. That does not change the fact that many people experience such a thing and it is real to them!
35 years - Youth Pastor - Australia
Ever since I was a baby, my parents took me to church. As a boy I knew a lot about God and I seemed to do all the right Christian stuff. When I was about 16 I wanted to find out what the world had to offer me. I had seen a lot of church and I figured that going to church must be what God is all about.
It seemed that all my friends were having a lot more fun than me. I went to a few friends' parties and I saw people drunk, using drugs, and having sex. I felt ripped off that everyone seemed to be having so much fun and I wasn’t. The most exciting thing I had done all weekend was play my violin, mow the lawn and go to church. It’s only in hindsight that I realized what my attitude was.
At this one particular party I decided to start searching for something to replace all the fun I’d missed out on. It was a very easy transition from a naive Christian kid to full blown "rebel without a cause". I began to experiment with alcohol - I’d camp out with mates from school and drink anything we could get our hands on. We even smoked pot a few times. When I got older I hit the nightclub scene in full force. I was a weekly regular in the pubs and clubs.
Being a very observant person I often find myself watching people and their behavior. What I noticed over time was the same people came to the same clubs every weekend. Week in and week out they were there dancing and drinking in the same place, wearing the same clothes, dancing to the same music. It was repetitive and it didn’t change. This annoyed me as I realized this was as good as it gets in the nightclub scene. I had abused my body for a long time and found no lasting joy.
Since half-way through high school I enjoyed karate as a sport. It gave me a strong sense of confidence in my ability to fight and defend myself. I thought maybe I should pursue health and fitness more and I’ll find greater satisfaction with my life. I trained really hard and got really good too. I fought in a few competitions and even won some stuff. I still partied hard but trained even harder. It was at a karate grading that I once again began to observe the older crowd that had been training for many years. They seemed successful but I was bothered by an arrogance that seemed to be present in all their lives. They walked around as though people wanted to challenge them. Even though they had wonderful skill in defending themselves, I discovered they were very insecure - almost intimidated - and were over-compensating with threats.
This was the last thing I wanted in my life. I was not able to find what I was looking for…. I had thought a lot deeper about what I was searching for. I was really looking for acceptance, value, truth, love, fulfilment, purpose.
During the karate days I met one of my friend's sisters. She was a nice girl and she liked me. I had no other reason to pursue a relationship with her other than maybe having a girlfriend might be fun. Having someone to share your life with, to love and be loved - maybe this was what I was searching for? We did the usual stuff, went to the movies, went on dates, we even kissed a bit…ok a lot! We had a close relationship for about 9 months but after that time we just saw less and less of each other. I couldn’t give her what she wanted.
While I was going out with this girl I realized something. I was searching the world for answers and what if the world didn’t have the answers for me. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places….maybe the answers couldn’t be found in worldly places.
My heart began to remember a scripture verse I had learnt in Sunday school. Proverbs 14:12 say: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. I realized if I wanted to know the secret to a joyful, fun, satisfying life, I needed to ask the author of life.
I went back to church to talk to God. Unfortunately for me a lot of the people I knew at church had moved on and I sat in church alone for about a year. But during this time I learnt the only person who had the answers to my questions was Jesus. The bible quotes Jesus as saying… "I am the way, the truth and the life - no man comes to the Father but by me". That was me - I was looking for a way to live, a truth that could not be denied and I definitely was looking for a great life.
It took some time but I learnt I didn’t have to search for a great life but if I trusted Jesus with my life He would guide me in how to have an amazing, extreme, passionate, fulfilling life with Him. Once I sorted my life out with Jesus, stuff happened!
Out of nowhere I met this girl, and something seemed different about her. I wasn’t sure what it was but I just wanted to get to know her. I wanted to share what I knew about Jesus with her, but when did, I found out she also knew Jesus in her life. We talked about our churches and our friendship with Jesus. I remember being at home one Saturday night and being really bored. I said to Jesus, "I wish that girl would call me and we could go out or do something". The thought was still coming out of my brain when the phone rang and guess who it was? It was her!
To cut a long story short, this girl turned up who is now my wife of 13 years. She had the same friends as me, we had been at the same church events growing up, even our mum’s played tennis together, but we had never met. God was saving her for me. He was getting me ready, adjusting my life, changing my thinking, so I would be the right person for her. Jesus was helping me, guiding me. He had my best interests at heart and he has never let me down.
Since those days Jesus and I have done some amazing things. I’ve been able to travel the world not just to see the sights but to share Jesus with young people all over the place. I’ve seen broken, destroyed lives healed and restored by the power of Jesus! I’ve been blessed with 2 wonderful children. I’m not rich and powerful. I don’t have huge amounts of possessions but what I do have I thank God for. I know whatever I need, God can provide it for me. I am happy.
I realized that I couldn’t find peace and joy by myself but if I gave up my life and gave it to Jesus, He could make something out of my life so much better than I could by myself. I had to blindly trust him. And when I did He made my life happen for me!
49 years - Site Editor - Australia
I was raised in a home where my mother was very fanatical about church and my father showed no interest. He was not against the activity, he remained quiet and allowed mom to follow her interest unhindered.
I was made to go to the Methodist church (mainline traditional church) and attended up until about 16 years old. I then decided church was not for me and made a conscious decision to stop attending, much to my mother's disappointment.
About the same time, I followed some friends to a Baptist church youth coffee shop and one of the organizers sat down with us and asked what we were going to do when Jesus returned. I had never heard that concept before and laughed at this new thought! The leader explained it a bit more and from then on that thought would not leave my mind. Other thoughts about the the size of the universe and our finite minds began to open up my mind about the reality of a God.
Previous to this - growing up I had several frightening supernatural experiences of 'things' appearing in my room through the night because the house was haunted! That was enough to convince me the spirit world is real and everything we see around us physically is only part of the story!
I only went a few weeks church-free when for some reason I attended a new church in the city which was modern and had something about it that appealed to me. It was a Pentecostal type of church which meant for me it was more relevant than my previous church and seemed to meet my needs and questions I had at that time.
At 17 I consciously accepted Jesus into my life and gave my life over to his control. Something tangible happened inside me. I felt a new peace inside and although my hassles were still there, I felt like I was not alone somehow now!
I had lots of hassles - insecurities, fears, and poor social skills. These remained but over time they lost their power over me as I guess God restored me and changed this kid who was mocked and despised into a respected adult.
This website you are reading is a result of a lot of hassles I had as a teenager and could not find answers for and did not have the confidence to ask others. I soon found other young guys had similar hassles and I was not a one-off freak as I thought at times. They too did not have answers and I found the only safe way to put their mind at rest was with an "anonymous" website appropriately named boysunderattack. The name is appropriate because that is what the teenage years can feel like!
My story shows that if you get serious with God, He will take your life and make something out of it. From a broken young guy who was bullied at school to an adult with a great, high paying job who has helped thousands of young guys around the world. I can hardly believe it! Doors kept opening in front of me. If you first honor God, He will honor you.
...For those who honor Me, I will honor (them)...