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My Re-formation Story

My Re-formation Story

God is working to “reform” every square inch of creation. The “Reformation” is not just a major cultural happening that took place 500 years ago, it’s an ongoing reality. Last week, I wrote about part of my own personal spiritual re-formation. This week, our Director of Discipleship, Paul Daly, is going to share his re-formation story. —Pastor Gregg

Growing up in England you may be able to guess some of the passions in my life: football (soccer), the Royal Family, and of course—tea!

I lived in a small town called Rugby, famous for creating the sport with the same name. A not-so-well known fact about my town is that it has the most pubs within a square mile. Much of my childhood was spent in these establishments, as my parents were alcoholics.

From an early age I wondered why I grew up in a family with two older brothers, nine and eleven years older than me. Why were my parents so old compared to my friends? Perhaps I was a mistake?

Due to the circumstances of my family and the lack of parental supervision, I got into a lot of trouble growing up. I look back now knowing I just wanted someone to love me. But love was lacking and anger resulted. This led to me not having any friends. 

I finally found a way to feel loved: it was through football. I was good at it, and it brought me affection from coaches and players alike. I poured my life into football, hoping to gain the love I so desperately needed.

During my teen years, one of my fellow players invited me to his church youth group to play football. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by peers who wanted to know me outside of football and expressed care for one another. This same love they had for one another was expressed to me over the coming weeks and months.

During many weeks of youth group, I heard how Jesus loved me. My response was simple: “How could he?”

But over time, my heart was softened and Jesus changed my life. I was forgiven. I was adopted. Jesus had redeemed me.

I look back on many landmark moments in my life and see how God the Father orchestrated many things—but none bigger than me discovering God as my Lord. You see, for many years I lived with Jesus as “only” my Savior. When I recognized God as Lord of my life, I experienced “abundant life” as John 10:10 states.

God’s redemption story in my life has seen me travel to South Africa as a missionary and to Chicago to work for the church. I want you to know all this so you can grasp how amazing our God is.

If God can take an angry, poor, potential alcoholic and redeem his life, there are no boundaries for what God can do in your life.

~ Paul