The summer after my freshmen year at Corban was a tremendous challenge in my life. I don’t know where quite to begin.
I had fallen off the band wagon in my walk with God by my own choosing, and wasn’t even sure I wanted to come back to Corban. My life felt like it had just fallen apart. I didn’t have a good experience roommate wise, and my grades were nowhere near where they should have been. I felt confined, like I had to be this person people wanted me to be. In addition, the April before school ended I received a call from my mother. She told me that doctors found a mass the size of a grapefruit on my brothers right kidney. My brother Eric had cancer.
I had always thought that somehow my family would be protected from all of that stuff. Especially when it came to cancer, and all of those other life threatening diseases. I prayed like a lunatic, begging God to take the cancer away, and He didn’t.
I thought God had done enough damage in my life with my parents’ divorce when I was young, and then moving me to Oregon in the 8th grade. When I had heard this I told God that I was done with him. If this was how he was going to treat me then I didn’t want to be a part of His family.
My entire mindset had been shaken down to the core, and I returned home a different person. However, the summer I had imagined didn’t come close to happening.
My brother went into surgery a few days after I came home from school. My mom decided that she would go be with my brother, which meant I had to stay at home for the two weeks that this would all be going on. I was furious when she left.
Also, I blocked off any communication with anyone from Corban. In my mind it was set that I was going to Oregon State the following year.
In a sense, I created a wall between me and God during those two weeks. Not doing anything with my life but hanging out with old friends who lived a life that had never suited me. God had become the target of my anger, and I was sure that I would never be a Christian again. Yet something out of the blue happened to me. During the last few weeks of the semester my old RA Vince Rediger drilled me about becoming a Pastor. He had this desire to see me spread the word of God, and to be honest I thought he was an idiot.
I was working on my transfer application to Oregon State University when I began to break down. Anger swelled up in me and I hit my wall creating a hole in it. Nothing was working for me anymore. Nothing was giving me any hope that life was going to work in my favor at all. Then a song by Switchfoot titled “Mess of Me” started playing on my computer. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a song about a man whose life has just fallen apart, and he knows how far he has fallen.
The lyrics just dug into my soul, and I began to cry. I was just sitting there on my bed waiting for my mom to tell me about my brother, and I was just crying. I never thought I would hear the voice of God, but he spoke to me during that time.
He lit a huge fire inside of me, and now I have a desire to help out others. To see them grow, and to continue to follow God. To be someone who is there for them no matter what is going on in their lives. A person they can trust will not judge them or disown them, but a person who will show them love and understanding.
A few hours after that my mother called me, and told me my brother had gotten through surgery and he was alright. I fell to my knees and just prayed to God. I don’t know how long it took but I prayed until I felt that I had truly come to a new place in my walk with God.
When I got back to Corban I changed my major, and have put full trust in God for the future. I had never trusted him until it seemed like I had no one else to trust in my life.
Christena Brooks says
Marty Trammell says
Thanks for sharing this inspiring story about a great man. I’m thankful to have had him in class!
This is beautiful. I was very encouraged and blessed by this! Thank you so much for writing this.