Joey de la Garza
Hi, I’m Joey de la Garza. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Sarah, for four years and we serve together at Celebrate Recovery on Friday nights.
“God has chosen to make known . . .Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27 (New International Version)
I began attending BCF in 2005 as a teenager. Up until I found BCF, I had never really enjoyed going to church with my family. I remember walking into the worship center for the first time and discovering that there was coffee and doughnuts. From that moment on, I was sold. I started showing up for the high-school ministry on Wednesday nights and, shortly after, joined their band. Eventually, I joined the Sunday band. I had surrounded myself with people who loved God.
On the surface, I looked like a young man who was following God and enjoying it. The truth was something different. I felt alone all the time. I stopped praying and reading my bible. Eventually, I stopped going to church all together. I separated myself from all my Christian friends and only spent time with people I knew would support my bad decisions. However, this whole time, in the back of my mind was the still, small voice of God pursuing me, calling me back. But, I ignored Him. I was embarrassed to show my face again. I felt hopeless.
It’s easy to feel hopeless, especially as Christmas grows closer. The stressful things begin to pile up. “How will I get along with my family?” “Can I afford to put presents under the tree?”
When Jesus came to us, it wasn’t to give us a holiday. The Bible tells us that He came so that we can be free. Eventually, I stopped running from God and returned to church. I found the freedom that God offers us from sin by fully putting Him in control of my life.
Jesus shares with us the hope of glory. This hope is what brought me out of the dark. It is what keeps us going when things seem impossible. God promises to provide, and He promises peace. All that we need to do is put our hope in him.
1) What is stressing you this Christmas season?
2) What is one step you can take every day to turn that over to God?