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Joel Lyle

Things Change

Right from the beginning I was blessed, I grew up in a Christian home and was constantly surrounded by people who cared for me. In the grand scheme of things I had a pretty normal childhood; I played sports, went on family vacations, and never worried about ever going without anything I needed. I attended The Salvation Army all of my childhood as I was an officer’s child and participated in every activity, loving every part of it. As a child I remember going to church thinking “well this is what you do on Sunday.” I did not know there was a world outside the corps.

When I got to the age when I could make decisions for myself, I took a different road. I engaged in the typical college life. Before I knew it I was a different person. The pressure of college and being alone got to me and I pushed away from God becoming a heavy drinker. I look back on some of the things I have done and still feel the shame, but I know I have been saved by grace.

When I felt I was at my lowest point and not sure of anything, I heard God speaking to me. I heard His still voice saying “you know I am still here.” After hearing His voice I looked up and a Bible I used to use was sitting on the shelf in front of me. I opened up the Word and turned to Proverbs 18:10 which says, “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” These words sunk into my heart and I knew everything was going to be alright. I rededicated my life, and before I knew it God blessed me more than ever before. I praise Him every day for never leaving me even when I turned my back on Him.