Story Saturday: Peace in Christ

Dear Christ Church,

We had the privilege of watching Jon Mayse be baptized this past Sunday.  Below is his testimony.

God is moving!

Baptism Testimony

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, -Titus 3:5

They that are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.- Luke 5:31-32

I did not do works of righteousness…far from it…I do not deserve the grace that Christ has bestowed upon me, but He gave freely.

My family isn’t religious. My mom has faith, but she is private about it for the most part. My Dad doesn’t really talk about it. All of my brothers are Atheist, ranging from passive to militant. 

When I was a junior in high school, I started experiencing panic attacks. I didn’t know what they were at first, but by the fall of my senior year, they were crippling. I would hide for sometimes an hour in bathrooms or the nurse’s office. During these attacks, I would lose all sense of myself and just become my anxieties.  It’s like being cut by a thousand little knives. Every single bad thought or insecurity or anxiety pops in and out before you can even recognize it. There’s nothing that can be done during this, you’re completely powerless. At the end, you’re completely emotionally, physically, and mentally drained. I would have two or three of these a day.

I was sent to a special school, which was the only way I was able to graduate, then moved to Austin for college. I had met with a therapist and seemed to be doing better. But in Austin, I deteriorated. I had a panic attack registering for school, lied to everyone that I was attending classes, got cut off when they found out. I got a job, but by then was pretty much an agoraphobe. I would only leave my bedroom to go to work. I simply couldn’t handle the world.

On August 4, 2011, a little over a year after moving to Austin, I tried to kill myself. Around 4 am, I got in my car and drove well over a hundred miles an hour into a pillar under an overpass. By the grace of God, I survived with no injuries. My mom came and brought me home, but things still weren’t good. I still didn’t want to live. In the Fall of 2012, my uncle, my mom’s brother, committed suicide. To be honest, I was angry and jealous at him for being able to do it. I was entirely broken.

But God has perfect timing. I accompanied my mom to every funeral meeting and I watched something incredible. My mother is the strongest woman I know. Her dad was an abusive alcoholic who died when she was 12. He left the family broke, financially and psychologically. My mom had to work for everything, from school supplies to, sometimes, food for the family. She worked at an ice cream shop that got robbed at gunpoint multiple times. She became an ER nurse, working in Oakland at the height of the drug epidemic, strapping down patients who were high on PCP and amphetamines. This was a strong woman. Yet, I saw her breaking. I saw her hold back tears when discussing urns and spellings on tombstones. She always retained her composure until one time, after the meeting was over, we got in her car and she broke down completely. I couldn’t do anything to help. I simply sat there as my mother wept. As she was coming back, she began mumbling under breath and ended with a soft “Amen.” Then, as if a new person, she popped her hands on the wheel and, with a teary smile said “Let’s go see Dallas!”

I had never seen anything like that, like the power of prayer. I had nothing like that. I was a broken person. I wanted that peace, that comfort, that surety. I wanted that.

God got me through those years. When I couldn’t help myself, he guided me to health, he slowly worked on me, preparing me to be able to hear and accept Him. He is my shepherd, my physician. He leads me beside cool rivers, He restores my soul. He is faithful! I never called out to Him, even after seeing the power of prayer. He healed me, He restored me, He saved me even before I knew who He was.

I remember struggling with the parable of the prodigal son. Clearly, this guy had done immense wrongs and came back humbled. But if he was truly humbled, how could he accept such a gift? How could he, knowing the weight of his debts, accept such grace? He should be sentenced and punished! But Christ loves us and he meets us where we are. He leads us back to green pastures. He met my guilt and he led me to peace in knowledge of His love.

Just as Israel wanted a conqueror-king, but got a sacrificial lamb, I wanted judgement, but received Grace.  Coming to this church has taught me about God’s love and today I am so grateful to say that I trust Jesus now for my salvation and He is my peace.