I grew up in a small Pentecostal (holiness) church, in a small town in Texas. I was raised being taught about God and the dire importance of living a holy life, and seeking the baptism Holy Ghost for empowerment for our journey. Though I can say that I believed what I was taught, I was sucked into living a life full of lust at an early age. I think I first discovered pornography when I was in elementary school. With the introduction of pornography and the commonplace talk of sexual innuendo, I was practically surrounded by it everywhere besides church and home. This new found hobby of mine led to me developing nasty habits and unhealthy obsessions with sex. Once I discover that it was sinful, I tried time and time again to stop, but I couldn't seem to drop the habit no matter how hard I tried. I prayed, asked for prayer, went cold turkey, but every attempt ended in failure. These habits followed me into my teenage years.
As I grew older, the sermons I heard about receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit started to spark hope in my broken heart. I knew I couldn't stop on my own, I needed help. So, I eventually started seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, fasting, praying, going up for altar call at revivals, only to be stricken with doubt after intense experiences in his presence. After years of trying to receive this baptism, I grew discouraged and frustrated. This, along with a plethora of other issues I had growing up (heartbreak, loss of family, etc) I started to become heavily depressed. I didn't want to do anything, I didn't want to go anywhere. Even worse, I would have spontaneous manic episodes where I felt on top of the world, which quickly turned into depression spells when followed by anxiety attacks. I couldn't see it then, but it's clear to me now; I was under attack.
Now dealing with these new issues, I continued my in & out cycle of salvation, each time having amazing encounters with God, but feeling like no true change occurred. This continued until recently. I went from struggling to live a saved life, to just running away from God. I didn't want to keep seeking God only to fail at getting a breakthrough.
I later graduated High School, and started preparing for college. I was so ready to leave home, start a new life, abandon my home and family and live a life of sin. However, me trying to get far away from home actually flopped, and I ended up going to college less than an hour away from home with family. Big whoop. But, I didn't realize that this was God trying to keep me from ruining my life. He was preparing me for something good.
As college started, I began my career as a heathen, foul-mouthed, non God-fearing rebel. Surprisingly, I was able to make friends being like that, since a lot of people I met acted a lot like that. But as time went on, I became overworked and unfulfilled. I had big dreams and felt as if they should have already came true. But these dreams I had, these dreams of singing on secular stages and glorifying a life of sin, they weren't my dreams; they were foolish plans that would lead me far away from God and close to destruction.
I was frustrated. I was unfulfilled. I was fed up with living life struggling, barely making it, feeling lonely, being anxious all the time, and being controlled by my lust and low self esteem. So, one Sunday evening, I decided I was done running, I was done fighting, and that I wanted to let go of everything and pursue God wholeheartedly. That very same night, the Holy Spirit came into my room and wrecked me. He changed me. He purged me. He restored me back to him. I accepted his plan for my life. I decided that a life outside of Christ just wasn't worth living. And I believe that it was because of my genuineness, God took me seriously. He showed me students that I never knew were Christians, showed me a worship partner, but what shook me the most was when I came across a middle aged woman one night. She asked to use my phone, and I let her. Afterwards, we had small talk (School, major, my talent), which quickly escalated to her asking me to sing. I sing a few words of a gospel song, and she began to weep. Afterwards, she started spilling out information about her personal life. Her life was a wreck. She didn't feel safe at home, and she apparently had family members out to get her. I offered to pray, and she was more than greatful. I'll probably never forget the words she said as I left that night "you're anointed, you known that? With the gifts you have, God can take you places." It was something I'd heard my whole life, but this experience was confirmation of the calling I had on my life.
Long story short, I've came to a conclusion: from the moment you declare Christ as your lord and Savior, you are his. Even if you sin, he won't let you fall astray without a fight. We all have a purpose in the kingdom of God, and when we run away from our calling, we will be forever miserable until we accept the responsibility.
Along with this, God showed me that he has the power to deliver anyone from anything. You just have to be willing to let go of everything and seek God wholeheartedly. No reservations, just full surrender.