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Even though I grew up in church and heard all my life that God loved me, I had no revelation of it. I was more apt to believe that God would rather punish you than enbrace you. I was convinced that if you ever committed your life to Him, you'd for sure be finished. I only remember knowing of two ministries in the church, they were preachers and missionaries. I knew I didn't want any part of either of them, so I stayed clear of any real commitment with God. I hoped that if I didn't bother Him, that He wouldn't bother me.
In June of 1978 I had moved out on my own and I was living in Jackson, Wyo. I worked at a western store selling boots during the day, and at night I'd ride in their nightly rodeo. In just a few weeks I found myself bored and very lonley. One Sunday afternoon I drove out a dirt road that went for about 5 miles and ended. There was a place to park and a trail you could walk up towards the mountains. I walked about a mile up that trail and then stopped and stood looking up at those beautiful mountains capped with snow. They were pretty awesome to a Georgia boy. Then for the first time in several years I found myself talking to God. I said ," God how I'd sure love to get on a horse and follow this trail on up and over those mountains". After that I walked back to my truck and headed back to town. On the way back I noticed a sign that I hadn't seen earlier. It was the name a outfitter(some one who takes guest into the mountains for week long horse pack trips). The owner was sitting out on his porch, so I stopped and within five minutes had a job. That night I moved into the bunk house, and was up at daylight the next morning saddling horses. At nine o'clock, I found myself sitting in a saddle leading a string of 4 pack horses, riding up the exact same trail where I had stood only 18 hours prior. We rode up that trail 20 miles into the mountains every Monday and would come out every Saturday, all summer long. That morning riding along I considered for the first time in my life; maybe God really does love me!
This was only the beginning of many ways that over the next several years God would convince me of His everlasting love towards me. Ther are more examples in the next testimony.