I grew up in a small town, Ringgold Ga., where my grandmother (I called her “Nan”) raised me from the time I was about 4 after my parents divorced. Before that, I lived with my mom, who struggled with drugs and poor choices in men. After one of those men hit me, my Nan took me in and adopted me. Although my mom was not really involved in my life after that, my dad helped my Nan raise me and today he is my best friend. As I look back, I can see how God was protecting me, by allowing me to be raised in a stable, loving home with my Nan and by having my Dad stay in my life.
One of my fondest memories was this huge garden in Nan’s backyard, where she grew just about everything you can imagine. Sometimes she would show up unannounced at my school to bring the teachers baskets of freshly picked vegetables. I remember spending time in her kitchen, which was the heart of her home – small but full of light -watching her cook, eating all kinds of delicious food, and listening to her small radio that sat in the corner. It was about the size of a little box… off-white with light green accents, and a tall, silver antenna that glistened in the sunlight. She had it on all day practically, and I think maybe my love for radio started back then.
Nan made sure I was in church every Sunday. I knew who Jesus was, but don’t think I really understood why I needed Him. That all changed when my grandmother passed away when I was 15. It hit me that she was with Jesus, and I wanted to see her again. Shortly after she died, I accepted Christ at a youth group service, realizing that only though Him could I be saved from my sins. A peace surrounded me amidst the pain of losing my grandmother.
I lived with my dad after that and watching him helped strengthen my faith. My dad made me his priority. He took me to church, and he studied his Bible study every day. And every night, he would pray with me before I went to sleep, asking God to lead my life and bring me a Christian wife one day.
Today, I am happily married to my wife Alysse—who was an answer to those many prayers, and we have two children. I love Georgia Bulldogs football (Go Dawgs!), and playing with my kids. I also like working outside in my yard, some might call me a lawn nut, which is something else I like to think of as a tribute to my Nan! You know those folks who want the greenest grass in the neighborhood? Yeah, that’s me.
Every day, I think about my grandmother and that radio in the corner, and how God used her to keep me safe and bring me to Him so that I could one day share my life, my love of radio, and especially my love of Jesus with the HIS radio family. My Nan didn’t know how things would turn out back then when she took a sad little boy into her home—but she was helping to pave the way to a better life for me, and I hope I’ve made her proud.