'After that, I came back to Australia and I pursued my wife'
Adam’s story | The incredible experience of reconciliation
“I went to church originally because I was a people-pleaser. I had very faithful grandparents who always prayed for us and asked us to go, but I always declined. I found my worth on the football field. At school, I was teased a lot. I had red hair, freckles and I was big. I didn’t find any escape till I was about 14, when I discovered I could play football. That’s when I found some self-worth.”
“But when I was 19, my mum became a Christian and she also asked me to come to church. I said yes, to get her off my back and to please her.
“The first time I went, I felt very accepted, so I went again. Within the first month, I was asked to be a youth leader. I didn’t know very much about Christianity, but I liked being able to impact youth in positive ways. I also started going to Bible study, but I still didn’t know much. Two months later I asked someone, ‘What is the Old Testament and the New Testament?’
“In 2005, my wife had an encounter with God. She got baptised. Afterwards, I heard her praying for me, and I told her that I didn’t really understand any of this Christianity. At the same time, I found the ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem. I was really moved by it, so I thought about putting it in my wallet. I wanted to build a relationship with God – the one that everyone else was talking about. But as I was putting it in my wallet, another scrap of paper fell out, and it was the footprints poem! I burst into tears. I knew God was saying to me, ‘I’ve got you. This is what you’re wanting and I’m already providing it, in Christ.’
“At that point, I started growing in my faith. I understood what Jesus had done for me. I spent time reading the Bible and praying. I did a spiritual formations course and I went on a Missions trip.
“But in 2010, my wife and I started going through a lot of trials. Back then, I didn’t have the emotional or spiritual maturity to love her well. And marriage is really, really hard. We separated. It was only supposed to be for a period, but because of my upbringing, I took it as a massive rejection. I kind of lumped it all on God. I blamed him. I stopped going to church. I sort of gave up on Christianity. I threw myself into work, in the Corrective Services. I got into the riot squad.
“But then, my wife had another massive encounter with God. She was convicted to pursue me. I still felt abandoned, so I pushed her away. Instead, I went off to Thailand with some mates. We were riding motorbikes and we started racing. We were going down a hill and my brakes failed. I slammed into a wall at 80 kilometres per hour. I was unconscious. When I woke up, I was covered in bruises and lacerations, but no broken bones. The bike was a right-off.
“I stayed in bed [in Thailand], for three days. During that time, I called out to God, I said, ‘Help me!’ And I sensed God saying to me, ‘Good. Now you can listen to me, instead of speaking to me.’
“After that, I came back to Australia and I pursued my wife. We reconciled. We went back to church. I started studying the Bible again. I deepened my relationship with God. I realised that Jesus had to be my priority, my Lord, not my convenience.
“In 2018, I left the Corrective Forces and I went into full-time ministry. I’ve realised that Jesus wants me to submit to him, to consecrate myself to him, to trust him, and to put on the full armour of God. If I go into anything, whether it be marriage or ministry, with a selfish heart, it will always end up faltering. But God has shown us unconditional love, in Christ. That’s what he gives us in Christ, and that’s what we are to give to others.”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes …” (Ephesians 6:10-11)
Adam’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.