How Christ Came To Me: And How I Ended Up In The Back Of A Cop Car (Part 2)

{This is Part 2 of my testimony. To read Part 1 go here}

I never saw him coming.

I turned around and there he was: short, smug, and red-headed, with an obvious chip on his shoulder (I probably would have one too if I had to patrol daily Spring Break shenanigans). After a couple quick questions it was clear I was not 21 and I ended up in the back of his cop car as he called my mom on the phone.

Underage possession and consumption of alcohol was the charge.

My dad was disappointed. My mom was broken. I had told her I was just spending the night at a church friend’s house. In those days, PC Beach had Spring break court, so I was herded into a large room with other maladjusted teens and young adults and given a blanket judgment by a sitting judge. A few hours of community service at the Boys Club. Not too bad.

I promised my parents I would never drink underage or lie to them again.

As a Dog Returns To His Vomit

But within a month I was back out at the beach. With some of the same church friends. All my passionate pleas and promises to my parents came up empty. As Jesus said, “The flesh profits nothing…” (John 6:63)

I carried on that same trajectory until the summer. I was signed up for a Mission trip to Mexico and was a student leader to a Student Life Camp. It was too late to back out of those. The Guadalajara trip opened my eyes to what an authentic life in Christ looked like, not just the American Cultural Christianity I was immersed in. The Mexican Christians we served with had nothing of earthly value, but because they had Christ they had everything, even joy inexpressible.

A couple weeks later I was at a Student Life Camp at Lee University in Tennessee. At one evening service during corporate worship it happened suddenly. Before I knew what hit me I was a heap on the ground, in a pool of my own snot and tears asking God not to kill me.

I never saw Him coming.

The Puritans used to call it “the gift of holy tears.” If there is such a thing, I had it that night. All I know is that the ugliness of my hypocrisy and sin crashed against the holiness and beauty of the cross of Christ. And it broke me to pieces like a jack hammer to cheap concrete.

I had always felt a little grieved during my Sunday morning hangover episodes. But now I felt gripped.

Finally, I saw with a Spirit born clarity, Christ died for me.

My senior year in high school I was elected Fellowship of Christian Athlete President (probably not the best position for a baby Christian). Jamie, my youth minister, began to give me opportunities to help lead studies and services in the youth group. I devoured every bible study, sermon, devotion, and Christian book I could get my hands on. I was game for every mission trip or service opportunity put in front of me.

As my passion for Christ rose, my passion for football waned. I once moved high schools to get a better shot at a FB scholarship (and to be honest, tick off my old coach). Now, with a few small college offers on the table, I respectfully declined to continue my football career. I was getting burnt out.

As A Woman Returns To Her Dog Sitter

In the process of going to the local community college I met a cute little red-headed girl named Jessica. She wore her passion for Jesus on her sleeve like it was going out of style. A few months into our friendship I was convinced she was to be my wife. It took a few more months to convince her of that.  But after faithfully dog sitting her feisty miniature Schnauzer, Roxanne, she couldn’t resist the charm anymore. ; )

Jessica and I married in the Spring of ’06. We had our first child, Josiah, in May 2008. We had our second child, Gideon, in March 2011. They are two beautiful healthy boys we don’t deserve.

In a short time, God has made life go full circle for me.

I now find myself back with football (coaching), and back at the same high school I once walked the halls as an unmotivated student. Everyday I teach math to young men who are just like I was: Insecure, Confused, putting up a hard facade. Though the behavior may manifest itself differently depending on the case, the root issue is the same: Like me, they need a Savior to take away their sins and the Holy Spirit to empower them put to death their own flesh.

So that is how Christ came to me, and how I ended up in the back of a cop car. And despite my current propensity to wander away, He still comes to me, still grips, and still fulfills the promises I could never keep.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful-He cannot deny Himself…..” (2 tim 2:13)

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

47 thoughts on “How Christ Came To Me: And How I Ended Up In The Back Of A Cop Car (Part 2)”

  1. Thanks, Bryan, for your willingness to be transparent for the sake of Christ.

    Thank you, also, for stopping be Beyond the Strait Gate and ‘liking’ the post also. I’m new to blogging and really never had an interest until recently, when I decided that if I were to blog, it would not be for any other reason than to have the blog that would point to Christ. I wanted the blog to count for Eternity.

    A missionary friend of mine pointed out to me, that by means of the Christ-centered blog, I actually was fulfilling the Great Commission. I hadn’t thought of that at the outset, but it blesses me to know, that truly, this is truly a way to be obedient to reaching the lost and encouraging believers to grow in their faith and become disciples of Jesus Christ, beyond my personal Jerusalem.

    In Christ,
    Mercedes

  2. In 1997 I was in a homeless program. I needed to stop drinking and drugging for 9 months. I went to a 12 step group and I asked GOD to help me quit drinking for 9 months. I told GOD I would do anything but become a Christian. I promised GOD, that after 9 months, I would never talk to Him again. At 7 months, I was watching Christian TBN TV, and I became convicted that I was a sinner, and I needed to give my life to Jesus. I told GOD I would quit drinking, but I doubted that I would ever be happy. Today 14 years later, I have an abundant life, and I am a servant of Jesus the Christ.

    Ernie Earth
    A servant of Jesus the Christ

  3. Thanks for sharing the story of Jesus in your life Bryan. I am sure that the students in your classes, and on the football field see the radiance and the power of the Spirit of Jesus in you and through you. God’s blessings.

  4. Love the way you write and your openness, Bryan. Christ shines through your words as does your love for your beautiful family. God will use you mightily in the lives of those students and in the lives of your precious boys. He will be faithful. We just need to follow. Blessings.

  5. This testimony is excellent. Thanks for taking the time to post. I trust God is using you as powerfully in person as he is online!

  6. Bryan! I just happened to stop by and thank you for reading and liking our testimonies on our Blog, and little did I know that I would have the opportunity to read and like your Testimony! May God continue to bless you and your family as you share His goodness with others! To God be all the Glory and Honor!

  7. Bryan,
    I too, stopped to read your blog because you had read mine. Awesome! Your testimony gives me hope for the students I teach. I teach health to 7th and 8th graders. Sometimes I get so discouraged when I hear them talk about their lives. Maybe I can plant a seed that will make a difference in their lives. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for visiting our blog today – – wow, what a gripping testimony! I am so glad that God called and you listened :). Our Lord is someone who never gives up even when we might do so ourselves. Be blessed, sir. -galphin

  9. “American Cultural Christianity” as you called it–it’s been around for decades and it’s a fake as anything out there. I also call it “playing church.” I was a prodigal for years because my church experiences were as hollow as the culture. Authentic Christianity is hard to find. It’s the folks living in third world countries that know what real authentic Christianity is all about. I appreciated reading your testimony. Glad you met Jessica. I gives me hope, especially for a younger generation. Also, gives me hope that maybe God will let my life go “full circle” before I die (I’m a whole lot older than you). And if not, I’ve still got Heaven, and nothing in this world can beat that!

  10. Bryan, your testimony is very inspirational! I love that we have teachers like you in our public schools that can, without a word, share the love of Christ! Keep up the good work bro!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  11. Powerful Testimony!
    How blessed you were,
    to join in on a mission!
    You got to go,
    when you were yet lost…
    I’ve never been invited since I was Saved
    {or before Salvation}!
    And that has been for over 40 years,
    At least I get to share my Testimony in America,
    and online…in a worldwide way…
    I honestly love your Blog,
    and hope you actively continue it,
    for as long as you are Alive, here on earth!
    May God richly Bless you and all your loved ones.
    Thank you, Brother Bryan!

  12. Doesn’t the Lord have a wicked sense of humor? Returning you to the same stomping grounds where you lived your “other” life. . . that’s just like Him.

    Your story so points to our Savior, and I’m so glad I had a chance to read it! May God continue to bless you greatly!

    Lookin’ up,

    Jean/Sislyn

  13. Excellent testimony, Bryan! I read part 1 and 2 of your story. It sounds a little like mine. Thank God for His grace!

  14. Hi Bryan, it’s jim fr. Guam again. I’m just a voice, but allow me to thank you for posting your testimony. I can see that you didn’t have enough time with your father growing up, that’s something you’ll have to address. The gift of tears, shows your gift of prophecy, for what you felt is the broken-heartedness of the Father-GOD at your sin. You DO deserve your children, for Scripture tells us children are a reward from GOD. Christianity itself can heal and change. Thank you for allowing me to post. Hafa Adai, fr. Guam!

  15. Liked your writings about how Christ came to you and the gospel Whitney heard or did not hear. Please keep spreading the “good news” of our “LORD & SAVIOUR” CHRIST JESUS who is coming again so soon.

  16. What a wonderful testimony – thank you for sharing!

    I also have two young ones – a 3-year-old (almost 4) boy and a 2-year-old girl. And like you, my oldest is named Josiah.

  17. Awesome testimony!! Absolutely striking, and so powerful –
    I’m new to the blog world but loving reading all about the experience of others, especially in Christ – how incredible that we, who are so different, can be found by Him and touch so uniquely and individually…
    Can’t wait to read more!
    Beccy

  18. “All I know is that the ugliness of my hypocrisy and sin crashed against the holiness and beauty of the cross of Christ. And it broke me to pieces like a jack hammer to cheap concrete.” That was my favorite part 🙂

  19. Impressive blog/ testimony and faithful historical synopsis. Thank you for liking my post on prayer, you’re very kind. Blessings to you and your beautiful family. Sincerely,
    Deborah

  20. Bryan, these are a beautiful couple of posts, thank you! We each have our stories of our relationshipw ith Christ, do we not? Thank you for sharing yours. Loved it! May God Bless…

  21. Your testimony is great! I admire your courage to share and I love the title you’ve chosen, Chief of the Least. Jesus would like that too! I have experienced the “veil of tears” also. It is sad but amazing.

  22. Thank you for sharing your heart. Every story of salvation is beautiful in His eyes. May yours touch many a broken heart and may it lead to restoration. Appreciate your encouraging “like” on my blog.

  23. America has a future through people like you and Jessica. Hold true and avoid choice that elevates you beyond what God has in plan for the two of you.

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