For a long time, I was angry and selfish. While I based my identity on being "the good kid" who got good grades and memorized bible verses; I was a hypocrite living two lives.
While on the surface I seemed to have things together; I was filled with anger and self-hatred. I was addicted to pornography, I was a thief, I was a cheater, and to justify all these things, I had to all be a liar.
Over the years, I have met many people who have invested intentional time in my life. I saw God change my own father, from a person filled with anger, into a wellspring of peace and compassion. I had mentors who spent time, weekly, getting to know me, and investing wisdom, structure, and accountability into my life. I was challenged to become a mentor to others, and despite my own brokenness, I learned that I was never too broken to be used for God's sake.
I started reading the bible more, I started praying more, and I eventually started experiencing the love and peace that the men disciplining me were all talking about. I have been a true disciple of Jesus Christ for 10 years now, and I cannot express the difference His will has played in my life.
Although I am still struggling to be a better Christian, every day, I can say with confidence that humbling myself to God's will is the best thing I can ever do, and discipleship is the best process to help me do that.
I thought that Christ was my Lord and Savior, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him.
I used Him as my spare tire, not my steering wheel. I prayed daily to thank Him for my blessings, and I asked Him for help in times of great need, but I didn’t talk to Him much besides that.
My relationship with Christ really started to grow when I started being discipled by a mature Christian man, Bill Coibion. From Bill, I began to learn to pray with great passion and meaning. I also needed to lean on Him and ask Him for help.
One way this changed my life was in my marriage. Instead of just trying to be a more patient, less defensive man when I had a conflict with my wife, I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill me because I couldn’t do it myself. He immediately showed up, THAT NIGHT, and changed the energy and dynamic between me and my wife. Praise God!
I had been extremely frustrated with a sometimes lukewarm relationship with my Savior. The Lord is worthy of so much more and I was praying for change. My discipler has already helped change how I pray and how I spend time with the Lord, and is helping me to turn to Him in surrender as I stumble, instead of away in despair.
My Discipler, Bill, had the maturity to allow God to work through him to change me. He understood that my transformation was dependent on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He spent time with me, without a personal agenda and sometimes with no agenda at all. Often with a blank yellow legal pad and scripture, we talked, prayed, and studied.
Bill asked open ended questions and guided me to find the answers in scripture. He helped me understand what God’s word said, what God means, how it applies to me, and what I am going to do about it. After I got to know Jesus, My Discipler had the humility to help me surrender to Christ.
This is a very different concept than I had learned from the world. “I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. No one comes to The Father except through me.” As a child, I grew up knowing the Father, but My Discipler helped me get to know His Son Jesus Christ and recognize the power of the Holy Spirit in me.
Paul and Rhonda
When we were going through an exceedingly difficult time in our marriage, Bill walked alongside my husband and me. He showed us that God had a beautiful plan for our lives and our marriage. Bill met with my husband but realized that our family was in crisis. Bill and his family loved our family as Christ loved us.
Bill ran into our lives when most people were evacuating due to the amount of damage we were dealing with. I learned that no matter what happened before, where we came from, the brokenness in our hearts and souls, that God could redeem the mess we made.
We will always be eternally grateful for Bill helping us and I know Bill would give all the glory to Jesus.
Thank you, Bill!