"I’ve lived in Fayetteville my whole life and, growing up, my understanding of faith and Christianity was very moralistic. I think there was always this subconscious, subtle part of myself that knew that this version of Christianity wasn’t working but I was still going to go for it anyway.
Honestly, what caused things to break down for me was a really unhealthy relationship I was in. We were known as the “super-Christian couple” who didn’t kiss or do anything bad. I was aware the relationship was awful and unhealthy, but it was lifted up by others. I think the tipping point for me was realizing that this moralistic way of living didn't actually satisfy. It didn't work. Ending that relationship for me was like me ending my relationship Christianity. I thought, “Okay, I’m going to rebel. Following a moralistic lifestyle didn’t work, why not try the other side”.
For two years after that, I pursued my own desires and found myself living in a season of deep sin. During that time, I got my wisdom teeth out and I literally had nothing to do but sit in my room, play video games, and think about life. I remember thinking, “I am so empty. I don’t enjoy any of this.”
It was in the brokenness of both of those options falling short where God met me at a New Heights Youth event, Winter Chill. I had gotten connected through a cell group and was starting to be discipled by Joel Scott. I was 16 years old at Winter Chill and I remember God really clearly telling me, “Chadd, you tried to earn my love for 14 years and you couldn’t do that. Then you tried to find satisfaction outside of me for 2 years and you couldn’t do that. I need you to surrender your life.” In that moment, I was weeping on my knees, and I was just saying over and over again, “I give up. I give up. I give up.” Joel, who's mentoring me, had his arm around me and was praying for me. That was really the moment everything changed for me. It was a real 180.
Since coming to faith, God has been abundantly gracious to provide older men in my life. As a human, I still sometimes naturally bend towards moralism or trying to find satisfaction outside of God. Those things are still present as a follower of Jesus. The biggest place where I've seen the Lord's faithfulness to me has been the quality of men he has put around me to lead me. He’s never left me to figure this out on my own. I’ve always had an older man that I can watch their life and see both their brokenness and their faithfulness. It shows me how to be faithful in my brokenness also. That’s been inspiring for me."
- Chadd Holmes, New Heights College Pastor