121 Stories - A Journey to Hope

Important lessons we can learn from a `personal testimony of salvation.

Chris Oldham
Apr 12, 2020    13m
In this message we hear a man's personal testimony of salvation that he found in Christ. He shares his story of surviving a rough childhood, and his own bad choices, to eventually find peace and lasting hope in Jesus. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Chris Oldham: 00:04 I spent most of my life chasing after dream, and things that I thought I had control over. It wasn't until recently that I realized that Jesus Christ was who I was searching, for and what I was striving for.

Chris Oldham: 00:31 Shortly after I was born, due to an altercation that my mom and dad got into, my dad went to prison. And he was in prison for a good majority of the early part of my life, I believe I was six or seven when he got out. And I, you know, held a lot of anger and bitterness towards him, because I knew the reason he had went to prison, my mom had told me quite often her feelings towards it. Like my dad was always like this voice in my ear, you know, and I would talk to him on the phone. And every now and then he would kind of show up out of nowhere with his 18 wheeler, and give my mom a couple hundred dollars for child support. Life for me, growing up, was not easy. I spent a lot of time making decisions for myself, I didn't really have a whole lot of oversight, or any kind of parental guidance, I guess you could say. I've reached out to a lot of teachers, and other people outside of my family to kind of guide me through school, and in life growing up.

Chris Oldham: 01:52 And one thing I do remember was, when he would come around, he would always tell me things like, God loves you. You know, Christ is with you all the time, you know, make sure you pray. And, you know, he'd even bring me a little Bibles that he'd get at a truck stop or something like that. I never really understood it, and I always thought it was like, I always kinda thought it was lame growing up. Like, man, why do I have a dad that brings me these Bibles, like I want a pocket knife, or a Nerf gun, or, you know, something like that.

Chris Oldham: 02:32 So I graduated high school, and right around that time, my mom got sick with cirrhosis of the liver. Unfortunately, my mom went in, they had a liver available, and she went into surgery and they determined that the liver wouldn't take. And that they were better off giving it to someone who would be able to survive the procedure, and so my ended up passing away that day.

Chris Oldham: 03:06 You know, kind of over the years, I would see moments of grace, and then others moments of not so much grace. It was kind of a rocky road for my dad, he had a lot of sin and spiritual battles that I think that he was fighting. But back then when I would think about it, and I would see the things that he was doing, I would just see kind of a deadbeat father that didn't want to take care of his son or do the right thing. And I look back now that I'm saved, and I see someone struggling with sin, and I do truly think that he was trying to do the right thing and really live a godly life. But, you know, the sin had a grip on him that I think he just struggled with a lot.

Chris Oldham: 04:04 Shortly before I went into the Navy, my dad had another run in with the law, and he ended up having a stroke while he was in jail and becoming paralyzed. And, you know, I didn't even know that my dad was alive when I left for bootcamp. It wasn't until two weeks before I was supposed to graduate, I got a letter and some pictures of my dad in a rehabilitation center. And he had tried to write this letter with a right hand, he was left-handed, but he was paralyzed. So he tried to write this letter with his right hand, and I remember trying to read it thinking, oh my gosh. But he ended up recovering from that mostly, he still had struggles with certain things, but with medication and rehabilitation, luckily he was able to gain his movement back. That changed his life, really, for the better.

Chris Oldham: 05:03 I mean, while I was in the Navy, my dad and I talked every day, every day. I remember a couple of times when we would be out to sea, and they would secure the internet because of something that we were doing, and my dad wouldn't be able to get ahold of me, and he would start emailing. I think he emailed the captain one time, because he couldn't get ahold of me, and that was pretty embarrassing. But it was really nice to have those years where I got close to my father, I think he really pressed in during those years, trying to introduce me to Christ. I probably got more Bibles in those six years that I was in the Navy, than I did the 18 years of the beginning of my life.

Chris Oldham: 05:57 So my wife and I met while I was in school for the Navy, by April we were married, and Olivia was moving with me to Japan. For a while it was really nice, we were in love, and we were newlyweds, and you know, everything was fine and dandy.

Chris Oldham: 06:15 And unfortunately my dad passed away, I felt like my life just took a nosedive. I got out of the Navy, and Olivia and I moved here to Dallas. I felt hopeless, I felt like nothing would ever get better from that point forward, the only thing to do was to run. And I know people out there have felt the same thing, it's hard to put into words, at least for me it is. It's just like this abyss, like there's nothing you can do. You're just falling and falling and falling, and there's no wall to grab onto, there's no ladder that you see that you can climb back up. There's nothing, it's just going to get worse and worse and worse and worse, until it can't get any worse anymore. And that is how I felt, I saw no end in sight.

Chris Oldham: 07:31 During that time, Olivia and I's relationship took a turn for the worst, and I just decided, you know what, that's it, I'm leaving. I quit my job, I left my wife, I packed up everything that I had and I moved to Florida. And I thought, this is it, I'm finally going to get the chance to be happy again.

Chris Oldham: 08:04 Something was pulling me back, something, and I couldn't really put a finger on what it was when it was happening. But I remember my wife and I, we had sent a couple text messages to each other. And then, you know, next thing we know we had a phone call. And I mean, within the span of maybe three days, I packed up all my stuff and I drove 17 hours back to Texas. And I was like, you know what? This is it, like, I'm going to start making the right decisions. I'm gonna, you know, be a good husband, you know, all that stuff.

Chris Oldham: 08:59 And then Jordan Hill reached out to me, and he had kind of been trying to meet up with me the whole past year, and I kept blowing him off and blowing him off. I'd make excuses for not for not wanting to have lunch with him, right? And so he reached out to me and I said, yeah, sure, why not? You know what, I'm trying to make good decisions, right, this is someone I feel like I should talk to. And so we did, and you know, e answered some questions that I had, and that that day I was saved. And when I say that, that was the most important day of my life, I mean, it. I have never felt so much happiness, so much joy, so much relief, ever in my life. And I had never felt it, it was almost instantly. It was just like one second I'm old Chris with, you know, good ambitions to try to try to be a good person, and the next it's like, who is this guy and where did he come from? I mean the Holy Spirit, literally just like forced its way inside my body and just pushed everything that had just been building up, and just sitting there, my whole life just pushed it out. And I, you know, I started crying. And just, I remember looking at Jordan and thinking, and I actually, I think I said it. I said, what is happening to me?

Chris Oldham: 11:06 I know from experience that people can feel desperate, and like there's no hope left in the world, and it's hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. But there is a way, and that is through Christ. All I can say is give him a chance, sit down with somebody who knows Christ, who's been there. And just talk to them, ask them questions, right? Knowledge, knowledge is what saved me. And, you know, God is waiting for you. He wants to know you, and he wants you to know him. You just have to give him a chance, and truly open up your heart and just believe that Christ came down, died on the cross, was buried, and rose for us. He bore our sins on the cross so that we could live eternally with Christ in heaven. I promise you that is so true, don't shy away from Christ, because Christ is where you will find happiness and you will find peace. It's where I found happiness and peace.

Mr. Oldham: 12:53 I pray Psalms 91 every day for you, I believe our heavenly father will keep you protected in the shadow of your almighty, while you go about your Naval duties and beyond, wherever you are. I love you dearly son. Always, Dad.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051