(Brady Boone, who is a faithful church member at Crosslife Church in Russellville shares his testimony about Gods gracious pursuit of his life. Brady’s testimony truly tells of the good and bitter providence of our Lord. (Genesis 50:20) I hope his testimony leads you to glorify God like Paul’s testimony did in Galatians 1:24.) One of the many things I’ve learned about Brady is that he desires to learn and grow in Gods Word. He loves to meditate on the attributes of God and to think correctly about Gods church.
Growing up in a church, seeing most of your friends walk the aisle, and not seeing anything change in their lives was the hardest thing for me to understand as a kid. My friends thought I was a believer, and assumed so because of how I acted and treated others. Even as an 11, 12, and 13-year-old kid I fell into professing I was a Christian and knowing I was not.
I remember the night clearly when The Lord broke and changed my heart. Eric Fuller was preaching a revival at my church and explaining the seriousness and realness of Hell versus Heaven. He talked about the narrow path and how few will choose to follow Jesus.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
I knew I wasn’t one of those few but every part of my soul wanted to be. I did not “walk the aisle” to fall at the feet of Jesus. I went home, locked my bedroom door, and got on my knees. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, to take my life and make it His. I remember saying I will do whatever you want me to do, I’ll go wherever you want me to go, and I will love you forever and that my heart is yours. I was no longer running towards death, I was beginning my lifelong walk with Jesus.
Growing up and going to church before this, was kind of a blur to me. My knowledge of God was truly bleak. I failed to understand much or recognize how blessed I was to hear about Jesus on a regular basis. I knew who Jesus was, I knew what He died for on the cross, and that God was perfect. Bible stories that were taught to me in my early years I knew and I definitely picked up on things whenever I did really listen on Sunday mornings. I remember just wanting to sleep through the sermons on Sunday and not caring much at all about what was being said. I was more distracted by girls, my friends sitting in the pews next to me, and my next basketball game. After that night I can remember still battling with these things during the sermons, but there was something new in my life, that wasn’t there before. This new thing in my life was conviction brought on by the Holy Spirit. It didn’t take long for me to start having a desire to listen more to what my youth leader, Mike Dixon was speaking on and what he would be having us talk about on Wednesday nights. The convictions of not listening and not seeking the Lord’s will for my life could sometimes make me feel awful. It could completely wreck my heart and my life.
Around 14, I remember understanding the New Testament more and more. (The Old Testament was a lot harder) The Bible wasn’t so blurry anymore, but was still sometimes hard to grasp. Especially about the law and big words that I was afraid to ask about. Bro. Gene France and church camp that year were huge for me in my walk with Christ. The camp in Hot Springs may not have been the most biblical camp, but it was exactly what I needed to ask the questions I knew I needed to ask. After church camp that year, I asked brother Gene if I could be baptized. We had a meeting and he asked me some tough questions about who Christ was and baptism. He read to me where Jesus set the example and had been baptized by John the Baptist and explained the significance of baptism. (Matt 28:19-20) (Romans 6:4) On August 9th, 2009 I was baptized in Table Rock Lake, with a few others. My family and church family came to support me. It was one of my favorite days growing up.
The Lord taught me a lot in my high school years and also disciplined me countless of times. It was during this time where I saw the Lord’s sovereignty so clearly in my life. Battling lust almost daily after being introduced to porn in 8th grade was a constant battle. These struggles led to many nights of asking for forgiveness, asking why this sin was a part of my life and wondering why I kept running into sin to satisfy my “needs”. This struggle in high school and into college taught me the importance of memorizing scripture. I saw my need for His word, daily prayer, and repentance of sin.
I learned even more about how sweet the Lord’s grace is through an injury that would never go away. After my 10th grade year ended, the Lord started taking away a major idol in my life. Basketball and baseball were two idols that I placed before God. Due to an autoimmune disease that took years to diagnose, my body would not allow me to compete at the same level I once had. This destroyed me and what I had thought my identity was in. The Lord through his kindness took basketball away from me. He allowed me to play baseball but even then I was nowhere near the athlete I was before the disease affected my joints. This caused a period of depression for me. During this time in my life of deep struggle and confusion I was beginning to push the Lord away and fall deeper and deeper into sin. To this day I praise the Lord for a brother who came along side me and spurred me on to Christ. It was not by accident that Cody Hudson came into my life. Cody challenged me and gave me a role in a basketball camp affiliated with a church camp called Rock Haven. This camp and the Lord placing Cody in my life pointed this lost sheep back to his shepherd and reminded me of my real identity in Christ. Cody would disciple me and teaches me biblical ways of handling sin in my life and teaching me even more about my calling as a Christ follower. In a time where most high school students, have little to no accountability, I had accountability with Cody. There is no sweeter friendship to me outside of my wife and family, than my friendship with Cody.
When I look back at high school, the best thing for my walk with Christ was these idols being removed from my life. Even through my wretched sin, my heart being hardened, and my lack of self-control, the Lord taught me a lot during this time. My understanding of who Jesus was and what it means to repent (to literally FLEE) from sin and how to study God’s word were crucial in preparing me for college. As I was growing in my sanctification God was laying out a solid foundation for me. In this I was being prepared to be a man who fears and completely trusts in Him.
I am eternally grateful and thankful for God’s grace, His leadership, and discipline in these first 5 years of walking with Him. It is by His grace alone that I am one of His!
*By faith alone, by Scripture alone, through Christ alone, by grace alone, and for the glory to God alone.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”