Life’s tough. Especially for kids. We experience all kinds of pressure growing up and that’s why we need each other. God tells us this constantly. So, let’s do life together!

Just like you, I have a story. A crazy story of rebellion and selfishness that led to Jesus intervening and changing my life forever. And now I feel called to use that story to empathize with and guide kids who are in the midst of their own unique journey.

And I’d love to get to know you and your story. Discipleship can take on many forms – a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, a Skype session…anything really! If you want to look into it, free to email me. For real. We can customize a special experience that’s just for the two of us, from pricing down to what our form of discipleship will look like.

If you’re anything like me, you have to know someone before you feel comfortable with them. So I’ve written out my whole story below. Check it out!

When I was Kidnapped

No, really. Let me explain.

God created me as an adventurous and mischievous boy. I loved life and eagerly wanted to discover what the world had in store for me. Needless to say, I lived life on the edge growing up. I was a bona fide spoiled, rotten punk. And that’s the truth.

Side note, I have the greatest parents in the world, so my rebellion was no fault of theirs whatsoever. Case in point, even though some might argue against this, my brother and sister turned out all right (thanks for making me look bad John Mark and Mary Kathryn)!

I was and still am (more than I care to admit) a people pleaser. This caused lots and lots of pain and trouble for me growing up and, in turn, affected my family greatly. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to be a “bad boy.” I drank and smoked cigarettes around 13. That led quickly to smoking weed, which led quickly to using other substances. Although I’d been blessed with such wonderful Godly parents, I spiraled out of control. Running away from home, getting suspended from school, fighting with my parents and experiencing run-ins with the police became common. You get my point. I was heading nowhere fast.

Now to the kidnapping. This is how it went down…

My parents knew that they had to step in to save my life, but first they had to figure out a way to get me home since I hadn’t been home in days. I was spending lots of nights at my friend’s house who lived with his grandmother. She lived in a duplex but never came upstairs. She rarely ever knew I was there.

My parents told me that they’d take me to get my driver’s license the following day if I came home to spend the night. Of course, I jumped all over it. The picture I have in my head right now is of William Wallace screaming, “FREEEEEDOM!” I thought, “Once I get my wheels, I can go anywhere I want AND all the ladies will love me!”

I had no idea that the genius ploy my parents were about to unleash on me would change the direction of my life forever. That night around 3 a.m., I woke to my dad telling me, “I love you son, but you’re going away for a little while.” That’s all he said. After telling my dad to get the BLEEP BLEEP out of my room, he left. Let’s just say I wasn’t prepared for who was about to come in.

Next thing I know, two big guys who I’d never seen in my life came in and said, “Get up. Put some clothes on. You’re coming with us.” I thought, “Sure, whatever you say sir…NOT!”

“Get out of my room NOW” I screamed at them. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over too well. Long story short, we wrestled and they won. (I’d like to think I gave them a good fight, but I know they were probably laughing on the inside when they saw my efforts.) They handcuffed me, forced some warmer clothes on me, threw me in the back of a black Tahoe and drove me 12 hours to New York. They dropped me off at the Family Foundation School in the middle of Timbuktu in the Catskill Mountains. I spent the next 18 months at this school for troubled teens.

Did I hate it while I was there? You betchya I did, for a solid eight months. Am I grateful for what my parents did and my time there? 100% more than I could ever put into words! It was truly one of the hardest, but greatest and most enriching experiences of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Even though I didn’t understand it at the time, God was working something wonderfully together for my good.

[tweetthis remove_url=”true”]”We know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).[/tweetthis]

Nothing that happens in our life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold us for our ministry and to shape us for our service to Him. Our greatest ministry usually comes from our deepest hurt. My kidnapping wasn’t solely for my good.

I love telling this story because it reminds me of how good God is! He is for us! He is for you! Always has and always will be! It also reminds me of my responsibility to use my life experiences to comfort others, something that we as Christians are called to do in 2 Corinthians.

God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

God brought Wells into our son’s life a few months ago when he really needed the benefit of having a mentor.  Wells took the time to get to know our son by calling, texting and spending time with him as he nurtured and built a relationship. They share the love of soccer and have many other common interests. Wells is encouraging and shares his faith with kids enthusiastically and with passion! His excitement for the Lord is contagious, and it inspires our son to grow in his faith and relationship with the Lord.

Dianne Clausen, parent of 18-year-old soccer player

I’m no one’s savior, but I’d love to come alongside you and do life together. Please email me for more information.