Michael Williams is no saint, but has found new direction through God's mercy.
I had a rough early life, coming from a large family, with my father dying when I was 12. I became a ward of the state, and although I had heard plenty of horror stories, I was blessed, as most of the people who took me in were good.
Growing up, I associated with some colourful people who were in and out of jail. I did some things I’m not proud of in my past—booze, drugs, gambling and illegal debt collecting. For many years I was a lukewarm Christian (Easter, Christmas, weddings and funerals). Because of my poor upbringing I wanted to be wealthy so I was in business, but this left me feeling hollow and I could never get enough.
Without realising, I started growing in the Lord, acknowledging his mercy and realising that I needed to be truthful. I got out of the business and went to live in the country where I befriended an elderly couple, Brian and Marie.
Over the next couple of months I started attending church with them and it was then that I realised I needed to change a lot in my life, like being humble and honouring Jesus for his mercy and support. I realised I needed to accept Christ as my saviour.
I repented of my sin and cried for the first time in my life, as I had been taught men don’t cry. That day I surrendered fully to God and through his guidance I am where I am now. I became a Christian and, while I have fallen many times, God has been there to pick me up. He has been with me all my life even when I didn’t recognise him.
Through all my life there have been two constants, God and service. Even before coming to Christ I loved being of service to others, as it gave me a joy that I didn’t fully understand at the time. It’s the joy one gets when you see those you have served doing well for themselves.
Six years ago I joined Wyndham Corps, where Lance and Ann Jeffrey and other church members made me feel welcome. I now ask questions about Christ and being a Christian and they are more than happy to assist where they can.
I feel I have grown in Christ over the past six years and I read my Bible daily.
I meditate on it and I am amazed how clear it becomes; it’s not just words or a story, it guides us if we let it. I converse with God continually, asking and praying for others’ healing as well as for myself.
Some days I share my thoughts on my Facebook page and I receive a lot of posi- tive feedback, which tells me that maybe I’m doing something right.
I love how God surrounded me with the right people at the right time and gave me the strengths and talents to use.
I feel that we are all here to serve one another and I now know that what I have been through in my life has been so I can be of service to others such as facilitating in the positive life program and listening to others. I may not be able to give them the answer, but my past may assist them not to make the mistakes I made. I help out in the kitchen at Recovery Church and with the State Emergency Service.
I love how God uses me to plant the seed of faith in others and I am able to watch them grow into Christians—this is true joy.
I now have a plan to make my life and that of others better. I don’t stagnate or procrastinate. I’m going to keep moving forward, giving and being of service to others and being the best person I can be—I know God is for my present and my future.