“For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20
Story submitted by Matt Lehr, pictured in the center.

I spent most of my life in and out of church.  Belief in God had its’ moments in my life, but I could never let go of control.  I was always thankful to God, but looking back at it, I don’t know if I meant it then – I was just checking the box.  


I had a career in the NFL where I had everything I wanted, but I still felt empty.  I would be surrounded by family and friends and still feel alone. I would be with women and feel guilty and alone. And no matter what I had materialistically, it still wasn’t enough.  


I would look at others and ask God, “Why not me? When is it my time?… No matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. Even after attaining a football career, I was still searching. I felt like I was going into a bottomless pit and I just felt more and more empty and  even more alone.  I would eat and never be full, drink and still be thirsty. I would party, but never be entertained.  

I finally hit rock bottom. I was in between jobs, bad investments, and my body was physically breaking down. The weight of guilt and emptiness was overwhelming me.  


On a cold January morning, I finally surrendered. I was walking my dogs on a cold morning and I decided that, if I wanted to see change in my life, I had to change my ways.  I looked up to the early morning stars and asked God to take control. I asked him to take me in the direction He wanted me to go.


I didn’t know what that really meant, but I heard the Lord whisper two phrases to me: “reset your life” & “fresh start”.  I heard those two phrases over and over.  Next, my behaviors changed. I started listening to podcasts that were Spirit-filled and surrounded myself with positive, success people of God and through them I found Valley Creek.  


For years I had longed to be part of a church and I wanted to be able to call a church home. That dream came true.  When I saw the opportunity to be baptized, I felt that this was the next step God wanted me to take.  


I remember how nervous, excited, and scared I was all at the same time.  Since I released control and proclaimed Jesus is Lord and I will follow Him, I have I felt my load lighten. The guilt, the emptiness, and the loneliness has passed.  I feel full, complete, and excited to see where His story will take me.  I’m excited to see the path God has for me, and even though I know there will be ups and downs, I know I can get through all life’s circumstances with the grace of God and following His lead.

Sharing your story releases His kingdom. You’re not alone as you take this next step on your journey with Jesus, and we can’t wait to hear about how your life is being transformed!