Billy Joe

I was born in May of 1993. I was taken to church from the age of two, sometimes, against my will... something I didn't always like or agree with back in the day, but I am very thankful for it now (thanks, Mom!). I sat in church every Sunday and Wednesday (and any other times the church doors were open) with my brother, sister, mom, aunt, uncle, cousins, and church family. I was very fortunate to be part of an awesome youth group with two awesome youth leaders that taught me life lessons that have stuck with me to this day.

I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was five years old because the thought of hell terrified me. It wasn't until I was a teenager, around 13 or so, that I realized just how much I truly needed God in my life. I'm shown every day why I need Him more and more. I'm ever amazed at the works and mercies of our Lord.

In high school, I was a performing arts nerd. I absolutely loved choir and theater. I could live on stage. I wasn't a popular kid, but I wasn't being shoved in the lockers either (not that I could ever fit in one of those lockers). I was friends with everyone: the basketball players, the cheerleaders, band geeks, chess team (yes, we really had one)... everyone. In high school, I had every plan to graduate, go to college for early childhood education, find an awesome job and live a successful life.

I graduated from West Union High School in May of 2011. I was never ready for the events that would follow. After graduation, I fell into a deep, dark depression that consumed me. Everything about me changed: my thoughts, moods, desires, outlook... everything. I lost myself. In my inverted mind, I lost the ability to see good in anything; that quickly led me to the thought of suicide. It wasn't long until those thoughts became actions

I am now 23 years old. I work for a recovery center in West Union, Ohio in the men's rehabilitation house. I am also building up my photography business (check it out here). I didn't understand why God called me to work with adult addicts after working the five years prior strictly with kids, but that's where He placed me and I love it. Who knows where God will call me next.

I'm living my life day to day, trying to discover what it is that God has for me. I mess up. I have many shortcomings. I fall flat on my face... but with God, I can and I will run the race and fight the good fight.