My name is Andy Elliott and there's an error on my birth certificate. According to the certificate, I'm thirty-nine years old but I've actually just turned nineteen.
Sure I was born in 1977 which one may think puts me right at thirty-nine, but there's one minor technicality... I died in 1998.
Dying can put a real damper on the aging process. I would say it was a real tragedy to die at the young age of twenty but looking back it was the perfecting ending to a miserable life.
The misery started around the age of five when I was molested by an older male cousin. This experience opened a pandora's box of perverted thoughts and feelings which tormented me my entire life. Perverse thoughts lead to insecurity and insecurity became my prison guard.
In school, my insecurities drove me to hide in the bathrooms between my classes. Like the demoniac, hiding in the catacombs, I found solace in seclusion.
I had one friend which I clung to like a life preserver, she became my wife. Unfortunately for her my insecurities and perversion were part of the marriage package. She was social and full of life, which greatly threatened my insecurity. It wasn't long before I started controlling her every move; no answering the phone, no friends coming over and anything added to the calendar had to have my special approval.
Some husbands carry their brides across the threshold of a new home, I pulled mine through the doors of my emotional prison cell. A life sentence which ended mercifully for her when I died after just two years.
It happened suddenly and without warning. I was sitting in a forced intervention meeting. One of those meetings where a group of pastors tries to convince you to change your ways because you're destroying your wife. A drunk, a pervert and full of rage, I wasn't the very interested in hearing their pleas for me to change my ways. That's when it happened, I died. Right then in that crowded room at the young age of twenty, I died.
One of the pastors asked me to pray a simple prayer, "Holy Spirit is there anything I need to repent for?". Had I known they would be the death of me I would have never opened my lips to utter those words. Humility is a potent poison for a prideful heart. I only made it halfway through the short prayer before I started convulsing with tears. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my wretchedness and it was more than my heart could bear.
I wept for almost an hour, snot running down my chin and my lips mumbling confessions. I was bleeding out. Within in an hour the angry, perverted, alcoholic was dead. In his place was a new man, born again by the grace of God.
I made a commitment that day fo follow Jesus Christ and to live my life how he directed. The new me that was born that day is now nineteen years old. In these short years, God has given me four amazing children, a deep love for my wife of 21 years and a passion for spreading the message of new life.
I'm heading to Austin, Texas in the summer of 2018 to plant a church. The name of our church will be The Beat Church, a constant reminder of God's amazing love bringing the dead to life.