Right now, I am reading the facebook message that changed my life, transformed it into an adventure through trials and blessings, and is continuing to take me on a ride. (Thanks to the new message system, now i can go back to any message ive gotten or sent!) I am overwhelmed at how much has happened since that moment, how much ive grown, how much ive been humbled and how much ive been blessed. I am amazed at the opportunities and potential I have and I regret the day i ever take it for granted or lose sight of path that is set before me.
This is part two of why i’m not in college and why it was not my choice.
If you haven’t read my previous post, it would be worth it to get the preface of this story. When Zach messaged me, now that i look back it almost seemed like a shot in the dark for him and now im more confident that it was but yet it wasn’t. God makes all of his moves subtly, connecting dots in ways that I dont see until he makes that one crucial connection that puts the pieces in place and all of a sudden, the image floods into place. I get to see the big picture for a moment but the best part is finally seeing all of those small moves before hand that I didn’t see before. his opening line “Hey Josh, apparently you are one of my friends on facebook. =)”. shot in the dark.
He said he had watched some videos on my facebook page of someone playing drums and asked if it was me in them and he had some ideas to throw my way. He wanted to know what my plans for the near future were. I immediately replied saying thanks and wanting to know whats up. I told him drumming is a huge passion of mine but i was planning on studying at Baptist Bible College in Springfield over the summer. i also mentioned i was having second thoughts though due to my wallet size and not knowing for sure if thats what i wanted to do anymore. So he replied telling a story about how Dizmas, his band had broken up about a year prior but before going separate ways, were invited to the “Exit Tour” in Eastern Europe by an organization called Josiah Venture. The tour had gone through high schools and colleges in Czech Republic and a few other surrounding countries wanted the tour in their schools. He’s interviewing musicians who are interesting in future Exit Tours but most importantly have a heart for Christ. He told me about Czech and how it is 95% atheist and asked if i could remember the tour in my prayers and they’re looking for a drummer and a bassist.
My thoughts? I dont have any! Atleast ones that I can listen to because my head is going crazy! I’m starting to see that big picture come into focus. This thing is perfect. Missions and Music, the TWO things i have had a passion for and I am being asked if im interested in doing both! from this point on, We chat more about the possibility and I was later told that I wasn’t the first choice as a drummer for this tour, he was actually interested in future tours for me, but all of his drummers dropped out because of various reasons. Age was also a huge issue at the moment. At the time i am 17 but will be 18 four days before the trip. Usually for Josiah Venture Interns, they look for someone 21+ or someone who has been to college for atleast a year. I just graduated high school! Oh not to mention I have to raise $4500 in three months. That didn’t happen but God put me there anyways. Zach had to call each member of the admissions board and ask them about my application and took responsibility for me on the trip so that they would accept me as an intern. By this time, there is a month until the trip. I try to raise money and fail but I take everything ive earned from dairy queen over the summer, about $700 and send it in to my fundraising account. They allow it and the day after my birthday, I fly to LA to meet up with my new tour mates to practice and a few days later, we are on a plane together to Czech Republic.
The next three months I experience are incredible but I will have to save it for a new post since this one is about why im not in college. I return home to Kansas mid-December and spend about a month hanging out, honestly being a bit lazy. I get my job back at dairy queen and am there for a month before you know what, another opportunity. I quit my job again after a month and leave that weekend to go on tour as a roadie for Canadian rock band, Kiros. Im gone for three months having the time of my life when our tour stops through Visalia, CA hometown of LJ lara, sound guy for my previous trip to Czech. we meet up and have a good time and i meet a friend of his at the church coffee shop, Kristin Sepeda. We kept in touch as the tour went on and headed for the east coast and she told me about a band near her town that had recently lost their drummer and, shot in the dark, might be interested in having me. wouldn’t you know it, Kiros’ manager also manages this band from California. They are A Current Affair and we spent weeks back and forth while i was on tour talking and trying out via video cover of their songs. The very last night of the Kiros tour, they call me and tell me they want me a their drummer and theres a place for me to stay at Jordans house. Kiros is on tour with Seventh Day Slumber and TWO days from then, A Current Affair is playing with Seventh Day Slumber in ACA’s hometown where my future home is. I said goodbyes to my best friends for the last three months and hopped on SDS’s bus for two days until we got to Fresno, CA where I now currently live and play drums for A Current Affair.
God has lead me to where I am in some incredible ways and I have never doubted that the path i’ve taken has been the one God laid out for me. I may be unsure of the future but I am confident of the past, that it has been God’s intentions to lead me how He has. He has blessed and taught me along the way and I wouldn’t trade the past two years for a lifetime of riches. I have been given more than I deserve but its because of Gods grace and love that he blesses us. He truly wants us to experience his presence in our lives and He wants to rain blessings on us if we just step out in faith to where He wants us.
This is why I am not a college student and this is why it really wasn’t a personal choice. The only thing I chose to do was the follow where I felt like God was leading me and it placed me here for such a time as this.
14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14, New King James Version)