Mike and Kelly Campbell
Mike and Kelly Campbell - Greenwich, OH
I came to faith in Jesus Christ on June 19, 2008.
Before that day, I was a troubled person. I was angry, full of wrath, hate, foul mouthed, bitter, held grudges, selfish, consumed by addictions, and my biggest fear was death. I avoided people, buried myself in my work and separated myself from family to build up my significance. I tried to fill the emptiness with the addictions that I became enslaved to. I greatly feared death.
During those years God reached out to me through several believers, but I wasn't listening. They told me that all have sinned, the penalty of sin is death and that Christ paid the penalty. That I should repent, turn from my sins, ask Jesus for forgiveness, and put my faith and trust in Him so that I could be saved. But my heart was hardened, and I rejected it.
On June 19, 2008 I fell off a ladder, my body was shutting down, I had no blood pressure and I thought I was going to die. In that moment, lying there, facing my biggest fear of death, I realized that God is real and that I am going to meet Him and that he is going to send me to Hell because that is what I deserve. I remembered what people had told me about Jesus and I recognized that I needed Him. I called out to God and asked Him to forgive me for sinning against Him and for living my life my way. I asked Him for a second chance and vowed to Him that I give my life to Him no matter if he chooses for me to live or die. In that moment Jesus Christ became my Lord and Savior and God began to change my life.
I no longer fear death. I now have a daily and moment by moment realization of His presence. He released me from the chains of addiction, and He changed my heart. He has turned me away from bitterness, wrath, and hate. He made me realize that my life is not about me, it is about serving him and loving others. He placed the desire on my heart to look at the purpose He has for me instead of the agenda I had for myself. He has filled my heart with love and the desire to serve Him every day.
A year after being saved I was struck with Lyme disease (however it took 5 years for me to get diagnosed and treated). During that time, The Lord showed me how to put my trust in Him. Each time something crazy was going on with my body, which stirred up fear and anxiety, He was there for me. He showed me not to fear the unknown, trust Him to get me through it, and trust Him that He was in control no matter the outcome.
A couple years later I was blessed with a Pastor that the lord placed in my life to disciple me. He showed me the truth of scripture and showed me good disciplines to practice to walk in the faith, such as daily quiet time with the Lord, daily scripture reading, daily prayer, removing bad influences in my life and replacing them with God honoring influences, walking in obedience to the Lord and relying on Him to get me through the struggles of the day. Over the years I have recognized not to allow these things to be a ritual, an idol, or a form of legalism, but that they are good habits that help in my daily walk with the Lord.
Now after 10 years of continuing to struggle with Lyme’s disease I reflect and see how God used it for the sanctification process in my life, that he has/will use this experience in the lives of others, and used it to draw me closer to Him. Through all the ups and downs a strong reliance and trust in Him has been developed. I now have a love for His people, a love for the lost, a love for His word, a desire to know Him more deeply, a desire to serve Him where He has called me, a desire to serve others, a desire to see people being saved, and a desire to disciple new believers. I also have a desire to pursue the calling He has placed on my heart to be a pastor/shepherd.
The verses I can think of that best represent the work of Jesus Christ in my life are:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations bring about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
“shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain; but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2-3
I met Mike in 1998. We dated for 6 years before getting married. Four years after getting married Mike got saved. He changed radically and was no longer the same person that I knew from the past ten years. After moving to a town in central Pennsylvania we started attending a Baptist Church. Soon after, Mike started meeting with the Pastor of that church on a weekly basis and I noticed Mike began to change more. I hated it and started to develop a burning hatred toward Christians, especially the Pastor Mike was meeting with. Our marriage began to suffer greatly as my anger burned and I took it out on Mike. The thing that bothered me the most was that no matter how badly I treated him, he would take it and treat me with love and kindness. The more he would take it the worse I would treat him.
One day I told Mike I would no longer attend the Baptist church we were attending, and he asked me if I would be willing to look for a different church, and I agreed. We must’ve visited 10 different churches in our town and couldn’t agree on one. One Sunday morning Mike asked me if I would be willing to travel a half an hour away and attend a church in State College, I again agreed. We both liked this church and agreed to go back.
I thought since Mike was no longer meeting with the Pastor of the previous church that things would change. Nothing did and from my perspective our marriage got much worse. One night, in September of 2012, while doing class work, I got to the end of my rope with our marriage. I began to write out a list of all the reasons I should leave Mike and the reasons I should stay. The list of reasons to leave was so long, but there were only a couple of reasons to stay. I couldn’t take it anymore and remembered what Mike told me about Christ. I turned to God in my desperation and told Him I cannot do this anymore. I recognized that I needed Him and gave my life and marriage to Him and was immediately changed. A day or two later Mike noticed that I was changed and asked me what happened. I explained that I gave my life to Christ, and he was so happy. Christ took away the tension in our marriage and I no longer had a burning hatred toward Christians because I became one.