As a submariner in the Navy, years of emotional abuse from a raging alcoholic stepparent informed my own pattern of rebellion. Despite success, ranking as an E-5, sailing the world, and journeying under the polar ice cap to the North Pole, I was angry inside. I was drowning in alcohol. With my first enlistment ending, I was immediately diagnosed with disorders that resulted in my thyroid being destroyed before leaving active duty. Coinciding with this, my mother received a diagnosis of lung cancer. These events led me to move back to my home to be near my ailing mother. Despite the appearance of recovery, the cancer returned and was deemed terminal. My girlfriend walked out just days later. I was emotionally debilitated. One night, alone in my house, I lashed out at God. I shook my fist toward heaven. I scrutinized Him, and with an unforgettable wave of conviction, He scrutinized me back. For the first time, I saw an evil, unloving, rebel in my own heart. I was utterly broken, brought to repentance of sin, and faith in Christ. I soon collapsed on my bed in exhaustion and awoke in the morning a new creature. In one day, The Lord broke a multitude of devilish vices, and set me free in the glorious liberty of His perfect Righteousness. I lost my mother to her battle with cancer. My grandfather also died during my mother’s memorial service. Yet, every night for months, I sat alone in the same back room of that house, with my Bible open, devouring, weeping, praying, and changing. Today by God's redeeming grace, Austin is the husband of Britney, the father of three children, and labors as a local pastor, preacher, and is heavily involved in foreign missions work as the Executive VP of FirstLove Ministries.
"HOMEWARD BOUND" by Michael Bannon, Navarre Press, Mar.21,2019 Edition
Interviewed live by Chris Arnzen of Iron Sharpens Iron Radio:
February 3, 2020 Show with Conference Interviews featuring Paul Washer, Armen Thomassian, and Austin Huggins