Friday, January 28, 2011

Introduction: God will use incredible circumstances to do amazing things

**I want to add that I did try to keep it short and that most posts will not be this long**

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what to say in my first blog post. I have always wanted to have a blog, because it sounds so cool.The closest I had was a blog I used for my bucket list last summer, which was a very fun experiment that died out. This blog, however, will be different for a couple of reasons. First, this is now a part of my job description (but not anywhere near the whole of it) and frankly, I enjoy my paycheck. Secondly, because today I was told that my life is meant to make a difference, and I hope that this blog can be a part of that.

I suppose I should start off my blog by letting you people all know who I am, where I came from, and why I am where I am. Well, this is a long story and it's a tough story. I'll start off by saying that I love my life, I love who God has made me, and I love where I am. What that means is that along the way life was bumpy, but I don't need or want pity. What I want you to take from this brief version of my life story is the knowledge that God will use incredible circumstances to do amazing things.

Life started off fairly normal, I lived with my mother and sister and lived a fairly normal life. But one day in Grade 2 after school I sat outside the front of my school waiting for my mother but she didn't come. My sister and I sat out there for what seemed like hours but was more realistically a single hour. A car pulled up and that's when i met my first foster parents. They let me know that I was going to be staying with them for a while because my mom needed some help with her drug problem. That night I ate spaghetti under their piano, wishing I was somewhere else.

The next couple years I lived there and visited my mother in supervised visits, and got to visit my dad for a couple weekends a month. After that my sister and I moved in with my Dad on Galiano Island (population about 1000). The next few years I lived on Galiano with my Dad for the most part but because he was a fisherman, he often left town for weeks at a time and I had to stay with other people (often relatives). To say I was a misbehaved child is an understatement, I truly wish that I had not been so mean to the people who were trying to help me, but a troubled child is just that - troubled. Eventually I burned the bridges with everyone around me, I had no one who was willing to take my for a couple of months while my father did his annual summer fishing trip. So I went back into (temporary) foster care since I was still in the care of the government while living with my father.

The foster home I went to was great, and I had an amazing summer. Things were really good, and then I moved back to Galiano with my Dad and I realized how different life there was. My Dad was working construction and would leave before I got up for school and come back after dark. By this time my sister had moved out and so I would be alone for hours at a time. At this time my father was also drinking more than he had been for a while and so when he was home he was not always sober.  My father was trying, but life was not what I wanted it to be and I had a way out.

I requested to be sent back to my foster home that I had spent the summer at. That went through and I ended up moving in with them.

Another couple years later after experiencing high school, and wanting to change, I moved back to my father's. We were both at different places in our life and this time it was a great situation. Home life was good, not great, but still good. We shared a one bedroom basement suite, I got the bedroom and my father would sleep on the couch in the living room.

So while family life was finally pretty good and I enjoyed going home, school became unbearable. There were a few people who were set on making my life (and I don't ever use this phrase easily) a living hell. I won't go into details at all, as I have been trying not to for this whole post, but I cannot remember a day that I woke up wanting to go to school. By grade ten, things had stepped up and I would get emails from classmates telling me they hated everything about me, and wanted to kill me. This was a time where I seriously struggled with depression and suicide. But something kept stopping me, and I will get back to this later.

I changed schools and things were good, maybe even great, for a while. Life zoomed by and before I knew it I had new friends, a new attitude, and new problems. I had gotten into a group of friends that encouraged partying a lot. I started becoming a person I didn't even like, I hurt people who I loved, and at the end of the day wasn't happy. I still love everyone who was in my life then, but I knew that something was missing, that something was off.

This is when I had my first true encounter with Christ. For all of my life I called myself a Christian, but I meant I believed in a God. I didn't mean I had a personal relationship with God. My former foster parents invited me to church one day - the first time I had attended a service in nearly 10 years. There I had a true, amazing encounter with God that changed my life. This is where my story actually gets crazy.

To skip telling you all the details I'll tell you where I was: I had just quit my job, I had nowhere to live and go to school, no friends, and very few family members who would talk to me. A week later I was living in a huge house, going to a Christian high school for grade twelve, was accepted into my former foster family (my now current family), was quickly gaining friends, and had a personal relationship with my saviour. If that isn't amazing, I don't know what is.

A year later I found myself at a private Christian University (Trinity Western University) with tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and bursaries. While I have been here I have had the chance to learn who I really am, grow in my relationship with Christ, and study what I truly love (theatre). This year I have also had the priviledge of being a student leader, a student employee in admissions, and now a discipleship group leader.

I know that God was there with me through all of my struggles. He was there under the piano with me, He was there when I was alone on Galiano, He was there stopping me when I struggled with suicide, He was there when I thought I lost everything, He was there in that church telling me where I belonged, He is here with me now, and He was there all the seconds in between.

I have found my home here at Trinity Western University. I have my friends (who are like a family), I have my church close by, I have my supportive and encouraging professors, and I have my job. Trinity is that place I want to go back to after a long day. When I think "Man, I want to curl up in bed and watch a movie!" I picture myself here.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of who I am, and why TWU means so much to me.

Romans 5:3b-5 "[W]e know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (NIV)

Until next time,
-Thomas Nelson


  1. Thomas... I am very proud of who you have become in life. Life isn't always easy, you can't change the past, but the past is what makes you a better and stronger person today. I love that you have found something to believe in. Be proud of yourself Thomas.
    Michelle Moore