Brad, Australia, Age 18
In my early teens I joined a youth group, started going to church and learned about God. But I thought this way of living was a set of rules telling me how to live my life, which I wasn’t interested in and fell away to the world.
It took a near death experience for me to realise that their is a Higher Love watching me. In March 2013, when I was 17, a huge swell hit the area that I lived in and as a keen surfer that I am I went and surfed it.
It was the start of a large set of waves, and I made a stupid decision to take the first wave. When riding the wave I decide to bail out as I was heading towards some nasty looking rocks but I never knew I was diving into thick entangles of bull kelp (very heavy seaweed).
In a panic I was trying to lift the bull kelp off me so I could reach the surface for air but more and more waves hit me, and I became twisted up in the seaweed. I remember clearly the panic I was in, and due to that panic I lost a heap of air. I opened my eyes under the water and I couldn’t tell which way was up because I was disoriented from the waves spinning me around. I couldn’t even see daylight I was in that much seaweed.
With hardly any faith I surrendered to my efforts and prayed “God if you’re real, GET ME OUT OF THIS!!” In an instant I heard a voice not my own say to me underwater, “Take off your legrope”.
Usually when you wipeout, it’s a surfers code to keep on your legrope so you can climb up the rope. So taking off my legrope was like jumping out of a boat and walking on water for me! But I had this urge to obey the voice and I did so. I took off my legrope and in an instant I arose to the surface!!!
Sitting on the beach I realised, “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters”. (Psalms 18:16 NLT)
After the experience I realised God has a plan for me, but I couldn’t fulfil God’s plan by living the way I was. After reading the Bible I soon found out that the only way I could be free from my old self was through the blood of Jesus Christ who died for our sins. I prayed for Jesus to come fully into my life! And He did.
Ever since that day I’ve been charging for Jesus more than I’ve been charging the waves! My whole outlook on living has been flipped upside down and everything is just so clear in my mind thanks to the Boss in Heaven!
God led me to the Christian Surfers Australia organisation (www.christiansurfers.org.au), which is great for those that have a passion for both God and surf. Not only did He save me on that day in the water but He began saving me 2000 years ago! Thank you Jesus!