This is my husband's story as I understand it.
Jake's family lived in Arizona for a long time and were very well off. His Dad owned a company, but after some very bad advice had sold shares of his company to make capital. About the time he was 11 his Dad was forced out by a hostile take-over and they lost pretty much everything, the business, their house. And then he had to find a job somewhere.
They moved to Seattle and Jake had a very hard time adjusting- school, his neighborhood, a lot of yucky stuff. (if you've moved a lot you know some of the kind of stuff he was dealing with- rumours, bullies, just plain yuckiness) Plus the Seattle schools were much harder. He did not do well, became a loner, very angry, and had a series of major school issues. By the time he got to high school he had a reputation of being "trouble". After some really bad choices, he got expelled his freshman year, and then after some even worse choices he was expelled his sophmore year.
He tried going back to school in Arizona, which didn't work. (you can't go back, no you can never go back)When he was 17, he tried a community college in the Seattle area and got involved with this girl. She pursued him and convinced him that the child she was pregnant with was his. He took her to Arizona and married her against his parent's wishes. She wanted someone to take care of her and allow her to continue the life she was used to- drugs, multiple partners. Jake would say that she did not pursue him to give her this life- that it just happens where she goes... I don't know...
After some really bad stuff, they ended up divorced. In the process of him attempting to take custody of the baby he discovered she was not his- His wife had lied to him because she knew he would take responsibility for her. He was 19. He went through a serious time of depression, and it's amazing to look back at that time and realize the load of anger and depression he survived. God was watching over him...
He ended up moving into a house with a friend of his parents. Armando had Bibles and music instruments (keyboards and guitars) all over the house... And God romanced him... that's what Jake says- that he was romanced by God- that God allowed him to understand scripture in a way he never had before- that the words leapt off the page... He gave Christ his life at the age of 20, started attending church, and learned to play keyboard (by ear, for all of you that know what that means... he still doesn't read music very well, but he can figure out pretty much anything that he hears, even something like the Moonlight Sonata, and if I want a specific song off the radio for a service or just for fun he can figure it out. Since I can't do this it's just amazing to me to watch him figure it out. He takes a song, listens to it and breaks it down into parts for bass guitar, piano and himself on guitar. He hears the different harmony parts possible for voice. Working with him has allowed me to grow a lot in hearing and understanding music- I'm a much better musician now.). At that time he started playing back up for the praise team at his parent's church.
He was working in his dad's machine shop in the Seattle area and listening to a tape of a promise keeper's conference when God called him to worship ministry. He quit and asked to be hired by his church, and they gave him a trial period... He has been involved with worship ministry since that time, and in fact, was the interim worship leader at the church that originally hired me in the Seattle area. (Jake loves telling this story- that I was hired to take his job...) We ended up working rather closely together because the church was singing a lot of music he had written. (his songs are excellent, and yes, I thought that even before we were married.. :) I thought he was pretty great and he thought he had no chance with me... He had no clue I thought he was hot, cute, smart, funny, fun, sweet, great... okay, I'll stop before I REALLY embarrass myself.
So that's Jake's story... very briefly, and skimming a lot of details.
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