Christopher Stith

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When I was growing up, I never intentionally wanted to go to Church. When I was very young, me and my older brother went to Church in a very small town in Nebraska for a few months and we were both in the choir. Other than that, I wasn't taught about God or Jesus. I knew about Noah's Ark, Moses and the 10 Commandments, and Jesus being crucified but never why. I was in a troubled family in my early teens. My Mom was an alcoholic, my Father was a workaholic, and my older brother pretty much hated me. After my parents divorced during my freshman year in high school. I started using drugs. I stayed with my Mom for a while but I was rebellious and started skipping school and failing classes. My Father came to Houston and took me to Colorado to live. He did the best he could then my brother came to live with us as well. Started using more drugs and my brother actually got very bad at one point and did a couple months in rehab. Realizing that I was not going to go to college, I joined the Navy in 91, early in 93, it was the best decision of my life because I met my soon to be wife. We had normal ups and downs but we always managed to get thru any problems. She went to Church on a regular basis and would ask if I wanted to go but I always declined. We have been together for 25 years and married for 23. We have 5 beautiful children and a granddaughter. It has not been easy but she always put her faith in God during difficult times and things always worked out. Last July I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression disorder as well as PTSD from an assault several years ago. I was on disability from work for 3 months and went back to work in October. This past February I had a relapse and fell into a deep depression that was severe enough for me to be hospitalized for 4 days in early March. I have now been re-diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. The day after I was released from the hospital, I had a feeling I have never experienced. I was "compelled" to go to Church. I wanted to go, I needed to go. I asked my wife if I could go to Church with her on Sunday. The look on her face was "priceless" and immediately said "sure". That Sunday we went to the Bridge and it was the beginning of "The Crossroads". I was extremely moved by the service and I can't express in words how inspired I was.  At the same time, I had met a man a little younger than myself at the hospital. I felt a deep connection with him, you could say a "brotherly bond". He was going to be released from the hospital with nowhere to go, he had been living in his truck before going to the hospital. I asked my wife if he could stay with us. Without hesitation, she agreed and he has been living with us and going to Church with us. The next Sunday we all came to The Bridge for service and there was a scene from "Passion of the Christ". I had never seen the movie and as I laid in the bed that night, I saw that it was going to be on but too late for me. I happened to fall asleep with the TV on that night which was fairly rare these days. Later on my wife woke up and looked at the TV. It was at the exact same spot that we saw at The Bridge. "Coincidence"? I think not. I am a firm believer in "things happen for a reason". I was meant to go to Church. I was meant to cross paths with my friend and help him in his time of need. We support each other and we have so many things in common that I believe God meant for us to meet. Since Easter, I have received a study Bible from my mother-in-law and started reading the New Testament so I can educate myself and learn as much as possible. I am putting my faith in God that He will guide me, protect me, and reveal His plan for me. I have chosen to be Baptized for myself and no one else. As my wife is an Ordained Minister, I would like her to have a direct role or perfor my Baptism. She has shown her unconditional love for me and the Lord.