Born and raised in Orange Park and a UNF graduate. For the past ten years, I have been gifted with the opportunity for Starbucks Coffee Company and currently manage the location in Jax beach. I attend The Church of Eleven22 and serve as a coleader for 8th grade student worship. I point all of these blessings back to the cross; for it’s nothing that I do, but everything that Jesus did on the cross.
As a kid, my brother, Cody and I spent many summers in St. Augustine and during this time I found a deep love for the ocean and surfing. My childhood was characterized by periods of great joy as well as great chaos. My father owned a bar and from an early age I witnessed selfish ambition as well as substance abuse. I praise God every day for my mom. Life would not be the same without her encouragement and support. All of my life, she has shown us unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace. I look back on my childhood years and see God’s presence in the people he placed around me. There we numerous mentors who encouraged and spoke life into me. These men had a huge impact in my life and have been a driving motivator in why I have such a passion for the younger generation. I’m so grateful that I get to reflect the love that was so graciously shown to me.
During my teen years, in an attempt to fit in, I began experimenting with drugs. I was looking for something outside of me to make me feel good about me. I needed Jesus, but unfortunately wasn’t exposed to the truth. This journey down the road of substance abuse was a trip through the gates of hell. It got to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning without first using something. I was broken and hopeless. A user, manipulator and liar.
BUT GOD…Thank you Jesus…And by His grace, I was given the gift of desperation on August 28th, 2013. I checked in to Stepping Stone Center for Recovery located here in Jacksonville. Once I quit running from God I could see Him everywhere in my life. Looking back, His providence was always constant. A couple years ago I was invited back to church and immediately felt at home. I will be forever grateful for this moment in time and always refer to it as a life changing season. Not long after my first service at Eleven22, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’m in complete awe of our sovereign, gracious, merciful, and loving God. His ability to turn fear to faith, brokenness to wholeness, a mess to a message is something only He can do.