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Here is my friend from Inked Pen“, Nathaniel’s testimony. He’s quirky – which is what I love about him.

His testimony is:   HERE

His blog home is:   HERE

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I’ll begin where I began to fall as an individual to save time on this. I was around the rough age of 15 to 16. Clothes hung off of me, I wore the du-rags and stylized hats. I enjoyed making money and flaunting jewelery whether it were fake or real. I was never “in too deep” however. It seemed though I knew little about God at the time, He still kept me from harms way. Not to say that I didn’t cause and receive harm in small matters, it was the life I chose. I went to various high schools that either kicked me out or paid less attention to me so I never did get that diploma. One school I went to was when I was sent to live with my Father. If you are familiar with Degrassi High then you’d know the name Aubrey Graham, also known as the rapper Drake. I befriended him since we shared a common interest in rap music. I moved away from my fathers home once things there also became hectic. I need not mention why for I still will honor thy father.

One day after living a trifle life  God came to me in my room. A rush of sentiments involving disgrace, sorrow and failure flew over me. I was sorry and I didn’t know why. Up to that point I was never close to God. I prayed but they were never emotionally involved prayers. I looked over and saw a bible and in tears I went over to it and read it from front to back in one night.

The next few days I got ready for church. I put on my best suit and tie and shined my shoes hoping to appear as one of their own. On the way I saw a penny on the ground. I related that penny to being lost for some obscure reason. Then I went into identifying what else might be lost in likened reason. I came up with sheep that could only be found by a Shepherd and a boy that could only be found by his father. When I reached the church the pastor had a guest speaker who went over the story of the prodigal son. He then asked the congregation, “What else is like being lost?” I was of course in tears.

My second adventure to another church was quite similar. I was on my way and noticed men talking. One of them had a tie on and it stuck out to me like the penny did. Despite having read the bible in one night I was and still am very poor at memorizing scripture. Yet I also doubted that even if I could have remembered a passage about ties that there were none. When I got to the church the pastor addressed a missionary couple to the front. They’d been gone for 8 months and he had a gift for them.. a tie.

Many things in that format happened along the way and I took to dabble in reading. My vocabulary and perhaps even writing was filled with vulgarity and profanity. I read on psychology, philosophy, neurophilosophy and sociology. I read in order to change my mind and hoped it would change me in God’s eyes. Needless to say when I told my former companions of my change they laughed and mocked me. I stood away from the gritty life and focused on God.

I lost a cousin a few years ago who was wrongfully murdered. In my dreams he came to me in a white robe and hugged me while he said, “Congratulations” It was only the week before that I applied for Game Design as a mature student (one without a high school diploma) and the very next day that I awoke from the dream I got a letter saying, “Congratulations, you are accepted.”

I didn’t pass the course of course. I had little money to travel, my focus was not entirely there and one of my professors refused to send me my homework via email. Even though they said I was the best artist in the class I have no hard feelings now but at the time I certainly did. I took what I learned in level design, 3D animation, executive documentation and etc. and built my own game modulation. The project took in sound engineers, quality assurance testers (beta testers) a fan group page and optimizers. I also wanted to promote the game and decided I would create an animation for it as a sort of background story. I gathered an animatior from CCA college, professional male and female voice actors, a band from the UK, another performing artist from America and managed to make a good friend from Disney Pixar studio. How did I do this? From that very same room on a zero dollar budget! Needless to say I did the script, the storyboards and put together the audio tapes that were sent via email. The team and I spoke over skype and things were going just fine until- we got hacked. The project had to shut down and we all had to part our ways. I was not only heart broken but also.. broken.

I started a small practice ministry during that time of game design. I wasn’t writing much, just a few tidbits on loving God and perfecting a true relationship but once the project fell I really took to the opportunity in writing for real. And by for real I mean for God. I’ve been hospitalized 4 times. Which at certain times cost me my job, my apartment and the little social circle I was building. After getting my diagnosis I was homeless and in between halfway shelters. I found a place as of now and things could always be better but I’ve learned a few things about God each time something was taken away. He wanted me closer. He wanted my prayers and the acceptance of, “I’ll be praying for you” to truly mean something; to sort of, catch you off breath and sigh a deep relief of gratitude.

Now all I want to do is God’s work. I started back at game designing but I’m not so sure that’s where He wants me to go. I wrote two books based off my blogging which I’m happy about, they are free. And I’ve written a movie script that has potential. I won’t boast about myself but I will boast that God is incredible. With the little I have, the spiritual war fares that I endure, He just keeps bringing me closer to Him and in that I’m content in all circumstances as long as I have Him.. or rather, as long as He has me.

This is my testimony, shortened so that you could endure the read and of course so I can attend to my humility in a humbled voice.

Thanks for Reading,

Nathaniel Smickle