Home Abiding My name is Jekri Sheppard let me tell you my story…

My name is Jekri Sheppard let me tell you my story…



My name is Jekri Sheppard let me tell you my story…

I was born and raised in Queens, NY. I was also another kid raised in the church. I knew who Jesus was and I understood the “key points”, but never really listened or cared. My parents forced me to attend service every Sunday. Man, I hated Sundays. In my late teen years my brothers and I began to rebel, not wanting to go anymore. I enlisted in the Marine Corps to get out of my home altogether and married at age 21. I have lived and experienced my fair share of the Marine culture. It is very entertaining, demanding and testing both to an individual and a marriage. But in my opinion, it is a life style where sin is welcomed and thrives almost unchallenged. The pleasures of sin…who can say no to it!?

During the early years of my marriage I felt as though it had its’ fair share of ups and downs. We always argued and never really communicated. To me love and hate competed regularly for the win. I had walked out of the house during two instances, hopped in my car, and drove around to cool off. I was sure we were both just waiting for the other to call it quits. I was always angry and needed work to escape.

Sometime in my career I was filled with the need to get back into the church. In fact I have always wanted to go to a church, but now it was not just a want. It wasn’t affected by my life, it was just a feeling I had.

Being a Marine, September 11, 2001 lit my fire to want to join the fight. My unit wasn’t ordered to deploy until the end of 2003. I saw this as my chance but my wife never engaged in the conversation. I had two options actually, deploy or receive orders to Pensacola. After two weeks, leaving work and driving home, I became so overwhelmed with anger and regret that I actually cried out to God and prayed that He would choose the path that will repair my marriage and also be in accordance with His will. I was shocked I had even done this! I don’t pray! Of course, I already knew the outcome… in a month I had orders to Pensacola, no surprise there really. Why would God send me to combat? D’oh, why did I pray! I was angry. I mean, come on, I am a Marine! You heard of them, God, right? First to Fight, Do or Die, URRAH…ring a bell?

Once while moving into my new house I stood on the lawn, I looked up at the sky and thought “well I’m here, let’s see what you’ve got”. About a year later I met my neighbor John Ramos (yes, a whole year). He had started a home church. Never heard of a home church, but I was interested. I thought, “I can go to church and not really leave my home”? Sold! So I jumped right in. Shortly after attending the church a few Sundays I began having a better understanding of Jesus and His word. It was like my mind was cleaned of all the clutter. One evening John and I had a conversation in his car. He said now is the time to change. I thought, “isn’t it enough to just be in the church for now”? But we prayed together and next thing I knew my life started changing. I was reintroduced to Jesus in a different way. I learned how to abide with Jesus, not just reading the Bible and going through the motions of it. Through Jesus I was shown what God really wants from His followers. I learned about both my role in Him and in the family. Jesus opened my eyes so wide to His kingdom that I developed a desire to be a part of it! I no longer had to be shackled to this world. He gave me strength to live in it. My coworkers saw such a change in my attitude and outward appearance they could not help but point it out. I treated my family more patiently and even enjoyed going to work. I learned how to abide and developed a heart for others, not just for friends and family. Gods’ will has been done and is still being done in my life. I never thought I could change or ever be a follower of Jesus. When it seems I am drifting He is there to help pull me back. He is there whenever I need relief from my emotions. Before, I didn’t think I could ever live with God. Now I can’t see myself without Him! Weird.

If you’d like to invite the Lord Jesus Christ into your life as I did read more.

Image courtesy of gerasimov_foto_174/shutterstock.com


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