I played lots of football and basketball. I also surfed and spent the summers at the beach with my brother and sisters. I was soon introduced to alcohol and drugs. I watched many of my friends self-destruct and die because of that lifestyle.
When I was 17 years old, after another night of partying, I was in a state of total despair. I cried out to Jesus to save me. I prayed, repented my sins and asked God to help me overcome my destructive behaviors.
As I awoke in morning, I was changed. I began a new life. I started to read the Bible everyday, but most importantly, I prayed about everything!
After graduating from Pasadena High School, I attended Pasadena City College (PCC) and played on the Basketball Team during the summer. As I began my studies, I quickly realized that I had a serious learning disability and was not good enough to make the basketball team in the spring. I felt lost. My counselor told me to take a series of personality and aptitude tests. The results were shocking, yet consistent. Military/Police Officer were dominant. I quickly enrolled in a Police Science course. The class inspired me and I was good at it! I was on my way.
For the next 30 years, God blessed my life. I got married, graduated from college, had an adventurous career, and raised two sons. Both of my sons’ obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, in the Boy Scouts of America. Then I got divorced, had financial problems and lived in South Central Los Angeles. I later rented a room from a Japanese Christian family, began attending church regularly, and got baptized. While still suffering from my divorce, depression, and my mother’s sudden death, that family extended much love to me. They invited me to holiday celebrations and introduced me to Japanese food and culture.
In 2012, through God’s grace and daily prayers, I was blessed to retire from the Police Department after 30+ years, but it had taken a toll on me both physically and psychologically. I was so relieved to retired that I did lots of partying, but was turning away from God. After a few weeks, I began to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For the next 6 months it crippled me. One Saturday morning, while watching college football with my 12 pack of beer, I changed the channel during a commercial break and heard a pastor give a Thanksgiving Day prayer. He said, “This is a time to be thankful and to be connected to God. Are you thankful? Are you connected or disconnected? It’s good to be connected. It pleases Him”.
Hearing those words changed my life because I knew again how I had become disconnected and was not pleasing to God. I immediately prayed and asked God to forgive me and have the Holy Spirit guide me. I started reading the Bible and praying every day. I joined several Bible studies and began to attend church. With the help and prayers of several Christian police officers who had experienced PTSD, I began to heal.
In 2015, I was riding my motorcycle on a Los Angeles freeway, a route I had taken thousands of times. I was traveling at about 80+ MPH in the far left, which is considered to be the safest lane according to my instructors at Los Angles County Sheriffs Department motorcycle training school. I noticed that the traffic ahead was quickly slowing. Suddenly, a car turned into my lane, directly in front of my motorcycle. There was no escape and I was going to crash. At that moment, I said, “Well God, I guess I am going to die today”. I was at peace as I let go of the handlebars, and completely surrendered to God. According to the California Highway Patrol, (CHP) report, the witness who was riding behind me saw the car collide into the right side of my motorcycle, causing me to be ejected and hit the concrete wall.
It was determined later that the car did not collide into me. I do remember hitting the wall with my chest and head, which would explain my broken rib and the scrapes on my helmet. I remember tumbling like I was in a dryer. As I slid to a stop, I felt excruciating pain all over my body, which was a good thing. I had survived and was conscious. The paramedics cut off all my protective riding gear. I was transported to the hospital trauma center, given drugs, and a full body scan to determine my injuries.
About 4 hours later, I walked out of the hospital with only one broken rib, a dislocated shoulder, and skin abrasions. As I shared my accident, my oldest sister said I must have been saved by my guardian angel. I totally agree.
God saved me and protected that day as he has done so many times in my life. To this day, I have completely surrendered my life to serving God by staying connected to the Holy Spirit and working for Jesus; For His Glory.