Can God use my Mess?
By Josiah Zannino
My church comes down to CBM headquarters all the time for work weeks and that’s how I heard about the internship. I was like “why not.” So I prayed about it, applied, and I was accepted in September of 2017 as a part of Team 7. I didn’t really want to be in the internship. My dad told me I needed to do something and I needed to get out of the situation I was in back in my hometown. I wasn’t truly saved at that point. At the age of 12, I heard the pastor talk about hell and I didn’t want to go to hell. So I was like, “Yeah, why not get saved?” But that is not really being saved. Being saved is knowing you’re a rotten sinner and knowing that Christ died on the cross for you. The only way to heaven is through Christ. With the world, you get nowhere, but with God you get somewhere in life. I wanted the world. It was what I wanted, not what God wanted. It led me to a lousy place. I made ungodly choices; I broke a lot of rules. In fact, I had to leave the internship in July of 2018 because I messed up. Without Christ, I didn’t care. I didn’t feel bad about anything. I only cared about myself. My dad told me I couldn’t come home, so I went to live with my uncle and my aunt. I was thinking, “Doesn’t that just suck! Really God? This is what I get?”
I went home to spend Christmas with my family. I was tired of living dirty. I felt like I needed to wake up; I just couldn’t do it anymore. On Christmas night, my mom was talking to me about something and I broke and said “I can’t do this anymore. I need to truly give myself to God. I can’t fake it anymore. I want it to be real.” My mom talked with me and then I prayed. It felt like forever that I prayed! I felt like Jonah in the Bible running away from God. I confessed my sins and thanked Him for my family. I used to question why I was put in my family, but now I see God did it to protect me.
I felt NEW in Christ. I felt like a new person. I still had struggles but God helped me. I felt happy and I felt real. Instead of being the fake Christian I had been for so long, I felt like God saw me as a man of God. Now, everywhere I go, any conversation that is started, I bring up God. I was forgiven. I now have to deal with guilt and the regret. Sometimes even now I feel that guilt, to where it makes me sick to my stomach. But God is helping me overcome that. God is taking the guilt away, slowly. I’ve noticed, if you stay in the Word, it begins to disappear. God is renewing me.
I began to pray about the internship again and, in my heart, it felt like God was telling me that whatever I start I needed to finish. Lincoln, the Director, began texting me about coming back into the internship. I knew I needed to and I wanted to. God has provided in so many ways for me to come back to the internship. And those ways are through prayer and people supporting me. I truly believe this is the journey God is taking me on. I don’t know if God put me on this path to show people what He can do. But I don’t want to see others go through what I did. Some of the stuff I did makes me sick to my stomach. I watch so many other young people go through so much. They suffer from pride, selfishness, and they feel like they are prone to addiction, but really they are just born in sin. A lot of people may want freedom to do what they want but I don’t want that. I’d rather be surrounded by people disciplined in God’s Word who pull you up when you get knocked down by the world. I always pictured myself in a dome with other Christians, where they cheer me on and help pick me up. That is where I want to be. Rather than surrounded by the world.
Well, what do I hope to get out of this year? I hope to become the man God intended me to be. Also, to grow more spiritually, in God’s Word, and also stretching my prayer muscle even more with different kind of prayers. I want to become more disciplined during the internship; that’s a goal I want to accomplish. Taking the classes in the Internship truly help you look at things differently, the program also helps you grow, and develop skills like sharing your testimony. And your testimony can have a big impact on someone else is life; if they don’t know God, and they hear your testimony and say to themselves, “even though I’m broken, GOD still can heal me and forgive me and help me think about other things.”
Josiah is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click [www.childrensbibleministries.net/internships]