Transformed by Grace

By Steven Bolt

After I decided to attend Eastern Washington University, I was excited to experience life on my own, away from my sheltered life where we constantly went to church. Even though I had committed my life to Christ as a child, I wanted to discover what life was really all about. I entered college and quickly got involved with drinking and partying. I didn’t have any community at Eastern and my new lifestyle became destructive. Although I was physically at college, my heart and my mind were constantly wandering and I wasn’t focused on what was best for my future.

I only cared about what was best for right now, what would fulfill me right then, what would keep me happy for that moment. Then I met Jenny. She was different from the people I had typically chosen to be around me. She was beautiful, sweet, and she had a vision for my life.

She didn’t see who I was at that point, she saw who I could be. I knew that I wanted to keep her around so we decided to start seeing each other regularly… but I wasn’t ready to give up my lifestyle. We started dating on and off for the next year. Throughout that time, I kept drinking, partying, and DJing. All the while, this incredible woman stood by me, and kept telling me there was more for me, and she spoke life into me during my darkest days.

I kept lying about my past when she asked me about the texts and other women in my life. In that dark time, I realized the gravity of 1 Corinthians 15:33.

One night, she picked me up from a concert and I was too sick from drinking for her to take me back to my place. She took me to her home and I set my phone on her nightstand before I collapsed onto her bed. She noticed my phone buzzing and discovered texts from another woman. She realized I had been unfaithful to her and it broke her heart. I was too sick for her to say anything to me and instead she held up the trash can and rubbed my back. She looked me in my eyes and said something I will never forget, “Steven, you are a child of God, and you were created for so much more than this.” I knew she figured out what was going on but I was too afraid to admit anything. During a night of incredible pain, she showed me incredible grace.

I kept lying about my past when she asked me about the texts and other women in my life. In that dark time, I realized the gravity of 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” I knew I needed God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.

A week later, I finally admitted to Jenny how much I had been unfaithful to her. We broke off our relationship and decided it would be healthier for us to not communicate with each other while God began the process of rebuilding my life. She and I had just started getting involved with a church plant in Spokane. Up to that point, I had only been involved to check off the box. But God had been preparing the relationships around me to disciple me and help me through this time. I had been going to a small group and serving on the production team and while my goal was to do it to make friends, God’s plan was to surround me with community and family who would love and care for me.

If it were not for the care of Jenny and the people who were around me, I may have chosen a different path.

As I picked up the pieces of my life, I still experienced Jenny’s presence. She prayed for me throughout this time and brought me clean clothes because she knew I couldn’t return to the apartment I was living in. There was too much temptation there so I moved forty-five minutes farther away into Nathan’s home, who was in my small group. The worship pastor also started to meet with me weekly to teach me how to seek Jesus.

If it were not for the care of Jenny and the people who were around me, I may have chosen a different path. During my time living with Nathan, I experienced an intimacy with Jesus that I have never had before. God used my terrible decisions and pain as a conduit for me to experience Him. I experienced His love, grace, and ultimately forgiveness from Him. On December 22, 2013, I got baptized to declare my faith publicly. Then I began to rebuild the trust I had broken with Jenny and in September of the following year, I asked her to be my wife. Thankfully, she said, “Yes!” and we were married in March the next year.

Shortly after, God opened up an opportunity for me to join the staff of Real Life Church where I oversaw our Sunday production team. The church developed me into a leader and taught me why we serve and why being in community is integral to understanding the heart of Jesus. I loved being a part of the production team and I am thankful that God recently called me to lead the production team at Northshore.

For me, being able to help tell the amazing message of Jesus and supporting the Sunday worship services through the sound, lighting, and graphics is incredible. I love that we worship a never changing God who has given us hearts and minds that want to create.

I’m a very different person than I was when I entered Eastern Washington years ago. Back then I thought I could find what life was about outside of Jesus, but now I know Jesus is what life is all about. I’m experiencing life as God’s child and I’m finally experiencing the life God created for me. I love Northshore, I’m excited to be the newest member of the church staff as the Director of Production Arts, and I could not be more excited to be on mission with this community.

To get info about volunteering with Steven’s Production Arts Team (sound, lighting, changing lyrics), email stevenb@northshore.church.


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