Eddie Martinez Said "Yes"!
I moved to Lynn when I was 12 years old in the 6th Grade, and by the time I graduated from High School, I had a pretty good understanding for the city’s nickname; “City of Sin”. I also quickly realized that if you were from Lynn, you were labeled trouble-maker by other cities. People who weren’t from Lynn, were too scared to visit Lynn and the natives associated success with leaving the cursed city. You see Lynn is a place of broken people, that eventually become broken homes, just trying to find hope in their broken situations. The problem with that, and what I now understand, is that hope, outside of Christ, is no hope at all.
At 18 years old, before Christ saved me, I was an egotistical, narcissist that had everyone convinced that I was a “good kid”. It’s here that God began working in my life but I didn’t fully understand what was happening yet. I continued to fight His tug at my heart and tried living life my way. I was good at hiding my skeletons, even from myself. One thing I knew, however, was that what we as a community kept putting our hope in; the money, the cars, the clothes, the social status, none of that was going resolve any of our problems. The problems would just end up looking different. It was while I was sitting in church half listening to a pastor preach about how I was going to go to hell for continuing to sin against God that I realized this city needed a savior as much as I needed a savior from this city.
If God really saves -- not the God that the pastor was talking about, but a truly loving God looking to rescue humanity from their sin -- then we needed someone to stop being so scared and reveal who that God was.
As time went on, I began to ask myself a question, one that I know now was inspired by the Holy Spirit. That question was, “why don’t you do it?”
But the pastors that had preached in my life had already told me how deprived and sinful I was., and did that so effectively that I knew there was no way that God could use me. I was from Lynn and I was no better than the next guy. So, I told myself, God is going to find a good guy to do this work for him. Someone brave enough to go to Lynn when nobody else would to share the Gospel. But that guy was definitely not me.
For the next few years in College, I was in and out of church and pursuing everything I could to prove I was unworthy of accepting God’s call in my life. I needed to avoid the answer to that question.
Fast forward to my Senior year of college and rather than getting an internship like everyone else, I was presented with an opportunity to start a business, and I took it. Months went by and I was finally on my way to building what the world told me I needed. I was supposed to finally have the hope everyone was looking for. The problem is, this version of hope wasn’t helping. I had my own company, the nicest car in my friend group, I had friends who wanted to be near me, and friends that wanted to be like me. But I hated everything about it. This calling deep in my heart was greater than the noise of the world around me.
I couldn’t drown it out any longer.
I was on my way to work when I pulled my car over on the side of the road. It was at this moment that I stopped fighting it. I knew at this moment I was truly hopeless without Jesus. It was this moment that God saved me. Sitting in the driver seat of my Infiniti, I said a prayer that changed the rest of my life at 21 years old. I told God yes. I finally admitted to God that I couldn’t keep Him out anymore. I asked God to take control of my life and that He make whatever His will is to be mine as well.
As I write this, I am 24 years old. Our leaders at Netcast have confirmed that call in my life that I heard 6 long years ago. In a few months I will be starting Seminary as my next step towards what I hope and believe will be a church-plant in Lynn. Truthfully, I don’t know much about where the next few months will take me, let alone the next few years. What I do know is that, at every turn, He is there guiding me and wrestling with me whenever I try to take control back, reminding me that my yes to Him will bring me greater joy than my yes to anything else. For that, I am eternally in debt and eternally grateful.