Hey! I'm Jacob Cavin. I'm 21 years old and I've been a Christian since November 2020.
I’m someone who believes that a Christian’s story, or even an unbeliever’s, is a part of God’s story from the foundation of the world. I could argue that my story started with Adam and Eve, is connected to David’s, and is influenced by Paul’s life. God is sovereign over all and He has everything working together for His glory. That being said, for time’s sake, I’ll speak about the last twenty one years and how God revealed this sovereignty and salvation to me.
From the time I was born, I was always involved with church. My parents went to the same church for practically their whole lives, and of course I was there too. We went to Sunday service, Sunday school, small groups; if there was a church event, we were there. My grandad was a worship minister, my grandma was the principal of the church’s preschool. All that to say, we were very involved.
My parents always considered themselves to be Christians since they had a beginning very similar to mine. While they professed Christ, they lived very differently. They struggled with alcohol, smoking, and lived a life of overall selfishness. But in the midst of that, they lead small groups and thought nothing of it since everyone else around them were living similarly.
In February of 2012, God revealed Himself to my mom. She immediately was changed, quit smoking and drinking, and was transformed by the Gospel. However, my dad was still unchanged, believing my mom had just rededicated her life. Over the next two months, my mom constantly explained to my dad how she was not saved before and that their lives did not line up with how the Bible defines a child of God. One day, my dad sat in the tree house he had built for us and God broke him, showed him who He was, and saved him from his darkness.
Ever since that day, our lives have never been the same. In these ten years, we went from public, to private, to homeschool, moved twice, changed churches, adopted my youngest sister from China, and much more. Every single aspect of our lives was changed, and I was just along for the ride. One of the most impactful for me, however, was the change in church, or should I say the change in theology.
We live in South Carolina, so we went to a southern baptist church typical for this area. Once God revealed Himself to my parents and they began to read and understand the Bible, they realized that what they were being taught did not align with Scripture.
At the same time, God was revealing to them theology and sound doctrine, something they had rarely heard before. Being homeschooled, my mom would teach us what she was learning. I was about 14 at the time. Prior to this point, I had accepted Jesus into my heart multiple times and was baptized. So when I heard that God predestines and elects His children, and the only way to salvation was by His doing, I was distressed because I had made that decision for myself multiple times. What if it was not real?
From this moment forward, I can now see that God was slowly weeding out the false doctrine and replacing it with Biblical truth. It just took a lot longer than I might have wanted. During that time, I never really believed in God. I was never sure He actually existed. But, for reasons I can’t explain, I still prayed to Him and begged Him for this salvation only He could provide. As I think back on it now, I think I was begging for assurance of salvation and not even salvation itself.
I remember when I was maybe 16 or so, I walked the beach with my mom and talked about salvation. Being homeschooled, I believe I have become fairly good at self-teaching, mainly by following tutorials online. So on our walk, I was explaining to her that I wanted a YouTube tutorial on how to be saved. I wanted five to ten steps that I could do and at the end, I will have obtained salvation. She tried with all of her might to explain to me how that’s not how it works, but in my hardness of heart I did not understand.
This went on for a few years. As I mentioned, we changed churches (we are members of a PCA church now), we went to China to adopt my sister, and we moved from our dream house. I was learning but not believing, seeing crazy things happen but not seeing God work. Then, all of a sudden, in the first or second week of November 2020, I believed. The earth didn’t shake, I was not blinded for a few days, I just believed. It’s like God took the veil that was in front of my eyes and heart and completely tore it in two. I began, still slowly, to see God. I began to read my Bible, something I had rarely done in 18 years. I began to thirst for God unlike I ever thought was possible.
I went from being incredibly, almost unbelievably annoyed when my parents talked to me about God, to the one that is annoying other people. I mean I would seriously hate it when my mom would teach us the Bible during school, I didn’t want to hear it. But now, I find my life in that Word. I cannot explain how it happened other than what Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-5 when he says, “and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” All I know is that it was God. I don’t understand why He would love someone like me. I don’t know what He has for me, but I do know that He chose to save me and that’s all that matters.
These past two years have been very difficult as I’m starting to realize what Paul and Peter mean by suffering for Christ. But I trust in God’s will and I believe Him when He says He’s good. I graduated from a local technical college in 2022, getting an associate's degree in application development, which I started in 2020 before God revealed Himself to me. In the midst of asking God what was next for me, in October of 2022, He made it so that I don’t have a choice but to go to Bible school to learn. You could have asked me if I wanted to continue school and I would have said absolutely not, and not but 15 minutes later, by the grace of God, He completely changed my heart.
So that’s where I am now. I am in the midst of preparing to attend Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. As I said, I have no idea what He has next for me, but I’m taking one step after another, this being one of them, and completely trusting Him for what comes next.