Hello my name is Jon Harwood, I have a wonderful wife named Kathy and 3 amazing children, Sidney, Riley and JT and we all live in Groton Massachusetts.
My story of faith starts as a teenager, I went to church with my Aunt and Uncle and my cousin about once per month. Unfortunately I missed the message of grace and only heard the message of hell for sinners and as a teenager I made a lot of mistakes. So I decided to turn away from God and thought I could live life on my own. So that’s what I did for about 27 years. Lots of bad choices and bad behavior filled my life and a lot of depression, anxiety and anger. Though looking back now I can see where God was always with me and was always knocking on the door. Revelation 3:20 Here I am I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. I just didn’t open the door.
About 7 years ago I hit a rock bottom in my life where I had gone through some very difficult times, including multiple failed relationships and I was feeling depressed and scared more than any other time in my life. Think of Psalm 142:4 When I look beside me, I see that there is no one to help me, no one to protect me. No one cares for me. This is how I felt. My Mother and my Niece recommended that I get counseling, actually they insisted. Understanding my options I decided to start searching for a counselor to help me with my situation.
I searched counselors in the local area and the first one on the list was a Christian Counselor obviously I skipped that one. I proceeded to call at least 5 other counselors and they all told me they were unable to see me for months. Well that was not an option so I finally called the Christian Counselor and she said she could see me the following week. Reluctantly I scheduled the appointment and started to see her for counseling. After about 4 or 5 weeks she told me that if I really wanted to get better and improve my life I needed to change my activities and the people I was hanging around. She suggested that I look into a church she used to attend as they had some good activities for people and that would be a good way to meet new people. I was not thrilled with the idea but my life was a mess so I figured it couldn’t hurt so I checked out the church website and was drawn to a course they offered called Alpha. It talked about exploring the questions of life and big questions in a no pressure setting. So I signed up.
Well the first week was cancelled due to a snow storm so I couldn’t go and the following week I received an email from the organizer Roselle urging me to come. Somehow my crazy work schedule was cleared and I was able to attend. Nervously I went into the church, somewhere I had not been in a long, long time. Instantly I felt welcomed and accepted by the people running the Alpha program. Started with a wonderful meal, a talk and then discussions in a small group that consisted of men only. After a couple weeks we started doing worship and this beautiful woman started leading us in worship.
The weeks went by and I felt myself opening up in the groups and then we had the getaway weekend up at Alton Bay in NH. The Saturday night of the weekend was where we learned about the Holy Spirit. After the evening of lots of people praying for others and me I couldn’t sleep and was drawn to start reading the Bible. On the drive home I cried all the way home, walked in the house crying and of course my Mother was concerned and I told her everything was fine. 2 Nights later I prayed to Jesus to confess my sins and accept Jesus as my Savior. After I accepted Jesus my life started changing, my anger subsided and my depression went away. The fruits of the spirit were definitely evident in my life and all of my family and coworkers started to notice the change.
At the end of Alpha I exchanged email addresses with the worship leader because I had wrote a poem about Alpha and included her in the poem and she also had a passion for poetry. We exchanged emails for about 2 months and then we started courting. I proposed about 6 months later at Cathedral Ledge in NH and we were married the following July. Well I never would have expected my life to be so filled with love and happiness 7 years ago but God has been so good and faithful to me throughout these 7 years and I am so grateful to have a relationship with him. I know what my life was like without him and that’s why I hold on so tightly to that relationship now and will for eternity. So now the verse I read most often is Ephesians 2:4-5 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.
Feel free to talk to me if you would like to discuss this further. I am proud to talk about my journey.