How God used Christian hip hop to change Nick, Eric and Nate’s lives
Three readers submitted the following stories about how God used Christian hip hop to change their lives. Rapzilla will share more readers’ testimonies each Sunday.
Nick Halen’s story
I am 31 years old, have been married for seven years next month and have three daughters. God has truly blessed me. However, I almost threw it all away before most of it got started.
My wife and I made a mistake when we were still very young. We were 19 when we met, and we hit it off right away. Things progressed nicely for the next few months. She started coming with me to my church and attending a college age group we had.
However, nine months into our relationship, we took it to a place reserved for only married folks (Derek Minor’s “Homecoming” … really love that song) and she got pregnant. My oldest daughter, Madison, was born just over a month before my 21st birthday.
We waited to get married, though — no sense in rushing into marriage just because we had a baby together. We needed to make sure we were right for each other first.
Obviously dating someone for nine months — 18 months when Mady was born — doesn’t mean you’re meant to be married, so we waited. We finally married a few years later in June of 2008.
Everything was great. We were married and we had a sweet, little three-year-old girl. However, we soon decided that we wanted to expand our little family, and, in December of 2008, my wife told me she was pregnant again.
A couple months into the pregnancy, we got the excitingly shocking news that we were going to have twins. We were so overjoyed and overwhelmed all at the same time. God, however, had other ideas for us.
My wife went into labor at just 22 weeks and, just when we thought the doctors had stopped the labor and everything was under control, we found out that the babies’ hearts had stopped beating.
We’d lost them both. We were absolutely devastated.
My wife was much worse than I was. I tried to press on and be strong for her. She was an emotional mess, and I tried to be her rock.
What I wasn’t telling her was that I, too, am a mess, and I too need her. Things started to spiral out of control for me inside. On the outside, I was fine, but, inside, I was completely lost.
Shortly after we lost the twins, I reconnected with a childhood friend on Facebook. She and I hadn’t talked in years. We started having private chats — innocent at first, but I quickly latched on.
I started thinking that no one else wanted to hear what I had to say, neglecting my wife. The talks then became explicit.
The entire time, however, it was only me pursuing this. My friend wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear. I was just in my own world.
This continued for a few months until, one day, my wife got on my Facebook account and saw everything that I was saying. I was caught — busted.
Now, not only is my wife dealing with the loss of her twins, she has to deal with her pig of a husband. She immediately called a very good friend of ours from our church (who’s a pastor) and set up a time to talk with him about it.
I absolutely did not want to do this. Sure, I felt bad, but I felt bad that I got caught — not even for what I’d done.
I’d justified everything in my head. I mean, nothing ever got physical, so it’s really not that bad, right?
Then one night I was flipping through TV channels, and I came across the Gospel Music Network — or something like that. I don’t even think it exists anymore. They were playing Christian hip-hop videos for an hour.
I’ve always been more of a hard rock guy, but I decided to check it out anyway. Then a video came on, and I recognized the name of the rapper, Lecrae. A friend of mine had been telling me about him for a couple of years and that I needed to check him out.
The video was for his new song, “Don’t Waste Your Life.”
As I listen to the song, I hear the words, “Paul said if Christ ain’t resurrected, we wastin’ our lives. Well, that implies that our lives are built around Jesus being alive.”
And BAM a light bulb when off.
It was more like I just woke up from a deep coma. That one line snapped me back into reality. By God’s grace, he used Lecrae’s words to basically save my marriage.
It’s been about six years since that happened. As I mentioned, we’ve since had more children — all girls (even the twins were girls, so I’m apparently cursed), and I can’t thank God enough for the grace he showed me not only through Jesus on the cross, but also for Lecrae and those words at that exact time.