On July 20th, 1993, I faced the stark reality that I was twenty-eight years old and hated the man I saw in the mirror. I was a lousy husband, a lousy father, and a lousy son.  I had sought happiness through the pursuit of self-fulfillment, a certain path to hell.

The following day I resolved to change the course of my life. I broke down and reached out for a God I wasn’t convinced was real. My pride shattered, I fell to my knees, a sniveling mess of a creature (I won’t be so dishonest as to say I was a man yet), and cried out, “If you’re real, God, if you do love me, and if Jesus Christ is really the Savior, I need you!” This was the beginning of my walk with Christ and my journey into the heart of the Church.

If my story is compelling, it is compelling because, quite honestly, it is not MY story at all, but HIS story. It is a story of redemption and grace and such mercy as I never knew existed. It is an account of ongoing conversion, of stumbling and getting back up again, of the battle waged between good and evil in the human heart, and of gradually and painfully discovering what it means to truly be a man.

I am a work in progress, a redeemed sinner on the road of salvation. Though once broken by my self-imposed exile from God and humanity, I have known the healing love of the Savior. Jesus has been the Divine Healer who has drawn me to real life (cf. 1 Timothy 6:19). By His grace I continue to learn to love authentically. 

The art, writing, and speaking is not that of some spiritual guru, but the expressions of a man who is ever striving to fulfill the Lord’s commandments (cf. John 16:9-17). I hope that the art, the writing, and the speaking presentations will connect to your story, which, like mine, is really HIS story, as all good stories are. His story--- the Great Story--- is written through the lives of all His children. 

In His service,

Leighton Drake

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