This was originally published and all rights reserved by GCP. V1.1 Copyright 2018 GCP. The book was written for express purpose of conveying the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. The statements in this book are substantially true; however, names and minor details have been changed to protect people and situations from accusation or incrimination.
Thank you to The Journey Church for this project, and love to share the amazing news of Jesus with those around you. We praise God for the love you share, the truth of God’s Word you follow, and the life you live by His Spirit.
Anyone interested in more information about the Journey Church may go to: www.journeyefc.org
The Story of Trevor
Written by Kevin Krebs
“I told you you’re going too fast,” my brother, Jason, chastised.
I didn’t have time to answer. Staring in the rearview mirror, I focused on a pair of headlights gaining rapidly on my car. Suddenly, the night sky strobed red and blue.
“Quick, Mike, hide it!” Jason ordered one of our friends seated in the backseat. In a frenzy, he shoved bag after bag of meth inside his shirt, down his pants and any other place he could find to hide our stash.
We’d just left a small town in the desert after purchasing drugs to resell, hoping to make a significant profit.
The officer studied the four of us, looked in the backseat and then back at me.
“What are you doing way out here?”
I smiled. “Oh, we were just playing video games with a guy I know.”
“Who’s the guy?” When I failed to respond, he pressed. “It’s a small town and we know everyone out here.”
He wants a name? Okay, I’ll tell him. He probably won’t know who it is, anyway.
When I gave the guy’s name, the officer’s expression changed and he looked angry.
“Step out of the car, son.”
“That’s two laps,” I blurted out between breaths.
On a cool, crisp fall Saturday afternoon, my father took me to a baseball field near our home so I could run laps. An unusually sunny day where we lived, it became the perfect opportunity to train. Knowing full well all my friends were out enjoying the day, playing in the sunshine, I didn’t miss being with them. Not if I could be with my father and coach as he trained me for upcoming wrestling matches.
“That’s great, Trevor. Do it again.” My father smiled.
I continued around the track for another two laps and then added a third for good measure. Wrestling mattered a great deal to both me and my father.
I’d won the state title, then received an invitation to a national competition. Being in top shape was critical.
After finishing laps, I returned home and headed off to play with some friends.
“Hey, Steven, check this out.” I hung from a tree branch several feet off the ground.
Swinging my body back and forth, I displayed the strength in my upper arms. Suddenly, my grip slipped and I lost hold of the smooth bark. For a second, I floated in air.
When I landed, smack on my chest, the impact forcefully expelled all the air from my lungs. I couldn’t move. Completely focused on breathing, I ignored the growing pain in my arm until my lungs refilled to capacity.
“Trevor, are you all right?” Steven ran to my side. “I saw you fall and…” He stopped abruptly.
I clutched my arm, nerves on fire as pain coursed through my body. He saw the agony on my face. “I’ll be okay,” I lied. “I just need to go home.”
With each excruciating step, I walked home. If I just lay down, I’ll be okay. I tried to convince myself it was no big deal.
“Trevor!” my mom exclaimed after I walked inside, wincing and with wet cheeks. “What happened?” Then, “You need to go to the hospital.”
At the hospital, X-rays confirmed what I’d already guessed.
The doctor told my mom.
“It’s a clean break.”
The doctor placed a cast on my injured arm and sent me home.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” I told him, regretting my carelessness.
“It’s okay.” He tried not to look disappointed but I saw it in his eyes. All the hard work, coaching me all season, and the reward of all that work, participating in a national competition, snatched away.
Not to be dissuaded, the moment my arm healed, I pushed my body back to strenuous training, determined to make up for lost time. The following season, I kept the state title and again fielded an invitation to compete further. Unlike the previous year, no injury interrupted my plans and the entire family traveled with me to the national competition.
My father groomed me for more than just youth wrestling. I gained a sponsorship from an athletic company and my parents enrolled me in Junior Olympics, hoping to jump-start my career.
Intending to protect me from injury, they withheld certain activities from me. I remained at home many times while the family enjoyed trips to the mountains to snow ski.
“Be smart, Trevor,” I heard from my father more than once. “Make sure you’re aware that things can affect your wrestling career.”
Watching the smoke curl away from the tip of the cigarette, I took another puff. My older brother, Jason, stood next to me, doing the same. We hid in a shed, certain that no one, especially my parents, would witness our actions.
Without warning, the door to the shed opened. Blocking the midday sun, my mother stood with her hands on her hips. Busted.
“Now smoke them, all of them,” my mother ordered once she took us home.
Jason and I sat in the living room. In front of us, the remaining packs of cigarettes that she found with us. We complied with her orders, smoking one cigarette after another. Between puffs, my brother looked at me and smiled, laughing at the ineffective punishment my mother dished out.
The first time I smoked with Jason, I was 4 years old. I followed him into a nearby grocery store and watched him steal a carton of cigarettes. Then I joined Jason in the spoils of the theft. At a small park across the street from the store, we hid behind trees, and I learned what to do with the long white sticks with glowing red tips.
Cigarettes were not Jason’s only vice. He caused many problems for my parents by constantly getting into trouble, stealing, using drugs and participating in other illicit activities.
Although I didn’t always stay out of trouble, I wanted to be viewed as the good child by my parents. I became very good at presenting only the side I wanted them to see, of an obedient boy who listened to his parents.
“I got it right here.” My best friend, Dylan, showed me a clear bag with green vegetation.
I knew that Jason smoked marijuana, but for some reason, he refused to let me.
I wanted to try everything and find out for myself if I liked it or not. Good or bad, I wanted to experience everything in life.
Hiding out at the same park where I learned to smoke cigarettes with my brother, Dylan and I smoked pot for the first time. If nothing else, I could say I’d tried it.
“Where’s Dad?” I looked at my mother, puzzled.
“He’s gone. He’s not welcome back,” she said calmly.
He’d given me no hint. No clue that, when I came home from school that day, he’d be gone. No goodbyes or explanation.
Only then, at age 9, did I also learn that he was not my biological father. He’d married my mother after I was born.
Regardless, he was Dad to me. And not just Dad, but coach. Had I lost both?
Two weeks later, I met him at a golf driving range, an unfamiliar activity for me. Hitting balls, I tried desperately to reclaim our life together, but he seemed distant. I left the range fearing he no longer wanted to be a part of my life.
As it turned out, I never did see him again.
He wasn’t the only loss.
After the divorce, we were forced to move from our large house into a small, cramped apartment. Mom worked three separate jobs to provide for us, but that schedule left her little time with us at home.
Midway through my high school years, Mom got engaged. When they decided to move to Tucson, Arizona, they brought me along, but my older siblings elected to stay behind.
Unaccustomed to the devastating heat and high humidity of the monsoon season in southern Arizona, I couldn’t get comfortable. My body sweated profusely, begging for a break from the relentless conditions. The house we stayed in belonged to my future stepfather’s mother. The home provided little comfort from the heat. Her swamp cooler, in theory, should have circulated cool air throughout the home. In reality, it only blew hot air.
Nighttime brought some relief as a light breeze drift into my room through the open windows. Laying on my back, trying desperately to sleep, I felt movement on my chest. Opening weary eyelids, I stared back into a pair of beady, black eyes. In a panic, I flipped up my sheet and heard a series of thumps against the wall.
I remembered his mother saying, “Don’t worry about the lizards. They’re here to eat the flies.”
I only showed people the side of me I wanted them to see.
At school, I cultivated a tough-guy persona, angry, distant and antisocial.
Meanwhile, with my family, I worked to maintain a good-kid image by getting good grades and always seeming to do the right thing. However, lurking in the background, a different young man hid from their observant eyes, one with a strong desire to try everything and live a crazy life.
I managed to make a few friends with like-minded students, also members of a gang.
“Check this out, Trevor.”
I stared at the tattoo on Corey’s leg.
He looked at my leg. Redness surrounded the fresh tattoo, identical his.
Now I’m really a tough guy.
“If you want the job, you can get it.”
I pondered Corey’s proposal for only a few seconds before deciding to take the job.
Working in a fast-food restaurant had benefits. I got to work with Corey and made money as well. What else did I need?
Hearing the door open to the restaurant, I turned around from where I was stationed near the counter. Unlike most customers, she didn’t stare at the menu but walked directly to one of the other workers. I couldn’t help but notice she continually looked over at me.
“Are you hiring?” she asked.
Two weeks later, I saw the same girl, standing shyly behind my manager.
“Trevor,” the night supervisor said, “this is Monica. She’ll be starting with us tonight.”
Monica looked at me timidly. “Hi,” she said barely above a whisper.
In the next two months at the restaurant, her true personality came out. Unlike the girls I normally hung out with, she always carried a Bible in her purse. At first, I considered it weird and joined with co-workers in nicknaming her “Bible Thumper.”
Anytime I cursed, Monica instantly corrected me.
“I’m a lady, you don’t talk like that around me.” She also didn’t like my topics of
conversation. “Don’t talk about boy things around me.”
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I really liked her. And not just because she was gorgeous but because she embodied kindness and generosity. She genuinely embodied the image I faked with my family and the outside world.
I really liked being around her.
As we began to date, Monica impressed upon me how she thought a man should treat a woman, and I was happy to oblige. All the while, I hid from her the same persona I hid from my family.
Occasionally, glimpses of that hidden man leaked out. When that occurred, I lied to Monica and found convenient excuses.
As time went on, it became increasingly difficult to conceal the truth from Monica.
“Have you ever done meth before?” my friend Mike asked.
I looked at the drug as he pulled it out of his pocket. Do I dare? What if Jason was here?
Despite my brother’s propensity to use hard drugs, he did not want me to fall into the same trap.
Jason occasionally traveled to Tucson for visits, but only briefly. He hated the weather in Arizona. I figured with Jason away, he’d never know.
For the next few days, I hung out with Mike, doing drugs in his home. Others joined and we holed up in the house, not emerging for days. Monica always wondered why I disappeared for long periods of time.
“What’s going on?” Monica demanded afterward.
“Where have you been?”
“Nowhere. Why are you freaking out? I’m just having fun. You know, doing things.”
Monica looked at me, puzzled.
Uncomfortable with the silence, I spoke without thinking. “Okay, you caught me.” I admitted to doing drugs, including cocaine, but didn’t mention meth.
“What?” The color drained from her face. “Oh my gosh, you’re touching very serious drugs. I didn’t know that.”
A response escaped me.
“Trevor, I cannot have a relationship with you.” She looked horrified.
I opened my mouth to speak but Monica stopped me.
“We can’t see each other anymore.”
Road signs passed by in rapid succession. I drove in a daze, thinking of nothing but Monica. Tears spilled down my cheeks as I sped north in my car, back to where I’d grown up.
“What am I doing?” I screamed into the empty car.
I waited for a response that never came. Continuing north, I reflected on how much my
actions hurt Monica. I truly cared for her. The devastation I felt when she broke up with me was
more than I could take.
I moved in with my sister’s friend, a marijuana dealer who had access to more than just weed. Nothing changed. I immediately started using drugs, especially meth, isolating myself for days at a time.
After I stole a sizable number of marijuana plants from my host, he kicked me out, warning, “You’ll pay.” I worried he meant with my life.
I stashed the plants at a friend’s place, and Jason and I spent many nights hiding out in my car there, feeling relatively safe. Some friends who were gang members provided protection.
I figured, as long as we remained there, no harm would come to us.
“You know they’ll kill us when they find us,” Jason told me.
I shared his paranoia.
We hid the large bags of marijuana we’d stolen inside a reclining chair, sitting on them, keeping the stash safe.
The television glow cast the only light in the darkened room. Staring at the screen, we watched the same movie for the hundredth time. For the next nine days, neither of us slept. We sat on the recliner in shifts, insuring no one would take the hidden drugs from us.
“If they come in here, I’m ready.” I held up a rifle with a fixed bayonet.
While Jason took a shift, I found myself desperate for reassurance that some semblance of normality still existed in the world.
“How are you doing?” Holding the phone tight against my ear, I waited eagerly for a response from Monica.
“I’m doing good.” Her voice sounded strange, surprised to be hearing from me. “How are you doing?”
“I’m miserable.” Pausing, I mustered up the courage to continue. “I’ve done some really bad things and I don’t know where my life is going.”
“I remember you telling me that everything I did was wrong and that I needed God in my life.”
“Yes, I did,” Monica replied.
Many times, she’d cried and pleaded with me, talking about God and how he could
change my life. I didn’t quite know what that meant, but I knew one thing for certain: I’d been going the wrong direction and I needed to make a change.
Sudden banging at the door sent shivers down my spine. Nobody’s supposed to be here.
Sheepishly, I opened the front door to see a familiar face.
“You and your brother get your stuff.”
“Don’t argue with me. You’re coming back to Tucson with me.” She glared at both me
and Jason. “Let’s go. I’m not leaving until you come with me.
“Trevor, how would you like to come work with me?”
I studied Jacob and considered the offer.
“I’m involved in the coolest project ever. But, if you do this, you’re going to have to work really hard and clean up your life.”
For a while after my mother brought Jason and me back to Tucson, I felt humbled and wanted to make a change. But I still hadn’t figured out how.
Jacob, an older man who worked with my mother, became a father figure to me. Well aware of the trouble I’d been in, he indicated he wanted to offer me a fresh chance in life.
“I’m ready,” I told him, coming to a decision. “Ready to do whatever I need to do.”
I began work on the project, outside work that required me to be exposed to 115-degree temperatures in the desert. With the job came money. With money, I moved back in with my old druggie friends and started using all over again.
Not only using, I began dealing, squandering the chance to make a real change in my life.
Strictly supplying meth to my friends, I continued to live a double life. I worked hard with Jacob, yet continued with the same self-destructive behavior with my friends.
One night, after a run to small town outside of Tucson, I was driving my car with Jason in the front with me and my friend Mike and his brother in the backseat. We were carrying a sizeable amount of meth to sell when the police stopped me for speeding.
Trying to keep my cool, knowing the contraband stashed on my friend in the backseat, I volunteered a name to the very inquisitive officer, hoping he would be satisfied and go on his way. Instead, I found myself in the back of a police car, handcuffed.
“Trevor, you know that friend you were playing video games with?” the officer asked. I nodded, trickles of sweat falling off the end of my nose.
“We know him, too. His business is meth and lots of it. Tell me, son. You have drugs in
that car, don’t you?”
I tried to look him in the eye. I failed. “No, I don’t have drugs.”
The officer was not convinced. For the next hour, we went back and forth, neither side budging. Finally, the patrol car drove off with me still in the backseat.
While I waited in a holding cell, the officers took my car apart looking for drugs, convinced it contained drugs. I stuck to the same story, refusing to give in.
Sitting alone in the cell, I came to an inevitable conclusion. My life is over. I’m going to jail and I’m going to go away forever. I can’t fool anyone anymore.
After several hours, an officer opened the door to the cell.
“You can go, son.”
I couldn’t believe it.
Outside, the parking lot looked empty. “Where’s my car?”
“It’s been impounded.”
“How do I get home?” I asked, anger building.
He pointed to the highway at the end of the lot. “Start walking.”
“You know, Trevor, I know what you’ve been going through,” Devin said one day while giving me a ride to work.
Really? I looked straight ahead.
“I used meth, too. I know what it does to you.”
Suddenly interested, I turned to look at him.
“The things you’re doing are very stupid.”
“I’m here to tell you, you need something else.” Devin paused and turned briefly to look
“Yes. The life you’ve been living is wrong. Trust me, I’ve been there. There’s a better way, but you have to make a decision.”
From that point forward, whenever we rode to work, he told me more and more about Jesus. He explained how Jesus sacrificed himself for me because Jesus loved me. Me.
I thought about that a lot.
Not wanting Monica to lose faith in me, I hadn’t told her about the incident with the police. Or about my continued drug use. Even so, we continued fighting and arguing, almost constantly. I worried she’d break up with me again.
Going beyond rides to work, Devin and I became friends and hanging out at his house became a regular occurrence. During many of those visits, he told me about his church and how positive and encouraging the services were.
“And Monica is coming with us to church this week.” Devin’s wife, overhearing our conversation had stepped into the room.
“Am I not invited?” I asked.
Devin looked at me. “We’ve invited you before but you always said no. Would you go?”
“Sure, I’ll go.”
The following evening, Monica and I went to Devin’s church. Intimidated, I chose seats in one of the back rows. Toward the end of the service, the pastor invited anyone who wanted to make a commitment to come forward.
That sounds good. But I remained in my seat.
In Devin, I saw a good man with a good life, a good job and a good wife. I wanted those same things.
Thinking it would help me obtain all the things that he had, I continued going to his
church, at least two times a week. I heard how the people there talked and acted. Like a chameleon, I molded my own actions and speech to match.
On Easter, Monica and I attended a service not in the normal church building, but at a huge convention center with thousands of people in attendance.
For the second time, I heard an invitation to come up front. This time, I raised my hand.
Too proud to actually walk to the front like many others, I did nothing more.
I believed God was real and I agreed that I’d sinned against him. But even with that knowledge, change eluded me.
My double life continued.
A year later, Monica and I got married.
I thought we’d magically live an idyllic life. After all, we consistently went to church and
I told anybody who listened, “I’m a Christian.” But the words remained meaningless. I knew
about Jesus, and even argued with people who doubted the existence of God. But my heart hadn’t changed.
I still lived a double life. Smoking marijuana and meth socially, and consuming excessive quantities of alcohol, I convinced myself I could keep hiding that from Monica. In part, this was possible because my job often required me to work away from home, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. The absence didn’t create strife in our marriage. My lack of communication and honesty did.
Snippets of evidence of my deceit began to leak out.
Opportunities to converse were limited.
On a rare day off, I looked forward to a good conversation with her.
“Good to hear from you.” I meant it.
“I need to ask you something.”
She then proceeded to recount a drunken, obscene conversation I’d initiated during a two-day hiatus, when I got together with some members of Monica’s family. After drinking heavily, my darker side emerged and I’d used extremely graphic and vulgar language, never imagining my words would get back to Monica.
“How can you talk that way as a Christian man? How can you have words that come out
of your mouth that sound so disgusting?”
Anger welled up inside me.
And also relief, because she didn’t once mention my use of alcohol or drugs.
I don’t want to go.
I lay in bed, back home after an extended assignment out of town.
Monica and I had been invited by another couple to participate in a Bible study. Many times, they’d asked us to join them. Monica waited until I returned to town before going, saying she wanted me to go, too.
I’d never attended a Bible study before, and felt hesitant to accept.
Finally, I relented. Okay, I’ll go.
As we headed to their house, doubts filled my mind again. Sighing heavily, I pulled the
car over. “I don’t know about this. What if they make me pray? Or make me read out loud from
the Bible? What if they ask me a question about Jesus? I don’t know any of this stuff. We should
U-turn and go home.”
My wife looked at me.
“We need to go.”
She’s right, we need to be there. “At least let me call Nathan so there’ll be someone there
that I know.”
I’d met Nathan in high school and, although we were not friends back then, we did talk.
After school, we went our own ways. More recently, we’d reconnected when I saw him at our
church with his wife.
Calling Nathan, I asked if he and his wife would join us for the Bible study. He readily
agreed, and we continued to the house for the study.
Entering the home, we were greeted graciously and soon the study began and my earlier
“If you’d like, we can go to another home and hang out with friends of ours from
church,” the leader suggested after study concluded.
“Sure,” I agreed. “Let’s go.”
After driving a short distance, Monica and I arrived at another home and, as before, we
were greeted with smiles and generosity. After spending a few moments together, someone suggested the men and women split to meet separately.
In another room, away from Monica and the other women, our conversation shifted to deeply honest matters.
“Trevor, I’m a different man now,” Nathan told me after sharing details about his life
before and after finding Jesus.
“All things will become new. It says that in the Bible,” Nathan added.
I stared at Nathan and then the Bible study leader, not knowing what to say. And then it hit me. I’ve been trying to act and look different on the outside, without asking Jesus to change me on the inside. These men are different because they truly trust in Jesus, not because they merely tried to clean up their image.
I realized I needed to trust in Jesus, and not in myself. I asked him to help me do that. I
wanted to experience what Nathan described. I wanted to be a new creation.
“I’m so glad we went,” I told Monica as we drove home. “I’m ready to give my heart to
In the days that followed, I prayed for God to forgive me and recognized that I needed his forgiveness. As more time passed, I began to feel tremendous guilt for my dishonestly to Monica and my family.
“Monica, I need to confess something to you.”
She stopped and looked at me.
“I’ve been lying to you.” Taking a deep breath, I continued. “I’ve been using drugs, meth
and marijuana. At one point, I almost went to prison for dealing drugs.”
She sat in stunned silence.
Not wanting to stop shy of total honesty, I told her everything. All I’d done against her and against God. All the lies and deceptions. I left nothing out, despite being convinced that when I completed my confession, she would leave me.
I stopped talking and waited.
“I understand, Trevor,” Monica said softly. “You know, it’s been very evident over the
last several months that God truly has made you a new creation.”
“I can’t hold crimes against a new man. You need forgiveness and I forgive you.”
Monica often visited her parents at their home. I frequently went with her. Each time, her
sisters glared at me. Forcing a smile, her father would reluctantly shake my hand.
“Why did you marry him?” I overheard one of her sisters ask once.
I knew her family didn’t like me.
However, after I truly gave my heart to Jesus, Monica’s family seemed to sense the
difference, as if a new man walked into their home. Before long, as I began communicating honestly with them, I felt loved, as never before — by all the members of Monica’s family.
It felt wonderful.
One day, I surprised my wife when I held up a flier from the church describing a seminar
on how to tell people about Jesus. “Let’s go to that.”
Monica looked stunned.
“But you don’t like being around people.”
“That was the old me. I want to go out and tell others about Jesus.”
Monica beamed. “That’s great, Trevor.”
No longer unable to look anyone in the eye, and no longer uncomfortable holding conversations, I wanted to go out and reach as many people as possible.
At least 100 people participated in the seminar, ready to learn.
“We’re going to teach you how to explain about Jesus and how to approach others.”
Monica and I listened intently, excited to put what we learned into practice.
“Can I get your name and number?” one of the leaders asked us at the conclusion of the
training. “You could go to the swap meet, set up a table and do what we’ve talked about.”
“What would we do?” I asked.
“Ask if people need prayer and tell them about Jesus.”
“Great. Can we sign up?”
Monica looked at me, shocked by such a quick response. “Are you sure you want to do
“Yes, let’s go.”
Less than two weeks later, Monica and I stood side by side, a small table in front of us.
People passed by, some purposely ignoring us and others stopping, showing interest.
“What does it mean to be ‘saved’?” The man looked at me thoughtfully.
“Well, ah, it, it means that you are a new man and …” I paused, frustrated and embarrassed at my nervousness. Taking a deep breath, I finished the explanation. He listened carefully to what I said and continued to listen as I excitedly told him some of my own life story and how Jesus changed me and what he’d done for me.
“He wants to do the same for you.”
After the day concluded, one of the leaders approached us. “You did great, Trevor. How would you like to come back in two weeks?”
We agreed whole-heartedly and returned to the swap meet, time and time again, for many years, telling any who would listen about Jesus.
“Monica, listen to this.” I called her over to the computer.
Standing behind me, she looked over my shoulder and draped her arms around me.
Scanning different church websites, trying to decide where we might go, I’d come across
a church called The Journey. After listening to one of the sermons online, I replayed it for my wife.
“Let’s go try this,” I suggested.
From our first visit to The Journey Church, I sensed it was where we needed to be. They
immediately represented themselves as wanting to share Jesus’s love within the community.
They loved what the Bible said and taught, and wanted to share it with others in any way possible.
“That’s our hearts, Monica.”
She smiled and nodded.
“That’s what we want to join alongside of.”
Since that day, Monica and I became more and more involved with the church. It’s been encouraging and motivating to serve along with them.
Jesus changed my heart, which changed my marriage.
Before, Monica and I were likely headed for divorce, even though she loved me and would have done anything for me.
But, without Jesus, I doubt it would have been possible to save our marriage.
Or to save me.
The Bible teaches that Jesus came and died for the sins of the world, and on the third day
rose from the dead. Believing that, and what his loving sacrifice means in my own life, has
changed my heart.
No longer a man living a double life, I’m a man who believes with my whole heart that
the love of Jesus endures forever. I’m so grateful that he relentlessly pursued my heart — as he
does with all hearts.