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Your Christian Cowboy Resource

A battle against addiction was won

when Jesus was made Lord of Matt’s life

I was born in Orlando, Florida on Sept. 4, 1985 to an awesome set of parents who raised my brother and I with a strong biblical background.  They always taught us to put God first no matter what we do.  I grew up hearing this constantly.  I actually got tired of listening to it and started doing things my own way.  Growing up in and being active in church I knew what was expected of me, or so I thought especially since I had Christian parents.  I mean we never missed a Sunday or a Wednesday.  So at 10  years old I walked down the church aisle and did what I thought I was supposed to do being raised in a Christian household.  

I supposedly gave my heart to the Lord.  I didn't know what it was supposed to feel like being a Christian.  I didn't feel any different so the next 19 years of my life I thought I had a personal relationship with the Lord but always having doubt and scared to go to hell.  As I said I had no clue how it felt to be a Christian.  Throughout my high school days I stayed pretty clean.  I was blessed to have a friend who loved hunting and fishing as much as I did so instead of drinking and partying we spent our time in the woods or on the river.  Also during this time I was very active in the FFA and also the Georgia High School Rodeo

Association.  This also kept me out of trouble.  After high school, I decided not to go to college but decided to pursue bull riding instead.

The summer after graduation, a good friend and I decided to spend some time in Cody, Wyoming.  I spent a lot of time traveling and hitting rodeos.  I loved the lifestyle but the injuries started taking a toll.  A huge turning point in my life (for the worse) happened in August 2005.  I had a bull riding accident which broke my right femur and caused me to have to have emergency surgery and had a titanium rod and screws in my leg.  Up until  that time I had never touched a pain pill, even with my other injuries, but this one was different.  I needed them to get rest at night.  I had a lot of pain with that injury.  I found out quickly that I loved the way that opiates made me feel.  I felt I could function better with opiates which led me to start using recreationally.  For the next 10 years I battled addiction.  Once I started pills, I started experimenting with other drugs as well.  I tried alcohol for the first time which I had stayed away from during high school.  Then came marijuana, and then hard drugs.  Cocaine, ecstasy, meth, and many others.  Anything that I could get my hands on, I was willing to try.  Along with the drugs and alcohol came a lifestyle of partying which included sexual immorality and just living for my self.  I look back now and see that was an extremely selfish was to live.  

This is how I spent my 20's.  Searching for drugs, parties, and sex.  I liked to stay high.  I didn't like how normal felt.  I always wanted that feeling or that high that I couldn't get naturally.  Through all these years I could put down the drugs and alcohol (or slow down I say).  The one thing that I couldn't let go of was the opiates.  I was enslaved to them.  It caused me to do things to get them that I never would have done other wise.  It messed up relationships and it controlled me.  That was my weakness.

In 2010 I moved to San Diego, California where I met a girl who later became my wife.  We spent a total of five years together (dating and married).  Before surrendering my life to the Lord I had some anger and temper problems.  I had an extremely short fuse.  This caused a lot of problems in my marriage and in 2015 my wife decided she wanted a divorce.  

This brought me to an extremely low point in life.  The lowest I had ever been before.  My whole life I had always thought that suicide was the coward’s way out.  I used to say I would never even contemplate suicide.  I was at a point in my life where I started thinking about suicide and actually had a gun to my head ready to pull the trigger.  I don't know if I was just scared to do it or what but I thank God for having other plans for me!  

During this time as we were going through the divorce the Lord really started convicting me.  I mean, He had been for awhile but I was constantly running from him.  I knew exactly where I need to be throughout my 20s but was not ready to give up the way that I was living.  I was honestly having too much fun living the ways of the world and was not ready to give that up.  Everybody has a breaking point in life and mine was my wife deciding to leave.  At this time, I lost all arrogance that I had and was completely humbled before the Lord.  This is a place that I had never been in my life.  

I remember the exact moment that I decided to surrender my life to Christ.  Of all places, I was cleaning the inside of my truck out on a Saturday afternoon on May 2, 2015.  It hit me like a sack of bricks and I said, "Ok Lord, here I am.  Take over my life and do what you will with me.  I surrender everything to you Father."  During this time I was still struggling with addiction but knew the Lord wanted me to come just as I was and He would take care of the rest.  One by one, the Lord started taking the bad things in my life .  First, it was the opiates.  Then came tobacco after dipping for 16 years.  This is something that I thought I would never quit!  Glory to God!  Next I had some grudges that I was holding on to.  I had to forgive the people that I was holding things against.  Then came asking for forgiveness to the people that I had wronged.  All this didn't change the moment I surrendered my life to Christ.  I t was a process, one thing at a time,

Very soon after this I started feeling that the Lord was calling me into ministry.  I didn't know when or how or what He wanted me to do but the feeling kept getting stronger.  There was a chain of events that led up to me going on a mission trip to Nicaragua in July 2015.  I wasn't even supposed to be on this trip but the Lord made it extremely clear that He wanted me there.  At that time, I had no idea why He wanted on that trip but on the trip He made it crystal clear why I was there .  I knew that the Lord was calling me to serve Him in Nicaragua.  I returned here to Nicaragua in October 2015 and have been here since.  I thank God for having the patience that He had with me because I definitely don't deserve it.  None of us do, but God loves each and every one of us so very much that He sacrificed His son on the cross so that we have a chance to spend eternity with Him.

Matt Crenshaw

Bull Rider/Missionary

to Nicaragua