(The story of Jamie Groff written by Mary Alysse Dodds)
I was an established architectural designer, with a nice house, a cool car, a jet ski. I’d accomplished every goal except for marriage. I’m spending all my free time at church, I thought, so I stepped down from worship and youth ministry to focus on getting married.
But it kept not working out with the girls I dated. I spent the summer frustrated with God. Then I was just working, hanging out with friends, and doing nothing for the kingdom.
“God this isn’t working,” I prayed in my BMW on the way to church. “Something’s got to change in my spiritual life. Give me the prophetic to reach people for you.”
The guest speaker that morning talked about prophetic evangelism. He joined secular chat rooms and spoke into people’s lives.
“How do you know all this stuff?” they’d ask. People were getting saved through chat-room evangelism. I was crying.
“If you want this, come forward.”
I literally pushed people to the side rushing to get to the front. Then I started really crying. Soon I didn’t have the strength to stand, so I knelt. When couldn’t even kneel, I lay flat on my face weeping for 20 minutes.
My nice things, my career goals were pointless. People were going to hell, how could I be worried about getting married? God worked in my heart as I wept. I laid everything down. At 33, for the first time in my Christian life, I knew what it meant to have a life-changing experience with God. I went down as one man, and came up as another.
I sold my jet ski. When my roommates moved out, I started selling my furniture. Why did I even have this stuff? Everything I was working towards was pointless in my mind. I just wanted to see hearts change. I wanted to be where God wanted me.
My buddy, Matt, and I took our guitars and started worshiping at the Lancaster City square. Within five minutes a guy sat beside me. I stopped playing to talk to him.
“Nah, keep playing,” he said.
“What’s your name,” I asked. “Where do you live?” Before he could even answer the second question, he started crying.
“It’s the Spirit of God,” I said. “We’ve been worshiping here.”
Eventually he said he lived in the city, and we prayed with him. Then, Matt and I picked up our guitars and started walking. I was overwhelmed someone felt the Spirit of God while we were just playing guitar.
A homeless guy hunched over on a bench sat straight up when he saw us. “Whoa, you guys can’t hide your light. Come pray for me.”
The Holy Spirit’s presence was following us when we were just walking with our guitars. I was amazed and bewildered. I’d always dreamed of seeing preachers do this stuff, but I never thought I could do it myself. We prayed with the man, and he became a Christian.
That was just the beginning. We began going into the city weekly, seeing healings in the street and people baptized in the Holy Spirit in McDonald’s. I realized God’s giftings are for everyone. I saw hearts change. And I realized God knew what he was doing.
Everything I was seeking before was totally pointless. If I had married the type of career-minded woman I was seeking before, it could have been a disaster. Now I just wanted to see hearts change, and if God gave me a wife, I wanted her to be missions minded.
Jamie Groff is an architectural designer, husband, and father. He’s a musician and worshiper who loves spending time with his friends and large Lancaster County family. He’s a follower of Christ, who’s greatest love is seeing hearts change towards Jesus.