Milk and Honey Magazine interview with Sam Eaton of Recklessly Alive blog on how to wait for the right relationship, live a life of faith through the Bible, and rest in the arms of Jesus Christ knowing He has a plan for you!!

Recklessly Alive

Paige Weslaski

If you think class-act men of faith and character don't exist - let me prove you wrong. Sam Eaton, the founder of Recklessly Alive, once struggled with depression but soon handed his life over to Christ. Since, he's become a beacon of light for young people around the world, encouraging them to live fully alive knowing each day is a gift. He's turned a mess into a message, and he encourages others to share their stories, too!

Let me present to you, Sam Eaton!

Milk and Honey Magazine interview with Sam Eaton of Recklessly Alive blog on how to wait for the right relationship, live a life of faith through the Bible, and rest in the arms of Jesus Christ knowing He has a plan for you!!

Tell us about yourself!

I am a 28-year-old goofball who is in love with all things Jesus, writing, music, adventure, youth ministry, laughter, and friendship. I pay my bills by teaching elementary school music to over 650 kids from grades K-5. My “free time” is mostly spent investing in the next generation through mentoring, teaching a high school small group, and playing on a worship team. I also love a good sweat, a moderately challenging house project, a steaming cup of green tea, and as much time as I can get with my friends and family.

Over the past few years, I felt God encouraging me to write and speak about my struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. In May of 2016, I officially launched Recklessly Alive Ministries and speak as often as possible about this tough and prevalent topic in our culture. I've also been writing a book and talking to a few publisher's so (fingers crossed) you should hopefully see my manuscript at a bookstore near you sometime in 2019.

How'd you accept Christ?

While I considered myself a Christian in high school, I never had that one major moment where I surrendered and accepted Jesus as my savior. My story has been a slow awakening with a few mountain-top moments. In college, I went to worship nights and Bible studies but found my identity in partying and getting wasted. I believed in God, but I certainly wasn't choosing the beautiful life He had planned for me.

After college, my life hit rock-bottom. At 23, I planned to commit suicide as I thought it was my only option to end the unbearable pain I was living in. When the day came, I felt God asking me if I'd really given life everything I had. I then chose to live life to the fullest.

The following week, I promised to say yes to whatever God was calling me to. That was the moment I was finally all-in and the rest is history!

You're quite a catch! How can you encourage women not to settle?

Why thank you. I mean, I think I'm pretty great. Trusting God through seasons of singleness is so tough, tougher than I think many Christians are willing to admit. I've kept a small journal for my future wife for about six years to share the things I've been learning about myself in this season without her. Maybe once or twice a month I will take it out, write a short note and pray for her. When I am struggling with feeling lonely or unworthy, I redirect my thoughts to God. I remind myself that every time I have given God complete control of my life, unbelievable things will happen. 

So my advice? Pray for your future husband. Focus on loving God and loving his people. Spend time learning about your identity in Christ and the amazing things he has planned for you to do while you're on this planet. And if none of that works, I recommend Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. :)

Favorite books? Sermons?

"Crazy Love" by Francis Chan is a book that blew my mind when I was coming alive in Christ. He is one of my favorite teachers along with Bill Johnson from Bethel. Some of my other favorite books include, "Kisses From Katie" by Katie Davis, "Radical" by David Platt and "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. 

As far as sermons, I actually have a list that has changed my life.

Favorite quotes?

Oh no, I love quotes too much. Writers ya know... 

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.”  -Francis Chan, Crazy Love

I am constantly fighting our cultural view of success - wealth, popularity, power, status - and reminding myself of God's definition of success: a life spent loving God and loving his people. These two quotes remind me of that much-needed Truth.

Milk and Honey Magazine interview with Sam Eaton of Recklessly Alive blog on how to wait for the right relationship, live a life of faith through the Bible, and rest in the arms of Jesus Christ knowing He has a plan for you!!

Tell us about your blog!

The week after my suicide attempt in 2011, I asked God how I could use all this pain I was feeling to help someone else. I immediately started a blog and wrote as a way of making sense of what God was teaching me. Maybe 30 people would read it and I didn't really care. I could never have imagined the global ministry it has turned into and all the amazing ways God has used my writing to encourage believers and bring people to Christ.

I named the blog based on John 10:10  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest." Jesus came not only to be a sacrifice for our sins, but to show us what a life lived to the fullest actually looks like. The blog is my public journal as I chase a life that is fully and recklessly alive.

You once struggled with depression. Did God help you overcome that?

Depression takes many forms in many different people. For some people their battle is just a season, others it is more persistent. My battle with depression has been a long and on-going battle. 

The fight is tough because there are two very important sides - the physical and the spiritual. On the physical side: consistent exercise, 7-8 hours of sleep each night, eating well, avoiding drugs or alcohol, getting enough vitamin D and sunshine, as well as therapy or counseling, have been awesome for me. On the spiritual side: putting on the full armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18 which includes intimately knowing the word of God. I need to wake up every morning and make God's voice louder than the voice of the enemy, so I'm ready to fight whatever the day may bring. 

Both the physical and spiritual wellness are extremely important for anyone, but especially for anyone who is struggling with their mental health.

Advice for people to boot/reboot love for Christ?

The truth is every Christian has had seasons of doubt or complacency in their faith (and if they say they haven't they're lying). It's all part of the journey. If you truly want to go deeper, commit to an intimate and personal relationship with God. Plan time in your calendar each day to be with God. A lot of people call this "quiet time." Spend time reading the bible, journaling, drawing, praying, worshiping - anything that draws you closer to your awesome Father. (If you're looking for tips on how to read the bible, I share 10 Ways to Fall in Love with the Bible on my blog).

Jeremiah 29:13 says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." What would it look like for you to seek God with all your heart? Start there.

In addition, find a community of believers who can serve as your support system and check in with your heart each week. If you mess up or get off track, just forgive yourself and start again. Seeking God is the greatest thing I have ever done and I have no doubt if you commit to it, you'll feel the same way.

5-10 years from now?

You can expect me to be telling anyone and everyone about this incredible man named Jesus who saved me from the depths of my own personal hell and brought me back to life. I hope to be writing books full-time and launching my suicide-prevention ministry in every state. I hope to be pursuing an authentic and beautiful marriage and fulfilling my life-long dream to be a parent and foster parent. 

Advice to your 20 year old self?

I would tell my 20-year-old self to stop chasing the crap of this world to feel alive. Stop looking to girls, alcohol, and money to sustain you and run towards the only One who can truly give you life: Jesus. I would tell myself that God has incredible plans for your life, even in the midst of your darkest pain. And also don't get your hopes up, the Minnesota Vikings still haven't won a Super Bowl.

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