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Culture, God & Ecstasy: How One Prayer Can Take You From Clubs to Love

I was so excited when Culture and God asked me to share my little story. It means I get to brag about Jesus and all the fantastic things he’s done for me and all that he’s doing. In all the words I know, I still cannot even begin to describe his magnificence.


I’ll be brutally honest with you, I haven’t been a Christian my whole life. In actual fact, I thought Christians were rather boring; it seemed as though fun meant sipping on tea and talking about the latest sermon. And for a long time; the first nineteen years of my life, I didn’t want a life like that, as my kind of fun looked a lot like a nightclub. Then I had a radical, radical, radical encounter with Jesus. My life was flipped upside-down and that’s when things really became fun.After a few months of serious indulgence in a little drug called ecstasy, I become a seriously damaged soul, and with dilated pupils and dark rings under both eyes, the girl I saw in my facebook profile picture looked nothing like me.


It was a Thursday night when I was staring at this picture of ‘me’ feeling a massive disconnection between who I had become and who I actually was. This was the first time I ever personally lived out a scripture. In this case it was the scripture in Luke where Jesus said he came for the lost. I was who Jesus came for and I personally felt what it was like to be lost and broken. I was the one who didn’t have a purpose, and I was the one who needed to be found.
All these emotions and thoughts lead me into this simple prayer,

“Please, Jesus, don’t make me a Christian. No offense, but you guys aren’t cool.”

Thinking back to this memory and knowing Jesus like I do now, I can just see him smiling at me and waiting in anticipation for what was to happen next.


I didn’t know it then, but that sincere prayer lead me into a very real, open and honest relationship with Jesus. Although this was a significant moment for both Jesus and I, it wasn’t the event that had me on my face before our father. This night occurred just more than three years ago. It was also the night that had me reflecting on the type of freedom I had. The kind that lead me into an abyss which spiraled into emptiness. It was the freedom to drink, party until sunrise and do whatever I desired under the sun, but really it was no freedom at all. I was so bound to this way of life, it was impossible not to partake in it. I sat in my bedroom thinking of ways to loosen myself from a lifestyle that only brought destruction. In my deep thoughts, I remembered seeing my cousin, Matthew, at a nightclub I used to visit weekly. I remembered the vibrant ‘aura’ that hovered around him and how colourful he looked even though his clothing was only coloured nude. I walked over to him to find out what drug he had taken to put him on such a buzz, but his answer had my soul trying to scratch its way out of my dying body.


“I haven’t taken any thing; it’s the Holy Spirit.” He said.

Who knew that months later this event would be the reason I called Matthew, in the hope of simply finding some comfort and possibly direction— I found a whole lot more than comfort though.


The following day, I met with Matthew in a little restaurant in La Lucia, South Africa. After sharing my drug problem through desperate tears, he invited me to spend the weekend with him. A cool, casual weekend with my cousin. Well, that’s what I thought. That’s what we both thought.


I rushed home to pack a bag, excited for a change of scenery. I phoned my boyfriend to let him know that I wouldn’t be joining them at the nightclubs that weekend and I also mentioned, over the phone, that something weird was happening to me, but I didn’t know exactly what it was.


We did go nightclubbing that Friday night, but it wasn’t to the usual one I’d go to, and truly it’s exactly what I needed to see. I needed to see Christians having fun outside the context of what the world calls “sacred”. I had a warped perspective of Christianity, and me seeing Matthew and his friend, Wade, have an absolute (sober) blast opened my mind to this lifestyle— you actually can have fun without the drugs and alcohol, and Christians aren’t so boring.


We arrived home at twelve-thirty, which was nice and early for me (at that stage of my life), and I decided that I’d seen too much awesomeness from these two gentlemen to simply go to bed and leave the night to end like that. So, I crept over to Matthew’s room where they were chatting and sheepishly asked them to pray for me. Like good ol’ Christian lads, they leaped at the opportunity. I’m so thankful they didn’t get all spiritual on me. You know how we do. The way they prayed for me was perfectly spirit lead. No, they didn’t lay hands on me or even speak in tongues; they just chilled where they were and prayed as I quietly sat on the bed.


Then the enormous power of God’s unconditional love fell heavily into the room. It was like heaven opened up and I had no option, but to become aware of the strong and prevalent presence of God. I collapsed under his grace and every little addiction slowly started melting away. In my unconscious state, I lay there drinking and soaking in every moment. Jesus, himself enveloped me in his arms and that’s when I fell madly in love with the king.


After being wrapped up in a ball-like position (totally weird I know) for about thirty minutes just enjoying the eternal peace of Jesus, I gained my consciousness, stood up and was never the same again. I was suddenly, undeniably and unconditionally obsessed with the God I had just encountered.


Of course, everything in my little druggie life changed. I mean, how can you stay the same after such an encounter? Although it was a painful year of transformation (painful as the flesh hated every second of dying to the spirit), I now count it such a joy. You see, the wonderful thing about God is, you don’t chase out the darkness and “fix yourself up” in order for him to invade your life. You invite him in and everything within you becomes holy for he is holy and darkness cannot exist in the light.


This is only half of the start of the very beginning. I guess the middle of the beginning is the part where my boyfriend became my fiancé and whisked me up to China on a never ending mission trip, which turned out to be more than just a mission trip. And the end of the beginning, well I’d say that’s the part where we got married in South Africa and went on the best two months honeymoon through south east Asia.


Only now, this right now is the beginning— unraveling an incredible and world changing revelation that is expressed through our blog, WE ARE LEIGHKING.


Candice Leigh King


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