M24 Family // featuring Matt Parr
I was born and raised in a non-church going home in a suburb of Los Angeles. My parents neither encouraged or discouraged me from making my own decisions about religion/spirituality/God. Most of my friends growing up were Christians but I considered myself athiest early on.
I attended Johnson & Wales University in Denver, CO where I received my Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. During my time there, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was prescribed lithium to “control” my mood swings. Just a few months before graduation I had decided that I wouldn’t be returning to Denver and made the choice to take a year off from school altogether. From there I moved to Alaska to work as a cook on a train for the summer months and then moved back to L.A. to begin my year off from school.
The day after Christmas 2009 I tried to take my own life using the pills I had been collecting (about 140 pills). Things didn’t go according to plans (obviously) and I woke up. Days later I admitted myself to the E.R. where I was told multiple times by numerous people that I was, “lucky to be alive”. Hearing those words really forced me to take a step back and consider what I thought I knew. I spent the next 5 days in a mental hospital contemplating why I wasn’t dead and if there was something bigger than me somewhere out there playing a role I couldn’t see. I left the mental hospital hungry for answers but too scared to try to find them.
I moved to Houston in August 2010 after being accepted to UH earlier in the year. After attending Mission24 multiple times I still wasn’t sure that God was real. I went to a conference at a nearby church in September with a group from Mission24 and it was there that I encountered God’s power. After that night, I knew that I had to get more of what I had just tasted. That November, on my 21st birthday, I believed in my heart and confessed with my tongue that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I haven’t looked back since.
During the journey God has healed me of my bipolar disorder and restored multiple relationships with friends and family members amongst a plethora of other things.
What is your ethnic orgin? I am 1/4 Portugese and the other 3/4 is a mix of other European nations including but not limited to: French, German, and English.
What is the #1 country on your list to visit? I want to see the world so picking a #1 is tough, but I’d love to see Thailand and the rest of Asia.
If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why? Being that I have the option, I don’t know that I would choose to be a giraffe, but if I were an animal I definitely could see myself as a giraffe because they’re tall, lanky, and they eat a lot, just like me.
What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms. This is what I miss most about eating in the school cafeteria on a daily basis.
Early riser or night owl? The morning and I don’t get a long very well but I’m also usually asleep by midnight. I much prefer the daytime/afternoon hours.
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Neat freak or slob? A happy medium between the two.
Crazy obsession, compulsions, petpeeves? I set my alarm for obscure times. If I need to be up sometime between 7:30 and 8 I’ll set the alarm for times like 7:33, 7:49, 7:51, etc. / I do the 3-pocket pat anytime I’m leaving somewhere. I do this to ensure that my phone & chapstick are on the left, wallet is in the right, keys are connected to my belt loop and slipped into my back right pocket. One time I accidentally put my wallet in my left pocket and had misplaced my phone. I spent a significant amount of time looking for my wallet (which was in the “wrong” pocket) instead of my phone. / I can’t stand having to pay for parking places.
Frequently played song on MP3 player? Most recently I’ve had the one Matisyahu song I have (King without a crown) on repeat. Generally though I listen to a lot of Jesus Culture and Jon Thurlow.
Name one unusual or unbelievable fact about you? I’ve been an uncle since I was 6 years old.
Most memorable experience with the Lord? One night I went with a few friends to a local church to listen to a guest speaker. I had recently been feeling really stressed out. On top of school, work, and relationships there were some things God was trying to work out of me and the entire process was just overwhelming. During worship I got slain in the spirit and I ended up on the floor lying between two rows of chairs unable to move my body in any way including opening my eyes. In the first few minutes of me being on the floor I remember hearing the Lord say to me, “I am with you always, even in the lowest of places.” Then I felt my hand link with another and a radiating warmth and a sense of peace began to enter and flow through my body. I stayed in that position on the floor for the remainder of the night just basking in the peace and comfort of the Lord. Needless to say, I don’t remember who the guest speaker was that night.