Since this time last year, I have been continually sharing with all of you pieces of this journey that God has placed me on as He took a hold of my life and transformed me like I never, ever thought possible. Looking back to where I stood a year ago, the growth in my life, the movement that the Holy Spirit has brought to me, and the purpose and direction that I now follow is like nothing I ever thought possible. All of that came because of two major events for me, first during a mens’ ministry study at my church a year ago last week, and then the adventure to Colorado a year ago this week to Wild at Heart.
I continue to look back over this journey with a joyful heart as to what God has opened. It all came down to one thing though. Making that decision that I was no longer going to walk on this journey alone and that I was going to put that stake in the ground and draw a line in the sand to follow Jesus from here on out into the the unknown. I surrendered my life and told God that I was now all in. I was no longer going to be stranded and just dip my toes in the water. I was diving in.
I know I mention Wild at Heart continuously on this page and in my writing. I have discussed pieces of the journey and where it has taken me, but it’s all for a significant reason. I firmly believe that this transformation in life is available to each and every one of us. If God can make use of my life, he can make use of everyone. He is calling on each and everyone of us. Ephesians 1, the Father chose us before the foundations of the earth. He chose everyone of us and wants to use each of us for His glory. Not our…His.
That’s been the important thing to remember. I was on long journey to nowhere for along time. I was a husband and father to the best way I knew how and I thought part of that was working for my own successes. It was all about what I can do for me which was in turn to provide for them. That was the limit of it all. It was not for God’s glory. He was literally an afterthought. I became cynical and complacent in life. I battled issues of being angry, being deceitful. I battled lust and pornography, which consumed me as an escape. I hid behind my false self. I loved food and was way out of shape. Just didn’t care to take of myself and my health was affected. I entered a dark time where I was even more lost when my Dad died. I carried wounds and sins with me and hid them deep inside of my heart. I no longer had any guidance and the little guidance I did receive came from self-consumed people.
In the months and weeks leading to last January, God began a real work to prepare me for what was about to come. My heart slowly opened. When I was accepted to go to Wild At Heart, I knew something big was beginning to happen. I just didn’t know what. I tried my best to just let the week happen, preparing myself with an open heart to let God unveil all He was looking to. I was completely blown away by what the entire experience brought and the way my life was going to change afterwards.
I knew things weren’t going to be the same and they certainly weren’t. I battled though at times. There were days when it became very easy to just go back to who I was. To just settle with life and not take a risk to make a change I knew that had to be done. God called and I responded, though. I now knew Him as Father and I allowed Him to Father me through it all and He still does today. I shed the old self, the false self, the old nature and I put on my new nature as God’s son and now alive and restored through Jesus Christ.
For each and everyone of to go on the journey of transformation requires something big of us and something that is very difficult to do. It requires allowing ourselves to be torn down and rebuilt. I saw a quote from Mike Mason that said, “A thirty-year-old man is like a densely populated city. Nothing new can be built, in its heart, without something else being torn down.” At 36 years of age, that’s exactly what I had to do and what each of us have to do. We have to open the door to our heart to Jesus and allow Him to enter and bring out those wounds and sins, so that we can then renounce and repent and then drive forward to be healed and restored to who we were meant to be. In my counseling studies, this is called exposure. It’s very much needed. We need to be exposed to ourselves and to Christ in order to have a chance at the life we were meant to have.
This journey is far from over. I was broken and then restored. I was dead and then reborn. I had no direction and now I have God’s purpose and direction. It’s possible for all who are willing to let go and turn to Him. Trust me. I didn’t think it was possible and yet here I stand. Restoration and life is very much possible if we will just trust God’s will and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts. It takes work and you will be opposed, but trust God with your life is all you need
Thank you for sharing that awesome testimony. The Lord has taken me far in a very short time. I was running away for almost 30 years and came back last year (2015). It truly has been amazing and I am glad that the Lord had patience with me.