So, I was just going back through some of my posts from years past. It’s always cool to see where my thoughts have been and the growth in the way I’ve been able to see things as I’ve ventured into the more with God. So as I was reading, something struck me. That is just how God has shifted my overall personality as I ventured along with Him. It’s even more striking to be on the outside and watch the same thing happen with my Bride, Amber, and even with our kids. While there is still a great deal of growth to go, I can honestly say, that we have been radically transformed over the last few years in so many ways.
I’m going to get this out of the way and some of our friends laugh, now, when we say this. Mainly because, they didn’t know us before. We have been “naturally” introverted people for most of our lives. That’s a big part of the story we share. That being, how when we got married at the age of 18, we circled the wagons, if you will, of our household, and more so, as we had children. Life became about just our family. We, more so, I, didn’t hold deep and close personal relationships with people.
As I started my career, I was the quiet and reserved guy. I spoke only when I felt I needed to, but most of the time, I sat and listened, and pondered. In my false-self, I was very passive and was not one to take risks or put myself out there. There was a huge insecurity of who I was and where I was going. So I put my head down, and barreled forward in my work and and household. I remember distinctly, about 5 months before I came to full faith in Christ, someone telling me that I was very hard to read. I was very unsure and very indecisive.
So fast-forward 5 months. As the story goes, I am ambushed by the Holy Spirit and for the first time in my life, I am overwhelmed with God’s love and I just feel His presence overtake me. As I’ve written before, my life was never the same after that trip to Colorado, to the Wild at Heart Boot Camp.
From there, I began to truly embrace who I was and my identity as a beloved son of the Father. I was radically different. My style of relating began to shift. I didn’t even know it was happening at the time, but I can definitely see, looking back over the last 4 years. Over the next few years, I felt a stronger and stronger push to take the message of Wild at Heart to the my world and larger way. At first, I thought, I’ll just write about it. That’s what I did right out of the gate. I wrote on this site like crazy. A minimum of 3 posts per week. It was so wild, that I was way head of schedule and would have things written and scheduled out weeks in advance.
So then, I get called deeper again. I can sense God’s pull to do more. Teach this to men. Lead men. “Okay. Me? I’m the guy who couldn’t stop sweating once you put me in front of a group of people. Are you sure, God?” It was, once again, a call that I could not ignore. I just had no earthly idea how I was going to pull this off. More time diving closer to God. More deep prayer and contemplation. Okay, we’re going forward.
2017, the Anvil Men’s Boot Camp is born. We hold our first weekend in the Spring of that year as nearly 20 men venture into the mountains. God grew me and the team up right out of the gate, reminding us that he was in charge. Spearheading the weekend, I teach most of the sessions that we hold. Oh boy, you want to talk about feeling unqualified, that was an understatement. But the Lord was faithful and it went through.
We are now planning our 4th Boot Camp weekend for this Fall. It’s been wild to see the way God has used this weekend, transformed lives, and continued to train and grow me and my heart. This year, my Bride responded and with a group of ladies lead a similar type weekend for women. They invited me to come speak to the ladies one evening on the hearts of men. You want to talk about stepping waaaaay outside my comfort zone. Leading and teaching men was one thing. This was a whole new area. It, however, turned out to be a great evening, with some honest talk, some laughs, and some deep prayer and contemplation.
I look at Amber, who has come alive is ways I never thought possible and the way she has stepped up as a leader. It’s been such a cool thing to watch. If any you thought I was reserved in the past, she was definitely there too, if not more than I was. Being a stay-at-home mom for many years and the way we circled the wagons of our home, she was very comfortable being disconnected.
So I share all of this to make a simple observation. Thinking about what my friend and pastor said some months back. Paraphrasing, he said, I do not know how someone can claim to be follower of Jesus and sit and do nothing. I’ve learned and realized, that a real life in Christ definitely pulls the extrovert out of you. It’s something that is just inevitable. I’ve witnessed it in my own life. When we become obedient to the Lord and choose Him first, He pulls us to places we never thought possible, all in a matter of growing and stretching us and then enabling us to be able to fight for the hearts of others.
Someone may have coined this already, I don’t care. It’s relevant to us, so I am going to use it. Being still, fairly monastic people, who love our solitude and time with each other and with the Lord, there is an introverted side. However, choosing to engage, there is way less of that, so we are, what I will call, Introvertedly Extroverted.
It’s a fun life to live, choosing to follow the narrow road with God, and being obedient to what He puts in our path. We can relate in various ways now. We move away when we need our time with each other and our time with God, we move toward others when it comes to walking closely with others, and we move against we need to step into the next battle for the Kingdom.
I think it’s impossible to stay to yourself when you truly engage in the Kingdom. Fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples and then training them in the ways of the Kingdom, as we are ALL called to do, requires that we engage. So what are you doing?