This is my story. A story of pain, shame, guilt and brokenness. A story of redemption, forgiveness, mercy, grace, love and freedom. Because God promises He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6 – Hebrews 13:5) I now can rewrite my story.
The key to victory is change, admitting you have a problem and taking ownership. A person must be completely broken before they truly desire change. We must get to the end of ourselves; to become as little children, humble, simple, innocent, moldable and full of wonder.
You can’t move forward until you finish unfinished business. ‘Life can only be understood backwards; But it must be lived forwards.’ Soren Kierkegaard
‘When you begin to realize that your past does not necessarily dictate the outcome of your future, then you can release the hurt. It is impossible to inhale new air until you exhale the old.’ T. D. Jakes
My past was scary, painful & lonely. To be set free and move forward I had to dig up the lies and discover truth (John 8:32). I had to demolish strongholds, break bad habits, find a new normal, take ownership and heal the pain. I had to forgive those who mistreated me, confess my sins, repent, forgive myself and give God permission to search me (Psalm 139:23,24). I had to heal my foundation. This is the hardest and scariest journey I have ever taken, but the most fruitful.
My past was not exactly what I would have chosen for myself. My dad was doing time in prison when I was born. My mom raised me the best she could with the help of her mother. I guess I was about two when my dad got out and that’s when my problems began.
I Discovered I Was Not Alone
“And surly I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b Berean Study Bible).
When I was around seven years old my grandma would take me to church every morning before I attended school. I could not help staring at Jesus hanging on the cross. I was captivated by His love for me. It was at this time that Jesus and I became intimate friends (John 15:15). He became the love of my life. I felt safe for the first time. This is when I discovered I was not alone.
I Left Jesus Behind And Went On Alone
As I grew older I decided to leave Jesus behind and go it alone. I thought I was strong enough to control my life without Him. As I reached my teenage years He was completely out of site, that’s when I began to act out and spiral downward. As I became a young adult my life became unmanageable. My significant relationships with women were a disaster. I went through two divorces. In 1981 I was arrested for drinking and driving and getting myself into a car race with the police as I tried to escape. I ended up at my mother-in-law’s house where they handcuffed me in front of my two precious daughters. I happened to look their way and noticed the fear in their eyes. I Instantly had a flashback. I knew how they felt because I had that same fear from my dad growing up. I made many vows as a young boy that I would never be like him. That night was the beginning of my journey inward to wholeness and recovery. I started seeing a counselor and at the same time God was speaking to me. Six months later I gave my life to Jesus.
I was now in recovery and a newly born again Christian, but I wasn’t aware at the time that I had to recover from my performance driven extreme personality. I carried my performer into my Christian walk. I was a people pleaser, a rescuer, a manipulator and a hypocrite, pretending and performing. Since I had a driven personality I quickly got into ministry. I wasn’t aware of the sanctification process (2 Thessalonians 2:13) and the denying of self (Luke 9:23) it took to be a true follower of Christ. So I pretended and performed for ten years. Thank God it all came to a crashing halt. In 1991 the perfect storm hit and I hit rock bottom, finding myself in a fetal position crying like a child hungering to be hugged, nurtured and accepted. I cried out to God in complete poverty (Matthew 5:3). My brokenness brought me back to a child state, even my performer couldn’t save me this time. I was completely at the end of myself which propelled me into sanctification.
I’ve Come Full Circle
Jesus was my hero once again. I have come full circle. I connected with Jesus on an intimate level. He’s once again my first love, the love of my life and my protecter. I keep Him close to me these days. I never want to make the same mistake I made years ago.
‘When our Lord says, we must be converted and become as little children, I suppose He means also, that we must be sensible of our weakness, comparatively speaking, as a little child.’ George Whitefield.
“Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:2-4 Berean Study Bible).