My transparency… ( IT HAS BEEN HELL, BUT IT HAS BEEN THE BEST HELL I HAVE EVER GONE THROUGH. ..)
It’s been 2 years and 1 month ago that I was pushed into my journey of Grace. December 14th, 2012 my life hit it’s near lowest moment.
I was technically separated from my wife, living in the same house. 3 of my 4 kids were not liking me that much. I was forced out of a job I had been at for 8 years. No income right before Christmas. I could definitely say life sucked. I had spiritually been adrift since 2005 after leaving full time ministry. I decided I needed some help or at least to do something. I reached out to a guy (David) who is a bit older than I and asked him to meet weekly as well as deciding to find a church again.
At the church the pastor (Lloyd) was giving the congregation a challenge to daily read in Romans 5-8, and stay there for the next month. I did that for the next 3 months
David gave me a copy of The Mirror Word translation and I used it as a reference along with the NKJV, the Message Bible, Cotton Patch, The Living Bible, Phillips, and a lot of others. I would take one or two verses at a time. Read through in multiple translations and read a larger breadth to see context. I then journaled, prayed over, journaled some more. God started breaking through in this process, well not really breaking through as revealing himself and showing me my definition or identity IN HIM.
I threw out 95% of my past theology. The 52 lies said in church on YouTube was helpful in that as well. I read more and studied more than the sum time of my years in full time ministry.
People ask me “how are you?” I don’t hold back or sugarcoat it.
IT HAS BEEN HELL, BUT IT HAS BEEN THE BEST HELL I HAVE EVER GONE THROUGH. ..
During this time I have still struggled with life but seeing from God’s perspective has changed me. I am no longer defined by my job, family, wealth, status, etc. Man does not define me. I do not define me. God’s definition of me is all that matters and he calls me son, he sees me holy, whole, redeemed, righteous, sanctified, and loved. … As I am now, not some future me but the past, PRESENT, and future me.
I used to be the bipolar Christian. Up and down based on my ability to attain right standing before a perceived retribuitive God. In the Book “Beyond an Angry God” the concept of how can a God whose very essence is love be wrath and judgment at the same time work…
God is love, God is grace, unconditionally given not dependent on my action or even my possible rejection.
For a similar more in depth look, check out What’s Left After the BBQ of My Life…