If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m extremely introverted and sharing or speaking do not come naturally to me like they do for other people. What I do know is that God has done some amazing things in me and I need to share what He has done and is still doing.
I just found out this week that the plant I have worked at for the last 16 years will be closing its doors for good in the upcoming months. Normally this type of news would send me into utter despair and into a full on panic attack (you know those attacks that make you feel like you’re having a heart attack and that you just know your going to die). However, this news didn’t affect me that way this time.
So, lets start with June of this year. Shannon and I had not been going to church regularly. The enemy has a way of convincing you that since your a Christian that you can miss some Sundays (well in our case months of Sundays) and still be okay. My favorite phrase that I would say is “we can do Church at home”- which we never did or just did a quick read of scripture just to say we did and to make us feel better for missing.
Shannon tells me one Saturday evening that she’s missing church and that she’s going with or without me tomorrow. I enjoy going to church and I actually was missing going to. So, we set our alarms to get up Sunday to go. The enemy did not want us being there. The dog got sick during the night and Shannon had to bathe him 4 times that night and early that morning. To make it worse Bryles woke up in a bad mood. I really wanted to use my favorite excuse that morning. But Shannon said the enemy is trying to keep us from going and I feel that we need to be there today.
I can’t remember the exact message that Pastor Brandon was preaching that morning. What I do remember was his comment on how a lot of men battle with lustful things and that God can forgive you if you turn from this and repent. I prayed for forgiveness that day and made a commitment to turn from my old ways.
Satan doesn’t like it so much when your working on a different level than you were before. The car broke down and had to use all of our savings to fix it, then the air went out at home, and then the tire went flat on our other vehicle. The enemy was throwing stuff at us from all different directions.
During this time we started doing Bible studies at home with Bryles. After one of these lessons Bryles accepted Christ – something that I had prayed for in my son’s life since the day he was born.
Even after all of this I still had major anxiety and just felt hopeless. My depression and anxiety was having a major effect on my marriage. I was so oppressed that I couldn’t see that it was crumbling right in front of my face.
One evening I was feeling pretty good and decided to play some basketball with my Bryles. While going up for a rebound I came down on my ankle a tore ligaments keeping me from being able to work for 6 weeks. The short term disability took some time to get approved and stretched us financially.
One evening I was feeling selfish and felt like I never get anything for myself. In the heat of an argument with Shannon I asked “what have I gotten lately?” Well Shannon let me know exactly what she thought I had gotten lately. Her response was, “you’ve gotten doctor bills, crutches, time off…” all which made me feel worthless and I didn’t feel like living anymore.
This led us to speaking with Pastor Brandon and Angie. I’m so thankful for the counsel and guidance they provided that evening.
I have to thank Shannon for always pushing me even when I don’t feel comfortable. One evening, she convinced me that I should share with Pastor Brandon that I had overcome viewing pornography and how it had made my walk with God closer. He shared with me the book, Every Man’s Battle. This book is eye opening and life changing. I had only thought I had eliminated the lustful things from my life to realize that I had not. I committed that I was going to make a covenant with my eyes and that my wife deserved better from me.
We began marriage counseling soon after this.
Through all of this, I found my way back to God and my walk became closer with Him. He made me stronger, taking me through all of these things.
I lost two huge role models in my life the last year and a half. These people were the people that I looked up to. Their walk with God was what I inspired my walk to look like. In the past I would turn to these people for advice when things were going wrong. When I lost them I questioned why God would take them from me. What I have recently learned through all of this is that He wants me to turn to Him and not them. I believe this is one of the reasons they are not here today.
Which leads me back to where I am today. I really feel that losing my job is an answer to prayer. I had been praying as well as others about my job. He knew that to get me out of my comfort zone that it would take something this drastic to do it.
I really feel led that I need to be doing some sort of work for God. I love children and feel that I’m being called to minister to others in some way. Please pray for me and that God will show me clearly what he wants to do in this next season of my life.
What’s YOUR Story?
Have a story to share of how you came to faith in Jesus, overcame a hurt, experienced growth, etc.?