I am currently going through this phenomenal, yet scary spiritual journey and with that comes a lot of self-reflection.
I look back at my life and realize that even though I’ve lived a great life, I didn’t live a righteous life. Don’t get me wrong. I had fun for many years. Traveled to 26 countries, met amazing people. I’ve loved life since I can remember. Since I was a little boy.
Little did I know, that all this time I was missing something. I didn’t grow up in a religious household. Far from it actually. But my mother always made sure me, and my seven siblings were taken care of. We had a great childhood and I’m fortunate to have my mother in my life. The greatest woman I have ever met.
But she was never really religious. So naturally neither were we. See, when you’re a child you adopt your parents’ habits and believes and as you get older you need to come to terms with the fact your parents’ ideologies may not align up with yours anymore.
And that is totally okay. You grow, you evolve, you change. That is what life is all about.
I am at that point in my life.
When I look back at my past, I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking for the past decade. And by finding God, my eyes have finally been opened. I’m awake. God breathed life in me. And as cliché this may sound, I’ve never believed something more strongly.
I noticed a pattern in my life that I no longer wished to continue. I didn’t want to be that person any longer. When you come to point in your life where you are asking yourself ‘what the heck am I doing here?' That’s when God is knocking. That’s when he’s calling for you. The question is will you answer his calling? I know I did.
Isn’t it time to become the person you always knew you could be? How do you do that? You break the mold. Break your routine. Ask the right questions and seek God for all the right answers. Do something away from the normality that you’ve been doing. Shock the system. Get out of your comfort zone.
For me this journey has been the most intimate and scary experience I’ve ever undergone. But I know it’s necessary. It’s far from comfortable. Far from easy. But it is so rewarding.
When you seek a relationship with God your life changes completely. You feel a fire burn inside of you. You feel alive. Words can’t describe the feeling. You have to experience it in order to understand it.
It’s like you’re reborn again. Your coworkers and friends will see you and be like “who the f*ck, what happened to the old Marvin man? Who’s this guy?”
THAT’S RIGHT! The new mothef*cker is here to stay. And you either get on my plan, or you can get f*ck out of the way. That’s how you run it.
You can’t talk it all the time, you got to walk it. Walk with God. He’s the best companion you will ever find.
When you start your journey you will have many people judging you. I know they judge me. They talk about me, laugh about my newfound believe. They will try to tear you down before you even got off the ground. I’m here to tell you let them.
When everyone tells you, “no this isn’t comfortable, you shouldn’t do this.” You say, “yes, I will introduce myself to it.” Introduce yourself to God and see who you become. Who that new person may be? We don’t know. Who could it be? It’s exciting to find out. Because the way you feel after that encounter with God, how prideful you are, how pure you feel, it’s something you’re either going to love or not. And if you love it? Ah man, you’re on your journey to something magical.
You know what the great thing about being human is? If we truly want to change, we can.
Don’t believe the nonsense that ‘people never change’. That is simply not true. People will change under the right circumstances for the right reasons. Now if someone tries to change for another person, then yes, that change will not last.
We cannot change ourselves to satisfy others. We can only change to satisfy ourselves. You need to want to change. You need to want to be different. That is the only way you can break out of your toxic pattern.
I don’t know what you’re going through in life. I don’t know what bad habit you’re trying to kick. Maybe it’s a coke addiction, an alcohol problem, jealously, whatever it is, trust me when I tell you that you can change. But you need to really want to change. Not for a spouse, or your children or your parents. You need to change for yourself.
Don’t believe when people tell you that you’re no good, that you won’t change, that you are who you are. That is simply not true.
YOU CAN AND YOU WILL CHANGE. The only question is whether or not that person will be there to see the change or will they have given up on you.
And if they do, let them, they don’t have to stick by your side while you’re on this journey.
You will be the last man/woman standing. And you is all you need. You don’t need them to tell you that you’re worth it. God says you’re worth it and his assurance is all you will ever need. He designed you, made you who you are. Flawed, broken, weak.
We can be all that and still be worth it. There is a plan, there is a purpose.
Remember that Jesus himself said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…”
I was sick. I’ve been sick for years. And I didn’t realize it because sickness is all I had known my entire life. I needed a doctor. I needed Jesus. A long time ago. But I didn't seek Jesus because I didn't know I needed him.
The only way I realized that I was sick was by infecting someone who wasn’t sick.
I’m not proud of how I found God, but I am proud that I listened when he called for me.
And to be honest with you, if it wasn't for my mistake I made, I wouldn’t have found God.
Now I am not excusing my mistake or justifying sin, but I do believe that God has a way of untangling things. Certain things need to happen in order for other events to occur. Sometimes things need to end, in order for better things to begin.
I lost an amazing person in this journey. A person that I never wanted to lose. I didn’t want to end the relationship with my person in order to find my relationship with God.
But I realized that Jesus is my person. He always has been. I just didn’t know it. It’s hard, so incredible hard. I have more questions than I have answers. But I know that Jesus will give me the answers to all my questions. Maybe not today, maybe not next week or even next month. But one day it’ll all make sense.
See, God is an amazing storyteller. Actually he is the best at telling stories. He will give you clues and hints, but he’ll never tell you the whole story, because he will leave the best bits for you to discover.
I believe that the best pieces of my story still lie ahead. And I believe yours do too. But it isn’t on your time. It’s on his time.
Over these past 6 weeks I came to understand one thing:
Our wounds can become someone else’s wisdom; our hurt can become someone else’s healing; our breakdown can become someone else’s breakthrough!
I broke down. I broke down mentally, physically, and emotionally. So let my breakdown become your breakthrough.
When we wrestle with God, we will find out who we were always meant to be. I found God and I am wrestling with him as we speak. I’m struggling, he’s pulling and pushing me in the right direction. He’s not carrying me, he’s guiding me. You may be all alone, I know I am. But I have him, and him is all we need. It is all we ever needed. A relationship with God trumps every other human relationship you could think of. You have to put God first in order to find out who you were always meant to be. And once you figure that out, everything else will fall into place.
Every night I pray for the person that I lost. I don’t pray for their forgiveness. I pray for their healing. I pray that they become whole again. I pray that they understand that my mistakes were not a reflection of who they were, but rather who I was. That they know that they were always enough. But I wasn’t.
So tonight I will pray for you. I’ll pray that you too find a strong lasting relationship with God. I pray that you will find the courage to become the person you know you always could be.
There is a song called ‘New Wine’ by Hillsong. I love that song because it so accurately describes my current situation.
New wine speaks of a renewed love and intimacy with God. New wine comes from grapes that have been through a recent process of crushing because the wine has been produced under pressure! So, if you have felt as though you have been going through a process of crushing, there's a purpose. Have faith.
New Wine also signifies that it's time for the harvest.
God is breaking new ground. Your season of struggle will come to an end.