Every have one of those nights where you start listening to music and then you start to become deeper and deeper with God. Tonight is one of those nights. I was ready to start on some work and started listening to this song.
Rend Collective – Build Your Kingdom Here
The lyrics are amazing…. Rest of the lyrics can be found at http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=73469
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
The song just started to amp me up and I started to think about how great God really is and has been in my life. I decided to switch to Pandora and put Rend Collective as my artist and the first song that started to play was an old favorite “The Valley Song” By Jars of Clay. I’ve heard the song a hundred time and for some reason this lyrics really hit me. “You have led me, to the sadness, I have carried this pain. On a back bruised, nearly broken, I’m crying out to You…”
The Valley Song – Jars of Clay
Rest of the lyrics can be found at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jarsofclay/thevalleysongsingofyourmercy.html
I’m so Thankful for everything God has provided in my life. A loving family, a beautiful wife and adorable son. I just think back when God was pulling my heart to come back to him many many years ago. I remember like it was yesterday. I have not written my testimonial publicly and I feel now is the time… Sorry, if there are a lot of grammar errors. I’m just typing as the memories come back.
Many years ago when I was 19 – 20 (I’m 28 now) I had no direction in my life. I was going to college but I had no clue what I wanted to be what my future had in store for me. During this time I was single, depressed, lonely and sad. I had a loving family and everyone cared for me but something was always missing.
Life was not going the way I wanted and I always said if I had a million dollars everything would be perfect. Of course, we all know money doesn’t solve everything. I met someone on myspace (not in person just online) name Erica. She talked to me about how great God was and everything but I didn’t want to hear anything about it. Honestly, I didn’t care for God, church or anything along those lines. A few years before I started going to a church but they honestly freaked me out with their head slapping and everything. Way before this when I was younger I went to church but it was just because my family forced me to go. Honestly, most of the time I just slept while I was there. Erica spoke to me about every day about how great God was and what he’s done for her life and she invited me several times to go to Wave Church. Again, didn’t care about God. This went on for maybe 6 – 8 months. Came Thanksgiving and I decided to go visit my Aunt and Grandma. I was still sad and depressed at this time and I was listening to Good Charlotte “We Believe” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ELD1Ye_pws and a few of their other songs on the plane. “We Believe” made me think about life. The song was very sad and made me honestly cry on the plane. I have a great life and something still missing. I could not figure out what it was. I thought if I had money everything would be better. If I had a girlfriend everything would be better. Nothing.
Honestly had no clue. What I got off the plane my Aunt asked me how’s everything I said it’s alright it would be better if I had a million dollars. She laughs and said money doesn’t solve everything. Fast forward to that Sunday. My Aunt and Grandma go to church but again still at this time I really did not want anything to do with God. I decided to go, and I’m glad I did. In the service that morning I quickly realized that I was meant to be there. It wasn’t because it was church…it was because of the message. The pastor was talking and the words that came out of his mouth were directed to me. “Even if you had a million dollars you life would not be the same without God.” That was a direct smack in my face. Talking about God using others to relay his message. That day really changes some of my thinking about God. When I got back home from my trip visiting my Aunt I had some friends who wanted to check out Wave Church. Which was funny because Erica was trying to get me to go there. I decided to go with them. I went with a big group. Amanda, Summer, Vicki, Brandon, and a few others (sorry that I don’t remember everyone). After dinner, we all decided to go to Soul Central at Wave Church. It was a cool place, modern music, lights, etc. Honestly didn’t care for the music because it was “Christian”. The message that night was was by their Pastor Carl Lentz. Again, the message hit me directly in my face and I started crying. At the end of the night, they said anyone that wants to ask God for forgiveness come up front. I didn’t want to go but I was crying like a baby and that’s when Summer decided to take me upfront. That night I dedicated (or rededicated) my life to Christ.
From that day on life has not been the same and while I loved and enjoy every moment it was not the easier journey. I don’t want to hear anyone say life is hard until you try to walk your life as a Christian with temptation, sin, and evil always attacking you. The Christian walk is the hardest walk I have ever been on. You would think with God everything would be fine but think again. Some of you may not think that the devil is real but I can tell you he is and he is there to tempts you. When you’re not a Christian you don’t realize the sins, temptation or evil because you’re already in the devil’s hands. As a Christian, we are far from perfect. We realize that we need the love and helping had from God to help us with our journey. This was the black hole that was missing in my life and I was once again filled. During my time I lost my depression, I had a direction and more confidence with what I wanted to do with my life. I met many great people and you could see the love of Christ that was within them. You really don’t understand love until you see people who care and love you for who you are. That’s the way Jesus lived his life. He loves everyone, the sinners, the wicked, the evil. Jesus always showed his love. I also started to show my love to others. I realized that I really love people. I love helping people and caring for them. Even if they don’t give me anything in return. It’s amazing how someone goes from depressed, sad, etc to excited about life. My life has been changed drastically. I always wonder where I would be in life if it wasn’t for that moment when I was visiting my aunt or if Erica didn’t become friends with me on Myspace. I have realized as being a Christian for many years God is always there waiting. We have the free will to do whatever or believe in whomever we like. God will always try to pull you back as he did for me. Again, this journey has not been an easy one. I’ve sinned, I’ve done unchristian things, but God has always been there for me. Nobody is perfect. People always say they don’t like going to church because it’s full of hypocrites. Well of course it is. Just because we’re a Christian doesn’t mean we’re perfect. We just know that Jesus died for our sins so we could have a direct connection with God and that God is always there for us when we sin or need him in our life’s.
Fast forward to now…Life is amazing. gave me I have a wonderful beautiful wife (today is our 2 year anniversary) who my first son Ayden. I’m no longer going to Wave because my wife and I decided to go to Atlantic Shores church because her family goes there. While at first about a year or two ago, I didn’t want to go Shores because my home was Wave. I now realized again that I am where I’m supposed to be. God has closed the door at Wave Church and opened it to our home Shores.
God will open and close many doors in your life. Some you may not want the door to close, but you just have to let it be. There is always a reason.
While tonight I did not get any of the work I wanted to be accomplished tonight. Maybe God wanted me to make this public because someone out there is trying to find what is missing in their life or their struggling with their Christian walk. I struggle too, and I always think back to my testimonial.
I still sin to this day. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I know God is there for me no matter what.
It’s 3 am now and I’ve been writing this since 1 am. Thanks for taking the time and reading.