Share Your Story

Sometime my evenings don’t pan out the way I would like them, yesterday evening was no different.  I set out to reply to comments, I got to only the second comment from Lori Lara on my last post and was viewing her Blog when I came across this post: 39 Minutes That Will Change Your Life. A note in her post said to skip to 25 minutes in if you don’t have time to watch the whole message, so I did.

Watch – Share Your Story, Shawn Johnson, Red Rocks Church

The message was such that after it had finished playing, I went back and played it again from the start.  If you not seen it, it is well worth watching, you won’t be disappointed.

I know I have a strong testimony for what God has done in my life.  I know on here, hidden behind my keyboard and an IP address I can’t write about my story in detail, no problem there, in Church and in our Connect Group I have spoken at length about my story, but outside of that, I guess I keep hiding, that’s where I have to start making changes.

My story and experience has helped a troubled youngster before, the circumstances then were such that I experienced both great elation that I could help, but I was scared at the way it all unfolded, the experience took me by surprise.

That experience all started around the time I started this blog, back in September/October last year I had started walking every morning, when I walk and especially on the long walks of 13 miles or so, I go through a lot of things in my mind, sometimes daydreaming, sometimes working things out and sometimes praying.  One Saturday morning whilst walking in my head I went through a conversation with a member of our youth, the conversation took place in our Church, in the main hall after a service on Sunday morning, the long and the short of it was that this youngster told me they had been struggling with things and indeed self harming, in the vision I had been able to help through me experience of addiction and moments of deep despair and suicide, then that was it, I moved on to thinking about something else.

That was until the following Saturday, whilst walking again, I went through the same conversation in my head, this time a different youngster, but essentially the same conversation, same place, same time, just different person.  This happened again the next week, as far as I can remember it happened three times, same conversation, just a different person each time.

Then in November, on a Sunday morning after service, I began a conversation with a young girl I’ve known since she was very young, I know her family and knew that her parents had recently split, in the course of the conversation she told me that she indeed had been struggling with that and had been self harming for sometime.  We talked for sometime and I tried to help as best I could.

The next morning whilst walking it hit me what had happened, that I had been seeing this vision of the conversation the day before for sometime, I had been prepared for it, even though I was complete unprepared for who this youngster was, that moment of realisation hit me hard and I was shell shocked, I was in tears, firstly for this young girl and secondly because I didn’t know what was happening to me.

I spoke with Sarah at out Church, firstly she is one of the Child Protection Officers at the Church, so I had to report the conversation and secondly she was one of the leaders of the course I was attending at Church, she helped me realise that I was given these visions through the holy spirit and that I had been prepared to help this girl. It took a number of phone calls and discussions with Sarah and also James to understand what was happening and why, I can honestly say I was “Freaked Out” at first, but when I got my head around it all, as it all unfolded, those feelings changed.

Over the coming weeks I had a number of conversations with this girl, I encouraged her to pray when she had the urge to cut, told her how it had helped me when I was struggling with the urges to drink and indulge in other vices that I had suffered from in my dark years.  I told her about my suicide moments and how to remove that temptation, I had handed over my penknife to Victoria, removed the urge by removing the implement, I encouraged her to hand over her blade to her Youth Group leader and to speak with her leader further about her problems.

I was trying to help as much as I could, I hoped I was doing the right thing and not making the situation worse.  Then a few weeks after the initial conversation, I attended my midweek course at Church, this week the young girl attended as well, it was here she said she wanted to give me something, I thought I had a good idea what it was too.

I was right, she handed me a small tin, within this tin was a number of items, including a blade from a pencil sharpener, various broken bits of plastic and other items, it was quite obvious she had used these to cut herself with, some of the bits still had blood on them.

It was an amazing feeling that I had actually helped, that I had made a difference in this young girls life, when many around her just didn’t understand her need or her urge to cut, to self harm, that through my experience, although different, I was help to reach out to her to help her.

But not only that, but that God had used me and the darkness within which I had walked to help someone else.

As Shawn says in his preach, we may not have all the answers, but we know what God has done for us, like the verse in the Bible he used to illustrate this, people were saved because she believed.  So after this episode of my life and journey, then seeing this video last night, I began to question myself, why am I hiding again and how can I use my story in a way in which I can help others. 

Now I’ve just got to work that out for myself, do I just wait to be pointed in the right direction or just go out there and do it, stay comfortable or take a leap out of my comfort zone?

During our conversations I told this girl how a song had helped me in my early days, I suggested she listen to a song, this one, when things were hard to put this on, which she did.

YOU ARE MORE by TENTH AVENUE NORTH
There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide
She says how did I get here
I’m not who I once was
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love

But don’t you know who you are
What has been done for you
Yeah don’t you know who you are
You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

Well she tries to believe it 
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight
She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s to weak to try

But don’t you know who you are
You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

Cause this is not about what you’ve done
But what’s been done for you
This is not about where you’ve been
But where your brokenness brings you too
This is not about what you build
But what He built to forgive you
And what He built to make you know

You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade

2 thoughts on “Share Your Story

  1. leftnfree

    Praise God! Yes, God is allowing you the ability to not only see the way you can be of help but also offering you the chance to help others. Praise God that you are tender and able to listen. I believe that those of us who have walked out of the darkness into the light will not only be able to minister to the wounded but also know the signs that often times churches miss We often times forget that the Church is full of wounded people who just because they come to Christ doesn’t mean that they are well. There is a healing process that takes us from Shame to Grace. It is hard work. Yet Holy Spirit will help carry us through

    Our young people today are at great despair because not only is the church trying everything to get to them but they are still suffering. We who have walked out of this life are able to minister deeply from the healing that God gives.

    Thank you for sharing this Wayne because you have also re- encouraged me and my own ministry.

    PRAISE GOD!!! Keep doing the things that God calls you to do….

    Reply

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