Life is never easy, we all have our ups and downs, our good days and our bad days, our triumphs and our failures, we are but human, we are all tested by God, as it is written he never gives us anything we can’t handle, so why do we cry out so quickly sometimes when the going gets hard.
I went from a happy go lucky sort of guy, to someone hiding his actual existence, I hid behind those curtains, afraid to let the world see what I had become, ashamed to show who the real me was, I was weak, but I felt like I was handling it my way, the best way for me, sinking down to the bottom of a bottle, removing myself from reality with my daily doses of alcohol.
By the grace and forgiveness of God, I was able to turn it around, to accept Jesus within my life and trust that God would be with me always, enabled me to find the strength to resist that which brought me down and start the rebuilding of my life.
In just over ten months, I’ve come along way, I have worked through and fought against many obstacles and problems in that time, I have overcome many, but others are still to be resolved.
Sometimes I look at the ones to be resolved, I get angry that they yet to be dealt with, I have resolved so many things in my life recently, why are there still things to be sorted, why can’t I have what I want now.
I often pray for one situation to be resolved, a situation which to be quite honest is beyond my immediate control, I cannot change a person’s heart, I can only have influence on the situation be carrying on with the rebuilding process, of which there is still so much to do, the old broken buildings have been taken down and so far the foundations have been laid deeper and stronger and the walls are starting to be built up stronger.
Yesterday started with a great walk and lovely moment sat by the lake reading the Bible. I made it to Church as usual, took my old seat at the back for the first time in a few months, simply because I have been helping on the Audio/Visual team of late, I wasn’t schedule to be on this week, so I could enjoy the service like everyone else.
During worship I felt the weight of my relationship situation hit me, I started to weep, but I tried hard to focus on the songs and sing along, but I couldn’t hold the emotion, I broke down, I slumped back into my seat, put my head in my hands as I cried, uncontrollably for the first time since the night I met with Gareth, I prayed for help, I felt lost and useless, eventually I took myself out to clean myself up, I needed a moment.
The people around me didn’t pry, they let me have my moment, some were probably oblivious, some noticed, but didn’t say anything, I retook my seat and waited quietly for the message to start.
This week saw the start of a new series based on the Book of James from the New Testament. Gareth’s message discussed the problems we face and how we respond to them, that we should be glad to face our problems and find a resolution through our faith in God.
Every word hit me, it all just reinforced my thinking, despite my moment of weakness, the pain I was feeling was a good thing, a problem that actually I am so glad to have, because I know that I still care and I still love, regardless of what else is happening to me and around me I still have those feelings with a passion.
Something else happened during the service, I’ve felt Jesus in my heart before, when I was called out for my Baptism and other times when I’ve been close to giving in to temptation, but today he was there and it was different. At my Baptism I froze, literally froze, everything stopped for a moment, other times I felt just a short sharp feeling of my heart freezing, but today it was so different. This time I felt like my heart was burning, it was like having a hot water bottle for a heart.
I’ve had chest pain before, I suffered heart strain and due to my hypertension often feel pains in my chest, but this was so different, there was no pain, just the warmest feeling within my chest that I could ever image, it’s so hard to describe, as I say it was like having a hot water bottle in my chest and it stayed with me until I was in a straight of calmness.
I broke down again after the service, James came over obviously noticing something was wrong and I lost it, breaking down once again, we talked for a long time and I found a calmness in talking with him, he has been a rock to lean on so many times and he was once again.
I left Church to walk home, a little shell shocked to be honest, I got home, Victoria and the kids were back already, she had made some dinner and then I just laid down and slept, I was physically and emotionally tired, I had karate later so I just took and hour to rest.
On my way home I dropped in on David, a friend who was sat next to me in Church, he knows all about my situation and knew exactly why I had broke down, he offered if I wanted to drop in to talk I could anytime, he lives at the bottom of my road, so as I passed I knocked on the door. We had a great chat and I felt much better afterwards, I was calm, God had brought me friends to talk to, to help me deal with it, I am thankful for each one of them.
James texted me later to make sure I was alright, he suggested I download the podcast of the service and listen to it again, there was so much in there that would help me, so I did, I downloaded it and decided I would listen to it on my morning walk.
So this morning I did and I realised that my problem is a great one to have, in a strange sort of way, it isn’t ideal I know and sometime isn’t easy to live with, but because I felt so strongly about what was happening here, I knew I still have the love, desire and passion within, together with the burning heart, the love of Jesus within, I knew God was with me and for me.
I know many of you who have followed my journey over the last few months have shown an amazing amount of concern for me, people I have never met have become treasured friends and I want you all to know I am fine, God is with me, I know that for sure.
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need You
God, I need You now
(Need You Now by Plumb)