Tag Archives: Unleash

Unleash: The Return

Last year’s Unleash event was a massive breakthrough for me, as I’ve discussed before I got to let out a lot of what was trapped inside, I told my story in all it’s gory detail, to say it broke a few chains was an understatement. Last year though I was on roll, I was doing well and approached it knowing it was going to be the leap forward that it turned out to be.

This year though, the build up for me has been somewhat different, almost a complete opposite of where I was last year, this year the approach to the event has been dogged by my own state of mind, not eager anticipation, something far worse, in all honesty bordering on depression, my own mind has been haunting me over these last two weeks.

But I’ve just been pushing on, trying to drive through, trying to bury these feelings, kept them mostly inside and tried to give the impression that I’m okay.

The reality is I haven’t been, I’ve been struggling, I haven’t been eating properly or even drinking properly. At work I’ve just been getting stuck in with my job, by my own choice just working through, skipping lunch and even finding myself not having a single drink throughout my long day, it’s left me worn out and tired.

So I went to Unleash yesterday, knowing I had to stop hiding and admit firstly to myself where I was, but more importantly admit it to others.

Last night’s preach by Gareth hit the nail on the head, he pointed out how we as men fail to deal with our insecurities, it was just what I needed to hear.

Following that we had an impromptu match of five a side football, that lasted until midnight, it was great fun and good social time, even though between that and this afternoon’s matches, we all ended up battered and bruised.  My shins are missing a few patches of skin and I’m certainly not the only one!

After chatting through my issues with Tim, my room mate for the night, I turned in to get some sleep at about 2am.

Then at just after 3am, I woke, wide awake and thinking about a vision I had had just before going to sleep. Needless to say it pointed me to the book of Jonah, which I then proceeded to read, that’s when I realised I’m running away from where God wants me to be too, I’m running away and hiding from the people who can help me, the people which were sharing the same building as me at this very moment, purely by hiding my feelings, it was time to stop, the messages were clear.

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So today and indeed the whole weekend has been another big step forward. Even though the truth has been painful at times (the football bruises also) it’s been a great weekend and great time spent with great friends.

I’ve been pretty honest with where I am at the moment, I spoken to both Gareth and Justin, my Pastors, about where I am and how I’ve been feeling, I’ve also arranged to meet with my Connect Group leaders before our meeting on Wednesday to speak with them about it all too.

I’m putting steps in place and dealing with it, I’m beyond hiding now, I did that before and look where that got me, an addiction, lost love and suicide moments, that could have been disastrous, there’s no way I’m going back to that.

I maybe be tired now after just an hours sleep and all the football, but it’s a completely different kind of tired to the feelings I arrived with, I’m not worn anymore, just tired, I’m refreshed even if everything in my life isn’t right and I believe there is still more to come following this weekend, God is certainly moving for me at the moment.

I know I’m in no way the only one to get something out of this weekend, I don’t actually think anyone there can say they haven’t learnt something or indeed something about themselves from the weekend.

When You walk into the room, everything changes
Darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring
When You walk into the room, every heart starts burning
And nothing matters more than just to sit here at Your feet and worship You

We Love You, and we’ll never stop
We can’t live without You, Jesus
We Love You, We can’t get enough
All this is for You, Jesus

When You walk into the room, sickness starts to vanish
Every hopeless situation, ceases to exist
When You walk into the room, The dead begin to rise
Cause there is resurrection life in all You do

Come and consume God, all we are
We give You permission, our hearts are Yours
We want You, We want You

Up And Down

I wish this journey was easy, for a time it seemed that way, but then it seemed to take a turn, from a gentle paddle down stream, into the vicious torrent of a white water rapids.

When I started out it was hard, going through the pain of withdrawal at the same time as trying to come to terms with the reality of the situation I found myself in, it wasn’t easy and I struggled at times. There were certainly times I wanted to give in, to go back and pick up a bottle to take the pain away, just like the life I used to lead, but I stuck at it, I learnt to pray and found that sharing my problems and my pain seemed to ease them somewhat.

Once I got through that it seemed a steady climb to begin growing as a person, throughout the rest of last year I feel I made progress and along the way a few occasions arrived that saw me grow immensely.

I know from my karate training, that over the years I developed fairly steadily, then there were a few distinctive points where something just fell into place and I made rapid advances in understanding and as a result technique improved considerably.

I can see that from last year also, I thought I was moving along steadily from May when the withdrawals finally subsided, until July, then as I doubted myself, but I was lifted from my seat to the stage in a moment to be Baptised, it was a big step, one I didn’t believe I was ready for or even understood, but when the calling came, who I was I to ignore it, I accepted it and stepped from my self doubt to be baptised.

Then around this time last year I had another one of those big steps forward. I attended the Unleash getaway with the men from Everyday Champions Church. There in the very first session I had and interview of sorts with James, for the first time I got to let out the real details of who I really was and what it was I had brought me to where I was. I hadn’t really gone into detail about it since the night Gareth and Alex came around back in March, but in the six months that had passed I had discovered a lot more about me and my addiction, that night in March I never intentionally lied, it was that it just it was hidden so deep, I wasn’t even admitting it to myself. I had had a lot if time to discover all the details in the months between, then starting this blog at the beginning of October last year allowed me to discover even more about myself, so much more than I ever realised. I could discuss that in an environment that was safe, I had no fear that night, I was able to say everything I wanted, that weekend I grew, that weekend some of the chains that held me down were broken, that was a big step forward for me, an invaluable weekend that went too fast.

After that the rest of the year and the first few months if this year were easy sailing, I was handling it all well and growing steadily, then a phone call at 7am on the morning of 1st March, shook my world.

Since that moment the easy sailing has never been quite the same, since then it’s been a rough ride all the way. I had a tough time coming to terms with my Nan’s death, it hit hard and I wobbled big time, I never honestly thought about drinking, but I really struggled with my thinking, I fell into my own head again, trapped in the madness.

Then just as I seemed to get out of that, I hit another problem, we were broke, no money and bills piling up again, I found myself in despair again, struggling with all that and obviously it put even more strain on a relationship that was already in tatters, I stumbled again.

Then prayer brought work and answers, I started to get back on track until another phone call. Just as I was picking myself up my other Nan died, back to square one, the rough ride continued.

Since then it’s been an up and down sort of ride, there are times when I feel good and really think I’m moving forward and then times when I get stuck back in my own mind again, that brings me down big time.

The worst thing about that is that when I there I try to deal with it all on my own, that feeling of it’s my problem to deal with and others really won’t understand stand what it is I’m struggling with. In reality that isn’t true, I know that, but when you’re stuck in a mind that’s depressed, your view of things becomes clouded.

Of late a lot has troubled me, nearly always down to money and relationship, but let’s be honest here, the latter is the one that beats me down the most and puts me back deeper into my own mind.

Sometimes things are okay and other times the little things just get to me. The other week the reality of what I had created for myself was spelt out to me and it broke me down, it threw me right back in there.

Last night got to me as well, in a different way, it made me realise how alone I seem to find myself and it’s of my own making. Once again I’m trying to cope with all this in silence, last night was no different.  I know I’m not alone, friends are always there to help, I just seem to keep trying to do it all on me own.

When Justin asked for anyone who needs prayer to go to the front to be prayed for, I held fast, I knew I should go, I knew I needed to go forward, but I stood in my own silence again. I seemed to be telling myself that I couldn’t go, I’ve done it too many times that I couldn’t go forward again! But at the same time I knew I should go too, but I just stood there head down, holding on. Then Jo came to me, she knew what had got to me the other week, she asked if she could pray with me, I just nodded and then cried. Then James joined me, he prayed too and said he felt that I was in turmoil inside, well he hit the nail on the head with that one, I am still in turmoil.

Even tonight something really simple is getting to me, I understand why and the reasons, but it doesn’t stop it getting right under my skin, putting me back in that mind of mine.

But tomorrow, there is light, it’s back to Unleash again, a year on from where I had a massive breakthrough, at a time when I need it most, I’m praying I have a similar experience.  Maybe I’ll get the chance to be open and really discuss what it is that’s hidden so deep, that really is getting to me.

I pray both morning and night for my situation, I will keep praying, both morning and night.  This morning I stood at the side of the lake praying, I was trying my best to bring it all to God, but the words weren’t there, that’s when I felt I had to do it differently, I was being told do it the way you know how to do it best, if you can’t say it write it.  Last night I had started on a poem about how exactly I was feeling, I need to revisit it and expand on it somewhat, it’s probably the most honest one I’ve ever written, but it may take a while longer to complete, we’ll see…

So for now rant over, I’m tired, I’m worn and just looking to tomorrow now.

There’s a trench in the floor
From my knees, from my knees
I’ve prayed for years
I’ve wanted more
Down on my knees, on my knees
And I have lost my voice
Crying out, crying out
Until I hear You speak
I’m crying out, I’m crying out

I will fall down, I will fall down
I will fall down, at Your feet
And all this time, I was blind
I couldn’t see, I couldn’t see
That Your love, is never earned
Oh, it’s free, it’s free

What am I fighting for
Is it for peace, is it for peace
How can I stop this war
Inside of me, inside of me
I will fall down, I will fall down
I will fall down, at Your feet
I’m trading this battle for peace
I’m trading this battle for peace 

Walking Tall

“Although I may only be 5 feet 4½ inches tall, tonight I thank God that I walk taller than any man.”

The last 24 hours or so have been a major break through in my life, the whole weekend marks a point in my life when I am free from the pain of my past. I know there will still be times when it will come back to haunt me, to bite at me once again, but for now I am no longer holding it inside, my deepest secrets have been released and the Hot Coal been extinguished, the scars are beginning to heal.

It’s been a fantastic weekend with the guys from Church at the Unleash Getaway, as part of last night’s meeting, I was asked if I was up for being interviewed about my past in front of the 60 others that were gathered, having posted Holding on to Hot Coals last Friday I knew it was time to let out the things I was holding in, the ones that were causing my pain, I jumped at the chance.  So Friday night I let it all out, the response from the guys was fantastic and I felt truly blessed to be in the company of these people.

Saturday morning was just as inspirational as a friend, who had previously told me some of his story, was interviewed.  I have to say he cried when I was Baptised, now I was crying as he told his story in detail, the connection between the two of us is stronger than I ever knew, I feel inspired by his story.  If he can rebuild his life with the faith he has shown, then he is further inspiration for me to continue rebuilding mine.

Saturday afternoon’s story was from a young man, who had luckily realised at an early age that his life had spiralled out of control on drink and drugs, he changed his life and turned to God, yet another inspiration for me on my journey.

I was blessed to be in the company of these two, together with all the other great guys, who were so supportive, the whole weekend was just brilliant, the only draw back was that it’s over so quickly, I want to be back there now, soaking up all the inspiration and faith that was in the place.

In the morning seminar I got the chance to speak briefly on last nights experience, I said:

“There was freedom in speaking last night, I feel that most of the chains that hold me down have now been broken”.

Stop the press, everything’s a mess
You can look alive, but you are not at rest.
And i-ideas are flowing through your head
A million miles an hour while lying in your bed
A lucid life you never thought you’d lead
(Of Men And Angels by The Rocket Summer)

I beg you all, don’t hold on to those hot coals, let them go, take them out and drop them in that bucket, only then can you be truly free from the pain inside.