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 by BRYAN & KATIE TORWALT
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