When the world around you is completely dark where is it that you find hope? When the world twists the knife ever deeper into your back where is your sense of security? What happens when the foundation you once stood on has crumbled?
I grew up in a Christian home. My dad has been involved in and with the ministry of the Church ever since I was born. God and Church are as much of my life as is breathing. It was so cool growing up as a young boy and having a hip, cool dad as a youth pastor. I wanted to be just like him.
I grew up believing that God was just there. I believed that He loved me but didn’t really have much else to say or do within my life. I just went through the motions and rode the waves of life. I was straight surfin’ on the ocean sea. Cool life, right? It seemed to be that way.
The problem arose when I started having…problems. God quickly began showing me that He was actually active in the minuscule and minute details of my life. I saw God as caring and personable. It was a completely new look that I had never experienced before. I never wanted to know anything else. Then heartbreak came.
Quick. Unexpected. Unrelenting.
I then believed that God wanted nothing to do with me. I bought into the lie that my family hated me. I thought they didn’t care anymore. I was lost, alone, and hopeless. I sincerely wanted to die. What good was life when I had nothing to live for? The demons literally called my name and echoed this sentiment into my head. It resonated deep within my heart.
The thought of death, whether the grace of God or a terrifying notion, woke me up to just how far away I had gone. I needed forgiveness; the forgiveness of God and for myself. I needed to let go and move on. My anger was suffocating.
My relationship with my father had been strained to say the least but I felt that he was the one to go to. Needless to say, I took my pain and burdens to him and it brought me such peace and grace. He walked with me through some of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. My dad is my best friend and without him I would be dead.
Over the last few years I’ve walked along the floor of some of the darkest, most lonely oceans I could have ever thought of; something tells me they aren’t the worst ones to come. Along my journey though, I’ve found that God is faithful, forgiving, and merciful to me. He loves me despite my failings and my inability to love other people. He forgives me for the most wicked of things and His love never changes despite it. I’ve learned that life will be dark but God is my comfort, my staff, my guide. He has my heart and continually shows me hope by His wonderful grace.
If I can be an example to any of you I hope and pray that you would find this same love. It is there for you and He is walking with you through this. Open up your eyes, put aside your sin, and embrace the free grace of a God who loved and loves you enough to sacrifice his own son for you. Trust deeply in Him and He will be with you. You may never experience roses and sunshine but His love is enough to walk us through even the darkest of nights.
He loves you and so do I.
Never give up.