I feel a need to write this, to tell my short story of my return to faith in Jesus Christ, my return to follow His way. This is my testimony of how Jesus alone has given me the power, the experience, to lift me from despair. How God alone, through Christ, has restored my marriage, my family, and is restoring every area of my life. I feel compelled to finally speak out publicly on this.
It’s been well over nine months since I have posted anything of significance. By that I mean, any real thoughts on life, and what’s been going on for me. For those who know me well I have always been outspoken on my thoughts on faith, and spirituality. The last decade for me has been tumultuous, to say the least. It has been a place of shadow and pain. The roots of such darkness and pain lie in my deep past and really is a long story (one that I will not be telling here).
It was around, 2010 to 2011, when I started questioning my faith in Jesus Christ. When I was twenty years old I had received Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. My life was radically changed, and my life has been marked by this experience till this day. I remember that change, of giving my heart, my life, my all to Christ, and the joy it brought me. I was blessed with a wife, kids, a good job, and so forth.
However, as the years rolled by my faith turned into a religion, a mere list of rules and legalism, of do’s and don’ts.
The life in my faith died, and I became bitter and angry at so much in life due to legalism and spiritual abuse (another story). My life had become one big charade. I looked good on the outside, but on the inside, I was torn. I questioned everything and left my faith, the church, and ventured into the wilderness to explore, and I soon lost my way and became lost.
I ventured through atheism, then on to other religions, various philosophical ideas, and much more. While I was filling my head with knowledge, I lost everything. My marriage died, my kids were hurt, and I became deeply addicted to alcohol, and in the end, was smoking like a freight train. I had zero direction or joy in my life. When my wife and I separated was the climax of our fall. I say “our”, because we were both lost.
During our separation, I knew the darkness more intimately than I can describe. The crushing despair, grief, and anxiety, was constant. I tried to bury my pain in alcohol, in a wrong ungodly relationship, and I was just checked out. I tried to maintain some sort of spiritual walk, but it had no power, no true experience that could set me free. Relief was nowhere to be found and the dark rabbit hole I was in seemed to know no depths.
Around the spring of 2019, I believe God really started to deal with my heart. My misery left me in deep desperation and longing to return to the living faith of my youth. I felt conviction, and I knew I had to turn my life back over wholly to Christ and to put my trust and faith fully in the gospel. I know there are many reading this who don’t agree with where I am going with this, and that’s okay. I have heaped upon myself knowledge, and seeking, and in all my seeking I gained nothing, but lost everything. When everything I will ever need has only been found in a living, breathing, relationship with Christ Jesus. That’s my experience.
18 Let no man deceive himself If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; 20 and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
Say what you will. I have no desire to argue the points, to philosophy, to debate, for it gains nothing. Neither do I ever desire to be a pompous, arrogant, rude, and condescending religious person. It’s true that Christianity can be the same old dead religion that so many others are. By dead I mean, there is no life, no real change, nothing that makes your heart leap inside of you, that changes the whole way you look at and see the world. The type of life that pours forth never-ending, ever abounding, love and grace into your life. This is what has happened to me as I have turned over my life back to Jesus Christ. It is what is happening as I pursue Him, even as He relentlessly pursues me.
This I know, once I fully turned my life back to Jesus Christ, things changed radically once again for me. My wife had already turned her life back to Christ. My marriage was reconciled, and so much healing has taken place over the past several months. No, everything is not perfect. There is still a long journey ahead, but I no longer walk it alone, for within me is the living breathing Christ.
No, I don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. What I do have is true power, life-changing power, living inside of me through Christ. It is my trust, my faith in Him alone, that is effectually working in me. Not all the other religions, ideas, philosophies I accumulated for a decade. It was not the anxiety and depression meds (not saying anything is wrong with medication, you have your own journey to walk out just saying that meds did nothing for me) that I was taking.
Now I go into the new decade restored and being restored. I go in leaning into the grace of God found in Christ Jesus. My only prayer is to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection”, as St. Paul so eloquently wrote (Philippians 3:10). Jesus said Himself, “This is life eternal, to know Him, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent” (John 17:3). For me, there is nothing else that gives life than this one desire, this one hunger, to know Him.
This is but a part of my testimony, just a part of where I am, and where I have been, of where I am going in Christ. Many may not agree, and that’s okay, but I know what has saved me, what has redeemed me, what has changed me, what has restored me, and that is my Lord, Christ Jesus, and faith in Him alone. I am so thankful.
The journey continues, for we are all truly on a journey. May each of our journeys lead to Christ Jesus, and may, in the end, it be, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.(Galatians 2:20).
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“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.(Galatians 2:20).
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(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at thehotline.org~