So over the past nineteen years since I became aware of my need for God, He has done some rather amazing and awesome things. I’ve not always been the best at surrendering to Him, but He is always faithful.
And when you realize that through the years there has been these dark clouds of depression that continue to jack with your radar…well, that explains a lot about the not surrendering part and the ups and downs too! Does it make it any easier having a diagnoses? The juries still out on that one.
It does help in the area of regaining focus…albeit slowly! But it can also be detrimental if used as an excuse…which I will not do! I prefer to look at this as God continuing His work in me and making me into the new creation He has had planned all along (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21), even if I do kick and scream a bit along the way. I figure I’m in good company, Paul was conflicted at times too (Romans 7:14-25).
My journey with God had started way back around 1980 or so. I answered the altar call one night at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside. It didn’t take long though for me to put my new found faith up on a shelf. I didn’t know then just how easily we can be disillusioned by people in the church, and what happens when you put your faith in them rather than in God!
That situation caused me to rethink this whole church thing…and I walked away…choosing to live the way I wanted to. I’ve already covered most of that in previous blogs, so I won’t repeat here, but feel free to check out those blogs, thanks!
It was 1994 when I first began to give this surrendering thing a real try. Within three months of returning to God, He placed me into my first ministry; singing on the worship team. Then within a year I was asked to take over the men’s ministry. I never felt like I was qualified, but God doesn’t call the qualified.
Fast forward to our move in 1996 to rural Kern County…and God landed us in a church helping out with youth ministry. We were the “watch dogs” for a while, the ones who made sure the kids weren’t sneaking off for a smoke. Then we started teaching the lessons. It was pretty cool working with those teens, many we get to see and minister to even today.
I got asked to move out to the other end of our valley and help out with the youth program there. I had already answered the call to take seminary classes and was midway through cramming a two year degree into four years! Life was going well for us.
But then you get slammed sometimes by the strangest things. We stepped down from that ministry and spent some time wandering in a desert. Not sure of what God had in store for us. Those storm clouds that had been jacking with my radar were beginning to boil up again.