August 10th, 2014, forever known as the day I acknowledged God as God. In these three years, it’s been an interesting journey. I have a picture on my wall from that day, mostly inexpressive, looking into the camera. What a change since then, and the year before.
The Day the World Stopped
It started a little over a year earlier. I had been attending church out of obligation. When my godson was killed in an accident in my home, the church surrounded us. Even our jobs helped where they could.
An investigation started on us, and I eventually became the focus of it. I looked for an attorney, finding I couldn’t afford one and was starting to panic as paranoia crept in. That’s just the outside, inside I was either numb or angry, in shock or filled with anxiety and guilt.
And I couldn’t stop the tremors in my hands.
My wife and I were in counseling for six free sessions through a program offered by work. It was a nightmare to get her in due to a lack of an interpreter. Our pastor filled that role, later taking on counseling us both since our insurance wouldn’t pay for psychotherapy. I paid out of pocket for as long as I could, lamenting my own turmoil.
At one point in August 2013, I was completely broken. I felt like I was stuck in a nightmare, sure I was going to jail, hated by others, and hating myself. I sat crying in a pew at church while everyone was singing Just As I Am.
Weeping and sobbing, I made the chorus into the most sincere prayer I’ve probably ever prayed.
I come broken to be mended,
I come wounded to be healed,
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled…
God Begins to Move…
Things began to happen. A lawyer offered his services to us free of charge. My wife was cleared, though I was arrested and charged with child endangerment. They let me out on a signature bond, and the officers that did the booking paperwork acknowledged that is was an accident.
The court process went smoothly, so smoothly that our attorney remarked he’d never seen a case go so smoothly. I was given probation, a suspended jail sentence, a fine, and I could never get a concealed carry permit in the state again. That was the deal, and we only had one quibble that quickly went our way.
This, among other things falling so easily into place, despite the emotional turmoil and probability, I began to suspect someone was working in the background.
These lyrics from Andrae Crouch’s song came to mind to explain the year between the accident and my baptism.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God
The Year of the Prodigal goes over 2014 in depth. I began to study the book of James and reading Immediate Obedience. I was learning how to follow Christ. In that year, I realized I was a lot like the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke, and God is the loving Father.
The Year of Renewal was spent diving into apologetics, and slowly turning away from things that didn’t honor God. During that year, I was diagnosed with PTSD, yet Christ works best with broken things.
I walked away from a business I had inherited the previous year, that had made the original owner wealthy. It didn’t fit me now, I was a new creation. That year rather than being a prodigal, I felt like I had been worked on by a divine blacksmith in life’s fires.
2016 was the Year of Searching and Growth, where I worked on developing relationships and philosophical musings on God. I felt like I was being prepared for something, and I’m still not totally sure for what.
I lost two friends in a week’s time as I continued searching for my purpose. Occasionally struggling with the idea of relationships, because I think God is getting a chuckle at making a loner logician value and understand people from an emotional perspective.
The end of the year brought our second pregnancy along with our second miscarriage. We grieved, we questioned, yet we trusted God. This was a fire that tempers or destroys faith, and considering how I got here, it was a hotter fire that brought me to Him.
Faith was grounded, tested, and proved that year.
What About Now?
This year has just been me given greater roles at work and church, relationships developing and growing, and working on one big thing. The contrast from then and now has been a complete 180. I’m not sure if any of my old friends understand it, maybe they will if they read this. I’ve even lost some friends.
Still, tomorrow is my 3-year Rebirthday. 🙂