They say that life is what happens while we’re busy making our own plans. One minute we think we know exactly where we’re going and the next moment we find that our road map for our journey through this life has been ripped to shreds. It has happened to all of us.
My first real experience of having the road map of my life shredded was in 1994. Much to my dismay, my road map was shredded by my own hands. I was moving along in life with two boys to raise, a career as an administrator in a Christian School and a passion to teach the Word of God. I was very involved in the ministry and as I entered 1994, I was so naive and so unaware of just how shredded my life was going to be before that year ended. I lost everything I had in this life. My marriage, my career, my church and every single friend I had in this life…except for two.
It was the beginning of five years of complete darkness and withdrawal from everything I once knew and was a part of. I am glad that I did not know ahead of time what was going to unfold during that period, because had I known what my journey would end up being I am afraid that I would not have even attempted to get through it. Yes, it was that bad. Looking back, even from my perspective in 2010, I do not know how I survived it. God had many opportunities to take me. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted Him to do just that.
I remember that all I wanted to do was to disappear. I had made such a mess in my life that I did not think there was any hope of ever getting past…my past. I hated everything about myself and my life so much that I couldn’t even stand to look in the mirror. I did not care how I looked to myself or to anyone else. I knew that I did not want to be me and I wanted to be anywhere but where I was at that time. I just wanted to get in my car, put it in drive, head south and go wherever it would out of gas and stay there. Just start over and leave everything behind.
In 1999, my road map in life took another turn. I had already started a new career in business and that was actually moving along nicely. As the year began, I started to rebuild my personal life. I re-connected with my high-school sweetheart and before the year was out I was happily married and I gained two daughters to help raise along with my two sons.
With my career and personal life back on track, there still was a great void in my life. Spiritually I was dead. I know that God was gracious to me during this time, in spite of the fact that I was bitter and unforgiving towards almost everything and everyone. Slowly…piece by piece and stone upon stone I started to re-build my spiritual life. My heart began to soften and the bitterness and unforgiving spirit I had towards others started to leave. I now could forgive others and not harbor bitterness towards those that turned their backs to me when I needed them most. I still will never understand “why” other Christians turn their backs on someone who fails in their life. But I forgive them for it.
The bigger issue for me was in how I would deal with forgiving myself. How could I forgive myself for all all the hurt I caused to my family, my boys, my church and my God? I knew that God could not use me again if I could not forgive others…but He also could not use me if I could not forgive myself as well. In 2009, after almost fifteen years on a wandering spiritual wilderness journey, I made peace with my God and with myself. What I found out is that with every morning you wake up and it is still you in the mirror. You can run but you never can hide from God or from yourself.
I can’t tell you how my journey will end yet because it is not over. At times I wish I could purchase a “Life GPS” that was tapped into the clear directional instructions of God? But that is not how it works.
My present journey is set on a different path—I now walk this journey called my life on solid ground, hand in hand with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I still struggle from time to time, but this time not alone. I am restored from the inside out, and I am encouraged and blessed by every miracle God has given me. He’s given me the miracle of unconditional love, promise, peace, joy, a future! I share this short story of my journey with you because if you, or anyone you know, have ever been where I was, I want you to know that God is the only answer to fill that emptiness, pain, sadness, anger or whatever it is you have experienced—Christ is the way, the truth and the life. You see, once you understand the depth Christ’s love and why He paid the price for all of our sins, it begins to put every situation into a different perspective. It is then that He will take you on to the next step and then on to the next, and the next thing you know you are walking with Jesus on this journey called life.
For you…it is my heartfelt desire and prayer that every word written on this site will encourage you, help strengthen you and give you new insights to face the realities of every day life as you go through your journey.
Look around you, and enjoy the journey because the journey will be a part of who you are when you finally fulfill what God has for you.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. Time is a companion that goes with us on this journey called life. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again.
This past week I posted a note called “I Am Still Here”. This post was about the passing of the closest friend I have ever had on this earth. He was one of the two that stood by me and helped me on my journey and he taught me this very wise perspective…
Instead of saying “Love the Sinner… hate the sin” rather say, “Love the Sinner…HATE your OWN sin”
That perspective changes how you look at everyone and helps you forcus on the things that are important.
I am still here…and my journey continues.