For the past 5 years, I have had the honor of being on staff at one of the most innovate churches in America. I had nowhere to go but up as far as success. The church was big before I got there, and from an outside glance, I had it made. But here is the truth…I faked it. I got really good at faking having it all together as a student ministry director. I talked the talk, I looked like I walked the walk, but inside I let an enormous amount of junk start to pile up and did nothing but try and sweep it under a rug. I’m a well-liked guy. People tell me that all the time, and the hard part of that is that many of my friends swept stuff under a rug for me because they either didn’t want to make waves, have tough conversations, or just wrote it off as “Well, that’s just how he is.” I am on the front end of basically rebuilding myself from the inside out. But I would love to share a handful of things that have gotten me to this place.
- Stop lying to yourself. You say that lie enough times, you start to believe it. You say that lie out loud to others, and they start to believe it too.
- Take responsibility. Own up to your actions, words, and understand that there are consequences. I have taught that enough in front of students, now its time to model it.
- Get help now. I used to have an amazing accountability circle, and then I let it slide drastically. That has been rebuilt, and they know that the #1 priority is asking me the tough questions that need to be asked, and I must be honest for that to work. I’m also seeking professional help because the junk in my head must be dealt with to continue forward.
- Believe this…I confess, He forgives, it is covered with the blood of Christ on the cross, and now I move forward. I have said this to myself out loud for the past 5 weeks. I’m starting to believe it.
I’m in a place that I’ve never been before. People have asked me, “What are you going to do next?” I have told them, “Suffer, mourn, and then rebuild.” My senior pastor gave me some amazing advice recently. He said, “Life is not a snapshot. You take a picture with a camera, and it freezes that moment forever, its part of the reason we like pictures. Its frozen in that moment forever, Its captured, preserved. But life’s not like that. And when you are in a moment, and you’re looking at yourself thinking, “I am a failure, I can’t even serve God right, I can’t even be faithful to Christ. I am a failure.” You have to remember, life is not a snapshot. Life is a video. And I know it feels like this is a moment, frozen in time, but its not, The camera is still rolling. Tomorrow is different, the next day is different, five years is different. But not if you stay here. You can’t stay here in this misery. So come to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness. And get on with your life. God has a plan for your life, and you are too young to quit now. You’ll stumble from time to time, but don’t think that your life is frozen in time. Its video baby. So go out there and Make a great Movie.”
So, I’m at the end of “Empire Strikes Back”. My hand is missing, I just found out who my dad is, and it’s a downer. But the good news is, “Return Of the Jedi” has begun filming and its going to be a great 3rd act.
Listen to me Joe/Jill Youth Worker…if you need help, then get help. Do not get yourself into a corner that you cannot get out of. You cannot do this on your own, you must get help. Take the advice from someone who is in the “mud” right now…stop what you are doing and seek assistance. God bless you as you take your next step and I take mine.