Not Rock Bottom, but Almost

So I have been in protective custody for a week now.  A lot has changed in a week.  The first 2 days, I spent a lot of time thinking, sorting through my emotions, crying and praying.  After that I said I need to get focused on the here and now and getting back on the path.  I realized those first 2 days that I strayed so far away from God that I didn’t even realize it.

It is like a young child with their Mom at a big department store that gets “lost” or separated from their parents.  I did this a lot when I was younger.  Trust me, ask my Mom.  Haha!  Anyway, back to the kid.  So the kid is like on his own, exploring, smiling, taking in this huge store.  This goes on for 10 minutes.  Then the kid stops and he/she senses something isn’t right.  They look around then and notice their Mom or Dad isn’t there.  They get all frantic and worried and start bawling their eyes out.

Finally, someone helps the child reunite with their parent.  Of course, the parent is furious, worried, nervous, mad, sad, and probably just hysterical.  However, the first thing the parent does (or should do) is give the child a hug and tell them “It’s okay.  I’m here.  I love you.”  Then later, after they are both settled down, tell the child to stay with them, blah, blah, blah.

See the main part of this story is the reuniting part.  That is how I felt.  I had gone so far away, exploring on my own; and I finally realized “Hey, something is wrong.”  I can’t handle the pressures of this situation on my own.  I was exploring different religions, putting Christianity on the back burner; putting my faith in people, in food, in cards, and so on.  Then one day a whole bunch of crap happened.  I got really scared, looked around and said, “Wait, where is my Dad?” and I lost it.  I was about to burst out in tears right there in the block.  I didn’t know what to do anymore.  I was lost.

So I got to “the hole” and broke down.  I cried and cried and cried.  I worked to start getting back into God’s loving arms, but part of me was still resisting.  I had been gone for so long.  I knew God still loved me  I know that, but it took a while for the pain to go away.  The pain from doing my own thing.  It was rough.  But today, I sit here and say “I can’t do this life without you, God and Jesus.”  I just can’t.  It is not in my being or anyone’s to live a peaceful, happy life without God and Jesus in our lives.  I knew this, but I still strayed away.  It is easy to do.

We so often get caught up in this world… in our busy lives, that we sometimes forget.  I encourage you to spend at least an hour a day in prayer, devotion, God’s word and Christian meditation.  I have, fortunately, had the time to spend more than an hour a day with God for the last week.

I am currently devising a plan to keep it up wherever I end up.  I see, now more than ever, how important it is. I am praying every day to be stronger in my faith and to have more devotion and discipline when it comes to my walk with Jesus.  I also encourage you all to watch the movie “War Room.”  It is about how to let God fight your battles and prayer.  It is an excellent movie. I am going to leave you with 2 verses that stuck with me last night and I meditated on.

“So we too should run the race that is before us and never quit.  We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down, and the sin that so often makes us fall.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.”  – Hebrews 12: 1-2

The Good in the Bad – June 28, 2015

“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”    –Hebrews 12: 10-11

This morning I was reading my morning devotional and the verse was Hebrews 12:2.

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The devotional said that we need to always fix our eyes on Christ and not ourselves.  It was a great little devotional, and I might have to copy it word for word for another blog.  I always go to my Bible and read the whole chapter that the verse is from.  I like to get the full context and understanding of the verse.  As I came to verses 7-11, it got me thinking about what has happened over the past year and 3 months.  I only wrote down verses 10-11 in this blog.  Feel free to read from 7 to get the full context of the verse.

I realized last year that when God loves you and accepts you as his son or daughter (read Hebrews 12:6), He will discipline you.  See, the last portion of my unsaved life, I lived in intentional sin.  I treated people like garbage.  I was demeaning and verbally abusive to my wife and kids.  I worshipped control, anger, money, lust, food and in general, things.  Worldly desires.  All the while, I had seen nothing wrong with how I was living.  My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, wife and kids became scared and more and more distant.  I may have talked to my grandparents once every 3 months.

When I talked to my parents, it was to tell them about me and my life and to get praise, acceptance.  I had no friends and people didn’t want to be around me.  Then on April 21st, 2014, my wife and kids said enough and reported me to the police for the criminal things I did.  At first, I felt much pain, sorrow, anger, abandonment and the list goes on.

Then I went to church on Sunday, April 27, 2014 and decided enough is enough…. Because of my criminal actions and my behavior, I was facing 140 years in prison (minimum).  I couldn’t live the way I was living, and I had to trust God and hand over everything to Him. He had taken a 2 x 4 upside my head and woke me up! Making me realize that Jesus was the way.  I gave my life to Jesus that day.  I went to the cross and asked forgiveness and repented of my sins.  I also lit 5 candles that day.  One for my wife, and one for each of my children.  I prayed for healing and restoration of my family.  I handed God everything and made Him the pilot of my plane.

Out of this situation, by letting God in control, I got 16 years instead of 140 years.  By giving Him control, I have more peace and happiness in prison than I did living my old ways.  I am able to minister to people, the lost and broken inside prison.  I have been able to use my gift of singing to spread His message.

Also, I have stronger relationships with my family than ever before.  Through faith in God and letting Him take control, I have begun to live a more Godly, peaceful life.  At first, the discipline was painful, but in the end it is what I needed to turn my life around.  Now I still fall to sin, but it doesn’t control me.  I am no longer controlled by the sin that once controlled me, but I am in no way perfect.  I still have struggles I deal with, but I keep running forward for the prize.

Allow God to hold your hand and guide your life.

Love you all!

Eddie