Tag Archives: rock bottom

Letting God Lead

Fifteen years ago today, I hit rock bottom in life. I was fired from my job and had no path forward. It was the last straw in losing pretty much everything over a six month period. I was at the bottom of a dark hole with no way out. I had no direction in life or purpose. I had just been through six months of hell and i wasn’t sure i wanted to continue living. I went home, laid on my living room floor in the fetal position and wept. I told God that i couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t go on. I was emotionally drained and was out of strength. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto in life. That’s when I heard God say, “Finally! Are you ready to try things my way?”

It was a crucial moment in my life. Everything I had built had crumbled, but I determined with God’s help, I would claw my way out of that hole. It took a lot years, a lot of prayers and a lot of faith, but God lead me away from that place in life. Up to that point, I had been fighting Him and His desires for my life. I was living how I wanted, but agreed to do things His way. I held onto a promise He gave me that said my ending would actually be a beginning, and if I trusted Him, He would lead me into more joy than I had ever known. Fifteen years later, He has continued to fulfill that promise.

Psalm 32:8-9 says, “I hear the Lord saying, ‘I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!’” (TPT) I believe God is close to every one of us trying to lead us down His path for us, but too many of us fight Him like i did. God wants to take you where you’ve never been to experience what you can’t imagine, but you have to let Him lead. You have to put down the reins and give Him control. Are you willing to do that starting today?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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Abandoned 


To abandon someone is to quit supporting them or to give up on them. If you’ve ever been through some of life’s toughest circumstances, you know what it’s like to be abandoned by some of your family or friends. You find out that there are people in your life that you can count on, and there are people that you can’t. When you’re looking for advice, a place to regroup, or just a shelter from the storm, some people that you seek out will abandon you. Some of the ones who you thought would support you through thick and thin give up on you.

David was a person who knew a thing or two about being abandoned. He was forgotten by his father, disrespected by his brothers, shamed by his wife, chased by the king, and dishonored by his son. The people in his life that he should have been able to count on, turned their backs on him at some point in his life. He knew a thing or two about rock bottom. He looked for those he could count on in times of trouble.

In all of his searching, there was one who never abandoned him. God. David wasn’t a perfect man either. He cheated on his wife, had a man murdered, and did some unthinkable things. Yet when he sought after God, he knew that no matter what he had done, God would not abandon him. He knew that there was nothing he had done that God couldn’t or wouldn’t forgive. When others gave up on him, God never did. In fact, God said he was a man after His own heart. 

You may have walked David’s shoes. Maybe you’ve been abandoned by those who love you or you’ve abandoned the things you know are right. Either way, if you will seek God, He won’t abandon you. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know you, Lord, will trust you; you do not abandon anyone who comes to you” (GNT). It doesn’t matter what’s been done to you or what you’ve done to others, you can find shelter, hope, and forgiveness in God when you seek Him out.

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Storms Are Temporary


One of my favorite stories when I was younger was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Back then, I thought it was hilarious, but now I can relate. If you’ve lived, you’ve experienced days like Alexander. But what happens when the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day turns into a week, a month, or even longer? How do we respond? How do we recover? How do we survive? Periods of things seemingly always going wrong in our lives can be relentless, but they do come to an end.

When they do occur, I recommend going back to God’s Word. When we go through days, weeks, or months of things going wrong, we risk thinking that those circumstances are our truth. We begin to think that this is how life is and will be for us. That’s why it’s so important to force yourself to go back to God’s Word. It alone is your truth. You can’t afford to let those storms define you. Instead, let God’s Word define your storm.

One of the things I pray over people going through rough times is that God would silence the storm. I also pray that if the storm isn’t over, to give them peace in it until it passes. Hard times play a huge role in your development. It’s part of the growing process and the solidifying process. God uses them to place you on a path you could never get on otherwise, and He uses them to cause your roots to grow deeper into Him. Spending time in prayer will help this process. Prayer puts God and your storm in their proper places and helps you keep perspective as to which is bigger.

There’s an Irish proverb that says, “In times of trouble, friends are recognized.” In your hardest times, it’s important to surround yourself with friends who can pray for you, encourage you, and help you win the mental battle. Your true friends will shine in these times of your life. They’ll walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with you. They’ll defend you while you are defenseless. If you don’t see friends coming to you, they may not see the storm you’re facing. Go to those you can confide in and find shelter. If they don’t know you’re struggling and in a storm, it’s unfair to expect them to help you.

Remember that according to Romans 8:37, you are more than a conqueror through Jesus. In Ephesians 6:10-18, you have been given armor to help you to continue to stand after you e given it your all. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter that all the powers of hell would not conquer His Church. As a Christian, you have all three of these promises to hold onto. You cannot be defeated unless you give up. You are guaranteed victory, but you have to stay in the battle to achieve it. Your terrible, horrible, no good very bad time will end and you will emerge victorious. Focus on what’s eternal (God’s Word), and lose sight of the temporal (your storm).

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The Promise Of Restoration 

When I was 28, my first wife left me for someone else. My life felt like it was over. After a long bout of depression, I realized I had to start all over. In the wake of our divorce, I had to file for bankruptcy, and nearly had my house foreclosed on, as well as lost my business, a vehicle, and most of my  friends. Everything I had built my life on was gone. The foundation for a successful life was gone. I didn’t know where to begin or how to start over, but God did.

He spoke to me multiple times through multiple people. One of those messages was, “What seems like an end is really just a beginning.” I have held onto those words for the past 13 years. While it was no fun to begin again, at least it wasn’t the end of my life. God gave me hope in that message in a time when I couldn’t see how I could survive more than a few minutes at a time. When there was no hope, there was no reason to live. God changed that with those powerful words.

In Joel 1 and 2, God speaks to Joel about a time when everything would be gone from the land. Joel 1:4 describes it like this: “What the crawling locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; and what the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten; and what the hopping locust left, the stripping locust has eaten” (AMP). It was a wave attack like we face in our lives. It’s one hardship after another that seems to have no end. In those times we wonder where rock bottom is. Sooner or later you’d think we’d run out of things to lose.

But God doesn’t leave us in that barren land of devastation. He restores us and takes what seems like an end and turns it into a beginning. Joel 2:25 gives us the promise of restoration after devastation. God says, “And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten–the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.” Just like God has restored my life, He will restore yours. He will replace the years the locust have stolen with greater things than you can dream of.

I can attest it took time. It didn’t happen over night. Rock bottom for me was a deep hole that took nearly a decade to crawl out of. I held onto the promise of restoration throughout the hard climb up. God was faithful to His promise and will be for you as well. The restoration He has brought in my life has far exceeded any dream I ever had before the locust stole my early adult life. God has a greater dream and plan for your life than you can imagine. If you’re in the time of locust, hold on to His promise. Restoration is coming.

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Healing Scars

  
If you’ve followed my site for a while, you know September 25th holds a special place in my heart. It’s the day I reached rock bottom in my life and decided to make changes necessary to move forward. After dealing with months of perpetual loss, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I cried out to God that day and said, “I quit!” I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I couldn’t live with the disappointment either. I was embarrassed at what had happened to me and I lacked the strength to fight anymore.

After deciding I would no longer accept moving backwards, I chose to forget that part of my life ever existed. I thought if I changed jobs, changed friends, and never spoke of it again, I could convince myself it was just a dream. A really bad dream. So I spent years never speaking of it and letting people know it was off limits. I became defensive when anyone asked about it. Instead of dealing with the pain, I covered it up.

Around ten years later, Dave Roever spoke at our church. In Vietnam, he survived a phosphorous grenade blowing up by his head. He told the story of how he was in the hospital waiting for his wife to arrive. He was afraid she would leave him because of how bad he looked. He shared the struggles he has had with the way people look at him now. When God called him to preach, he argued that no one would listen to someone who looked like him. He thought of covering up the scars, but God said, “Don’t hide your scars, for in them, others will find their healing.”

When he said those words, it was as if God was speaking directly to me. I had spent a decade hiding my scars, pretending that they weren’t there. My emotional inside looked like his physical outside. I was riddled with the scars of a divorce, a failed business, a life running from God, and sins too many to count. I knew that day that I had to pull back the layers I had placed on top of my scars so that I could find healing myself. I had to expose them to God and to others and allow them to scab over and eventually heal, leaving the scars.

The things I most wanted hidden in my life are now what God uses to speak to others. If He did that in my life, He wants to do it in yours. Your failures and pain have not disqualified you from being used by God. He can use your scars to bring healing to others, but you’re going to have to find healing for yourself first. I found mine by opening up about them and talking with others. I wrote out everything I went through so that it could be exposed. Once it was out in the open, God brought healing. 

God wants to heal your emotional scars too. He wants to forgive your failures and shortcomings. He wants to put the pieces of your broken life back together. It won’t look like it did before. It will be a beautiful mosaic that points to the only Artist who can make beauty from ashes. Isaiah 61:3 best sums up what God wants to do for you. He wants “To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (AMP).

If you would like to read more of my story, I recommend reading these posts:

Free From Walls Of Hurt

Dead Ends

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Out Of The Hole

It’s hard for me to believe that next week I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the lowest point of my life. I know it seems odd to celebrate such an event, but for me, it was a turning point in my life. It was the moment when I refused to go any lower than I was and made the decision that I would claw my way out of the hole that I was in no matter how much effort it took and no matter how long it took. I’m still clawing my way out of that hole, but now I’m starting to see daylight.

Ten years ago, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no hope of ever recovering from what I had been through. I was hurt, embarrassed and alone. Sure I had a few friends around me, but no one truly knew the depth of my pain or what I was struggling with. I made a conscious effort to never think about that time in my life. I felt that if I could pretend it was a bad dream, the pain would go away. I thought that if I never spoke of it again, then I could put it behind me.

I moved on with my life pretending that I hadn’t gone through a painful divorce, filed for bankruptcy, lost my business or ran away from those who cared most about me. I figured that the best way out was to start my life over fresh and new as if none of it never happened. The problem was it did happen. Underneath everything I was still a mess inside. I was still hurt to the core. I was mad at God for letting me walk through that. I was mad at others thinking my failures were somehow their fault. It all boiled down to bad decision making by me.

Once I was able to take responsibility for the things that happened, I began to move forward. It’s not easy to look in the mirror when you know the pain inside is caused by the person looking back at you. I know other people played roles in delivering the punches that knocked me down, but I made the decisions that put them there and put myself in that position. I left myself open for the gut shots that took the wind out of my desire to live or move on.

I hid the pain for over seven years as I moved on with life. It was then that God spoke to me through Dave Roever that I needed to expose the wounds and face them head on. Since that time, I have begun to share my story being open and honest about what happened. I have found healing for the wounds that were so deep. I still feel the pain like I did every time I open them up, but I know that through my wounds others can find help, hope and healing for theirs.

I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom and feel like there’s no way out. I know what it’s like to think that there’s only one way out of the pain and anger. I can tell you that there is another way out. I found it. It was through forgiving myself and others who hurt me. It was in finding forgiveness through Jesus for the unthinkable wrongs I’d committed. It was over the course of years, hard work, dedication and never giving up. If I can make it out of that hole, you can too.

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Raw Dependence on God

Today I celebrate the ninth anniversary of hitting rock bottom in my life. I know most people may not celebrate such a day, but for me it created a raw dependence on God. Up until that point in my life my faith was something I talked about. On that day it became something I lived. When there is nothing in your life worth living for, you learn to completely depend on God.

At that moment I was broken and recognized that I had tried to live my faith and my life on my own. I couldn’t do it. I needed God’s help. God’s strength. God’s intervention to live out my life and faith. My raw dependence on God began that day and I’ve learned to trust Him ever since. I don’t celebrate the bad things that happened. I celebrate that they woke me up to the life I was meant to live.

Many of us never get to that point of raw dependence on Him. We continue living our faith on our own strength. We were not made to do that. When we try to do that, we fail. I think that’s why so many people lose their faith or refuse to trust God with their lives. They have been living under the illusion that living out their faith in God required their strength. It was never meant to be that way.

Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” He knew what it meant to have a raw dependence of God. He recognized that life in Jesus is nothing something done in our strength. It can only be Christ, who lives in us, that can accomplish that. We try and we fail every time. For most of us, we think that is just how it’s supposed to be. The problem is we weren’t made to wander in the desert. We were made to live in the promised land.

The Israelites experienced God’s grace and forgiveness when they left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. As they began to live in their new freedom, they met with God along the way. He gave them the Ten Commandments to show them how to live. He lead them to the Promised Land to give it to them. When they looked and saw the giants ahead, they said, “We can never beat them.” They were trying to do things in their strength, not in God’s.

Out of all of them, there were only two who recognized that it was by God’s power they had been delivered from their bondage. It was nothing they did. It was God who had led them and would provide what it took to live in abundance and to overcome. They were the ones who were permitted in and reaped the rewards of all God had for them. They were the ones who knew in their strength they were nothing, but in His strength they were more than conquerors.

Many of us live our lives in the desert peering into the promised land. It scares us and that fear prevents us from experiencing all that God has for us. For many that wander in the desert of uncertainty, we think back to the life of bondage we had and remember how secure it was. I think many people who live and wander in the desert wonder about their faith and struggle with it because they aren’t experiencing what God planned for them. They want to return to the life they knew rather than to fully depend on God.

Maybe that’s you today. You always thought that God had more for you, but you feel like you are just wandering aimlessly through the desert of life. If you could live the life God wanted you to live in your own strength, it wouldn’t be faith. Romans 1:17 says, “The just shall live by faith.” It doesn’t say by their own strength, it says “by faith”. What areas of your life and faith are you trying to live out in your own strength? Trust God to do what He has done and said He will do for you. Let Him take you across Jordan into the Promised Land of all He has for you. If you do, you will celebrate that day every year too. I guarantee it!

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