Proverbs 16:9 NASB
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
So what can be said about turning the big 4-0?
It’s definitely been a long road, that’s for sure. But there must be a lot more to say about it right? Well…I don’t know, but let’s give it a shot!
First of all, I think what is really odd is that up to last year, I didn’t expect to reach the age of 40. Something most people aren’t aware of is that I spent all of 2018 on a high level of wanting to end my life each day or just wishing it would end.
Sounds like a dark way to begin? Absolutely!
Another thing a vast ammount of people in my life don’t know is the mental, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse that I had suffered from females since I was 10 years old. It had all come to a head and was finally shutting down everything within my entire mental state and I was just ready to quit. I abruptly parted ways with a few longtime friends and it was a really hard time getting out of 2018 alive.
It wasn’t until Christmas Eve last year that I sat next to an elderly man at a pub downtown and listened to him talk about the regrets he lives with every day as he drank back multiple rye and Coke’s. I didn’t get his name, but I remember him saying multiple times that “Life’s too short”, despite being in his mid-70’s.
Then on New Year’s Eve, one week later in that same pub, there was an older woman who was celebrating her birthday a couple of minutes after midnight. She was in a nice dress, and was all party hardy! It wasn’t until about 2am when she was leaving that I said it looked like she had a lot of fun. She replied “Life’s too short”.
The very next day, I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and said “I don’t want to die, how do I stop this?” 2019 and the year I turn 40 had begun.
I started to open up about the 30 years of abuse with a couple of people from the chapel. I went into more detail about it with my Mom. I struggled immensly with the fact that I allowed the abuse for reasons that I really didn’t know why. I mostly wrote my way through it, often sitting down at my kitchen table, putting my thoughts on paper, and then really asking the Lord to help me get past this and heal.
“Just One More Day Lord” was often what I said each time I woke up…
The ministry had slowed down. I wasn’t receiving a lot of new media to work on and I hardly worked on the tapes that I had anyway. Everything had gone downhill and it was going to be a very difficult climb back up.
As I sit here now on my 40th birthday and look at all that has transpired, not just in the past 30 years, but since 2017 when I began barely going to church anymore because I was so mentally and emotionally broken down. I can’t help but thank God for the way that He’s seen me past everything, and the way that I’m now coming to a solid recovery point.
Only back on May 31st this year did I get a very interesting challenge as people at a conference I was doing audiovisual work for were either asking me if I was the pastor of the chapel or they were commenting on how it was great to see a “young man” step up and take leadership in the church today, which to many, was sorely needed.
It was at the end of this conference that the organizer handed me her contact card for the first time and said to me “You are welcome to visit Zambia anytime”. I took this as a great honour to receive this invite, but if I accept it or not will be another thing entirely.
Almost immediately, I set out to think of who in my chapel or elsewhere would need discipleship, a mentor, or just a friend who is a positive Christian influence? I came up with 4 or 5 different guys of varying ages, and this is where I would begin, because if the idea is to be a mentor to thousands of young boys and teens, then I would need to begin at home first. Even if Zambia is never in the cards, at least it leads me in the right direction on the homefront, and that’s primarily what I’ve been seeking.
A couple of nights ago, when I was doing a ministry job out of town, when I went to bed I couldn’t sleep right away, so I sat up in the darkness and asked the Lord if He had something to say. Apparently, if I expect to mentor and disciple boys to be men, and help Christian guys become Men of God, I have to get my high school diploma. So we have the first goal for 40 set before me. This has always been so hard to do, but I suppose that I can’t fully expect to encourage people to strive to be their best, and not have the one document that I would be asking if they have. The Lord knows best.
Reading through Haggai this year so far, I have seen a theme of “Ruined, Rescued, Restored” which was the old Cross Canada Cruisers moto. It had dawned on me that this truly was the ultimate underlying theme of my life from 1989 to 2019.
So being born in 1979, here I am today: 40 years old. Life begins from here!