My journal entry this morning! Swimming in Grace!

     “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging Grace”. How incredible it has been to not experience darkness in 2 months. The joy of being in daily light has rested my soul. Even though battles rage daily for my heart to turn to, I am finding God’s incredible joy through this part of my journey. For the past 31 years, I believe I have been depressed in some way or another. Recently, my doctor shared that I had suffered PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from the abuses I suffered during my childhood. Although I would never compare my experiences to those brave men and women who serve our country in the military, police, firefighters and first responders; I have had many traumatic experiences in my past. What I have learned is those experiences had shaped my journey and I suffered many of them over and over. Its funny (strange) to think I walked in depression during my adult years, years of ministry, marriage and fatherhood have been in the midst of darkness. How much Grace I have swam in these past 31 years, I have yet to know. But this I know, God has held me close in all my journey.

     Grace is a strange thing. We can’t earn it from God, we can’t demand it but can enjoy it when given. Some believe Grace to be God given us favor. Some believe its God giving us the ability to do what we can’t. I believe its both. Grace has held me when I cannot walk and Grace has been there when I have failed tremendously. I am swimming in an ocean of God’s Grace and I will swim in His ocean for eternity. His grace has given me too much but I will take it. Grace has many times turned me back from my sin and anxiety. His Grace is truly amazing and I thank God that He will never leave me nor forsake me. 

     One thing that I keep seeing through this time is that God was with me even when I was not His child. I didn’t put my faith in Jesus until I was a junior in college, yet, God has held my heart through some of the roughest parts of my life. As I have been recounting times of trauma with my counselor, I have seen the Lord’s presence that kept me from destroying myself. Too many times to count did God’s Grace lift me and hold me while I was hurt. Too many times to count do I see God’s Grace comfort me when I desired sinful things out of my pain. He has been with me throughout my life and I thank Him for loving me even when I had not put my faith in Him. 

     I don’t know all the reasons God has allowed struggle in my life. I don’t test know the extent of the darkness I had suffered, but I do know that God is reminding me daily (and I mean daily) that He has my journey and that journey is getting sweeter with each step. Its incredible not to suffer darkness and it reveals how many people I know that are walking in darkness this day. I pray I will not forsake the Grace I live in and that God will overflow out of me (through intimacy) to others that are walking in darkness and pain. I don’t have all the answers and will not pretend to, but God has the power to heal. He wants to heal us and I am ready to be that avenue of healing for others. Not in my power, but in His incredible, enabling, beautiful and amazing Grace!


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