I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “coming full circle”. This weekend I experienced the reality of that term.
If you’re not familiar with my story, here’s a nutshell version of what happened to me two years ago.
On and around July 24, 2013 I experienced a massive manic episode. A complete breakdown. This resulted in 4 ER visits and two stints in the psych ward at the local hospital (totaling between 2-3 weeks).
One thing to remember for the sake of this post is that I felt I was hearing very specific things from God that just weren’t true and weren’t right, such as I told my wife Danielle that God was releasing her from our wedding vows and she was free to leave our marriage, among other things.
To read more in depth about my experience, you can read this post I wrote last year, or this post over at The Marriage Fight, a blog Danielle and I write about various marriage topics, struggles, etc.
This period of time, followed by the deep bout of depression and anxiety was one of the darkest moments of our lives. It could have absolutely ruined us, destroyed our marriage and left us a broken, shattered mess.
But it didn’t.
Right around the time of my episode, the song Glorious Ruins by Hillsong was popular. It always reminds me of the passage in Isaiah 61, mentioning Jesus, that talks about how the spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Him to bring freedom to the captives, etc. But it also talks about how those captives will rebuild the ancient ruins that had long been destroyed.
Our life was in a state of ruin at that point. Along with my manic episode, many details of an addiction to pornography came to light, which also threatened, just as severely, to destroy our marriage.
But it didn’t.
Fast forward to this past weekend (Friday July 24 – Saturday July 25). On Friday we decided to celebrate the anniversary of my episode as a way of seeing how God has been so faithful to us over the past two years. We spent the day with my parents visiting Reptiland and spending the afternoon and Hills Creek, enjoying the water, sand and time with the boys and my parents. And we decided to make a road trip on Saturday.
During my manic episode, I became extremely focused on music, especially the current music I was listening to from Jesus Culture, Hillsong and Bethel Music. I became so obsessed that I tried to contact several of the members of Jesus Culture to share my personal story of the miracle of Enoch’s birth with them, which obviously caused quite a bit of confusion and problems.
How fitting, then, that we drove to Pittsburgh this past Saturday with our friend Mara to attend the Outcry Tour, which featured one our new favorites, Lauren Daigle, as well as Passion, Crowder, Hillsong United and of course, Jesus Culture.
We made it to the venue just in time to hear Lauren sing and then we were totally blessed by the worship and teaching over the next 4 hours. Yes, we left at 11:00 PM and Hillsong was still rocking.
The following are two videos of songs that are completely fitting to where we are in life.
Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture)
Here Now (Madness) (Hillsong United)
God does work all things out for our good. If you don’t believe that after you’ve read this far, I don’t know how you will.
And He is here now, ready to show grace to each and every one of us, despite what we think or feel.
We also got to see my good friend, Dave Fitzgerald, at the concert for a few minutes. It was also fitting, since he was one of the few people that had the “experience” of talking to me right in the middle of my manic breakdown.
Part of me really wanted to sleep in Sunday morning, since we got home at 4:15 after leaving the concert early.
I was glad I didn’t miss the morning service. Pastor Mark spoke on how God has called us to be fishers of men. He challenged us by asking what a fisherman who doesn’t catch fish is. And what is a church that doesn’t “catch” lost souls with God’s grace.
You see, for two years I have struggled with how to reconnect with God. As I mentioned earlier, during my manic episode I believed I was hearing and sensing things from God which I clearly was not.
And that is a hard thing for me to reconcile. How do I now approach a closeness with God again? What if I “miss the boat” so to speak? What if this pursuit somehow, God forbid, leads to another breakdown? These are questions that have plagued me off and on.
But I was comforted by some of the things that were preached Sunday morning. The first being that “God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things”. You don’t have to be someone special for God to use you wherever you are. The second being “God sees things in you that perhaps you don’t see in yourself.” God sees your potential. And He longs for you to reach it. He longs for you to hear His voice and follow Him. And as you follow Him and do what He has called you to do, you’ll make an eternal impact.
I hope that’s what this post does. I hope it has an eternal impact on someone’s life. I hope they can see my story, how God has been so faithful to me and my family. How He has used tragedy for good.
And I hope they come to faith in Him. If that’s you. Do it today. Don’t wait any longer.
God will bring your life full circle.