Earlier in the year, Kristi Woods asked me to participate in her #YourStory series; I was humbled and honored. As I began to think about sharing my story, I asked God to reveal what I should share. I wanted her readers to see who they are in Christ.
A little background about myself; I survived a massive stroke in the Summer of 2010 that paralyzed all of the joints on my left side, for those who do not know. It has been a challenging and painful experience as I battle through my rehabilitation.
However, it has been an enlightening and transforming period of my life that has allowed me to see myself as Jesus sees me.
I want to share some of my earlier experiences that led me to that day in July of 2010…a day I will never forget. I was born in Texas, but my father was in the Army, so we moved around a bit.
At the age of five, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I knelt on the side of my bed and asked Jesus to come into my heart. I was not sure at that time exactly what salvation meant, but I knew I did not want to go to hell…of that, I was sure.
Unwilling to See
During the years that followed, I was your typical young boy. I had best friends that I loved to play with as much as possible. My parents took me to church whenever the doors were open, and I memorized lots of Bible verses, too. I admit my motivation for learning the verses was to get a gold star or a sense of accomplishment.
I will never forget when I was about 12 years old. My middle brother and I were playing in our bedroom. There was a knock at the door, and my father entered. He shared with us that God had called him to be a home missionary. As he left the room, my first thought was… Okay, you and mom have fun with that, but I wanted to stay in Iowa with my friends. I did not want to go anywhere!
Much to my dismay, we traveled around the country to raise financial support to serve as missionaries within the year. I fought my parents, constantly doing everything I could to make sure they knew of my displeasure. I earned a Ph.D. in rebellion during my teenage years.
There was the fear of the unknown, fear of leaving my comfort zone, and the fear of being in a new situation. Friends, fear is a very effective tool of Satan. One scripture verse that has become more profound since my stroke is found in 2nd Timothy. It reads,
Don’t Be Afraid to See
Whether young or old, fear can put a stranglehold on your thoughts, affecting your actions negatively. So regardless of what fears you are facing, remember who you are in Christ. He has empowered you to accomplish His will for your life. When you look in the mirror, one thing you must see is you are a conqueror in Christ!
Despite the struggles, trials, and difficulties that may litter the path you travel on each day, you can overcome them in Christ. He has given you access to His power. You can access that power by going to Him in prayer. Talk with God fervently, purposefully, and persistently as you seek His will.
Another weapon Satan uses is doubt. The kind of doubt distorts the view of who you are in Christ. In the subsequent years since my stroke recovery, I’ve been battling a mysterious ailment that hinders my ability to write consistently. It interferes with my everyday living as well. In the past few months, the ailment continues to intensify, bringing my writing to a halt at times.
During this time, my mind has been flooded with questions.
Did God really lead me to write full-time and publish a book on the power of prayer?
Have I done something wrong?
Am I being disciplined by God for an unconfessed sin?
Friend, God wants you to examine your heart honestly, but doubt is NOT from God.
From the moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, you have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit. God has chosen you for His purpose. He is never surprised by anything that takes place in your life. It is all part of His plan for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
So the next time you look in the mirror, see yourself as God sees you. You are a chosen child of God and an empowered conqueror in Christ. Ultimately you are complete in Him.
By the way, God continues to affirm that He wants me to write full-time. My latest book is now available. I take a deep dive into understanding God’s purpose for our lives even in the midst of trying, difficult, and painful circumstances. Click on the image below to get your copy.