Soon after the military I got married and we began having children. Our first was a little girl and within the space of 5 years we had added 3 rowdy boys. I was also going to school full-time, working and involved in church. A full roller coaster for the beginning of a marriage.
I tell you this, not to share all that was good and bad about those years, but to give a backdrop for where I was spiritually. So much going on, so many blessings, struggles, adventures, stresses but it wasn’t enough, never enough.
I also began applying for pastor positions with depression and anger following each rejection, each “unanswered” prayer. Nothing was enough, no one was enough and I so often turned on God questioning His concern for me, His trustworthiness. This pattern has continued for many years. Many, many years.
I knew the gifts that God had given me. I had a good understanding of my level of intelligence. Being a father and husband had both bolstered my confidence and humbled me in ways that no other experience can. But I was incomplete. I held a place of emptiness that nothing could fill, nothing could take away.
How can a person accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, walk with Him, pray and believe in God’s sovereignty over all and yet live in a way that demonstrates little but fear and self-reliance. I have heard so many times the phrase, “Jesus is not Lord at all until He is Lord of all.” But in my heart I knew that, more than my confessions of Him and more than my broken dreams, He was my Lord. Somehow, there was a disconnect.
Please don’t misunderstand, during all of this time, I continued to lead worship, bible studies, teach sunday school and encourage youth in their day to day walks with God. I spoke from an honest heart of who I knew God to be. How can I worship with my whole heart, sensing His presence and honoring Him with my life, my voice, my song and still doubt everything He does.
It made no sense – still doesn’t.