Not too many years ago, I would throw a pretty big fit when it was time to leave the party or club. My friends were patient and tolerated it, but I remember not wanting to go back to reality. My downward spiral had begun years earlier, with some underage drinking and basically living a double life depending on who I was around at the time. I had several suicidal type thoughts, but it all stemmed from an identity crisis and no real, lasting happiness. I was hopeless and lost in a prison of my own making. One night, I did try to take so many drugs that I wouldn't wake up. It was because of this hopelessness, the darkness that surrounded my mind, and I just wanted the numbing hurt to end. After life support on a ventilator, I did live. There was a spark that built up in me, rather slowly, but it was a faint knowing that there was something more.
During that journey of a few years, Kelly and I married. We had our daughter a little before our 2 year anniversary. Things were rocky at best. There was still this overwhelming desire for change. Though my outward circumstances seemed to be ok (as they always had), there was still a war raging in my mind. After a fairly long while in church--hearing the Word of God taught in truth and love--I came to a point where I no longer wanted to play games. No church games. No religious games. No "everything's fine" games. I wanted what makes no sense to the human mind: full surrender. I had tried all the ways I knew or had seen others living, and really just wanted to be happy. I had to lay aside what I kept telling myself since 16 years old...when confronted with salvation, the battle inside said "you're ok, you're not a bad person, what will it look like now if I say I wasn't really a Christian all these years!?" So one Sunday morning in February, 2009, I cried out to God to save me. I asked Jesus to come into my heart, to be my Savior, and I trusted Him fully that day to make me what He wanted.
It felt like a ton of bricks were lifted off of me. It was the beginning of this fabulous journey--still with lots of ups and downs--but now I know who I am and why I'm here. I'm a child of the One True King. My identity is eternally secure in Christ. I'm here for as many days as God knows I'm needed here. I don't have to understand everything; I trust Him.
After having pushed through fear and hopelessness, insecurities and tons of sin, I know I'm here to fulfill this purpose for which God created me. I want to always be quick to give God the credit for any good thing about me or that's in my life. (I know the mess I was and that I made when I tried to be in control.) I want to be quick to forgive others and myself. Anger, offense, and guilt would only take me back to that pit I used to stay in before I met my Savior. Life is too brief to go back to misery or darkness or old habits and lifestyles.
So now I wake up every morning, so thankful that I woke up! Each day is an opportunity to learn from life and pursue being closer to my God. I have this eager expectation daily that something good is going to happen. God has given me the desires of my heart. He restored my marriage. He blessed us with an awesome daughter. He allows us to share His goodness with many.
So back to the Newsboys' song...wherever I go truly is where the party's at! I have the Holy Spirit of God inside, directing my path, showering His favor and blessings, and continually bubbling over the joy and peace in me that I had always desperately wanted. I am living life to the fullest and enjoying my days here. Life is a fabulous journey with God at the center.