This Monday, I begin my final seven-week college class in this certificate program with Northwest University. I began this program almost two years ago and I’ve been attending college for three years. And it just hit me earlier today that once I finish this class, I will be able to go in for an interview with my district to receive my credentials.
For those of you who don’t know what that means… by the end of April I will be a licensed pastor. Like, a pastor. Assuming all goes well with my interview, of course.
This is just absolutely mind-blowingly crazy to me. I remember around last Thanksgiving I was going through a really tough time, struggling with depression and brokenness. And I remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to be a pastor some day. I can’t be this person. I have to be better. I’m not good enough. I’m too broken. I’m so unqualified.” And I remember feeling so utterly laid low in my own heart. All I wanted was to figure out how to get past my issues and become the leader I knew I had to be.
It was hard. And between last Thanksgiving and now, well, things weren’t easy. But now I sit here and I’m amazed. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.
A little over a week ago, I had a radical encounter with the Lord and I felt my spirit unleashed inside of me. I’m confident that chains of depression, suicide, anxiety, and insecurity were broken off of my life. And even if there remains some areas of struggle with that, I have a renewed strength like I’ve never felt before.
What’s crazy is the tremendous journey I’ve been on this year. I’ve been fasting and praying and I’ve absolutely felt something accelerating within my spirit. Chains are breaking off my life. I feel greater liberty, joy, peace. I feel like I’m more in tune with the Spirit. Things are changing. In and around me.
And I’m so excited for these next couple months as I complete my final class, as I prepare for my life as a youth PASTOR. All I feel is a great sense of pride. I’m proud of myself for how far of come. But so much more than that, I’m immensely thankful for a God who is faithful, who never fails, whose mercies are new every morning, whose love extends beyond the furthest reaches of the universe, who refines me, whose promises are yes and amen. I’m so thankful.
If you’re in a place right now where you’re desperate for a change in your circumstance, for an answer to a prayer, for something radical to shift in your life… don’t count God out. Let your desperation be the fuel that drives you further into His presence. You know what I did the day I encountered the Lord and He broke the chains of depression? I spent that whole fasting, praying, and worshipping. I was exhausted. I was depressed. I was crushed. But still, I fasted, prayed, and worshipped in the midst of it.
The Lord saw my desperation and He broke into the midst of it. He always honors the heart of the seeker.
God is good, guys. If you’re desperate for something, remember this: desperate times call for desperate measures (like starving myself for 24 hours…)