God Moments Confession Time Posted April 16, 2024

"At long last, it's finally finished..." I softly uttered to myself on one particular December morning.

After laboring all night, the web version of my Biblical-based game was finally complete. I published it on the same day I flew out to Florida to help Envision Miami with their charity-based Christmas store. I remember looking at the world below from my airplane seat, wondering how many people I would make a Kingdom impact.

After the trip, well, it's hard to say. My game was met with few views and mixed reviews, even from the target audience. It ended up getting downvoted en masse on Reddit to the point where I ended up deleting the post ( I know it’s Reddit, but still ). As far as serving went, there seemed to be way less people who were genuinely thankful for being able to afford gifts for their children and way more people ready to throw punches because there weren't enough bikes and tablets to go around. All in all, it felt like a joyless and thankless slog and it seemed like I didn’t leave any kind of impact.

And thus, the soul-searching spiral began. What was God trying to tell me? How could this happen? Didn't I do everything right? Didn't I do what I was supposed to do? Did I do something wrong? Was He really done with me this time? Is He even remotely who I think He is? If He keeps giving me this radio silence and doesn't seem to care, should I even care?

In the entire year since graduating from ministry, I’ve gone practically nowhere. I probably would’ve had some kind of leadership position within the C&MA had they not gone woke their latest policies. Unfortunately, many other places have been compromising on their Biblical principles and have been slipping on the Christian equivalent of wearing sweatpants. The latest pastor I dared to invest in emotionally got ousted because he wasn't asking the "hard" questions... like how many marshmallows one could fit in their mouth. I tried to be more involved with various communities and life groups, but I could never get too comfortable. I still can't. How can I when my family by-and-large left me to emotionally drown alone in the holidays for defending those who were left to literally drown alone in the wake of Hurricane Ian? The gallows humor writes itself.

But I know I don't have much room to talk. I started compromising as my faith sank into the “hell if I know” tier. I started venturing into drugs. I relapsed into alcohol. I was letting all my emotions go in random spurts to see how much I could mess things up on purpose. I became more reclusive and less willing to accept any kind of help… because what was the point? I started to do all these things that I swore I would never do. I got *this* close to deleting my website, everything I created, and my entire online presence and resigning myself to my fate.

Then came one particular night – a few months later – when everyone at my tavern seemed to take notice of the state I was in.

“Hey man… you never get drunk. What’s happening in your life?”

“Yeah, where’s that guy who is always encouraging others and lifting them up?”

“Where’s that guy who was smiling from ear to ear after winning that karaoke contest?”

“…and constantly acts like a goof to prove there's never any judgement in this place?"

“Hey, you give this cynical bartender some hope here. You’re the only guy here who actually praises his wife and doesn't mess around with anyone else!"

I’ve had some ugly cries in my time, but I think this one takes the cake. I’ve never felt more broken and hopeless and alone as everyone in the place seemed to stop what they were doing to piece me back together. Again, this was at a tavern – a place that’s typically a hotspot for bad decisions. But I don’t think what happened that night was an accident. I think everyone – myself included – really noticed how much light I was emitting before it seemingly went out.

At least three people I know have stopped drinking entirely since then and one is at least revisiting the concept of faith. As for me, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been trying too hard to make my life matter when there was never a reason to believe it didn’t matter to begin with. Even my regional boss – whose name strikes fear in the hearts of every manager I know – said the same thing to me. I was missing the forest for the trees, obsessing over achieving all these lofty and grandiose goals to the point where I lost sight of the impact the Lord was making just from me showing up and being obedient.

And just like that, I realized why the Lord hasn’t been answering:

He is the answer.

📻 "All these things will find their time..."