“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― Catherine of Siena.
There was a time of my life when it never seemed to stop raining; I hated who I was and what I’d amounted to. I was utterly convinced this world would be a better place without me. That storm has been a dark and reoccurring motif in my story, a lie that is so easy to believe when you measure your worth against the American Dream: looks, money, status, celebrity, how many girls you’ve slept with… you see on paper, my life didn’t amount to much.
A few years back I hit rock bottom. I believed there was a God through my teenage and college years, but my relationship with Him was surface level at best. I tried desperately to keep one foot in his camp and one foot in this world. Finally, sobbing into the carpet of my childhood bedroom, I broke. I said:
God, if you are real, show me how to be happy. Show me how to live a life I can be fiercely proud of and I will do it. Whatever it takes.
And off we went. I promised that when I felt like God was asking me to do something, I would say yes. It seemed easy enough.
Hey look, an opportunity to teach 5th and 6th grade Sunday School, you should do that.
“Yes God, I can do that.”
Maybe you could stop spending your weekends in bars and partying.
Yes, God I think I can do that.
Have you considered letting go of some toxic people in your life who hurt you over and over again?
Yes God, I can try to do that.
Maybe we should take care of your body a little better, how about some healthier foods and exercise?
Yes God, let’s do that!
What about mentoring two middle school boys and helping with a junior high bible study?
Yes God, I’m in!
How about an adventure to a foreign country to tell people about my love and all the work I’ve done in you?
Seriously?! Yes God!
(To name a few)
The change sucked. God pushed, I pushed back. It was sweaty and painful. It involved moments of intense vulnerability and loneliness. It involved getting into God’s word, going to workshops on love and prayer. It required commitment to a church and God’s community. As a result, I saw people exit my life in droves. Friends stopped returning my phone calls and mocked the person I had become. I lost that war, but I won my life back.
With every yes, I found more hope, more peace and true healing. I started to fall in love with my life, every detail of it. When I stopped chasing the wrong things, I finally gave the right things a chance to catch me. I began to see our time on this planet like that guy from Tuesday’s with Morrie, a gift that far too many people take for granted.
When I stopped chasing the wrong things, I finally gave the right things a chance to catch me.
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. Ephesians 2:1-2 The Voice translation
Why did I ever let this world tell me how to live?! I have felt more alive these couple years than ever before, than I ever knew was possible all because I started finding my worth in God. I learned about what he values and he sees as worthy. See, God doesn’t look at outward appearances, but he looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God looks at how we love and how we serve this broken world.
So let my life be a testimony that God can rock your world like crazy; I can’t even tell you how good it can get. The day I became a yes man for Jesus was the day I truly started living. It all began with that simple phrase, “Yes God!” and day by day, he has made me a new creation, a new man and there is no better feeling than knowing that you’re finally becoming the person you were meant to be.
It’s a long walk through this world, but stand tall, you’re one day closer to being Home.