Last January seems so long a go, and sitting here now, i can not believe how much has happened in this last year and a bit. The reason i mention last January is not because it was the beginning of the year or i started a new years resolution, but it was the beginning of a compleat life changing moment/season i went into. I had the privilege to travel to Redding California and spend 2 weeks with one of my closest friends. He was at Bethel Church at the School. I was able to be part of the school and church over the 2 weeks and my life was turned upside-down. It has taken me a long time to proses and see what God did and i am still seeing the results of last January today.
You see the guy you see before you now is nothing like the person i was a year a go. A year a go i had the most life changing time, where God met me in the most crazy of places. Its hard to know where to begin really, but i want to share some of it with you, to encourage you and remind us all that God is in control!
Let me just say first off i was not out there to have a life changing time, i often said to those who ask, 'i am here just to catch up with Marcus and have some time off' even to the point that when at the School i attended with Marcus 2 people came up to me and said that they felt this was going to be a time where God will met me in an incredible way, and it will be really significant. Both occasions i just shrugged the comments off and carried on talking to other people. I was not in a place to see big change.
So you can guess, the total oppersite happened, i encountered God in a way i never thought possible. Over the 2 weeks i was at Bethel, myself and Marcus heading out on a couple of road trips out of town, the first we headed out to Mount Shasta Ski Park, where we adventured about and enjoyed a cooked chicken cooked out the back of a supermarket. But our conversations where ones i wish i had had years ago, talking real truth and stuff that church just dose not talk about. We talked about our relationships and how to honour those we are in a relationship with. We talked about how our relationship has developed and the support we have for each other.
We arrived back from our adventure in the mountains and i felt different, something had changed, i was thinking differently i was starting to open up more and trust someone even more.
Trust for me has been a big issue, over the years i have been let down by people i trust and look up to. And because of this hurt and situation, i have grown to not trust people and when needing to trust someone i did everything in my power to cover the possibility that they may let me down. I guess it was not till this time away that i realised that i did not trust people. Being let down hurts and means you put barriers up, barriers that not only effect you as an individual but also those around you. Those who never have hurt you in the first place but just love you for who you are. It effects people who don't deserve to be blocked out. It was time for this to change, it was time to put behind all the hurt that people who no longer where part of my life and move forward and trust. This was only the first week. Little did i know that this was only the beginning.
The following week i attended school with Marcus and continue to be blown away by the teaching, having awesome conversations during the week with loads of different people. Friday came and i had been challenged so much the week about my identity i was ready for a day off from school. Marcus and I headed off for another road trip, to get out from Redding and spend good time together. Little did i know that this would be the most significant time of the 2 weeks, and possibly of the year.
This time we headed for more snow but went east of redding, we headed to Lassen National Forest. We went for a wonder in the snow and an awesome drive through the mountains. It was so nice to be running around in snow as deep as my waist.
Little did i know that the drive back would be the most significant of all. To be talking honestly and openly with your close friend is so important, i don't thing anyone really knows the significance of this. something i wanted to talk to Marcus about was my stag do and wedding. I had recently asked him if he would be my best man. But since asking him i had not slept, not because i thought i made the wrong decision, but because of something else. But i could not put my finger on it, until that is, the drive back from the mountains.
I spoke to Marcus about the stag do and shared my fear and worry about it all, and as i spoke i realised, i had over me a fear of humiliation, and being shown up. This fear of humiliation went all the way back as far as school, but with lots of other things thrown in since then. I was fearful that my closest friend would humility me, this was crazy. To realise what i was fearful of, made me realise that i was totally irrational. Marcus then said, "As close friends we are hear to honour each other not the opposite, its a chance to celebrate, not humiliate."
We headed back and i felt so at peace with God and what was to happen beyond.
The best thing i did was to talk, to talk openly and honestly with those i was close to. God can use this in the most incredible ways. My life has changed so much and i still look back at that time as the most significant change in my life. I was able to come home and be honest and open with others, and it completely changed my relationship with Laura who is now wife. A lesson i still talk of, is don't but barriers up and block people out because others have hurt you, don't label everyone the same. Just because you have been hurt by one person dose not mean you will be hurt by everyone.
Its time to trust again.