Read Psalm 71:15-18 before continuing.
I remember a time in my life when I allowed depression to get the best of me. I allowed anxiety to control me. I allowed insecurity to be my identity. The truth is, this was just a week ago. There have been so many times in my life after explaining my testimony, that I would look back on my story and realize I was trying to convince the person I was speaking to that I was the main character, and that I was ABLE to break free from the chains of addiction and withstand the power of hell.
“I repent for allowing idolatry to come into the story of my life that proves Jesus is the one who saves me through my weakness.”
I look back at my life and see that Christ is not just the main character, but I am merely the one who allowed my pride to get in the way whenever I was able to. I AM NOT THE SUPERHERO IN THE STORY, but merely just the civilian who gets saved from the villain. That is my testimony.
When I think of my testimony I am reminded of Moses and the burning bush. God had just told him that he was going to be the one that would help Him save the Israelites. Moses looks at the inflamed bush with shock and fear. “Lord, who am I to be the one who convinces Pharaoh to let your people go?” (Exodus 3:11) Moses then tries to explain to GOD that he is not capable of such a task. He has allowed his actions and other’s actions to mold his identity into someone who is nothing but a fraud and a murderer.
He lacked the skill and confidence in himself to push himself toward the goal God had just put before him. Does anyone else feel like that? The Bible talks about how God calls us to do many things in His name, and you look at yourself and doubt God’s word, as if that doesn’t apply to you.
“Me?” I pray “Lord, are you sure about that?” I said this to God in the bathroom of the factory I was working at 4 years ago. God had just spoken to me. He had just explained to me that he needed me to move to Indiana from Michigan and leave everything and everybody I knew, to go to a place I was not planning to build my life in. I was in a stall, tears running down my face, unable to hold in the shock and fear. The Creator of the universe had just spoken to me. My life was in the town of Muskegon, Michigan where I had a church, friends, and family. Why would God call a random human, who dealt with anxiety, isolation, depression, and no self-confidence, to obey a command that was too big a task in his mind? What was the reason? To this day, I still have not gotten used to the idea of God calling me to do such a big thing. I felt like Moses at that moment. I didn’t know what God was calling me for. He didn’t give me a 10 step plan on how my life was going to play out. He just said, “Go” and “Do you trust me?” (I want to quickly say, moving to Indiana was the greatest decision I ever made, and even though it was the hardest season in my life, I look at Jesus and I know my relationship with Him would not look the way it does now.) A year later, I would come home from work to my one bedroom apartment exhausted. Covid-19 had just broken out. I had made decisions that had caused my relationship with my brother, who lived 15 minutes away, to be far from good. I was alone, and depressed even more than when I was in Muskegon, and I still did not understand why God called me to this (what felt like) wilderness of a place. I hated life and myself. My self-confidence was non-existent. I was done with life and I just wanted to go home to my Heavenly Father. The thing is I still do to this day. No, I am not suicidal, but the desire and hunger for the Lord that I have today was created through the long hard year and a half in Indiana. I look back and there is a part of me that wishes I could go back to the time I would be on my bedroom floor weeping, asking God why He hadn’t given up on me, hungry for only Him. I remember wondering why He hadn’t turned His face from me yet. I only saw my flesh and I was mad at myself. I thought I had failed. My life looked completely different than everyone else’s and I hated myself because of it. Why would God tell me to do this? There was a lot of ministry happening in my life, but why did I feel so empty. Again, why did God choose me? Was it just random or was it because of my willingness? All I know for sure is, I was dead and He saved me. I saw my flesh, but He saw my soul. I hated myself to the point of begging God to end my existence, but He healed me. He gave me a new name, a new life and a reason to live. He saved me from the villain, and all I can do is worship and thank Him for not abandoning me, even when I abandoned myself.
“Thank you for bringing me through that. Before that season in my life I knew you as my God. After that season, I knew you as the very reason for my existence. My will died along with myself on that bedroom floor, and Your will began. You have and never will fail me.”
- Gabriel Knapp