From “Hopeless” to “Purpose”

I have been absent from the blogging scene for quite a few months now. Not for lack of trying; on the contrary, I have sat at my laptop, fingers resting on the keys anticipating words that never came. My mind was a desert, parched from my creative drought with nary a drop to refresh me.

The truth is, I was afraid of putting into words the things that until now I have kept locked away. I was afraid of what the reaction would be if people saw behind the façade I maintain. To be transparent is to be vulnerable, and that is not something I handle very well. To be fair, anyone can say the same. We all have times when we choose to “suffer in silence” instead of admitting our personal struggles to someone. It’s easy to convince yourself that no one else would understand, or that you have to endure these struggles alone.

For me, it’s been a culmination of years upon years of wasted opportunities, stupid mistakes, and buying into lies from the enemy that have caused me to conceal myself away from God and the world. As a result, my writing suffered. It felt like every thought I wrote down was too dark to put into the open. After what God has recently spoken to me however, I feel it’s my responsibility to use my platform the way God intended. My struggles are a part of my testimony, so it’s important to put it into writing as well.

I had come to a point in my life where, at times, it felt like it would be easier to embrace death than overcome the obstacles in my life. The weight of hopelessness was profound, more so than any physical weight I bear. The pain of past regrets shackled my mind and heart. Depression, anxiety, and fear had become these possessions I refused to let go of. I lived life inside of my shell, keeping myself safe within it’s confines along with my “possessions”. Envy was the scale by which I judged my self worth, always comparing myself to others who have achieved far greater than I have.

My prayers felt empty. At times I thought God had left me to deal with my own problems. Any feeble attempt to crawl out of the depths of despair led me right back to where I began. I longed for a glimmer of hope. I couldn’t feel nor hear God at all. I’ve lived in near isolation aside from immediate family. All that time alone really works on the mind, allowing every mistake I’ve ever made to run rampant in my thoughts.

Truth be told, I’ve had many moments when I wished I were dead. If I’m going to be completely vulnerable with you, this needs to be said. I’ve hit some pretty low points over the past year and a half. I was losing battles on every front with my white flag in hand. When you reach that point, life loses all color. It could be a brilliantly sunny summer morning, and inside exists only gray. Everything becomes meaningless, uninteresting or overwhelming.

I was especially frustrated that I couldn’t hear anything from God. This perpetuated the belief that I was alone in my struggles, and amplified the hopelessness I felt. In hindsight, I realize I probably missed His answers many times because I had already determined in my mind the specific answer I was expecting. So, this past Wednesday evening, God chose a more direct approach in order to get my attention.

Through some wonderful people God has put in my life, He spoke some much-needed truths to me. I came to realize I was actually fighting against God when He was trying to deliver me. For so long, I prayed for God to take away my depression, anxiety, and fear, and He essentially said, “if you would let go of it I would.” It’s weird to think about using these dark emotions like a crutch, but that’s exactly what I was doing. I would isolate myself from everyone, as if inside a shell, with my emotional crutch as my only companion.

I’ve always felt like my life has been taking one step forward and several steps backwards. Meanwhile, God is waiting on me to get my stuff in order and catch up to where He is. God helped me see that He will always come back for me when I stumble. He meets me where I’m at. His grace knows no limitations except for the ones I create.

I’ve been so caught up in my constant struggles to regain financial stability, to gain consistency in weight loss, and other day-to-day issues that I kept putting off God. I told myself, “if I can just beat these few obstacles in front of me, then I can actually be useful to God.” What He revealed to me was I don’t have to wait until I’m this ideal version of myself before He can use me. Rather, my ministry can begin now through my writing.

Part of the reason I’m writing this is so I can come back to this in the future whenever I need a reminder of where God has brought me from, and where He is taking me. I wanted to die. I thought my life was a huge waste of potential, and that I let everyone down. I thought God had abandoned me.

One of the biggest factors in my turnaround has been surrounding myself with God-fearing people who will stand with me, and always remind me I’m never alone. Another factor was a willingness to be transparent with them when the opportunity presented itself. God had set it up perfectly for me to open up about my darkest thoughts and fears, and I decided not to let it go to waste. Being vulnerable is scary, but with the right people, it can change everything as it did for me.

The other reason I’m writing this is because I know others can relate to my story on some level. It is my hope that anyone who may be having similar thoughts will read about how God has delivered me, and consider that it can happen for them as well. God was fighting for me the whole time, but I was blinded by the lies I chose to believe about myself.

From now on, I will try to be more transparent in my writing, instead of being afraid of what the response may be. God has given me my testimony so that I may reach this generation. My journey is about going from a place of darkness, and stepping into the light, so my posts tend to have a bit of both. Hopefully, through reading these, God will reveal Himself to you, and show you He is fighting for you too. Be blessed.

2 thoughts on “From “Hopeless” to “Purpose””

  1. I am so proud of you! YOU will help so many. This generation as you said have the highest suicide rate. They are struggling.. and need God’s deliverance from depression and anxiety and all the lies of the enemy. Your testimony will be so relatable and give HOPE. Keep going!! God is with you. With BOTH of you.. you will change lives and bring more lives to the Kingdom of GOD.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How courageous James to share your vulnerability!! Leading by example is a sign of a great leader!! Charge ahead and lead others deeper into vulnerability. Diving deep allows us to pull up the roots to that which holds us back. All of us James could benefit from learning to do what you have done… being vulnerable. . It blesses me to know that you found a community that created safety. It’s a requirement to be able to take the dive!! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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