Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no right to even be alive let alone write blogs. If I were God, I would have killed me off long ago. Thankfully I am not God. It is only through His infinite grace and abounding mercy that I am still here to tell my story of personal failure and Godly deliverance.
My life is like a huge tapestry, woven with threads of beautiful hues but marred by huge strands of black and red. It could have been a masterpiece, but instead it is a tribute to what could and should have been. I understand this, accept it and have chosen to live with it. I refuse to rationalize the past or deny I allowed things to distract, disrupt and ultimately destroy the ministry God gave me to bless His people.
I am fully aware of the horrible things I did in God’s name in the early 1980’s. If I were in a court of law, I would plead “no contest” to the various accusations of wrongdoing. I allowed myself to first consider the lies of the enemy and then fall prey to them. Although warned by both God and men, I considered myself invincible and worthy of special privileges due to my ministry position.
By the time I finally awoke and saw what had happened, my marriage, finances, health and ministry were as broken glass shattered on the floor. A once promising future had been squandered and the stark realities of what my life had become were like a never ending horror show. Everywhere I looked, there were people I had hurt, situations I had bungled, opportunities I had missed and traps I had walked into with my eyes wide open.
I was too proud to ask for help and too deceived to accept help even if I had asked. I had allowed demons to possess me and in so doing, right had become wrong and wrong had become right. I could justify everything I did in my own mind because my mind did not think whole thoughts but rather the sugar coated lies of the enemy. To say I was a mess would be the understatement of all time.
I was trained to be a ministry leader but in reality I was trained to be an actor. It was engrained in me to put on a good front no matter what was happening. I was taught to always appear to have it together even when I was a mess. I was instructed to look like a great man of God even if my heart was cold and dead. Years of acting lessons ultimately prevented me from seeking help and kept others from seeing the dire shape I was in.
Off and on I would be confronted with my sins and I would repent and change for a season. But, due to inherent elements of my situation I fall back into bad habits and would embark on another season of not doing God’s will in my life.
I was at my worst between September of 1981 and March of 1982. I hurt many people due to my immaturity and/or stupidity. I had been thrust into a ministry position I was not prepared to handle. My sins were confronted in March of 1982 and I truly did repent. I was crushed by my weakness and despite my pleas to resign, I was not allowed to. Slowly God mended my heart and I tried to mend the hurt relationships with others my mistakes had caused.
By July of 1983 I was doing better than I ever had in my life. I had my body, soul and spirit in fellowship with God and I was doing what I was supposed to be doing for myself and others. My confidence had returned and with it my ability to minister to others with authority and power. I honestly thought my past was a memory and the future as bright as the promises of God.
In August of 1983 the founder and retired head of the ministry sent me a letter out of the blue condemning me for what I had done a year and a half earlier. I was given no chance to give my side of the story but was informed that I was officially considered “dung” by this man and his inner circle. I faced public humiliation, was ignored by my peers and told repeatedly that I should just resign.
Over the ensuing year I became more and more depressed, frustrated and angry. Feeling isolated and defeated, I drifted into behavior that was not only wrong but in time destroyed me. I honestly did not care for I figured my ministry was over and my life’s dream of walking for and serving God was finished. I do not know why I was not “fired” but instead I was allowed to flounder in a sea of despair and confusion with no way out. I believe this is what the people in charge wanted to have happen to me.
In August of 1994 I was officially “sent out to pasture”, released from my ministry position and more or less was on my own. Not one ministry leader wanted me in their state. I was a marked man sent out into the wilderness to in due time be consumed by wild beasts or succumb to disease or injury.
As Thanksgiving of 1984 neared, the stupid and sinful things I had done the preceding year started piling up and their consequences buried me in an avalanche of irate people wanting to rip me to shreds. The wild beasts were indeed circling around me, licking their lips and salivating at their upcoming meal.
The mental pressure I was under soon manifested itself in physical pain through an ongoing infection that steadily got worse and worse. The wild beasts always go for the weak and I was certainly just that.
On the day before Thanksgiving I received a call from someone who let me know that he was personally going to make sure he destroyed me once and for all. He had incriminating evidence that would forever render me useless to God and worthless to the ministry. He urged me to either move to Antarctica or go drive off a cliff. I chose to do the latter.
I was trapped and hopelessly ensnared in the web of deceit and lies which I had woven the previous year out of anger and frustration. I knew everything was getting ready to blow up and what was left of my dignity would soon be completely destroyed. With nowhere to turn and no one I trusted enough to talk to about what was happening, I decided the best thing to do was just end the horrible excuse for a life I was living.
Thanksgiving morning I drove 50 miles to the top of a mesa overlooking the valley where we lived. It was a beautiful drive and there was a parking area which looked out over the city. Behind the flimsy guardrail was a cliff that dropped about 2000 feet straight down. My plan was to drive through the guardrail and fly to my death on the rocks far below.
Thankfully I decided to ponder my life and what had happened to it before ending it. In the midst of the worst storm of my life, I finally opened my heart up to God and poured out everything in it to Him. I wept and wept and wept some more. I got out of the car and lay in the dust on my stomach crying out to God “I’m sorry”. Soon the dust turned to mud because of my tears.
I was indeed a broken man, consumed with guilt and shame and ready to face whatever the final judgment of my life would hold. No words I could write would ever convey how I felt that morning in 1984. My life and ministry had already been destroyed, now all that remained was the ending of my physical life.
As I got back into the car and contemplated what to do next, amazing and miraculous things started to take place around me. Almighty God was not going to let the enemy win without a fight and the fight of and for my life commenced…