Bounce Back (My Lenten Journey Thus Far)

To say that my mind, heart, and soul are full would be the understatement of the year. I decided to take time away from many things. I felt compelled for the first time in my walk with God to intentionally focus on spending the Lenten season reconnecting with God, family, and my true self. Over the past few years, these most important relationships have been stretched, tested, afflicted, broken, and damaged due to unnecessary wear, tear, and limited maintenance. 

I know what some people might do. People who are acquainted with me will attempt to ascribe some reason to my confession. Heck, I have people asking me about my transition back home who have never had interest in my ministry pursuits. Lies have been told that I quit the ministry all together. Let me thank all of you for taking such an interest in my condition. I pray that in the future your inquiries will continue as God continues to order my steps. (Side note: You can’t quit a calling like you quit a job!)

So, this season of Lent is one to disengage from negative people, comments, attitudes, and lies. I have been in a serious need. Healing, hope, courage, and strength–these four attributes have been the elements that I have sought from the Lord to aid me through the next stages of my life. Yet this time, I did not ask and start looking for the manifestation. No, I got back to basics. I returned to square one. I went back to chasing after Him.

Brothers and sisters, many of you have been where I have. Carrying emotional, spiritual, and mental luggage that has cluttered the present and temporarily blocked the future. We try every single method, vice, process, or trend to readjust our mood or attitude. The truth is we all need time away to pursue the face of God. We need something more than just Sunday morning. I was tired of being a spiritual drug dealer. I was tired of being positioned only to get high off of my own supply. 

The last eight months have not been an easy time. I was not the best form of myself. As a matter of fact, I was the best form of a wounded, broken me….until 18 days ago. I told the Lord, I want to be better. So, I will walk this journey with you. All hell has broken loose in my life. My heart was broken by life and people. I questioned my worth to my wife and son. I began to accept that people were waiting for me to fail in life. But, the moment said, God, I yield, everything changed. 

What a difference this time has made. I know the journey is not finished, but I want to share a few things with you. I want share a couple of lists. Why? You may have or are currently dealing with the same feelings, emotions, thoughts, or challenges that have plagued my life for over 30 years. Yes, I have carried 30 year old bags of emotional, spiritual, and mental pain; but, the Lord has delivered. One list has many of the challenging thoughts I accepted about myself. The other list has the results of God’s intervention and deliverance. I share this as a testimony. If He did it for me, He will do it for you. 

When I was broken….

  1. I’m worthless
  2. I’m not worthy of any love
  3. What kind of man can’t get a decent job
  4. Why is my wife still here
  5. I have wasted my loved ones’ time
  6. All of my time ministering has been a waste to God
  7. Maybe I should quit
  8. My dreams are too big
  9. Nobody will ever accept me
  10. I don’t like me
  11. I’m weak
  12. What example of manhood am I giving my son
  13. I don’t want anymore accolades, I just want peace

When deliverance happened….

  1. Depression–Gone!
  2. Emotions–Balanced!
  3. Dreams–Revived and Restored (5 new book projects, Nonprofit development, Ministry opportunities, Preaching Opportunities)
  4. Rebuilding my family
  5. Restoration of my priesthood over my home
  6. Forgiving myself
  7. Releasing past disappointments (forgiving others, seeing enemies and loved ones through the eyes of God, understanding God’s grace, living in His grace)
  8. Chains of emotional bondage are broken
  9. Growth opportunities for my family
  10. My smile has returned

That is only 18 days on this walk with my Savior. I never imagined this would be the way God would answer my prayers, but I am grateful beyond measure. If you want to have your own experience, take the time to stop blaming others, complaining about what someone ain’t doing, or basing your whole life on pity. God has greater for you. Step back so God can help you bounce back!

–A grateful Charles