Finding My Way Back
I was raised to have faith. I have had the privilege of knowing three women who are the epitome of faith. My great-grandma had faith, and it saw her through many difficult times and allowed her to see many miracles in her life. My grandma had faith, and it sustained her through many trials that she would encounter in her life. My mom had faith, and it allowed her to see the hand of God work through her life and the lives of the people around her. In a lot of ways, I had no choice but to have faith. In some ways, it was my birthright. How could I not have faith after living my life being told of the miracles and the grace of God?
However, like so many people, my faith has been challenged. My trust in God has wavered and my hope has been lost. When someone begins to lose faith, it starts out slowly. It is a result of misguided decisions and becoming overwhelmed with the life that we are living. I, like so many others, became overwhelmed in my journey. When we are overwhelmed and discouraged we begin looking for relief and answers to ease the feeling of being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, we often look in the wrong place, which ultimately sets us on a course of destruction. When I became overwhelmed, I too, looked for relief in the wrong places. When I began looking for this highly sought after relief, I walked off of the path that God had intended for me. When we leave the path that God wants for our lives, things do not get better, they get worse.
This happened in my life. I soon found myself leaving behind all of the things that I once held near and dear. I found myself making decisions that were not good for me and would lead to even more heartache, confusion, and pain. Of course, at the time, I thought these decisions would lead me to peace, but I was wrong. I knew I needed help, but I continued to look in the wrong places. I sought the advice of medial professionals only to encounter more stress. I sought the advice of the wrong individuals only to be led further off the path.
Everyone around me saw the destruction in my life, everyone that is except me. I thought I was making sound decisions and that I was trying to improve my life. Sometimes we get so far off of the path, that our thinking is altered, and we really do not know which way to turn or where to get the help that we so desperately crave.
I was lost. I am telling you, I was completely and utterly lost. I began to lose faith. Which was something that I had always had and clung to in times of trouble. I began to question the existence of God. I began to question everything that I had once known to be true. This led to more bad decisions and more problems, which only reinforced my new belief system. I was drowning in a life of my own making, and I felt there was no way out. I struggled to stay afloat, knowing that if something did not change, I would go under and not come back up.
One early morning in late July of 2014, I hit rock bottom. I cannot adequately express to you the feeling that I had that morning, but when I regained my composure, I knew things had to change. I was not even sure how to change them, but I knew they had to change. It was around this time that I was in my car driving alone and I prayed for the first time in a very long time. I can still remember the prayer I said. I said, “God, this is Dan. I know that we have not talked in a long time, but I need help.” Those three simple words, “I need help”, was what God had been waiting on me to say.
You see, He had been there all the time. I may have walked off the path, but He followed me. I could not feel Him, and there were many dark times that I thought I would never feel Him again, but He had been there all along patiently waiting for me to cry out to Him. In that moment of my first prayer, things began to change. There were many bad decisions that had to be corrected, and I had a lot of things to clean up in my life. It was a slow and steady process, one that continues today. Things did not get instantly better when I prayed, but God began to take control again. He began to lead me in making better decisions and He started directing my path.
By November of 2014, things in my life had begun to calm down, and my faith was beginning to be restored. I was safe for the first time in a long time and then God really began moving in my life. He began getting messages to me. These messages were messages of peace. Often, these messages came from Jeff, who had stood by my side during all of my struggles and never stopped believing in me. Sometimes they came from other people. I am sure some of these people do not even know that they were hearing from God, but they were and God knew exactly what I needed to hear.
In January of 2015, Jeff texted me the following message, “That which was had to be and when what shall be is, you will understand why and all doubt and fear will be vanquished from your mind.” God gave this message to Jeff, and it was a message that I had been waiting all my life to hear. A couple of weeks later, I began writing. I have always found writing to be very therapeutic, and God had told me to start writing. He told me just to write about whatever came to my mind and that He would guide my thoughts and my words.
I started writing for the first time on January 20, 2015. I cannot tell you what the writing began to do for me. Everything began to change. The clouds began to lift more and more. I began to see God in more and more things. I began to hear from God on a daily basis, and I began to have faith in God like I had never had before. Each day that I wrote, I got a little stronger and a little better. With the first writing that I did, I began my journey back to peace.
It has been a long journey, but it was a journey worth taking. So, with all of that being said, I decided that I should not be the only one who should benefit from these writings. God would like me to share them with you. This is something that I am very excited and happy about doing. So, I have started this new blog called Peace Matters. God gave me the title and I think it is very fitting. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that God knows what He is doing.
I will begin posting weekly on June 18, 2015. I hope that you will join me and that you will begin to see the hand of God in your life. The thing that we all need to remember is this; sometimes God has to lead us through the valleys of life so that we can enjoy the peace and the beauty that we find on the mountaintop. I am not there yet, and it is a journey that will take years for me to make, but I am so thankful for every part of my journey, and I am looking so forward to this new leg of the trip. I hope that this will become a place of peace and a place for people to find their faith in God. Faith leads to peace and PEACE MATTERS.