the only thing holding me back was my pride

it’s been 17 days since i’ve posted something on here. that’s insane. my bad.

i’ve actually wanted to write for the past week or so, just never knew what to write about.

i thought about writing about how frustrated i was with camp. i had even written out a good part of it and knew what i was going to write.

then i thought about writing about how one kid came up to me on friday morning before he left camp and told me that what i had taught had helped him out a lot and how that made the frustration worth it.

then yesterday happened and it all clicked.

yesterday, for the first time in my life, i spoke in front of a church.

i’d spoken to youth before. i’d done bible studies and devotions and all of that. i’ve always enjoyed speaking in front of people, but i had never actually spoke in front of the old people in church.

leading up to it, from the time i got into town on friday, everyone kept asking if i was ready for it or if i was nervous and all of that. to be honest, i never once got nervous. i was anxious as crap beforehand, but never nervous. the only thing i was nervous about was the possibility of slipping up and saying something that the old blue hairs would flip out about (dad even said i shouldn’t have said, “screwed up” but i did anyway).

the only thing i was halfway worried about was how long i was going to talk. i was afraid that i would be too short and not say enough.

uh, that wasn’t the case at all.

once i got going, it was like a ball set in motion. i hit all of the points i wanted to. i even thought of anecdotes and stories that i hadn’t thought of before to help illustrate the points i wanted to make.

when it was all over, i went to the back of the church to do the whole shaking hands thing like they do at my church. i talked to the people as they left the church. i found out that one girl rededicated her life and to me, that made it all worth it. then, not too long after that, i had a guy come up and ask if he could talk to me because he had some questions about this god thing and thought i could help him.

then it hit me:

nothing i said that morning meant anything. it wasn’t me that did the speaking. if it was just me, people may have liked what i said, but there wouldn’t be anything significant come out of it. it hit me that while yeah, part of it was me, if it wasn’t for god being there while i was talking, it would’ve just been me talking for 40 minutes.

so after church, i went out to eat with my family. after that, i called the guy that had wanted to talk and we met up at the church. now, remember, i had only talked to teenagers about jesus before. now i was in a position to talk to a 45 year old former catholic marine about jesus. after an hour and 45 minute talk, things finally were starting to click for him. i was able to relate jesus to him in a way that no one ever had before.

then after all of this, i wasn’t done. i went and spoke to the youth at the church that night. there were only six of them there, but it gave us a chance to be really relaxed and informal. we all talked about showing jesus to people and how different our town and our high school would be if we lived it out and all of that. we had a lot of fun, joked around, but it all came back to jesus.

at the end of the day, i sat back and thought about all of it. i knew i had told god that i would do this ministry thing if he wanted me to. i knew that i had finally come to grips with all of that stuff. but at the end of this day, there was something different. i knew, 100%, that this was right. i knew that every ability and talent that i had, was for this purpose. i knew that everything i had ever experiences, both good and bad, was for this purpose. and for the first time, i loved the idea of it.

we’ve all heard that, “when you know, you know.” well, i know. the whole idea of, “god, show me what you want me to do in life” is over. i know. game over.

a prayer that i’ve had for the past five years has been answered in a way that can’t be denied. it is what it is and what it is is good.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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