Raise the anchor, all aboard as the Captain calls His misfits
This Ghost Ship
Sets off to shake the world – let’s go!

-Theocracy “Ghost Ship”

You might be sitting there feeling like just you alone could never make a difference for the kingdom of God.  Do you feel like you lack any talent or gift to ever serve God with?  Do you feel powerless to even make a difference?  Do you feel like you’ve done too much wrong to serve God?  Do you feel like God could never use a weirdo like you for his glory?

Well, let me tell you about how I got here writing this column.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:7-10

4 years ago this month is when the journey started.  It all began at a Disciple concert.  They performed at Rock The Desert 2013.  I was front row.  Persevering through heat and thirst to keep my prized guard rail spot in the triple digit heat, I made it to their performance still on the rail.  During Kevin’s usual talk laced between amazing and inspiring songs, he said something that hit me especially hard that day.  I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of “if you’ve been through ___ , you are the only one that can help people with it.”  It hit me hard right then…

I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING

Afterwards I found myself in front of my computer.  All this desire to do something to fight against self harm and suicide had been ignited, but I had no idea what to do.  I started writing a note on facebook to pour into it all the things that had been put on my heart.  I put it out there for my friends.  The only thing I felt, however, was completely powerless.

I told God I felt powerless to reach people alone.  How could I do this alone?  I didn’t know what to do with this desire.  God said the one thing he had said the most through this journey.

“Just keep going.”

Cast off for the journey, join us as we sail the open seas
Unto the great adventure – follow Me
All the world’s unwanted
Come aboard and leave your darkness behind
Desperate to count, redeem the time
We are the ghosts awakened to the light
Forged and branded in His name
Ancient workmanship before ordained

-Theocracy “Ghost Ship”

God gives us everything we need to do what he wants us to do.  Don’t worry about what you don’t have.  For example, I don’t have good social skills, an extroverted personality, or a good stage presence.  HOWEVER, I can write.  I can write to my heart’s content and feel brave to speak in that world.  I began working with what I had for this, SOCIAL MEDIA!  So, I kept going like God said to, not knowing where this would lead me.

I made my WordPress and Tumblr blogs.  This was a significant step where I found my audience and a place to reach new people.

However, I was too comfy there.  God spoke to me and said during this comfy time, “This means a lot to you I can see.  If it really means this much, what are you willing to do for it?”  And I said ANYTHING!!  I realized it was time to get out of my comfort zone.  I decided to film videos for youtube.  Now, I am a terrible speaker in person.  I’m no Kevin Young that’s for sure.  God said keep going.  I went out of my comfort zone for the first time on this journey.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

-1 Corinthians 3: 6-9

One thing I learned at this point was that you will probably never know the entire impact you make on people.  Most people will not reply or respond, but that does not mean they weren’t impacted.  Sometimes all we do is plant seeds.  Whether you will see one of your seeds grow or not I cannot tell you, but you must not let that discourage you from planting.

Another thing I learned is that when you get on the right track for the kingdom of God, Satan is going to attack you.  The next phase I took out of my comfort zone was messaging individual people.  God didn’t tell me to preach about Jesus and baptism though.  Many times, God has told me to just speak about love and hope, and when I do he will be there even if I don’t say the word “God” or “Jesus”.  He also asked me, “This might be the ONE TIME you get to cross paths with this person.  If this is your ONE CHANCE to speak to them, what do you want to say?”

This is where 2 things came to my heart.  One is that hope is always with them, and that they are the most valuable thing on earth.  If I get just one chance to cross paths with someone, this is what I base my words to them from.  There are many people online that speak about wanting to kill themselves…it really could be my only chance.

When I took this step, Satan attacked me severely.  It was almost unbearable.  You know what God said?

“Just keep going.”

So, I have kept going through every wave of attacks from Satan.

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today.

-Genesis 50:20

Next step was photography art.  Joining Instagram and a mental illness awareness campaign created by a secular rock band inspired this.  My writing and art is on the dark side usually.  It’s not for everyone.  I found a way to use that dark side in art for the Kingdom for God through photography art with song lyrics from bands like Disciple.

All my struggles and art style developed from those struggles were now being pulled into a method of ministering to people for God’s glory!  God was using all these things I never thought could be used for his glory for it after all!

This really meant putting myself out there and being very vulnerable.  It was nerve wrecking pouring my heart into these art pieces.  I did a series called The Secret X’s based on “Dear X” by Disciple.  I was TERRIFIED of what they thought of it.  I thought they would hate it and never talk to me again.  But God said…you guessed it, “just keep going.”  So, I kept going.

The next thing I learned was that when you put yourself out there for God, he’s going to back you up.  Maybe not the way you expect, but he will back you up if you go out in faith for him.  I learned this when Disciple posted my Secret X’s series on their Facebook page…taking a HUGE risk because it was a very risky and edgy photo series.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

-Ephesians 3:20

I looked at how many shares it got and how many people responded, and I saw what had happened out of that little Facebook post at the start when I felt so powerless.  I saw what God had done with all my struggles for all these years and all my work for him up to that point.  All I had to do was keep going and give him my heart and my faith, and LOOK WHAT HE DID WITH IT!!

I realized that everything I had been through…all these years of pain and sadness and addiction…it was all so I could be right here saying you can get through it all with God!

Further down the journey almost a year ago, I found myself looking at a post from Jesuswired.  They were asking for help on their Instagram.  I thought, “Why would they want someone like me working for them?”  But I love Instagram and making images, so I responded.

Well, you see where that ended up.  The next step on this journey is this column!

Pay the piper, here we go
Got a ticket for a one-way journey
Slay the viper, come follow, even if you’re ordinary
There’s a place for you here
Raise the anchor, all aboard as the Captain calls His misfits
This Ghost Ship
Sets off to shake the world – let’s go!

-Theocracy “Ghost Ship”

All of this started with just a little thought God put in my heart, “I’ve got to do something!”  I never imagined where that something would lead me.  I never thought I would be right here writing this for you.

God has allowed you to go through something, and you’re the only one that can help people who’ve been through it too.  He’s given you everything you need to serve him.  Don’t worry about what you lack; just work with what you have.  God can do the rest, you just need to start planting seeds.

One day out of nowhere, after send over 700 messages to people and only getting less than 20% even respond back….someone said they decided not to kill themselves because I messaged them.

You might be a misfit in this world and have trouble fitting in and wonder if God could ever use you for his glory.  God can use you!  All you must do is give him your heart, and say you’ll do anything.  Don’t give up. Don’t stop planting seeds.  You never know where God will take you when he calls you aboard.

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