Testimony, Part 3: I fell on black days.

Picking up from where we left off, we just finished Part 1 and Part 2. This is Part 3 you may want to go back and finish the other two blogs so this part makes sense, but that’s your call! Now we’re entering into High School a very interesting time to be Kyle Herminath.

Mom really tried to talk me out of this odd senior photo. I wouldn’t listen and made this “gem” in MS Paint.

Ideas Have Consequences

I entered High School as a ticking time bomb of apathetic and self-destructive atheistic ideology, hormones, teen angst, and lack of identity. Which is (almost) exactly the same way everyone else enters High School. God bless the hearts of the teachers willing to shape and mold such an age group. It takes an incredible patience! I also entered with a fierce and fiery intensity that only grew as the years passed by. My enthusiasm for Jesus and intensity for the Bible that now defines me as a Christian was on display through my personality in a destructive bent towards chaos during these years. Hindsight being 20-20, I know who’s team I was playing for… Satan’s team. Even if I didn’t promote the name “satan” I was certainly pushing forward his twisted agenda during these days.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

I have the green hair, and Kyrik is to the right with the blue sweatshirt.

I often wore ties everywhere, Kyrik is to the right with the blue sweatshirt.

But God Sent me Brothers

Eventually I found a few people willing to associate with me. Around 8th grade to Freshman year I found Kyrik, Micheal, Jake, and a few others. I certainly had other friends but I’d like to point out these three for the story. Kyrik once told me that I kind of just showed up at his house one day, and never really left. I was a just a little hungry for friendship. Around this 8th grade time frame is when I started playing D&D. I got really sucked up into it because for me it was a healthy form of community that I never had before.

I really enjoyed engaging with the intelligence of the three friends that I mentioned. I really appreciated having friends who thought a little bit deeper, had more of a sarcasm, and wit to them. I’d never really been close to or experienced friends like that before. At the time, I was basically unbearable as a friend. Early in my life I was fairly quiet and kept to myself. So a childhood and early “teenhood” was mostly spent by myself, and made me a very interesting person.

You get the idea, of course I wasn't actually raised by wolves... That would be way too cool.

Years of seclusion can make you one different individual…

Ever see those stories where people are raised in the woods “by wolves” or in the wild? Up until 7th grade when I first started trying to make friends; I basically just showed up, and left school doing as little as possible to interact or engage with anything or anyone. I had no interest in other people. So by the time I met the three guys I mentioned before, I was already very odd and obsessed with weird things. My mind was interested in the dark things of this world, and my heart was hardened to spiritual things. I was hostile to anything related to God.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8

One thing I hated then was being fake, (still can’t stand it) and at that time everything other then anger or depression was fake to me. Lets get real, when you believe that we are from nothing, have no life purpose, and are going to die to go no where… Why should you be anything other then angry or depressed? From my perspective if you we’re not angry or depressed you just were not being authentic. As I talked about in Part 2 I couldn’t see any reason for anything so depending on your mood anger, hopelessness, or depression was the proper response.

By the end of High School the fours of us all ran with different crowds. Mostly we just spent all our time with our respective girl friends at the end. I’m not sure how much of an impact I had on them, but I thank Jesus for putting them in my life. They made a big impression on me wither or not they we’re intending to do so. Specifically I praise the Lord specifically for Kyrik Rudd. Of all the friends I had during this time he had the greatest impact on my life. He showed me by his example this verse:

A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

We don't always know where people are at. What impact you'll have on some one. God can use anyone, anywhere, any time.

We don’t always know where people are at. What impact you’ll have on some one. God can use anyone, anywhere, any time.

Fight Club, Self-destruction, & More!

The first rule of the next part of my life is that you don’t talk about it. The second rule of the next part of my life is that we can’t talk about it. My heart was still hungry, but I still didn’t understand or identify the problem.

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. Matthew 13:11

We have to have a hunger for God then He will help us begin to understand mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. We never stop learning this side of eternity. As time passed in High School the topic of identity continued to be brought up to me in a number of ways. Friends, family, people at school, and you are all trying to figure out who your “going to be someday”. So we each look inside for what resonates with our hearts, or souls, and our minds. We start to take steps based on what we are passionate about. One of the things I was completely sold out about was my atheistic beliefs. Sure I still had questions, but I didn’t want anyone to answer them. I searched for ways to reinforce my belief system as an atheist.

I searched for media that represented my peculiar view on life. I found a few sources and mediated on them. Most impactful was the movie Fight Club. I must have watched that movie forty-five times. I began listening to hate filled, anger inducing, and destructive music. I couldn’t be away from it, and by the end of High School I had head phones with me everywhere. Constantly reengaging with a source of chaos. In these days I would continue to go back to content that elevated the dark side of our lives. I would go from periods of complete apathy, to rage, to depression, and created my own little world to live in. Which is what I was accustom to because of video games. To give you an idea of the content that I loved that I was consuming here are a few Fight Club quotes.

Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer. – Fight Club

“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.” Fight Club

I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom. – Fight Club

How everything you ever love will reject you or die. Everything you ever create will be thrown away. Everything you’re proud of will end up as trash. – Fight Club

Now its one thing to consume content, watch a movie, view a TV series, or listen to some music. I wasn’t “consuming content” at this point. The time I started my Fight Club (in my garage) I was meditating on self-destructive content to the point where the reality of the content was more real to me then the “real world.” Many people told me at the time that I was a very intimidating guy. In hindsight, I can understand their opinion. We used to gather together and fight one another in garages and basements. We did it for all kinds of reasons. Many of the guys had never been in fights before. A the time I reasoned that I was doing a good service to them by giving them a confidence in a new area of their life. Most of them has similar angst filled perspective. I would then show up at school with bruised eyes and bloody lips. I took a kind of pride in my lack of concern for my well being. As time went on the content I was consuming became increasingly radical.

I remember one particular time a guy was punching my face into the ground and I didn’t even try to defend myself. As everyone freaked out to stop the fight, I stood up at laughed like a lunatic. Asking to continue, but he refused to continue to fight me. I wanted to hurt because I hated myself. For most of the guys in the Fight Club it was a way to exercise, learn to box, or do something interesting. After awhile it become apparent that there was something wrong with me. Something deeper then a little bit of teen angst. Something had to give.

I am Jack’s Broken Heart

This time in my life was hard for my father, mother, and brother. No body in my family knew what to do for me or how to help me. I was completely uncontrollable, and often did just enough to get everyone to think I was okay and give me my freedom. I hurt my family a lot during this time. I have so many memories of how ridiculously selfish I was to them. I was so full of anger and I used my God given intelligence as a weapon. My behavior back then and even now is part of the reason my family is having a hard time trusting my walk with Jesus. Lord please forgive me for my inability to represent your loving kindness.

Part of the reason I am so desperate for God to change me, because I never want to be anything like the person I was. It breaks my heart when I allow myself to act anything like my old self. I’m just a sinner saved by the grace of God. The good that is in me today is borrowed and its not mine.

There’s a mountain here before me and I’m going to climb it with strength not my own.  Carry Me Through

My parents and my brother we’re given a grace by God to endure these hard High School and early College years with me. Later when I came to myself and began to understand the pain I had caused. It broke my heart, I spent years weeping and grieving over my many failures, regrets, and sins from this time period in my life. I talk more about that below. For years I determined to change and become someone other then who I was then. The realization of how much pain I had caused my family put me in a place where I didn’t know what to do with all the emotion. I remember sometime after High School falling on my knees before my dad and pathetically begging for forgiveness. I wept so hard that I believe it took him by surprise and he wasn’t sure how to react. I wasn’t sure what else to do… Often I feel like the prodigal son who is unworthy to be called a son. Often I even to this day don’t know how to fix, help, or make things right. I just trust God has a plan bigger then my many mistakes.

I wish I could say that becoming a Christian or getting to know God was only full of only joy and happiness. As we will learn together as my testimony continues much pain is still to come, even after I become a Christian. I wish I could tell you that God just fixes everything or makes the things we’ve done okay, but that not the total picture. If you call out to Jesus, His Holy Spirit will never leave nor forsake you. He is close to the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. He will heal, He does fix, and He has the power to restore the crops the locus has eaten. Our expectations of how Jesus will do that tend to differ from His actual method of doing it.

What I can tell you Jesus worth it. Life in relationship with Him, and guided by the wonderful touch of His Holy Spirit. I can tell you His grace and joy is greater then any of the pain I created or went through. I can tell you from chasing several other paths that nothing else works to fill the hole in my heart that I’ve been discussing this whole time.

For “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Pain still comes and today I am still dealing with different messes I created. But Jesus, in his loving kindness doesn’t allow me to do it alone. In time I hope I can show the sincerity of my apology to my family.

In High School, I needed God what ever this “God” was, but I needed him to be more then a “made up concept” so I could sleep at night. I needed him to be real, and to handle my real issues. I needed him care about me and love me in ways that isn’t fair to ask my parents or my friends to love me. Before I met Him he sent my first love.

First Love that Soften my Heart

I’ve heard a number of testimonies in which romance played a big part of why the person knows the Lord Jesus Christ. I met a girl I believe about around my Junior year in High School. I’m sure many of you remember your first love, as I do. The feelings of drawing close to someone for the first time. The awkwardness excitement of sharing your feeling for the first time. How many new sensations you go through when you find someone else who loves you.

The joy of love has a way of helping to healing the heart.

The joy of love has a way of helping to healing the heart.

For me it was at a time where my heart was so cold and so dry. I had ‘hardened it’ as the Bible puts it. The kindness and gentleness of a young girl helped restore part of what was wrong in my heart. For the first time in a long time I cared for someone other then myself. I had tried a few things up until this point be it gaming, self-destruction, or fake intimacy. Nothing better fit the hole that was eating away inside my soul then a young girl who I was romantically in love with. Be careful Christians, this applies after you know Jesus but then refuse to let listen to Him and let be enough. He wants to prepare you and her He has someone in mind so don’t chase after the lack of intimacy with God in your life with relationship after relationship. See my relationship advice blogs for more on that.

Issues of the Tender in Heart

This softening of my heart created a problem though. Eventually the bliss of the honeymoon stage of a relationship wears off. (You have to cultivate love after the honeymoon.) So I had this tender heart that had become used to the romance filling the need of God in my life. What happens when you move out of the honey moon stage? The pain in your heart and soul that longs for God is again exposed because it was never actually satisfied by Jesus. Instead it was satisfied by what we wanted or who we wanted.

My only two options at the time was to harden my heart again, (which I didn’t do) or process the immense amount of pain that I had been ignoring. This time I could feel the pain of it more acutely, because of how tender my heart was. So to make a long story short after about a year or so I end up breaking up with this girl, and my soul pain is back with a vengeance.

When I lost her in my mind I felt I lost the only thing that could ever properly fill this God shaped hole. I was filled with so much regret and sorrow over losing something that (finally) made me fill okay, even good, and at some times complete so quickly after everything in my life fell apart. I thought I had reached bottom before, but now I despaired at losing the one thing I felt I could never get back.

I know many people that when they get to talking to me about their past, many of them have this ‘old flame’ or this one person they just can’t get over. Often I believe, what they can’t get over is the work that God did through the other person in their life. They are in love with or can’t get over the part God did in their life, and incorrectly apply that to the person they used to be with. When I first started dating I was so unlovable, but she loved me. I was broken, dysfunctional, and selfish; but she was able loved me more then I was able to hate myself.

In my reflection on what happened I now begin to see that I was never dating this ‘wonder woman’ or super human girl. Instead I was in love with what God was doing in and through her to me. I assumed that I would never again feel the love, healing, or peace that comes when someone loves me right where I’m at. The love of God for me gave me back what I thought I’d lost forever. Also, unlike the fleeting honeymoon stage of a romance; Jesus is able to love us in new and wonderful ways so long as we are willing to continue to pursue His love.

It’s time to let it go bro

Maybe some of you reading this need to let go of idealistic memories of old relationships you have made into an idol. I know I did, I made nice little idols for every girl I ever dating before coming into relationship with Jesus. The Lord helped me remove all those ideals I used to worship. I wanted these girls, my parents, or my friends to give me what only God can give me. They can’t without His help so the glory in the end goes back to God. I gave people in my life too much credit for what God was doing in and through them. Beloved, it’s time to forgive yourself and let go of them. It’s time to look to Jesus to give you what no person ever will be able to. For He is all of the good in us.

Next time on my testimony I begin to talk about college and how I began to have experiences with God that left me forever changed.

 

Testimony, Part 4: Experiencing God

 

"Everything, going to be okay!" Younger self-destructive Kyle gives one sarcastic thumbs up out of two!

Testimony, Part 2: Replacement & Rebellion

What can I use to Replace God in my Life?

This is Part 2, Part 1 can be found here.
I continued to go to church with my mother and do all the thing kids do from ages 6 – 16. I remember playing a lot of sports, or other made up games with my younger brother Matthew (or Da-Mat-Chew). Despite being a genuinely peaceful and happy child I had long moments of being very serious about the question: “What happens after we die?” I have to admit a bit of curiousness on the topic and honest excitement to find out. So much so, that at times I desperately longed to sneak a peak at what awaited us on the other side. In Part 3 we will look at some of my crazier actions are subconsciously motivated by my want to know, “What happens after we die?”.

From my first PlayStation back in the 90s I was hooked on video games. I remember playing Sega and  Nintendo when I was younger, but it was off and on never too serious.  When I was in grade school probably about 3rd to 5th grade my family bought a PlayStation.  I remember the very first game I picked out was Final Fantasy 7. Besides my brother until about 8th grade I rarely if ever had friends over or went over to peoples houses. Instead I gamed.

Oh, life was just better in the 90s was it not?

Oh, life was just better in the 90s was it not?

Little did I know I was bound for future disappointment as my first real game Final Fantasy 7 ended up being one of the all time greatest games. My first game is still to this day the best game I’ve played, but this is all my personal bias. From then on I was glued to a video game console. I have many memories of playing hours upon hours of PlayStation, Game Boy, Sega, PS2, and computer games later on. So much so, eventually I convinced myself that it’d be a great idea to make video games for a living!

Not that it isn’t a fine profession as it is, and the culture is unlike any other job I’ve ever worked at. What I failed to do what gets Gods approval on this life decision, and later I learned He had other plans for me… At the time I went to video gaming college (about age 18-19) I was a raging atheist who did not need God’s opinion on anything.

"Everything, going to be okay!" Younger self-destructive Kyle gives one sarcastic thumbs up out of two!

“Everything, going to be okay!” Younger self-destructive Kyle gives one sarcastic thumbs up out of two!

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5

I spent a lot of time running from God doing exactly what I wanted from age 15 to 23. But before I get to that, at age 7 after I transitioned from the Age of Innocence to the Age of Understanding. (As I talk about here in Part 1) I spent years hardening my heart, I tried to hide from God through distraction. I believe the reason we do this is because it sort of works; in the way you can stop thinking (for awhile) about things you don’t want to think about. As long as I can keep myself focused on something other then my unavoidable death, the God that I refuse to believe in or fully submit to, and disappointment that is becoming my life. We can act as if everything is okay, and for a time everything may seem like it’s okay.

Video Games my Escape

For those of you who grew up similarly, 🙂 some of the games that I played and put a lot of time into were Final Fantasy, other Playstation RPG’s, the Sims, Pokémon, and seemingly all of Blizzards games. Including War Craft, Diablo, and Star Craft.

This game is almost solely responsible making me interested in Game Design.

This game’s map editor is almost solely responsible making me interested in Game Design.

Spiritually I was empty, and looking for something to put in that spot of my soul. Even if you personally never used entertainment as your distraction, all kinds of things can work instead. Things like busyness, endless talking, romantic relationships, focusing on your past, pursuit of pleasure, alcohol, hobbies, drugs, sports, sex, drama, and anything that can captivate your attention. For me video games was the majority of how I replaced living a real life in the early days, and how I kept myself from thinking about God.

This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:35

After a few year though it become harder and harder to hide behind entertainment as a means to replace God. I needed something else something more powerful to distract myself. As I went through middle school and into high school eventually girls, or relationships with others became my distracting focus.

Love letters & holding hands, Oh my!

At our middle school we seemed a bit confused on what dating was? Maybe this was just me and the very few girls that I ‘dated’ during middle school… At the time ‘dating’ was seeing my ‘girl friend’ in the hallway, holding hands, and talking on the phone after school. I know, really intense stuff!

There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman. Proverbs 30:18-19

In hindsight my middle school ‘dating’ was fairly innocent and pretty cute.

Oh how ridiculous we we’re back then!

So one day one of my girl friends calls me to fix ‘our relationship’ as I must have forgot to say “Hi” in the hallway or something. After a short discussion we end up breaking it off. You know it was by far the quickest I ever got over a girl, as I remember feeling bad for one second, but then I felt very relieved. I mean now I don’t have all these hallway responsibilities, expected hand holding edicate, and (best yet) now I didn’t have to talk to anyone after school. I could go back to undistracted gaming. You have to be able to focus when the virtual world hangs in the balance, and you are required to save the day!

Was it just me or was middle school also a very silly time for you too? I remember middle school and elementary as a kind of foggy haze. Looking back at the time I was definitely a more of a loner having very few friends if any. It wasn’t until the later part of high school that I would say I had any close friends. Also it wasn’t until the first year of college that I realized what I was doing that made it so difficult to make and keep friends. The book, How to Win Friends and Influence People it seems like a sales book or a leadership book, which it is… but it is one of the most excellent books on how to be more focused on other people I have ever read. I very much recommend it if you’ve ever wondered why its “so easy” for everyone else to make friends.

Sexual Addiction

Lack of healthy intimacy to God and to others is the root cause to many addictions.

Lack of healthy intimacy to God and to others is the root cause to many addictions.

Before I quickly talk about the next issue I want to preface it by saying that many people both men and women struggle with masturbation. Because of the guilt and shame involved no one talks about it, we don’t ask for him, or we just begin to accept it as “Okay”. After Gaming didn’t fill the hole I needed something else. I stubble onto porn in which fake intimacy was far safer then real life romantic risk. I am not going to go into a ton of details, but pornography was a secret issue for me for years. It was as issue I struggled with until Jesus helped me get out from under this addiction. It is only by His grace that I continue to have freedom.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:9-11

I seriously tried many ways to fix myself, but Jesus was the only way that worked. It was one of the great attractions to Jesus was the hope I could let go of one of the many addictions (ways of replacement) that I kept going back and forth from. More on that later.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

After struggling with God, I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to share any information like this with you all. I then reasoned that my safety and future isn’t secured from pursuing a ‘good and respectable’ public persona. My protection, salvation, and inheritance comes from the Lord. Many of us try desperately to sweep it under the rug like it never happens. Secrecy is why the devil has so many of us held captive in this sexual sin. God demands perfect purity and so there is room for all of us to repent and seek grace through repentance.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You Shall Not Commit Adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

There was no doubt in my mind from what I’ve already said, and what I have yet to say I was in need of a savior. Maybe some of you are wondering if God is be enough to forgive all that you’ve done. I can testify that he can handle everything you have for him, but you can’t handle this life (let alone the one after this) if you don’t turn to him and away from your sin.

It’s so simple too, all you have to do is cry out in sincere need to Him. You may not be ready right now, but pray about it. Come on my brother (or sister), Heaven just will not be the same without you. (In my opinion!)

Searching for Intimacy

We all want healthy & wholesome intimacy. What sin does is break our world view. God can restore, and does restore. Often those who are the most broken seek earnestly for Holiness after they have turned from their wicked ways.

We all want healthy & wholesome intimacy. What sin does is break our world view. God can restore, and does restore. Often those who are the most broken are the ones who take Holiness the most seriously after they have turned from their wicked ways.

When you lack healthy intimacy with friends, family, and in relationships we search for that intimacy in other ways. With porn you get a false intimacy that is comfortable, consistent, and controllable at least for a little while. Relationships with real people are scary, unpredictable, and often leave you very damaged. For many of us the risk of real life intimacy is not worth it, so instead we live incredibly lonely lives.

For me there was an ever present loneliness, a lack of healthy intimacy, and the waste of time playing games for hours endlessly; these we’re just the surface level issues… Even bigger issues then what I’ve mentioned were at stake in middle school and early High School years.

What if Atheists are Correct?

Prepare yourself for this next section as I am going to bring you inside my High School mind. Some of it is looking back with 20-20 hindsight, but it does get a little heavy. If you are an atheist my goal isn’t to convince you there is no purpose in life. For the Christians reading this, there are kids out there who still think these thoughts. Before you rebuke them for their clothing style, angst-y demeanor, and hurt full words/behaviors. Understand that with many of them they are just doing the best the can under the world view that they have accepted as true. For me (In my later 20s, we discuss later…) it took meeting and observing a smart, funny, dynamic, and victorious Christian man who was on fire with the power of the Holy Spirit. Until I met him, I was uninterested in Jesus or Christians. As I had been there tried that.  Until I could catch a vision for the kind of man I could become in, with, and thru surrendering to Jesus Christ I had no interest at all. I caught the vision which created in me sincere need for Jesus which led me through the rest of my story. (But before I get ahead of myself…)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

At some point from 7 to about 10 years old I came to the conclusion that, because I couldn’t remember anything before my birth. For me it is all a big black nothing space in my head. Who was I to think that anything more then that awaited us after we died? Wasn’t everything else other then going back from where we came from a vanity of ego? At some point I reasoned that if there is no God, or Heaven, or life after death (which is what I used to believe) well then what’s the point of anything?

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines. Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

As you remember, this is something I had to know the answer to at age six, and what was my conclusion? That absolutely nothing is awaiting us after we die. You don’t just come to that conclusion, and not act on it. Well I guess you can, but that is not in my nature. If we are born from nothing heading towards nothing. What is the point of anything? On a long enough time line will not everything we ever cared about be reduced to a forgotten memory?

From nothing, for nothing, back to nothing.

From nothing, for nothing, back to nothing.

How many millions or billions of people already far have nothing left in this world that remains of them? No memory, no legacy, and they no longer exist.

For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

What is the point of love? What is the point of our “life callings”? Why in the world would you give birth to a child who eventually will find all these same things out? Isn’t childbirth a kind of cruel punishment? If everything atheists say is true, what is the point of anything? If we all just mutated from primordial goo and than we cease to exist… Please someone tell me what reason is there to do anything? We wonder why many parents can’t get there children to do anything besides play video games? A lot of them are doing it (and a lot of other things) to numb their mind to what reason, science, and the lack of God has produced in their understanding and world view.

I believed this to be true for many years about from ages 14 to 22. Today we live in a country that is increasingly becoming more and more like Judges. In the same logic are we not free to do anything we want also? If morals only exist because of a heard instinct when how long and how far do we need to follow them? Can’t we evolve past outdated morals? If we do not have an objective foundation of truth isn’t everything up for revaluation? If laws only exist because enough people believe in them who exactly says I have to follow them? What intrinsic value does the mutated offspring of bacteria have?

In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6

If we are a rational, scientific, and modern people then should we not bring into question everything that something as false as the Bible has influenced in our country? You can start to see how atheists and Christians have a hard time agreeing on anything.

Agree to disagree.

Agree to disagree.

Some atheists would say to live it up, have fun, who cares, and don’t worry about it; but to me truly that’s a very shallow understanding of what atheists believe. You’re still in the first part of what Solomon wrote, “I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” Even more atheists are busy building houses and making a ‘life’ for themselves, “Living the American Dream”. Which is later what Solomon did which he found to be “vanity and striving after wind”. Even if you as an atheist disagree with how I viewed atheism who exactly are you to tell me I’m wrong? What solid ground do you stand on to say objectively anything that anyone does is wrong? If we take atheism to the extreme how can you tell me I’m wrong? How do we determine what is right or the meaning to anything? What does science have to say about purpose? Most will point to this life, what we do now, but if you are like the way I was… Then nothing in this life currently matters to you. You don’t care about anything even yourself, and every where you turn no body seems to understand why your so “weird”. If this life is the only point, and your a young atheist who has already come to the conclusion that, its all “vanity and striving after wind.”

What then? (…After a long uncomfortable silence…)

When God is no longer God then we all get to be our own Gods. Which is the appeal and underlining attraction to atheism all along. In the end, hind sight being 20-20 I choose to ignore God. Looking back on it he was there, but I was too busy worried about Kyle to notice.

The first commandment of the Atheist Bible is...

The first commandment of the New American Atheist Bible is…

Atheist will declare the good things that the Bible has been at work in transforming culture, and revealing to people over years and years, is just a matter of doing the right ‘human thing’. I’ve done enough Historical research to know that most of what Jesus taught was a radical movement of intrinsic value of the individual, of women, of children, and the poor. Up until the relatively peaceful American bubble we have lived in for the last several hundred years. (Which isn’t all that peaceful.) Up until then, wasn’t the most common human thing to do to kill, hate, steal, and to do other horrible things to one another? For many parts in the world is this still not the case? The strong doing what they want to the weak. So what is the “good” or “right human thing” to do? Popular shows Breaking Bad and Walking Dead show vivid portrayals of humans in increasingly extreme situations heading further into moral gray area. We love that stuff, because of how real it is. But if we’re naturally “good” shouldn’t the inner “rightness” of our humanity rise up in extreme situations? Instead we find that we are all helplessly depraved in our hearts, and in desperate need for a God to save us from ourselves and from each other.

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Are these not our fore fathers?

Are these not our “true” fore fathers?

We sit and wonder why on an increasing rate shooters are committing mass murders. If atheism is true, if the Darwin evolution is correct, and we are just an off spring of survival of the fittest. Who says we can’t be our own Gods determining morality as we see fit depending on who has the most power?

Sorry my dear reader, I’m just being real, as this is how I used to think during High School. These are all scary thoughts. Because if atheism is true, it means everything we do is for nothing, which is also where we are headed, and what we all will become. It also means people can do exactly what ever they want, because lunatics will always want to make mass dramatic statements of the hypocrisy of it all.

With this in mind I’d like to imply that it should be obvious that every single atheist should desperately pray that they are wrong about the life after. If what the Bible says is true that means, Satan’s is real and he is active (still… like right now) at shaping how we to think about God, the afterlife, and everything I have been talking about so far. We have been distorted, perverted, and blinded to truth. The great part is that its going to be okay. Jesus comes in and makes it all right, its hard to believe but all of it!

…because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

This is what I believed

In High School I believed this kind of nothingness is where everyone was going. I believe anyone who is currently an atheist has the right to be in extreme despair. I mean how can you not? How can we take joy in life when you believe there is no reason for anything? Please remember brothers and sisters my testimony has a happy ending! I can tell every questioning believer and atheist out there that I was just like you. I would not believe something just because everyone else does, so I can sleep at night, or to make myself feel better.

I spent many years rebelling from God, and feeling like crap, because of a need for an authentic relationship with God. So far in my life, honestly believing in atheism is the most terrifying, depressing, and upsetting ways you can live your life. This story isn’t over though as the pain, and destruction of this belief system was just beginning. As next time, I go over how the flavor of atheistic world view I had influenced my behavior in High School and early college.

 

Testimony, Part 3: Self Destruction & Pain

Young Kyle

Testimony, Part 1: In the Beginning.

I’ve been share my journey or testimony as it happened to me from my perspective. This is a long story that will be released over the next couple of days so it would be good to set aside some time to sit to read or listen.  The key reason for my testimony was an inward hurting that something important was missing, and everything I tried to do I couldn’t make it stop hurting. Entertainment, pleasure seeking, community, and relationships helped ease my pain but never healed what was wrong. You get to a certain point in your life and you look back and say to yourself “I thought I would be happy by now?” You get to another mile stone in life, what ever you determine that to be, and again think to yourself… “What else is it going to take?” In my moments where I was honest with myself I knew something was not okay I was not happy and my hurt would not go away. There was a lot to this journey the goal of this is to completely share how I came to believe what I now believe. Which is by faith in Jesus Christ.

Young Kyle

Young Kyle Herminath.

Age of Ignorance & Age of Understanding

God was in my life early on and as a child I remembering being very connected to God. I am very thankful for those memories. My personal belief is that all children are closely connected to God. I believe in something called the Age of Ignorance and the Age of Understanding. Children have to be mature enough to understand what they did or thought was wrong. There is a time before they are old enough to understand right from wrong that I and many others believe they have a grace on them until they enter what I call the “Age of Understanding”.

But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:16-17

As we grow up sin’s influence grows over our lives grows, evolves, and perverts the way we view ourselves, other people, and God. It’s often said in church that children need to understand why they are taking communion before they are mature enough to take communion. Everyone who is able to read and understand this is already past the Age of Ignorance, but I bring it up to start my story.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Genesis 3:7

In a different way this also happened to you, your eyes are open now and we can no longer claim Ignorance. There was a point from when you and I entered into the Age of Understanding. In this new understanding we know and can not deny that often what we do is unmoral and harmful to ourselves, God, and others.

We don’t want to do it… but we lie, I hate, you steal, we lust, and we are jealous. We can get to the point where our attitudes are full of false humility, pride, unjust anger, bitter envy, and malicious hatred. Our actions become a reflect what we’ve been thinking and feeling so we get drunk, commit adultery, lie & steal to receive what we didn’t earn, and blaspheme God in selfish passion. I so often fail to do what my conscious is guiding me to do, or not to do. We are ungrateful and choose to neglect family, co-workers, and friends who are counting on us. The worst of it is that we know what we are doing but we can’t seem to control, change, or stop our immoral behavior.

But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:16-20

There is a transition to understanding much like when the eyes of Adam and Eve we’re opened. The age when people make this transition is different for everyone, and for me it was about age 6 or 7. My transition to the responsibility of understanding my sin haunted me and left me feeling helpless. This transition was one of the inspirations for my Adam blog. I had a new awareness of the responsibility I had to the majority of the evil in my life. This was long before I ever heard the gospel, or had anyone ‘use fear as a way to get me to believe’ as atheist are found of saying. It was natural and normal part of growing up even if it was very uncomfortable to transition into.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Transition to my responsibility

Now I was no man at the developing age of seven, nor was a ready to do away with all childish things, but I was now responsible for my sin. I could no longer say to God, or to anyone else that, “I didn’t know any better.” Now I knew better, and this responsibility hit me very hard and greatly bothered me.

After making this transition to understanding for a time I wouldn’t play, had issues sleeping, and I was one very depressed 7 year old. The consequences of this transition to responsibility had a residual and ripple effect in my preteen, teen, and young adult life. Causing a lot of pain for a lot of people which I will discuss later. To this day I am still dealing with the healing process of the lack of Jesus Christ as God in my life from age 7 to 26. When I was still 7 the biggest issue was that I couldn’t sleep because I had to know what going to happen after we died. It was the only thing that was important to me at this time. My young mind reasoned, how could anything else matter? I would be up all night tossing & turning, restless, and concerned that if I fell asleep before figuring it out I might not wake up. Then I would have to face ‘it’ what ever ‘it’ was, and this ‘it’ terrified me.

Thinking man confused

When I die, then what?

In desperation I would sit for long periods of time trying figure out what happens when we die. I didn’t know truth, because I didn’t ask for help or listen to anyone. Up until that point if anyone had shared truth with me I don’t remember it, or did not listen to them. I still remember sitting and staring late into the night at the neighbor’s water fountain with its colored lights until I grew weary and everything was blurry. I’d stare at their yard of well groomed bushes, fancy trees, and other odd plants until I forgot why I was looking at them. (Much like Buddhist meditation, which I talk about later.) This practice was comforting to me and made it easier to sleep without this mystery of life, death, and the purpose of it all discovered.

Much like this, picture colored lights and less fish.

Much like this, picture colored lights and smaller fish.

We have a need for Truth

The itch for true understanding never fully goes away, and you will be chasing it until you find it. The only thing you can do, (the only thing you have done) is put it away for awhile through distractions. Busyness, endless talking, romantic relationships, dwelling on your pain, pursuit of pleasure, alcohol, hobbies, drugs, sports, your career, sex, drama, and anything that will captivate your focus and attention. That way you and I don’t have to think about dying, purpose, meaning, or God. What is the reason for it all? You can go seasons, days, months, years, or a life time avoiding thinking about something if you let everything else captivates your attention. Life has a way of sweeping us up in this activity, even those of us who have found truth. It is my prayer that today you will put aside all the things you’ve let distract you and think harder then you ever have about what awaits us after death.

After a long enough time trying to discover the mysteries of the universe on my own. I grew tired of looking at plants and I needed a second opinion, so then I remember going up to my Dad and just asking him. “Dad what happens when we die?” I still remember this moment in vivid detail. A lot of us have these very few moments when we are sincerely open to hear what someone else has to say to allow it to influence our world view. We we’re standing in the bathroom and he was looking forward towards the window. I had caught him off guard, and asked him in the direct sort of way I do. My friends and family eventually get used to my how direct I am, even at age 7. He wasn’t looking me in the eye the way my dad does when is explaining something to me that is extra difficult to say. Now Paul (my Dad) didn’t want to hurt his son and so he tried to be hopeful, but he didn’t want to lie to me (Paul is an honest man) so did his best to let his son down easily.

You see, at the time he didn’t believe in God, heaven, or Jesus was anything more then wishful thinking. He felt that people believed in religion to ‘help themselves sleep better at night’ or that ‘religion was something people used manipulatively for power and control over other people’. He had been hurt by church before and wasn’t in the best place to encourage his son. So he couldn’t tell me he believed in God or that I should. I can’t tell you word for word exactly he said, but I remember walking away from that conversation thinking, “Dad’s not sure either!” So I immediately went back to trying to figure it all out myself. The way my little mind worked at the time was that if my Dad doesn’t know… Well what is the point in asking anyone else? What would they know that he didn’t? I do remember Dad telling me to ask Mom, but I never did… At the time she was the only believer in Jesus in our family, and again with my young mind I thought, “What would Mom know, that Dad doesn’t?”

I’d like to take a moment to point out that this is where a lot of people are in their journey. I don’t mean that they are 7 years old and asking their Dad for advice. I mean they refuse to believe anything other then what they have come up with in their own mind. They take small steps of faith out and then quickly retreat to themselves. So they have to come up with their own God to worship, and so take a little bit of feel good stuff from over there, they mix in a dash of good morals, they pile on a hefty portion of scientific reason, and then they finish it off by a cup of their own creative flair. In the end, they believe what they want to believe regardless of if it is true or not. Our pride gets involved and you don’t want to admit you could have ever been wrong. We end up wanting to save our pride more then we want eternally be with God. Do you see now why God often has to have your whole world fall apart before you get in right alignment with Him? Our pride grows so strong often it takes losing everything to tear the wall of pride we’ve created down to receive God as He is, not how we have made him up to be.

“More people stay out of the Kingdom of God because of pride then any other sin. Its a humbling thing to come at the foot of the cross, and repent of your sins and receive Christ.” -Billy Graham

Eventually I started searching for what was true regardless of what I wanted to believe, which is how I came to find and believe in Jesus Christ. A lot of people incorrectly believe each person should be left to interpret life’s greater questions by themselves. To ‘each there own’ we say and we agree that everyone should be left to their own musings.  I mean, “Who can really know, right?” said every agnostic ever. We seek perspectives that agree with and reinforce the way we want our world view to be. We warp, distort, or strait up ignore truth in order to continue to live exactly how we want to live. It doesn’t matter if we are consciously aware that we are doing this, either way we still doing it. I would go so far to say that very few people actually understand the selfishness of motivation behind what they are doing. We don’t stop to self reflect and think about if our motives are pure or not. This last sentence isn’t just for non-Christians as I have met so many Christians who have absolutely no self awareness to their motivations. The funny part of the way God made us is that our motives are plain to see for everyone else, but it is so easy to be blind to them ourselves. We allow what we crave because we love it, even if it is killing us.

#idolatry

#idolatry

The reason the Bible talks so much about how we should live is because it comes from the one who created us and understands how we’re supposed to work! Which is one reason we need read it, study it, and never stop reading it. When we submit to the Biblical wisdom on how to live we get to experience a life unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8

Jesus has a life planned for you that you can’t even begin to imagine. He is willing to wait for you, because you have to be in a right relationship with Jesus first. Some of what I’m saying will all sound to you like religious hogwash if your not in a close relationship with Him. Back in my story, I’m still 7 and don’t yet understand anything I just said in this last paragraph let alone the one before that. It is a long time before anything like what I just said enters my mind.

For about 10 years I never again asked anyone else anything spiritual with an open heart like I had that day to my Dad. Over this ten year time period I closed myself to others influencing my understanding. My sin over the course of those years did its work in perverting in twisting my behavior and my distorting perspective. Over these years I went from a joyful and happy young guy to a distant, distracted, and detached teenager.

I was blind to my condition that was deteriorating slowly but surely, and for a long time I was unwilling to change. I was still going to Catholic church on Sundays with Mom and Matthew until I started to rebel which I talk about later. Nothing they said seemed to penetrate my mind. Honestly I feel my Church was too pretentious, everyone trying to show the best versions of themselves all the while their lives are falling apart behind the scenes. You will get to know all a lot more of me in this blog then I ever learned about anyone I went to church with. Also where exactly was the love of Christ? I can remember going to church for years, and I don’t think I made a single friend or close relationship in that time. What ever my problem was and I’m probably being too harsh. Please forgive me, I have to be honest with my feelings and perspective even if they are incorrect.

Obviously I needed help at the time, my heart was hard of hearing and my eyes refused to see the love my family, church, or friends had for me. The Father helped me see and hear later on but during these years I was still blind. All I can do is look back and wish things would have been different as I was still very lost those 10 years.

‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.'” Mark 4:12

When Jesus comes into your life you begin to understand all the subtle ways that God was obviously there the whole time. With 20-20 hindsight you see the big obvious ways and in small intricate ways God was in everything. Until you stop saying “No!” to God and start saying “Yes!” earnestly, nothing in your life going to change. Oh sure, life will seem like it is full of change, but when you look back all we’ve done is replace what we are addicted to with something else. A new goal, a new relationship, a new job, or life’s calling all of these are empty and conceited ways to worship ourselves. When we sincerely turn to God, He rescues us from the burden of self, so long as we look and turn to Him. That is all you need to do, just look to Jesus sincerely to do what you can not do, which is save yourself. A broke car can’t fix itself and leaking roof doesn’t need time to ‘figure it out’. We need something greater then ourselves to come into fix issues we’ve been trying our whole life to fix. Enter Jesus.

‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13-14

Search for Me with all your heart

This is why people often need to go to their lowest first, before experiencing God. Yes, experiencing God as in you can. In a way that is more real then the reality of how you are reading what I am typing right now! You can experience God! The bible promises that ‘when you search for Me with all your heart’ God will be found by you. It’s a promise and the God of the Bible can not lie. So either he’s lying or you’ve refused to search for Him with all your heart. It’s my prayer that you would take action on what I’ve just pointed out. Even for us who know Him there is so much more to find about Him. The revelation of God does not end on your salvation day. He is ready and willing to blow your mind ever day you are willing to seek Him with all your heart.

I’ve searched for Him just like that honestly only a very few times in my life, and what God did was so radical that I was barely able to handle it. I was overwhelmed, completely consumed, terrified, and each time completely changed my life. If anyone is wondering why every couple of years from 7 to 26 I seemed to change, and become a completely different person. Now you can begin to understand why… I was reacting to experiencing God in different ways. Which we will cover over the next couple of posts.

A few years after my transition to the Age of Understanding I had my first powerful spiritual experience. I was probably in the 10 – 12 age range. My first memory oddly enough of experiencing God was why I became an atheist, but by this same experience was later how I came back to believing in God. Which might seem strange, but as an atheist I was running away from the reality, power, and incredible nature of God. Thinking that I could hide like Jonah. Because of this memory I often wonder what memories and experiences of God that many people I know are currently running away from. As I spiraled out of my first experience with God (that I currently remember), and began to question everything! Nature of who we are, who God is, what is our purpose here on earth, and if anyone could relate to what just happened to me. Everything was just as fresh as it was when I was 7, and this renewal happened to me again and again. In new and different ways this renewal is still happening to me, to this very day.

Jonah isn't the only one who runs from God.

Jonah isn’t the only one who runs from God.

I would love to completely explain what happened in this experience, but instead I will finish telling my first experience story later in my testimony. As it comes up again at about the age of 23-24.

To continue with my story I am going to fast forward about 10 years when I become curious about spiritual things again. I remember being about 16 years old going to CCD a Catholic class I was in, and talking to an elderly man who was teaching our class. I remember listening to this old man in a CCD class for some reason I was finally sincerely open again. He was a smart, engaging, and experienced old man who had faith in Jesus. I could tell he had wrestled with some of the deeper questions that I wanted to answer.

He told me, “I’ve been many different cultures, countries, and experienced several religions;” He lists off his experiences… “…and eventually I found myself back here as a Christian. There is nothing like Jesus Christ.”

I was intrigued, so I decided to do the exact same thing! I meant to venture out into other religions, other beliefs then being a Christian Catholic. So I started to head down a road that would lead me to becoming an atheist.

 

Next: Testimony, Part 2: Rebellion & Replacement

 

Your heart, Part 3: What to look for?

How close is too close?

How close is too close?

So by now you’ve healed your heart in redateart one and you’ve submitted yourself to guidance from part two. Awesome! Seriously, after you’ve read through and applied the information on those articles you’re really putting yourself in a place to have the Lord bless you like crazy. So whats next? Now we’re going to discuss the point of Christian dating, being just friends, your expectations, patient encouragement, and what you should be looking for.

Just friend, more then friends.

Many of us have ruined or damaged good friendships by getting too close to a friend of the opposite sex. Feelings get mixed and your not really sure where you stand. This is because people cross the line or don’t pray to have their hearts protected. It can be because two people are trying to makes something okay that is not okay with where they are at. As I already mentioned in the previous post, I believe in a three-month system of getting to know somebody as a friend. The wisdom behind this is in that time you can get to know somebody on many levels before you give them your heart. In marriage, you’re going to be playing the role of “best friend” far more often then then you will be the “romantic lover”. Don’t get me wrong it’s important to work to keep that romance alive, but even more important to want to be around each other. Ha-ha! Which this all seems obvious, but it is exactly the kind of thing we forget to think about when we get infatuated by the other person. The power of infatuation is so strong we often forget to ask the simple but hard questions. It’s important to know how you relate to each other in all aspects of friendship. It is my prayer that it would save some of you from the pain of not applying wisdom to your dating life.

Strait up wisdom.

Strait up wisdom.

Lets just go through a long list, of some of the things you should be figuring out as you get to know them in the 3 month period of friendship. You should know how you two handle stress if you argue and how you do that. I don’t recommend arguing but rather for a healthy way around that is to plan a time to talk out hard issues. Having enough respect for one another to do so privately and sensitively. So after that you should also see how you two forgive one another. You should learn how your personalities complement each other, or if they don’t because you’ll need to learn how to make that work. You should know your and their love languages. (So you should know what I mean when I say love languages.)

Love languages are not as important as you’d think, but as I’ve learned a relationship without your other half understanding say ‘Touch’ can be hard. Because with certain languages are hard to fill outside of your relationship with them. I can perform at work or church and be filled with Words of Affirmation and spend some Quality Time with my buddies, but some languages like Touch can be important if you have them. Figuring out boundaries for how you little or much you express your languages is important. You should know how you guys work together on projects and in groups.

This one can be tricky to make happen, but is important because he/she will hopefully be become your most important ministry partner. You should take special note of how they treat their friends, strangers, the least of these, and their best friends. What their relationships are like with their family. (Because when you marry them you marry the family too.) I can not stress how important this is. If they don’t talk to their family, friends, or work buddies because and all of their relationships have ended terribly… In which direction do you think your heading? Also if they are a hermit, and you can count their friends on one hand. Welcome to the happy hermit club! (This may be appealing to you.) They are not going to magically become someone else. Don’t expect them to change to want to being around tons of people like you do. (Actually, don’t expect them to change anything! Praise Jesus if they do.) This is important, how they treat their best friends will be how they treat you, so if people can not stand to be their friends… Danger! Warning!

warning-danger-zone

You’re next!

In three months (or more) of knowing someone you can find all this out and make a decision that is both loving and logical. Now remember this is just IF you should date them. We do all this to avoid hurting them and yourself. To avoid messing around with someone that is likely someone else husband or wife. It may possible to find all this out without even tipping them on that your interested, but I also recommend that you be very direct when you need to be. Sometimes it is very good to let them know:

Hey, God hasn’t given me permission to date anyone right now. I really like you as a friend don’t want to give you the wrong impression, sorry.

The very best part about protecting your heart is that you can still be good friends if neither of you go too far. Being this way is both loving to yourself and to her. Also I have yet to confirm this with a lady yet, but I believe the Lord answers prayers when you pray for her heart. If you are wise enough to understand the importance of protecting your heart, but your potential partner is not, pray for them. I don’t know but believe the Lord has answer a prayer or two when I prayed for a young ladies heart.

Goal 1 of Christian Dating

I believe that proper Christian dating has two very big goals to it which are both very important. Which is also what makes it different than other kinds of dating. When two Christians date the goal is marriage. If you don’t feel you’re open or ready for possibility of marriage as a Christian. Then I believe (personal opinion) you should continue to follow God’s will as a single until you are ready for marriage. Now folks may feel they may never be ready, well to them I say why don’t you trust the Lord? Have faith that He will mold you, provide for you, and take care of you. That said don’t use it as an excuse to say, “No worries the Lord provides! I don’t need to change.” Remember you need to be doing what we talked about in part 1 and part 2 to be ready for this information. Your mentor and the Lord will challenge you to determine if you’re really ready to be a husband or wife. Men are you ready to provide financially, spiritually, and emotionally for your wife and family? Are you ready to be her spiritual covering? Men are you prepared to selflessly put their needs before yours? See why its good to ask if we are ready to date?

Young Lady: Waiting is hard but I know the Lord is preparing my husband for me.
Pastor: So what are you doing to prepare for him?

Oh! Before I go too far, ladies I have no clue what it takes to be ready to be a wife, just saying. Haha! 🙂 I have a quick illustration of this, say your going on the vacation of a life time. So obviously you’re extremely excited about it. You have the place picked out maybe somewhere over in Europe, a tour of the Holy land, somewhere beautiful and tropical, or to visit lake Mukwa, WI.

How great it would be to get lost backpacking in Europe.

How great it would be to get lost backpacking in Europe.

What ever floats your boat right? (Personally, my boat is floated by water. 🙂 ) You have the vacation time and you get it approved by your boss at work. Everything is good to go now you just need to get ready. So you get a plane ticket, do some research, get a hotel, make a to do list, and maybe lose a little weight. (Tropical beaches or lake Mukwa. 🙂 ) If you do all of that on the promise of going on vacation. Why do young men and women forgo preparing themselves for marriage? You believe in faith God is going to answer your prayer for marriage, but where are your bags, plane ticket, where is the research, and money set aside for the trip? I feel many Christians show up to dating with half a bag packed, no ticket, some vague research done, but they really are not ready. They are not taking it seriously as though God is going to come through.

Because if we trust God your time and energy should be spend in getting yourself ready physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and any other ‘-ally’ that I missed. A bank account set aside with the money to buy a wedding ring shows the right kind of preparation based on the promise that the Lord will provide for you. Find out what it takes to be a Godly husband and start becoming those things before she even arrives. If the Lord has told you it’s going to happen, how about you start acting like it is going to? If the Lord said He is preparing someone for you, how but you walk in faith until He’s done with her or him? Act as if its going to happen this is how we walk in faith, by taking the Lord at His word and trusting Him. Which also means to start to give up control on how its going to happen and who it is instead just be about His current ministry in your life. She might show up to your ministry and find you, but only if you are faithfully following the Lord into ministry. Many people are running around trying to help the Lord find their husband and wife. Hate to break it to you but He doesn’t need your help brothers and sisters. Focus on the ministry he has led you to and the Lord will provide in the proper timing, also he will do it in a way that is edifying to Him, to you, to her, and the whole congregation. Everyone will rejoice when two Christians follow the wise path in submission to the Lord.

Goal 2 of Christian Dating

We as Christians believe God is in control of all things. We look to Jesus and God the father to provide for us, not our own understanding. The second goal of correct Christian dating is holiness. The goal of a young man or woman is to present each other to the Lord as holy offering. So the idea isn’t to not have sex, but the goal is to keep each other holy in thought and action. If this means you’re very limited in your ways of showing physical expression then that is what that means. This is all fairly strait forward, before you do something together ask yourself these questions.

Is what we’re about to do with our bodies respectful towards God?

If my mentor could see what I was thinking, or if the people I respect we’re in the room watching would I still act this way?

Like I said, strait forward but it is going to look a little bit different in everyone’s relationship. It is an area that needs accountability partners, a lot of prayer, and submission to the goal of holiness. Anything other then wanted to present one another as “without spot or blemish” on your wedding day is going to lead you down a slippery slope of immorality.

What to Look For

What is a single Christian out on the hunt for a lifetime friend and better half to look for? What is important?

First foremost I believe that there must be a love of God, a fear of God, and a proven relationship with Jesus.

I wanted to focus on the proof part of that quote. We prove we trust and follow God by what we do not what we say, or feel, or even what we think we believe.

To know and not to do, is not to know.

To say you believe something and then to not act on that belief; to me is not to actually believe what you think you do. Instead you believe what it is that you do instead of what it is you say you believe, hope that makes sense? If she is telling you God is first priority in her life, but spends all her free time on things other than… Maybe its just her first priority for everyone to think that God is first in her life. Sacrifice is what I believe is one of the greatest the sign of loving the Lord. If this other person has had to make very hard personal sacrifices to follow the Lord then you can know they put the Lord first. For Abraham faith wasn’t completely tested until after he lifted his hand to strike. It’s a very good sign when someone has followed what God led them to do as opposed to what they wanted or others wanted for them. In faith they followed Jesus despite want they wanted for themselves.

They should have a history of doing hard things like this. They should have a history of reliance on God. If they act disobediently towards God now what makes you think they will suddenly obey Him during your marriage? If they refuse to let go of certain sins even though God had convicted them over and over about it. What exactly is going to change after your married? If they won’t change now what makes you think they will change when they know your stuck with them? If God can’t get them to change what makes you think you will be able to “with a little tender love and care”. Don’t get me wrong its a great sentiment, but lets get real! Also, when you find someone who truly follows God and is being renewed by Jesus Christ, how can they let you down? (Oh, I’m sure there are ways, but I think the change in their renewal is worth the risk.) Doesn’t the Lord know how to help them become what you need? So by far the most important thing to look for is an past, active, and growing relationship with Jesus.

Everyone is looking for this elusive perfect mate, where they should be looking for the young man or woman who is wisely and consistently repenting of sins and growing in Christ. Because this kind of person will become the spouse of your dreams. You can not hide when Jesus has been powerfully active in your life despite how humble you try to present yourself. If people who knew this person 2 years ago can’t believe how much they have changed… You might have a winner! If people from 1 month, 6 months, and 2 years ago can’t believe how much this person have changed you definitely have someone worthy of you. (Hopefully the same true for you, Ha-ha!) The reason this is rare is because walking with Christ is a renewing process that requires the pain of repentance, and the suffering of increasingly higher expectations. Few actively search for this process. Fewer persevere. Fewest of them make this process who they are. They are easy to spot because they can’t help but make an impact. They pass the good fruit check.

How to Change Them

I have found that Christians tend to carry in their heads or in there pockets a list of everything they want out of their future spouse. They tend to have much higher expectations which… in and of itself isn’t bad. What happens though is they try to impose what they want on potential husbands in an unrealistic amount of time. (I’m looking at you ladies) The idea of raising the bar is a good idea but you have to give us men both the time and the encouragement to achieve it. We need the time and the freedom to fail. With dating and the time before dating; time is your friend not your enemy. (I’d try to speak for what women need to change, but they are perfect just as they are right ladies? Ha-ha! 🙂 ) It is important men you are dating are hearing from both you and from someone else they respect that they can do it. Change is a very difficult process, please don’t fail to appreciate how difficult a process it is. Other people like your mentors should already be actively involved in advising your relationship. I believe that you can either choose freely to start marriage counseling before you get married, or be forced into it years into your marriage. (Either way you’re going to need it.) Those who do without it pay far more and take much longer to learn things that easily could have been helped through the wisdom of many counselors. Lets say it like it is, relationships are held together by work you put into it, the grass is greener where you water it, but changing them should not be your focus, instead…

Love others, and renew yourself. Not try to focus others to renew.

Love others, and renew yourself. Not try to force others to renew.

Become the Person You’d want to Marry

It all comes down to this. The most important aspect of if you will marry the man or woman of your dreams is: Are you willing to focus on making drastic changes to renew your mind and become the kind Biblical Christian you are looking to marry? If you are not changing, growing, allowing Jesus to shape, and mold you into the man or woman you are supposed to be; then don’t even expect to marry someone like that. (How’s that for being upfront?)

To know if your on track for such blessings, please listen to this: Are you the person, the person you are looking for, is looking for?

You can do it and if you doing these things they are being prepared for you right now! 🙂 Here is my last thought that I learned from James Macdonald.

Marriage is where you embrace the whole. We can not indiscriminately reap the benefits of a persons positive characteristics, and at the very same time lament their weaknesses. To love is to buy the whole package. If you want to keep romantic love flourishing you need to learn to keep on seeing the positives, keep on seeing the good things in the person.

May God the Father Bless your healing, your mentors, your walk with Him, courtship, and wisdom in dating. I specifically that this blog would be used in small and great ways to lead people on a path of wisdom, healing, and into wonderful marriages.

God could have sent anyone or anything. Our Father sent a family. In the last days He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Our fathers kingdom strategy has a lot to do with families operating as He intended them to. The decisions you make now will have powerful and generational impact. It all starts at home. The decisions you make now will have long lasting reaping and sowing effects in your life. May God guide your path.

Hearts desire

Your Heart, Part 2: Guidance

Hearts desire

My hearts desire.

Now that we’ve covered what I’ve learned about hurt and healing your heart, lets talk about receiving guidance! When you find yourself in the position of being a single Christian person here are a few things you need to live happily ever after. Simply put you will need to know that you can’t trust yourself, you will need a mentor or several mentors, to know current will of God for your life, and finally to know the Lords timing.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

I believe the above scripture; two reasons: its in the Bible and because of my own experience. Even if you are not a Christian even you should agree from your own experience. When I first became a Christian I was very excited about the idea of starting a relationship that was actually excited about God. I did the natural thing, I made a list in my head of the thing I’m interested in my future wife. (Now that I’m older and so much wiser) Not too long after creating my list I found myself drawn a woman (who only had 10% of that list) and drawn away from another woman (who had 90% of that list). Something is off here (I thought to myself) I began to question my own motives and if I had my own best interests at heart. After getting a mentoring session, I realized that I am probably one of the worst people to decide who I date and marry. Yes, I’m apart of that decision, but if I was to make the choice on my own I promise you I’d mess it up! I believe that is exactly what a lot of Christians do.

So who decides? I need you to understand the importance of what I have to say about this. So please remember that I plainly said these words.

When it comes to falling in love, finding your partner, and relational wisdom. You can not trust yourself for the love of God don’t do it! – Kyle Herminath

If you are willing to be blessed beyond what you can comprehend you need let our Lord Jesus Christ lead, help, and decide with you. After I had my mentoring session I realized that I had to find a way to put more of the decision in the Lords hands.

You might be telling yourself, “I don’t know Kyle, I’m a pretty smart guy. I mean maybe YOU can’t trust your own wisdom, but I’m doing pretty good.” Now while I’m inclined to side with you about how little I understand, lets just take a moment for some scripture.

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 1 Kings 11:1-2

This ended up being how Solomon sinned in the eyes of the Lord. For anyone who doesn’t know Solomon was the wisest man of all time (who wasn’t Jesus). So if Solomon can’t get his relationships with women strait, what makes you think you can? Well hold on one second, maybe Solomon was secretly just a fool in this one area. This was one of his ‘blind spots’.

Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 2 Samuel 11:2-4

After sleeping with another man’s wife David goes on to try and cover up his sin by getting her husband killed so she could be his wife. So far we have the wisest man ever, and now the “man after Gods own heart” both foiled by trusting in their own wisdom about women instead of Gods wisdom. You might be saying to yourself, well that was just a messed up family (and it was… as things get worst for them). I mean David was Solomons father and you know what they say about the distance of apples and trees. Besides these men just don’t understand what they are doing. You may think to yourself, “I’m a daughter of Christ, and I have protected and purified my heart.”

For those of you in that camp, I’d like to remind you it was Eve who convinced Adam to sin. Adam being seemingly unable to say no. It was also Sara who told Abraham to sleep with her servant (creating a whole other nation). Which is also a big part of the reason that now we have to deal with radical Muslim terrorists. Now the man is the head of household ultimately it is his responsibility, and its not Sara’s or Eve’s fault that Adam and Abraham didn’t say no, but that’s a side note. Here is the big take away, God is willing to allow us to make mistakes, and then He lets us face the consequences of those mistakes. Until we are willing to let Him be our way, understanding, and stop trusting our hearts; He waits for us to learn that we need Him. All good fathers teach with a measure of freedom of choice, discipline over sin, and the love/long-suffering to put up with the process the child is going through.

Accept with me for a moment that our hearts are desperately wicked. Which means they are leading us into death, pain, suffering, and are all the while manipulatively/subconsciously pushing us into sin. Sin that once commited, we are left to pick up the pieces and face the consequences of. Yes God has compassion on us in our times of suffering. Jesus is the answer and way out of the messes we get ourself into, but that doesn’t mean He has us avoid the situation entirely. Why? Is the question that comes to mind. Why would God do this? Because He wants us to understand our inability to do it on our own. He wants us to comprehend how desperately we need the Father, as I need His love not my love, I need His heart not my desperately corrupt one, and I need His way not my own understanding. He is willing to let me scrap my knees and feel the pain so we can see how badly I need His help in everything.

I say all this to say, it should becoming clearer that when a man and a woman are attracted to each other, and even after they are together they can not trust their own wisdom. What do you think God would have said had Adam, David, Solomon, or Abraham if they asked the Lord before acting? I believe the majority of the time we are drawn to those who are “bad for us” and we draw away from those who are “good for us”. Because those good for us require that we grow personally and change is painful. (Remember my 10% and 90% problem.)

I believe the enemy tempts us towards people who are not good for us or for our Kingdom mission. The enemy also attacks us (only when He is allowed to) when two God fearing saints are coming together. I have seen many good men of God chasing after someone that for me is easy to see the devil has been allowed to tempt them. I have also seen many good women of Christ trying to reason their way into lowering their standards to fit in men that the devil has been allowed to put into their life. We simply don’t want the Fathers will so we don’t seek it, we don’t hear it, and we don’t understand what is going on, or what we are supposed to do/not do? We desperately need the Lord’s wisdom, but we refuse to sincerely go to Him. Even right now you could be fasting, praying, and seeking wisdom from the Lord but your reading a blog. We have freedom and access to Jesus any time we want. Hey good on you for reading this blog, I do really appreciate it, but even this wisdom will only get you so far if you don’t get on your knees long enough, sincere enough, to actually hear from the Lord. Can also state the obvious that romantic relationships are important as the alter, shift, and shape people’s entire lives. When someone is talking about their greatest regret or most painful memories. Normally it is a relationship gone wrong or that was never right from the start, because God wasn’t involved.

Alright lets get practical, I believe the first thing you should be asking God is, ‘Am I allowed to date right now?’ He may even give you an amount of time you should wait like he did for me.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

For me first time he basically said, ‘Ask me in three weeks’ then 3 weeks later he said, ‘Ask me in three months’. So the answer was no both times. This is so important because I believe a lot of Christians drive themselves nuts asking about this young lady or that young man; when they have neglected to get permission to date anyone first.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

Now don’t miss here me, after you get permission from our Lord it is wise to pray about each potential person individually. The more you are in prayer asking God and the less you are letting your heart decide the better. Listen to God’s advice, no matter what remember he knows past, present, and most importantly your future. Just as a word of caution though make sure you are discerning correctly the answers to your prayers. I will also say that Gods ways are wild and beyond my understanding. Get confirmation, because we are prone to be led astray. Which is why its important to stay in prayer, in the Bible, and under the authority of mentors who have a mature connection with Jesus throughout the whole of the process. (Also note: Its not a bad idea to keep this practice of prayer going after you find your “one”.)

As I just mentioned that after all these things, submit yourself to the wisdom of wise older Christian counselors. This could be your pastor, parents, an elder, or someone who God has made wise. I recommend getting several sources of guidance, pray with them, find people willing to pray for you, and learn from their experiences (cough… mostly mistakes).  Make sure they are very active in the word and display fruits of the spirit so they can guide you in wisdom. So you shouldn’t just ask your best friend or someone who will tell you what your heart wants to hear. A last note is that in order to be ‘under their authority’ it means if they tell you to do something you don’t want to or say no to the person. You listen. Thats what in submission to them means. If your still calling the shots and they are just encouraging you but have no authority in your life to change the course your on… They are not your mentor and not what I’m referring to here. I know too many Christians who are only under the authority of God. When God says to… be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21

Lastly as an encouragement you should know that everything will be okay. Everything is going to work out exactly the way it should IF you are following the Lords will for your life. Chase after the Lord and what He wants for you to be doing and (at the right timing) your wife or husband will basically fall from the sky and land in your lap. Ha-ha! But seriously, you do know that the Lord created romance, humor, and His timing is perfect timing. It is His pleasure to bless you for seeking Him and submitting to other saints. When He decides to move romance into your life the divine interaction in your relationship will reflect Jesus and the whole congregation or living church will be encouraged and edified. This is how it should be at least. Sadly this is what very few courtships look like.

Lets face it, many Christians don’t know the Lords will in their life. After you know His will its not enough, you have to actually act on that will. This normally involved doing or not doing things that to others is completely normal and okay. Of the few that do know His will, and are choosing to act on it in this area of life fewer still are accountable to others. They instead prefer to figure it out themselves instead of being subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Most of there conduct is private not public. They enter into moral gray areas that is more about following a set of rules as far as they can liberally take them. You may paint my ideas as idealistic or illegalistic, but I don’t think most people have taken the time to understand how much worldliness has invaded all aspects of what God intended for marriage. I will say boldly that everyone’s relationship, walk with Jesus, and process He is taking them through is different. His grace is able and willing to cover us in everything we do or don’t do. Please don’t beat yourself up over what I just said instead if you are feeling convicted about what I have said, and what I’d about to say I’d ask you to say a simple prayer.

Father please show me your way. How to respect myself and my partner with my mind and body. Please correct me where I have gone to far. Forgive us for our sins, and guide be back to a place where I can present myself, and my partner holy and blameless to you on our wedding day. I pray all this in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I believe the goal of every man in the courtship/dating process is to present her as holy and blameless on your wedding day. Then to live a holy live that in everything you do points positively back to Jesus Christ. So far everything I’ve heard and read points out that this dating/courting process is relatively new in terms of history. In one older Jewish custom they wouldn’t even really see or know one another until after they we’re married. The man would be busy preparing a place for her, and when it was complete they would start the marriage. The process of getting to know one another was reserved for the year after they we’re married. From what I heard they would some times spend a whole year off of work getting to know one another. They’d also spend days or a week celebrating the marriage.

so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:26-27

The reason this verse from Ephesians is important even thought it is talking about husbands and wives is, because of the modern way we date, court, and get engaged. Today we do just about everything married couples do in our dating relationships. This is definitely true of secularly styled dating, but even still very true of Christians who are dating. If we are already acting as though we are married do not the exhortations to wives and husbands apply to us? Do you think just because Paul was writing to wives and husbands that the exhortation to present each other in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless, changes for courtship or dating? I would say it is even more important, considering you don’t yet know if that girl your dating or interested in is going to be your future wife. You could be there just for a season, for you both to learn something. I plead with you don’t do things you regret. You really don’t know if she’s ‘the one’, because God is in control not you or her. He is in control of both of your hearts and He can make something that was once good instead sour. I think its time for us all to take a more dramatic look at what we allow and what we discontinue as practices in our relationships before marriage.

That why I say that you should ask, “should I even be dating right now?” Then trust in what ever the Lord tells you and remember to not leaning on your own understanding. This is the Lord who knows everything about you. He understands what you need so much better then you do. Personally I am terrified not to trust in the Lord because if I rebel and do what ever I want I will always look back wondering… “I wonder what my life would have been like if I had obeyed God.”

So lets wrap up, first heal, then get permission, submit to others wisdom (most importantly God’s), and pray for guidance on each potential person. These are good building blocks to bless your happily every after.

Next time I want to discuss:

What to look for, Christian courting & dating, and much more!

Time Travel

Your Heart, Part 1: Healing

First things first.

First things first.

I’d like to unload everything I’ve recently learned about relationships. This first part will be helpful in healing from that ‘old flame’ and will point out what is more important then time in recovering from a relationship.

Relationships seemed easier In the Beginning, Adam dealt with a lot of things as I talk about here, but how awesome would it be to fall asleep and next thing you know there she is! No questions about who to marry or when to start dating. (I’m only a little jealous.)

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22

Before I get started I want to thank someone. You see I frequently bombard pastor Joan with questions trying to get as much wisdom as I can from her experiences and perspective being both female and a pastor. I always seem to have one more question to ask, right Joan? By the way, thank you Joan for speaking truth even when I don’t want to hear the truth, haha!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Y’all need someone who will tell you what you don’t want to hear, when you don’t want to hear it, for your own stinkin’ good!

Lets start with what most of us need help with, healing ourselves. Can I just say a lot of you have never fully healed from past relationships? If thats not you, I’m sure you know someone who hasn’t fully healed from their relationship. How could we really be ready for our ‘one’ to show up if your still bleeding from old wounds? In my observation, if you’ve ever been in a relationship with someone then you have been hurt, or have hurt someone. How much hurt varies depending on your story, but most of us could use some level of healing.

Now you could be pretty young or some how avoided relationships. (Or they avoided you…) Even you have a story, as you deal with the frustration of waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more! Can I get an amen from the ladies? (Hear this a lot.) I’m sure he’s just not very used to riding his white horse and got turned around. My question of the day is: do white horses have GPS installed? (Otherwise I might be out of luck. Ha-ha, she’ll have to find me.) Maybe you’re a overly anxious young man who is wondering why people keep turning your many proposals down? Well young man, you should probably learn her name first!

And then, she ran for her life.

And then, she ran for her life.

My thinking is that many of of have been in a serious relationship that ended… Unpleasantly. Depending on how you we’re raised (…and if you listened) you may have unsettled business with your old flame, like I did. You see, in some relationships situations you connect your soul to the other person. It is incredible to think about how God made it so two people can become so connected to the point their souls are connected. Which is also why it can be so hard to end something even when its bad for you. Now you can put that feeling into words.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:7-9

Lets say someone that you don’t want has unhealthy connection to your soul, well if you haven’t already you should pray to get it back. (Sorry, this is the only way as time does not heal this, here is a prayer link.) Pray to God the Father through the Holy Spirit in submission to and in the name of Jesus. Remember why you would want to do this, God will bless your marriage if you please Him. The only way we can please Him is through faith, and we walk in faith. (So there is action required.) Like the faith to say this prayer to remove unhealthy soul ties, and to wait in faith until He’s done healing you. More on that later. Please do not create more unhealthy soul ties (in your time of vulnerability) that certainly does not please the Lord. If you want to to disobey this wisdom… just let me know how that is working for you 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

Time Travel

If only we had a time traveling delorean or space ship.

The good news is you can have that old hurt, longing, or ‘flame’ taken away. This was new and very interesting news to me, again thanks Joan! You will be surprised what an effect this prayer has on you. I did this prayer and I can tell you it works. If there is more then one person you need to say the prayer for say each one out loud and individually.

The next part of healing (that I’m going to discuss) isn’t time! Say what? Am I saying doesn’t time cure all wounds? Ah… no it doesn’t. I know, this boldly goes against what everyone generally says about recovering from a relationship. Now I’m not saying God will not guide you to take time off, because you will be taking time off. Ha-ha, time to just accept that brothers and sisters. What I am saying is that there is something so much more important then time you take off so I want you to focus on that instead. Which is true heart level forgiveness. Since most of us have been hurt and are carrying around this relationship baggage. Your goal is to begin to change the way you look at those who abused you and those you hurt.

Gods ways are not our ways, and I learned recently that this is specifically referring in the text in the how He forgives. (His ways are different to ours in many ways, but the verse is definitely talking about how he views forgiveness.) God is not keeping track of our sins they way we do, so He doesn’t say to Himself, “…One more time… Once more, and THATS IT!” If we have the Blood of the Lamb as our justification, and a repentant heart everything is as if it never happened. Our sins have been put away as far as the East is from the West. Its not that God can’t remember its that he makes a choice to treat us as though it never happened, to not bring it to mind. That is the incredible grace of our God but it should also bring to your mind how incredibly different He is from how we are. We often operate on ideas like 3 strikes and your out or as long as you avoid these particularly extreme sins I will accept you and forgive your mistakes. In order to recover from a time, a season, or a person who has hurt you in ways that seem impossible to forgive we need God to give us a portion of His own forgiveness. Because our own ability to forgive will never be good enough to cover the kinds of evils that we do to one another. This doesn’t mean you go start hanging out with them again, or let them access to your life so they can repeat the abuse… (I’m looking at you ladies.)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:60

If forgiveness was about time then it would have been impossible for Stephen and Jesus to call out for forgiveness their executioners during the execution. They would have needed more time to ‘heal’ so they could be forgiven. They chose to forgive from their heart, or had the perspective given from God to never be wounded by people who we’re in the process of killing them. If anyone needs help on forgiveness try this really good resource. The teaching is incredible on forgiveness I can not recommend it enough. (I’d listen to part 2 as well!) Lastly I’d like to say that all true heart level forgiveness is of God and from God. You need to make the choice to forgive, but you need Him to be able to forgive from your heart. How can you forgive them? You can not… but by Jesus you can.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

The last thing I’ll say on time is that if you we’re in a long relationship say for 5 years or more. That you will need time to grieve the loss of your love. No matter how bad things got, or how they ended. There is still a deep sense of loss of love that once was. That for every 5 years of being together you should take about 1 year to grieve and heal from that loss. (But you still have to forgive like said above.) Pray to the Lord and test this He is more then happy to tell you to wait. So He can work a good thing in you. He wants to restore you and prepare you for a God honoring and good relationship. Warning, (wisdom alert) if you don’t take enough time to heal, you will not get the relationship you’re looking for. I don’t care how “perfect” they are if you are not ready. We open our Christmas presents at the proper timing. The Lord has a timing for you to date, be healed, and meet the one He is preparing for you. Don’t open your Christmas present at the Thanksgiving meal, Okay?!

Well that’s a lot, some of you are thinking… but it required for those who want to be Blessed (with a capital B) their romantic lives and marriages. These things that I talked about are things that please God. God wants to bless you, and His blessing are better and more incredible then you can imagine. These things don’t make you a ‘good’ Christian, and I am not going to judge you for not doing them.

No one is good–except God alone.

I will say this though, what you do with this information is going to affect the future generations of your family. One day I hope to look at my children and tell them proudly,

Daddy did what seemed hard then so we can be as blessed as we are now. Kids join me in thanking the Lord for being so kind, patient, and graceful to our family.

 

Next time, getting the right kind of guidance.