Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned…

My Dear friends in Christ, I have sinned.

Over a year ago,  I was injured in a way that has forever changed my ability to work and provide for my family.  I tried to keep my spirits up, prayed about it, went to all the meetings to deal with the physical pain, but deep inside I had begun to let depression kick in.  Finding Joy became more and more difficult, as I struggled to find the inner strength I needed.

I sent out hundreds of resumes, trying to start some kind of new career, and after months of trying, it seemed I had found one- One that I truly loved and enjoyed.  I threw myself into that work with all that was in me, only to have it suddenly cut off when the folks I worked for ran into big problems in their own lives, and I was out of work again.  I grieved over that job, and wondered how this could have happened after the struggles I’d already gone through. Storms came through here and tore away a large portion of my roof that I’d been trying to put on our house.  My son got hospitalized.  Slowly, I found it harder and harder to crank the mike open and create new shows here on GMR.  I essentially turned my back on God’s work.

This was so much sin, I don’t know where to start-  It was “all about me” and not about God.  I recall thinking that I must be getting some kind of punishment for something, and just felt all the more self-pity.  Many of my brothers and sisters who share with me in this ministry would call and check in on me, and I would try to be positive, and I told them that I would be back soon, only to continue to find it hard to open the microphone.

Eventually, money got to be so tight that we have had to cut back in every possible way, and the pain that I saw I was causing my family made me grieve all the more. I even began to find “reasons” (read that, “Excuses”) to stay away from church services. I still prayed, but they were very self-centered prayers and I knew it.  Finally,  I sought counsel with my pastor one day, as I had awakened that morning with a voice in my head, saying “Go see Darin.”  I had some meetings in town, but as drove past my church, I found myself swinging in and heading for his office.  We talked for two hours and prayed together, and while I would love to say that enlightenment hit me like a ton of bricks, it didn’t.  At least, not then.

Enlightenment actually came only recently, actually;  but in that meeting with my pastor, it did become clear that no matter what, I had to PRESS ON.  Sure, it can sound like going through the motions, but if they are the RIGHT motions, what of it?

The first thing I had to do was to renew my daily prayers, then shut up and listen.  Second, I had to renew my involvement in the family of God. Next I had to yield to the spirit, and that was a bit tough due to my pity party, but I just had to keep saying to myself that God HAD this.  The bills kept getting worse, no new job came, no external changes happened, but internally God WAS working.  He began to make it clear that I had been trying to make my life happen the way I wanted, not the way he wanted.  Systematically, I had shut him out of my life!  I still believed, but in my hurting and self-pity I had become TOM-centered, and not God centered.

Being back in the fellowship has had so much to do with healing for me, I cannot begin to describe it.  Even though the problems were still going on, I began to see how much JOY there was to be had, just being with the family of God again.  But, as I healed, the enemy just turned up the heat all the more, and I still had lessons to learn.  I was still trying to bear up under the financial burdens all by myself, because I was convinced that if I just kept pushing on, God would provide.  He DOES provide, but sometimes I had trouble seeing it, and all the phone calls coming in didn’t help any.  The lesson I had to learn HER was that He wants us to cast our cares upon HIM,  that alone I am powerless, and that I needed to let my brothers and sisters in Christ in on what struggles I was going through so that they can lift them up in prayer!  Previously I’d shared my worries with only a few select people-  I honestly felt that since there were so many other BIGGER problems in other’s lives, they didn’t need to hear about my petty money woes.   But, I was wrong (again) and had to learn that lesson.  The more I opened up to the family of God and had people pray for me and with me, the more things began to change.  That brings me to where I am today, asking you all to pray with me over some things that I am powerless to change.  See, while I have been on this journey of recovery, the path has really taken a toll on my wife of 25 years as well.  This was recently made very obvious when I finally got a new job-  and she didn’t share my enthusiasm.  It pains me so much to think I could have discouraged her this way…   As I prayed about it in preparation to return to GMR, this particular show came to mind.  I love you all, and thank you for reading and listening!

In the service of the King,

Tom

Psalm 62
Song of Trust in God Alone

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

Time and again, I face the question, “How can I trust God, with so many problems in my life?  Why doesn’t he just take them away, if he wants me to trust Him?”

Truth is, if you find yourself in the midst of a struggle, God DOES have his eyes on you.  Not to save you or heal you so much as to draw your attention to Him.  I have quite a few struggles going on in my life, and I never had PEACE about them until I laid them at the foot of the Cross that bore our savior, who took away the sins of the world to all who would receive it.  And as a result I am able to laugh in the midst of crisis, to dance for joy that He is faithful, and no matter what darts the enemy throws at me, I am safe in His arms.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Satan Knows what will get to you, because he has seen you do it a thousand times before;  He saw that time you fell into the pity pool, that time you burst out in a rage, that important fact you withheld out of self-protection…  Yet he stands at the ready for you to repent of those things and draw unto HIM.

It’s not a fix-all, nor even does it bear the promise of a cure.  Our promise comes in Glory, and once we have left this earthly vessel behind to run to him crying “Abba! Father!”  And, our home in heaven is going to be so far superior to anything our eyes have beheld on earth, we can laugh in the face of the devil and proclaim the victory that is already won!  He CANNOT take that from us!

Special thanks to today’s praise team:

Dale Harper

David James

John Eric Anderson

Burneys

The Son Set Refuge(Still waters)


Dave Berland

Phillip Andrew Newman

Pure Heart

The Missourians

Circle Of Friends

The Crownsmen

Diane Marie Gillaspy

Blue Coyote Band

And SO MUCH MORE!

One thought on “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned…

  1. Tom, How blessed we are to have someone like you all to share these great songs GOD has given to a world that need’s to hear.
    May GOD continue to bless you and GOSPEL MUSIC ROUNDUP!
    YOU ALL ARE MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!

    LOTTIE COLLIER