Josh Workman

Just Hoping That My Clothes Wouldn't Catch on Fire

I lost everything when I turned my back on God, but he never turned his back on me.

I remember being 4 years old and walking down the aisle at my cousin’s wedding as the ring-bearer. Everyone told me how handsome I looked in my tiny tuxedo. Standing there next to my cousin as he was about to make one of the most important commitments of his entire life, I couldn’t help but feel bored, distracted, and just wanting to get on with it.

Growing up in the church felt a lot like standing at that altar; boring. I didn’t really understand what it was all about, I was just kinda there. Going to church was just a routine for me. It was something my family did once a week that I just put up with.

Church was a box I checked off and the rest of the week was all mine.

This went on all the way until I had nearly finished college and realized that my parents had stopped “telling” me to go to church. It had been such a routine for so long that I had to stop and ask myself, “do I even want to keep going?” The answer was no, and that was that.

After having had enough of church-life and all of its arbitrary rules, I met a girl who had also grown up in the church and had also found the experience less than desirable. We did our best not to break all those rules we grew up learning in the church but, like most young people with wildly untamed passionate hearts and raging hormones, we eventually succumbed to our desires.

A few years down the road the passion was gone and deep down we both knew something wasn’t right. She started going to church without me. God was telling her it was time to come back home, and time to leave me.

We broke up after being together for 6 ½ years. I found myself at 26 years old, having freshly lost my job in my dream industry, single, and having to move back in with my folks for the second time. This had to be rock bottom...

I started partying with friends to numb the feelings of abandonment and failure. I became more and more apathetic towards life and more and more resentful towards God. He took away all my happiness and I would sooner die than repent.

Rapidly approaching 30, I found myself having sex with a girlfriend I didn’t really love, overweight, still living back at home, nowhere near my dream career and waking up hung-over more often than not. I was the furthest away from God than I had ever been. This was rock bottom.

My mom invited to me to Sandals Church for Easter and I distinctly remember walking in for the first time thinking “I hope my clothes don’t catch on fire.”

To my surprise the music was loud and awesome, the pastor was funny and had long surfer-dude hair and the message was all about Christ’s love for us.

My heart was so walled-up, cynical and harder than it had ever been at that point, but I remember faintly hearing God say to me, “it’s time to come back home.”

And that’s where I find myself today. It hasn’t been perfect, there have been peaks and valleys during my time here, but it has been a slow and steady pace towards an abundant life in Jesus. If you had told me a few years ago that this is where I would be today, I would have laughed and said you were high. It is never too late to turn away from sin, it is never too late to turn towards the loving arms of Jesus.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I got to this low point in my life where I had to ask myself 'is what i'm doing working? Is any of this truly satisfying me? Is there more out there?' That's when I turned towards God and He became what and who I started living for. He became the anchor when nothing else ever could.

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