I can remember the days when I first discovered the taste of alcohol. My first party was a bit of a blur. My second and third parties made me popular with the “cool” kids. We were young and reckless because YOLO! Those were the days when I didn’t have to worry about anything but graduating high school. Those were the days of playing never have I ever when I realized how much life was still to be experienced and how much more experienced everyone else was than me. I probably wasn’t harming anybody besides myself, but at least people knew I liked to party.
Life was good until it wasn’t. Sure, I gained a lot of experience to become culturally relevant in this world, but I almost lost everything else that actually mattered in the process. Because of that lifestyle, never have I ever graduated college. Never have I ever been without debt as an adult. Never have I ever owned anything but a wardrobe. Never have I ever saved enough money to set myself up well financially. When I was growing up, my dad always told me, “It’s so easy to get into trouble. It’s even harder to get out of it.” Why is he always right?
I made a decision to turn away from that lifestyle at age 19 when Jesus showed me the power in His grace and gave me another chance. I’ve been a Christian for nearly four years. God has worked on me a lot since my never have I ever days, but I’m still in debt, still don’t have any credentials to show I’m trained or educated, still work at a retail store for discounts on clothing, and still have a savings account that only has three digits. I’ve been a Christian for a while now, and it still isn’t easy. In fact, a lot of times it’s harder because at this point in my walk with Christ I know what is right and what is wrong. Even knowing this, sometimes temptation still gets the best of me.
However, faith rooted in Christ sprouts a boldness not just to overcome fear but to radically trust God in everything. Up until a few months ago, trusting God with my time, my finances, my abilities, and even my relationships has been a constant tug-a-war with Him. Never had I ever tithed my first and my best with consistency. Never had I ever publicly spoke a sermon that inspired and shared the Gospel. Never had I ever remained peacefully, patient during a season of waiting. Never had I ever been excited about school.
It’s amazing what happens when you let go and let God. A few months ago I drew a line in the sand and put my trust in God with everything in my life, and He gave me peace while waiting, boldness to speak publicly, an amazing new affordable home that otherwise would be ridiculous to even hypothetically consider, an excitement to want to learn and continue schooling to become a credentialed minister, and wisdom to know the secret to becoming a leader. We must learn how to follow before we can lead, and great leaders learn how to follow Jesus.
We must be willing to do things we’ve never done before by faith before God can truly start to do things for us we never thought possible.