Happy 10 Year Anniversary: Self

Written by Sean

Topics: Sean's Blog

10 years ago this month, my entire life was flipped upside down.  This is a good thing, since the direction before that wasn’t especially exciting.  I’d started following Jesus nine months earlier, but really didn’t have any life direction.  I had pain in my back every day from an idiotic golf cart accident and soccer injury that had caused me to miss my entire senior season.  I was attending a JC that I hated, studying things I didn’t care about.  And my super awesome girlfriend kept breaking up with me (what a jerk).

Even though I knew God had a plan for my life, I had a blank road map with no directions specific to my life.  Then our pastor invited me to go with the students of our church to a weekend conference.  I said I’d go, but knew it was going to be awful.  I didn’t know anyone who was going except for the girl I’d been dating who had dumped me on Valentines Day (what a mean girl).  During the entire car ride, rather than getting to know me people kept asking why we weren’t dating, in my heart’s memory, it was one of the most uncomfortable trips I’d ever been on.

We got to the hotel, and I was thrown into a room with like 5 guys I didn’t know, and I got a real sweet spot on the ground to sleep.  Needless to say, I was a little pessimistic about how the weekend would turn out.  We went to the first service and my expectations were quite low.  But that first night God messed me up.  The speaker preached a message about Eutychus from Acts 20 (I’ve preached literally hundreds of messages that I couldn’t tell you the title of, but I remember this night well) and they threw a dummy off the balcony as an illustration.  They ended with a call to come forward, and I sprinted from our seats at the top balcony to the front.  At some point someone who spit in my face a ton as they prayed, prayed for me.  God jacked me up.

I left the service with no back pain (ever again) and an intense feeling that God really did have a plan for me.  I slept little that night, not because of the smelly boys and the snoring, but because I just couldn’t come down from the high of the night.  The next morning I anticipated God would do something great.  I sat through the service, responded to the altar call and it was great.  I was exhausted.

By the third and final service, I could barely stand for worship.  Sleep deprived, and coming down from the excitement of feeling God’s presence was overwhelming.  Plus, I’d already gotten so much, I was sure it was someone else’s turn.  It was at the end of the final service my life was changed forever.  The speaker (one of my current all time favorites) pastor Benny Perez told the crowd that if they needed physical healing that God was going to heal it.  As he counted to three, I remembered I didn’t need healing because my back had been healed the day before.  But I’d also had a nagging ankle injury that never healed right.

I’d been the team drug dealer when it came to over the counter pain meds my junior year.  I’d pop more than recommended Alieve so that I could manage the pain.  My foot dangled from my leg like well cooked spaghetti, and I couldn’t lock it in place.  So when the speaker said to reach down and touch the part that needed healing, I grabbed my ankle.  Instantly, I felt a heat rush over it, and all the pain was gone.  I had free range of motion, and I could lock it in place!

As this is happening, I hear the speaker saying things that are getting healed, and he calls out ankle.  Well we were in the way back behind 400-500 people, and I was like 5’4 so he certainly didn’t see me.  After, he told people to raise their hand if God healed them.  Dozens of hands went up, and somehow he called me up on stage.  I got up there, and this was the exchange:

“Where’s your youth pastor?”

“We don’t have one”

“How did you get here?”

“My pastor brought us”

Then some stuff happened (I don’t remember it all).  But I was wearing my favorite red sweatshirt that the girl who dumped me had bought for me.  It said ECC on it.  The speaker asked me what that meant:

“What does ECC stand for?”

“I don’t know.”

“It stands for Extreme Christ Communicator” (Brings tears to my eyes right now remembering this moment)

Then he prayed for me (my eyes were closed but my understanding is there were some karate moves involved:) I went down, and immediately God started speaking to me.  This is when God told me I would go to Bible College, that I would be a youth pastor, and that within 2 years, I’d marry Amanda.  1 year and 2 months later we were engaged, and 4 and a half months after that we were married.  Phenomenon 2003 was the best weekend of my life except for the day in June 02 when I gave my life to Jesus.  I enrolled in Bible college in 2004, graduated with my BA in 2006, and took my first position as a full time youth pastor in 2007.  God did everything He said He would do.

I reminisce about that weekend 10 years ago because today we  face the same type of need for Gods direction.   The next path for us to take is unknown as we seek our next ministry position, but we know God has the answers.  I share all this: one to encourage you that God will make His promises known, and they will come to pass if we are faithful; and two just to ask if you’d keep our family in prayer for God’s specific wisdom in making decisions in this season of life.  (If you even made it to the end of this long post)

I end with this: Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” The picture below was taken that Friday night 🙂

My favorite hat and sunglasses, with my first Bible, wearing my favorite red sweatshirt, with my favorite girl taken the night before God changed my life!

My favorite hat and sunglasses, with my first Bible, wearing my favorite red sweatshirt, with my favorite girl taken the night before God changed my life!


1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Gary A Johnson says:

    Sean, You and Amanda are very special and I am very glad you had this weekend. I miss seeing you often.

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