#18 Wake Up My Post – I Think It’s Still Breathing

If you’re alive, you have breath. If that breath has ever been taken away, even for a moment, you have a testimony. Our lives are filled with moments of pain or decisions that wipe clean everything but the shell of who we think we are. Like many who’ve been breathing a while, I’ve also been crushed under the weight of God’s course correcting presence. Though it continues to steal my breath, it saves my life and reminds me who He is – the only thing of value that truly exists. And the only thing of value that my life can produce is to share this truth with those who are unsure. Faith comes by the word but the hope made available through it is often seen first in the pain of those who are willing to trust God through it. In that respect, here is a brief window into my personal ongoing refinement.

Thrown in the well – (The rest of the story)

In the fall of 2008, after a decade of hard work, I had a successful business, high income, great investments and no bad debt. By January 09, within 100 days, I’d lost it all, was in overwhelming debt, and my entire financial structure had collapsed squarely on top me and my family. It’s a common story these days, but still uniquely and personally devastating. Ten years of effort left me with nothing it seemed but guilt, fear, and shame. As a way of reminding myself to hope, I began to express in writing what has sustained me, kept me from suicide, and still encourages me to press on with confidence. Last year I began my blog with little expectation that anyone else would read it. But people are reading it and sharing it with others who are hurting. And through it, God is revealing His will for me to write, even at the expense of leaving my livelihood dead on the floor. This may sound foolish but from the bottom of a well you see more clearly that everything including your livelihood comes from above. So my journey continues to unfold, but despair is by now blue-in-the-face from loitering about and being ignored. Thrown in the well and grateful I am.

Balancing On The Head of a Pin – (August -April)

When this trial began, I’d been a believer for 24 years. But not until it happened did I learn the value of suffering or understand that even Jesus had to learn obedience through it. It’s the process for all who are being prepared for the work of the Lord. And it differs for everyone depending on that work. For us, there have been days with no groceries and no way to buy them, days of not knowing where we would live, days of marriage struggles and depression, and even days of seeing extended family place material wealth above our need. And some of the longest days were spent watching our prodigal son reject us, and all that we embody. For nine months the son I baptized and the son my wife carried allowed people in his life to believe we were the enemy. But in these days I learned something astonishing, something that will forever keep me passionately defending and praising our God to all who will listen. I learned that He loves me and made me priceless. I learned that His word is the bread of life that most believers never truly feast on, and I learned that He wants to talk to me every day about my life through that word. So I began to study fervently and write from what I learned.

And Now I Know: The most important thing for a believer is to seek intimacy with God so the heart can detect His whispering voice. It is a closeness that only develops through the word by His spirit. And it is the means by which He leads us through our suffering into the work of the Lord. I’ve seen His mighty hand feed us and clothe us when we could not. He stabilized our finances when we had nothing. He brought our son home from nearly year of rejecting us. Over and over I saw His hand moving at precise moments. But it took steadfastly staying in His word to open my eyes and understand what He was doing and why. God never wanted to crush me, but it was the only way to get the wine flowing from me that He intended for others. So my pain has become my passion and my former idols of fear and pride have become a condemned enemy.

Trading Wealth For Faith

I never realized how useless my life was as a man striving in my own effort to sustain a false identity.  Now, through His word, I hear His voice just as the sheep who know the sound of it. After months of living in moments, at my lowest place, God clearly revealed to me that I would be free to live for Him and His purpose while resting in our impossible situation. And while standing in worship one Sunday He said “I will lift you up now” and He did – it would take pages and pages to express the depth and detail of His blessing in this way, so I’ll just summarize it for you. He told me to let go of business, to write and minister instead. He told me He would sustain my family and take care of our needs and He has. He told me He would restore my marriage and clean our hearts from the pain of childhood and He has. He told me that He would speak through me to encourage people when their lives are shaken, and He is doing it as we speak!

The Turning Point – (may require a dose of unfairness)

Suffering removes the hooks of the world so the mind can be renewed and the heart transformed. It’s a process that ultimately proves the will of God and reveals who we are in relation to it. And there is a turning point in our suffering when we stop asking God to change our circumstances and trust that He will perfectly provide for us “in” them. It is the moment we realize the true freedom we have in Christ and it is the moment when our identity in Him is free to move forward without distraction.  However, we must be soberly aware of the enemy’s intense desire to corrupt that process. By paying close attention we may find that in our own suffering we are nurturing a secret pride, a teardrop of pretentious dignity at having suffered and come closer to God.

With hidden pride, a dose of “unfairness” is always required to course correct it. But it’s when that unfairness seems criminal that our willingness to rest in it becomes a true act of worship. And it’s in a state of constant worship that our newly found identity can finally begin to move. In this case, God makes us wait when it makes no sense. But it’s a necessary time when He stretches our faith past the pride of that identity to keep us from being distracted by it. We see this process throughout scripture as God prepares His people for the work ahead. Because of its subtlety, one of my favorite examples is when Joseph is left in prison by the Egyptian Cupbearer.

Gen 40:14-15 “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” But the cupbearer forgot him and two more years passed before he was remembered.

After all the years being refined in prison Joseph believed the time was right – he was ready in his mind. But if you read those verses carefully you can detect the subtle lingering pride he carried. He already knew his identity (dream interpreter). As far as he was concerned there was nothing else to learn from being in prison, and no need for him to continue suffering – it would be criminally unfair. But God left him there two more years to defeat the tiny seed of pride that remained in his heart. The truth is Joseph only knew his identity in part, and certainly, with even an ounce of pride, leading the nation of Egypt for God would have been impossible.

So, perhaps… if this blog has been fruitful in some way between the months of August and April, it has chronicled the brief testimony, still unfinished, that suffering uncovers our identity and from the heels of that suffering the wings of faith take flight. Faith reveals the finger prints of God – Waiting prepares our character for leaving them on the world.

Final Note:

My last post (3 months ago) focused on our long struggle with an angry man who at the end of our relationship allowed me to share with him the good news of Jesus.  Not until those final weeks did I know his body was riddled with cancer. He was very unfair to us for nearly a year. And all we could do is rest in the Lord as to why. For those who read that story and were never sure how it ended, he died on April 24th three days after the post.  As a result of that post I received tremendously kind feedback in various forms – something all writers enjoy. But that enjoyment sat squarely on the shoulders of a suffering man – who I looked in the face – whose final year with his family was defined by bitterness. It hollowed my desire to write. Over the last three months I’ve been praying for God to give me direction – listening instead of writing for the wrong reason. He has answered my prayer and filled up that deep well with water… In the meantime I’m still learning how to swim. Next post due shortly…

For prayer or encouragement please contact me by email: wakeupmyfaith@att.net   Or connect on facebook 

About Kevin Adams

As a student of God's word, photographer and writer, my chief aim is to help followers of Christ apprehend a real and passionate faith through the study of His word, by simple illustration, and regular encouragement. And by this faith they might catch a vision of who God shaped them to become. This blog is an account of my own journey toward that real and passionate faith, starting at ground zero. I hope it will offer some encouragement to any who've set their mind on seeking God's face, whatever the cost.
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48 Responses to #18 Wake Up My Post – I Think It’s Still Breathing

  1. Alex "Fats" Daniels says:

    Absolutely what I needed to hear Kev, I think God has crossed our paths for a reason. Your post always seem to give me direction…

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks brother for taking the time to read the post. You are always such an encouragement to me – sincerely. And i would completely agree that God intended us to connect. Talk again soon, Fats. Have a blessed day my friend!

  2. I’m speechless…you have described well your soul and your refining journey. You have expressed yourself with the constant thread of truth embroidered throughout. Thank you once again for sharing your experience.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Kevin, your own writing is so moving and a joy to read. It means so much to have you respond not only with the encouraging heart of Christ but the words He continues to gift you with. Much appreciated brother -i’m looking forward to reading more of your work as well. PS: will be praying for great success of your new book!

  3. wendiwrites says:

    Dear MB,

    I am quieted by your words. I am convicted of lingering pride. I am humbled by your faith. Even though I have only met your family through the cyberverse, I so wish I could be near to help you – all of you – in more tangible ways than just saying, “Yay, Kevin! You go!” I guess that must do for now.

    Yay, Kevin! You go!

    -Muddy

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Wendi you are one of my favorite people because you are just so honest and kind. Those words get bounced around a lot, but they describe you very well. It doesn’t that we don’t get to share a meal or a hug or even a coffee what matters is that you are being Jesus in how you have treated and prayed for us. When i look at you i see Christ – not a Christian.

  4. lmswords says:

    This was great Kevin, Thank you.
    Susan

  5. Erin Patrick says:

    Kevin,
    It’s so humbling to read your story. It’s a hard thing to tell of the struggles when we want people to see the faith. Our faith isn’t just to get us around stuff, it’s to get us through stuff. Much of what we would like to avoid, God uses to change us. You stood fast in your faith and always made sure that you went back to the One who gives life and life more abundantly. Thank you for your faithfulness and for reminding us that He is there with us always. You are a blessing!
    ~Erin
    http://www.mynuggetsoftruth.blogspot.com

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Erin your have the heart of Christ i see it in your blog and even in your tweets. It is such a powerful thing to be meaningfully encouraged by those who have learned what faith really means – And amen… that it gets us through stuff! well said! You are a blessing to me my friend. I’ll leave you a comment at your blog as well – have a great day sister! talk soon…

  6. Nan Jones says:

    Kevin, I’ve missed your posts. This was wonderful. Your words, “…from the bottom of a well you see more clearly that everything, including your livelihood, comes from above” spoke volumes to me. In fact, I’m gonna quote you on FB and Twitter :) Give Holly my love,

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Nan! Holly and I were just talking about you the other morning in our “coffee time together” how it looks like things are picking up for your writing and speaking. We pray for you to have great success because we know that God will receive the glory. Thank you sister for always taking time to encourage our family – much love from us to you!

  7. Your words are eloquent, honest, and from the heart. Thanks for sharing the journey that so many of us are on, That journey of meeting God where we are and following to where He wants us to be.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Hi Terri, wow its so good to hear from you – i see your face pop up on face book and always think – i wonder how Terri is today. I have been away from the online community for a while on purpose but friends like you remind me that God is at work in us and we must use what He gives us to encourage – its not an option but an obligation. Talk soon my friend and thanks for your kind words – bless you!

  8. Betsy Clark says:

    Your posts always reach so deep into my heart. Suffering is a theme that has been on my heart for the past year or more. When I share about the sufferings of someone with her, my wise mother says “We all just have to go through things for the Lord to teach us.” Brokenness is the quickest road to beauty through and through. Thank you so much for writing your journey and allowing the wine of the truths you have learned through suffering to reach others.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      I should say back-at-cha Betsy! Thanks so much sister for just the right words – so very encouraging. I love what your mother said and agree. Its the walk from the discipline of Hebrews 12 to the promise land of Romans 12. You are a good friend and i appreciate your own writing /testimony & blog as well as your kind response here. Many thanks sister! Bless you and that awesome family of yours!

  9. Gail says:

    Beautiful written thought provoking words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing your journey, as I can relate to similar situations in my life-especially the waiting on God when it seems the answer is way overdo. God has blessed you with the gift of writing and for touching others hearts.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you so much Gail. I was recently very concerned about writing for the wrong reasons but comments like your help me realize that God gives us a gift and the obligation to use it. Very kind thanks to you sister for taking time. Hope to hear from you again soon.

  10. Kevin, Thank you for your heartfelt post. I appreciate you sharing your journey with such honesty.
    God bless you and your family,
    Barbara

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Hi Barbara – wow we need to catch up. it was so nice to spend time hearing your story and wise counsel, i’m afraid we’re getting over due :-) You are another one of my favorite folks because i know what you have been through and its is utterly amazing how God has carried you to where you are – you are an inspiration to me friend. bless you and hope we can talk soon. Bless you too!

  11. Connie Newton Steele says:

    Kevin, your words are like music to my ears. I want to Thank you for all the encouragement you give to me, personally. Whenever I read something you write, whether it is on your blog, or an email I know that your message is from God. I am happy you are back writing again. Your words have changed me and my husband! Thank you Thank you!!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Connie , I literally get chills (a good thing) when i hear from you because i know God is up to something big. He is stirring in your life in ways that excite those around you. Keep going and I will be here with you guys in whatever way you need. Bless you sister as you have truly been a blessing to me. Still praying!

  12. It does rain on the just and the unjust. I tell my husband that the test is who we are in the trial that makes us different. Can’t imagine how anyone can make it without the anchor of Jesus Christ.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      AMEN! There is not much i can add to that my friend – well said. I thank Him daily for these trials and the growth that is coming as a result – i never want to go back there – just ahead into His Glory which will require testing from time to time. Thank you so much Sheri for your honest response – it means a lot! Blessings!

  13. Sandy Lavender says:

    I am writing this with such a huge smile on my face. I stumbled on you via twitter, and of course was led to your blog. After reading your remarkable story I am SO very encouraged. My husband and my story is not unlike yours. We also lost it “ALL”, but have gained a stronger relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every time I hear a “similiar” story I see that God is working for His good and not ours. Thank you for sharing your heart and I look forward to seeing more of your blogs.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Wow – that is so cool Sandy. God is better than we imagine – especially in how He connects those who have walked similar paths. Its there that we really see confirmation that He is doing what he does best – love us toward the freedom in Christ. I would love to hear more about your story! Thanks Sandy for taking the time – your words are sincerely a blessing to me today! Talk soon…

  14. Angie Battle says:

    “God never wanted to crush me, but it was the only way to get the wine flowing from me that He intended for others.”

    And that wine is sweet, not bitter.

    That is why people are drawn to this blog and to you, Kevin. The grace God has poured out in you and over you has been received in your heart that still cries out, “I need only you, Jesus!”

    Thank you for continuing to refuse to generate “fluff” on your blog, my treasured brother. What you deliver is meaningful and indeed a gift from our Father who loves us so.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Angie i receive your words to God’s glory. Thanks for being my sister and devoted encourager sent by Him – I’m excited to see what He will do as our families walk in unison under His care. Thanks as always for lifting me when i should be lifting you. Praying for you – hope to talk soon. Blessings to you and Michael and your entire family

  15. anewcreation says:

    So painfully humbling but so full of encouragement and hope at the same time.

    Thank you Kevin!

    God bless you.

    Mercedes

    • Kevin Adams says:

      God bless you my wonderful friend – thanks for checking in on me recently. That meant so much and it still does. Lets both keep doing what God has called us to do in writing for Him. I now owe you the encouragement sister! Thanks for taking time to respond Mercedes and Bless you – talk soon…

  16. Sam Peebles says:

    We are His loved children and God disciplines those He loves. It is amazing what God has done in our lives Brother and I look forward to seeing what He is doing and will do! Iron sharpens iron and we are definately sharper because of our common love for Christ and our knowing “How much He Loves US”. I am glad to see God has filled your heart and given you the ability to finish this blog. I have seen how God has refined us both and is making us into that jar of clay that HE fills daily instead of us doing it ourselves, what a wonderful place to be. Until our last breath, our story here on earth is not completed. So lets all get on with giving up our pride and relying fully on our loving Father who is able to do more than we can even imagine!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Sam you know me so well brother – thanks for the lift and a decade of digging in to His word together. Love you brother! And Amen “until our last breath” the obligation is until then. Much appreciate you!

  17. Blair says:

    Best posting yet. So full of insightful messages that could have only been realized from much trial and mature faith. You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others. Continue to seek His whispering voice. We love and pray for you guys.

  18. Amanda Beth says:

    God knows exactly what we need to get us where we need to be. I remember crying for years about our financial hardships. I look back now and am so thankful God allowed us to go through those hard times. They brought our dependence on Him.

    Even now with writing a book, I didn’t have any money to spend on it. God has provided everything I have needed every step of the way.

    I can’t wait to see how God uses your writings. He has blessed you with the ability to write well. My editor told me to read your blogs to help me with my writing.

    Looking forward to reading your posts! God bless:)

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Amanda that means so much coming from you… thank you most sincerely. I have deep respect for you and your writing – sounds like we need to continue to spur one another on as God has given us the same desire to glorify Him though the tool of writing. I find it very encouraging to know that you understand the call and have trusted God through financial drought – thank you for letting me know – it really does help. Bless you my friend – I’ll be reading your posts too.

  19. Great to “hear” from you again, Kevin! Again, I am amazed by this journey God has you one and I love seeing the lives it touches, including my own. Blessings to you, my friend! I can’t wait to read the next installment of this amazing journey!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Dineen, Dineen, my face literally “must” smile when i see your presence in the blogosphere. You are an inspiration and i count it a great honor to be called your friend. Thanks for always checking in and being so real in your walk and encouragement of others (especially me :-) Thank you sister and bless the work you continue to do so well.

  20. Brooke Stark says:

    Again, I am blessed and humbled by your words. The Lord is moving through you and the fragrance of the Lily of the Valley is clear as I read your words. May He continue to bless you and your family with every provision. Thank you for leading us to the the true treasure…Christ Himself.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Brooke you are a such a welcoming voice of encouragement to me. Thank you sister for opening your door and allowing me the blessing of being your friend and brother. The enemy has a way of consistently telling us to move away from our calling but through you and others like you God overpowers and confirms and uplifts. Thank you and bless you my friend

  21. Tony L Smith says:

    That was great Kevin. Sounds like refiners fire. God first makes the man, then gives him a mandate, then sends him on mission. Thanks for penning some of your process through the fire. Athourity has been released to you because you endured through trails. You are bringing hope to us. I’m blessed to have read your post. Jesus endured the shame of the cross for the prize that was set before Him – ‘us’ Thanks Brother

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Tony – I was very encouraged by your words. It truly has been a refinement – something that we must all face in one form or another. It surely helps to have graceful believers lift you when you step out. I lift you today in prayer my friend and bless you in Jesus name.

  22. Jann Cobb says:

    I needed to hear this today! I love how you share your heart so openly! Blessings

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Jann for taking time to share your thoughts – they really encouraged me. The best reason for me to write is to hear the words you said. Bless you for that. Thank you so much!

  23. David Alves says:

    Kevin,

    This post proves why it’s important that you NEVER stop writing until you can’t write anymore. More on this in private. For now, just know that I am encouraged, challenged, and sustained by what God is revealing to me and confirming through your ministry.

    Blessings and Grace for more Faith.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      David, dear friend what can i say except thank you so very much! As a fellow writer – called to the work, your encouragement means more than you can know. I want you to know that your words in a recent email really helped me to get back up and keep doing this. You are being used by God in my life – thanks for making yourself available. With deep respect – thank you and bless you brother.

  24. Thanks Kevin! your statement “…from the bottom of a well you see more clearly that everything including your livelihood comes from above.” is powerful. And, as we go along we slowly and hopefully realize how “God’s time” has a perfect purpose.

    God bless,
    Michael

  25. Megan Davis says:

    This was profound and close to my heart Kevin. I cant comment until I have visited this one a few more times. Thank you from a newbie.

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