Becoming a Fool – A Much Better View

As our culture of Christian-y leaders, icons, and unapproachable gurus of influence continue to graduate disciples who are more interested in platform building than bending their knees, we’ve inadvertently, and ironically buried a generation of young hopefuls in a canyon of “well done my good and famous servant” darkness. The good news, however, is that it only takes a flicker of light to conquer a canyon of darkness.

I was recently blessed with one the most encouraging emails I’ve ever received. And it came from one of the wisest, kindest, and youngest people I’ve had the privilege of being connected with on this seven year journey of living by faith, and writing about the results. Jordan S. is a seventeen year old high school student, who has been on quite a journey of her own. As a result, this bright young light has been used by God to not only illuminate a few of my darkest days, but to remind my wife and me that our walk still matters.

Take a moment to walk with her today as she courageously shares a bit of her journey here, and you’ll be deeply encouraged to continue your own, and filled with hope about what God is up to in the generation to come. Let us return the favor by cheering her on with feedback, as she offers us all…a much better view of God. 1 Cor. 3:18

Surrender “Seeking God not just above all, but instead of all things”

When Kevin asked me to write about my faith, I realized I am very inadequate for this task. I can’t even get myself to consistently read the Bible. I will talk about God’s love as long as you let me, but I am constantly allowing fear and pride to keep me from showing His love.

For these reasons and many more, I didn’t feel like I had anything to share except for maybe a few nice words plated with a thick layer of hypocrisy. What if I really am honest and it doesn’t help anyone? What if I don’t write what God wants? What if, like when I have shared my heart before, people stare at me blankly with the kind of pity that reminds me of how one would look at an injured puppy? I hope that doesn’t happen, and I pray that my words will glorify God and encourage you.

Despite the fact that I have attended Christian schools all of my life, my salvation story is nothing like that of the traditional youth group altar-call. When I was fourteen, I surrendered myself to God late one night while I sat, weeping in the floor in the bathroom of my house. This surrender didn’t come easily either. It was the result of a broken person who had spent months wrestling with God, and like Jacob, I am still trying to recover from my dislocated hip, metaphorically speaking.

Before this transformation, I lived with the comfortable and warped view of God as a genie. I thought I could keep Him locked away in my little lamp, rub it when I needed something, and have Him grant my wishes. This view of mine was completely shattered when I was thirteen. After countless prayers that God would heal my mom of her mysterious sickness, she passed away. I discovered that my faith was nothing but a foundation of sand, and my house collapsed quite easily when the rain and winds came.

Grief is a weird thing. It feels a lot like suspense, like you are just sitting around and waiting for something to happen. You can’t start anything new. You can’t settle down. You have this constant restless feeling and an overabundance of time to think and feel. For me, this manifested itself in my trying to understand God. I couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened. God was supposed to be good. He was supposed to take care of those who loved Him and listen to our prayers. Why didn’t He take care of my mom? Why hadn’t He answered my prayers?

This lack of understanding soon turned to anger. It turned into restless nights of screaming at God, telling Him that He didn’t know what He was doing, and asking Him where He was. For months I was depressed, hurt, and angry. Everyone around me attempted to help by telling me about how I needed to turn to God, and that only made me even more angry. Not only was God ignoring me, but He was the One who had cut me open. Why would I want Him to help stitch me up?

This awful cycle came to a head one night when my inner turmoil became too much to bear. I was just sitting on a staircase in my house because I didn’t know where to go. I began to pray, but this time it was different. It wasn’t accusatory. I wasn’t angry. I just told God that I needed Him. I told Him that I had been hearing rumors that He provided rest for the weary and that His burden was light, but all I could feel was exhaustion and heaviness.

It was then when I finally understood what Christians mean by “God’s still, small voice.” God spoke to me gently and told me that He had always been there. His heart was aching because mine was. He said He had always been ready to take my heavy load, but I had to be willing to give it to Him. I understood what He meant and began to cry. I hurriedly locked myself in a bathroom so my family could not see my tears.

In the floor of that bathroom God explained His process to me. Following God doesn’t mean saying a prayer and receiving a magic lamp that will solve your problems. It means daily surrender and trust. God wants us to surrender our dreams, desires, and ideas of what we want our life to look like to Him, and trust that what He has in store for us is so much better, even if the process is painful. That’s exactly what I did that night, and it was the best decision I have ever made.

However, just because it is a good decision, doesn’t mean it is an easy one. Following God is a never-ending process of obedience, which honestly, I have never been good at. I’ve always marveled at the courageous, faithful people in the Bible. I’ve always desired a faith like David’s or Abraham’s. I’ve wondered how anyone could possess a belief so strong in God that they would boldly fight giants; that they would be willing to sacrifice their own son, knowing that God’s plan is always best.

Even though I desired it, this kind of blind devotion was always something that I shrugged off. I thought that it was impossible to fully rely on God in a world that teaches you to rely on yourself. That’s why I feel so blessed to have been able to read “The Extravagant Fool.” Kevin’s story has given me an example of a real life person who does more than just talk about the heroes of the Bible; he emulates them. He listens to God’s voice and faithfully obeys. He has built his ark with no sign of rain, and that is something that has inspired and challenged me more than I can put into words.

This inspiration could not have come at a better point in my life. Right now, when I am trying to sort through colleges and careers, is when I will make the choices that affect the rest of my life. From Kevin’s story I have learned that I don’t have to have it figured out, that instead of pressuring myself to take action, I just need to listen and obey. I’ve learned that I won’t find God’s purpose for me unless I seek Him “not only above all things, but instead of all things.”

This means that I have to let go of areas of my life that God doesn’t approve of. I have to take responsibility for my careless sinning and selfish ambitions, even though it makes me uncomfortable. Growing up and taking responsibility for my life and actions is really scary, but I have learned that all success really requires is that I keep a loose grip on my plans and my ears trained to hear God.

When you follow God, your story is only sad if you stop before it is complete. Yes, throughout life we are challenged and hurt. We have moments of feeling worthless, unloved, and inadequate, but because of God that is all temporary. What is eternal is laughter, joy, redemption and triumph. Our stories will never be somber tales of tragedy, but triumphant ones of God’s unrequited love and faithfulness. All that’s required for this happily ever after is a wise God and a willing fool.


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Up Next

Faith journey update, guest posts, and much more on what we’ve learned on this seven year journey. If you’d like to share your Extravagant Fool journey and how the book was helpful, contact Kevin by email. Wakeupmyfaith@att.net.

Warm blessings,

Kevin, Holly, and The Extravagant Fool family

For a free preview of the book, Chapter One is available at Extravagant Fool.com by clicking the “Book Preview” tab.

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About Kevin Adams

Kevin Adams is a fresh voice among today’s best Christian writers. What he’s not, however, is a pastor, theologian or pulpit preacher; he doesn’t have a church, a fan club, or a flock. He’s just a regular guy with a powerful story, and a God given gift for sharing it that will challenge the faith of even the most seasoned, veteran believers. His transparency and intentional, elevated writing style has earned him a trusted reputation across the online Christian community. His work escorts readers through his own challenging experiences of loss, betrayal and impossible odds, to just beyond the comfort level of most Christians–the place where absolute faith is required. Kevin takes a genuine approach to modern Christianity that would rather tear away empty pockets than fill them with empty promises. Yet, his story is filled with indisputable proof of our Heavenly Father’s better-than-we-can-imagine desire for each of us, and the delight He takes in our learning to rest in His arms like happy children. Kevin is the author of The Extravagant Fool: A Faith Journey That Begins Where Common Sense Ends, due for release May 6th 2014, and founding partner in a new discipleship ministry being developed around the book. He is also the founder of the Wake up My Faith blog, which has garnered a social media following of over 80,000, reflecting varied backgrounds and locales. Kevin’s life verse is Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”. (NKJV) And his philosophy on life can be summed up in a single thought: “Only when God becomes all that we want do we truly see that He is all we need.” –Kevin Adams 2012 Kevin is husband to Holly, his beautiful partner in faith, father to three wonderful children, and a compelling new author for Zondervan.
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27 Responses to Becoming a Fool – A Much Better View

  1. kmoon70 says:

    Kevin, glad to have found your blog through our connection on Twitter. It is so nice to find like-minded people in a world where we are certainly a remnant. Tell Jordan I’m proud of her and admire the wisdom God has given her at the age of seventeen. God bless your family. ~Kimberly

  2. “When you follow God, your story is only sad if you stop before it is complete.”

    That’ll preach!

    Jordan, you’ve realized as a teenager that obeying not only God’s written word, but the Holy Spirit’s voice, is the most important thing in life. I became a Christian at 19, but didn’t develop a relationship with God until I was 32. I realized that head knowledge didn’t transform. Religion separates us from the love of God.

    I’ve in the finishing leg of my own transformative season and you most definitely are on the right track. God’s revealed to me that obeying his voice is “the shortcut” to how we experience the life we were meant to live. He has different callings for all of us. To the degree we trust him as Father, Counselor, and even Healer, he will lead us and it will be to our benefit!

    Keep listening to him and obeying!

    • Jordan S says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and wisdom, Kevin! You are absolutely right. Knowing about God and knowing Him are completely different things. I’m so glad that you are pursuing God’s calling and listening to His voice. God Bless you!

  3. Reblogged this on bm2driskell and commented:
    Wow, for those who think that their children aren’t paying attention, read this from a 17 year old young lady. Our job as parents is to faithfully disciple those who God has given us in trust to disciple, real discipleship. Thanks to Jordan for this reminder, outstanding writing, may God richly bless her.

  4. TiffanySpacick says:

    Wow! What an incredible post. I am blown away by the amount of wisdom not only for a 17 year old, but for anyone. If only some adults could have your perspective, Jordan! Thank you Kevin for sharing this on your blog. Great encouragement to me today.

  5. Al says:

    This is legitimately the most encouraging, heartfelt, genuine, thing I’ve read in way too long. Not to mention the writing is excellent! So beyond your years. Jordan, thank you for sharing your heart. If you keep following God’s lead, you will accomplish huge things for His kingdom! Kevin, I just discovered your blog, and I am so thankful that I did. Your faith is inspiring.

  6. Heather says:

    “Following God doesn’t mean saying a prayer and receiving a magic lamp that will solve your problems. It means daily surrender and trust.”

    Yes, Jordan! Thank you for painting the picture of true salvation, and telling us how it will change you! Your wisdom is evident throughout the entire thing. You are the kind of person that this next generation needs. I am so thankful for how God has clearly worked in your life. Please continue to write and to share your story.

    Kevin, you are so right! We need leaders who are on their knees, not on pedestals. Thank you for sharing this on your website. This is truly amazing. I am in awe of God’s goodness.

    • Jordan S says:

      Thank you, Heather! I’m so blessed that God has used me to share just a bit of His wisdom. I am in awe of His goodness everyday. Thanks again for your nice comment. God Bless!

  7. RickWhite says:

    Wow. Incredible writing and an incredible message from an incredible young lady. Jordan your story is moving-please always tell it. I am deeply encouraged to see someone so young with so much wisdom. Maybe there is hope for this next generation after all. Great job Jordan. Thank you for posting this Kevin.
    May God bless you both,
    Rick

    • Jordan S says:

      Thank you, Rick! I am greatful that my story was moving to you. I hope to always tell it. Thanks for encouraging me to do so. God bless you!

  8. Tyler says:

    Jordan. Thank you for the reminder that I’m not the only one waging those wars in my head. I’m glad you’ve made it this far. Keep going. |-/

  9. NoahGomez says:

    I’ve never cared for Christians or church. It’s always left me with a phony feeling. Like weak people trying to convince themselves that to be ok they need a god. I’ve never heard a testimony from someone that made me think that they even knew God until this one. I’m going to seek the God that you wrote about, Jordan. Either that God is for strong people, or he has certainly made you strong.

    • Jordan S says:

      Wow, Noah, I’m so thankful that my words helped you, and I am sorry about the impression that you have gotten from Christians in the past. If you want to know about my God (who can be yours, too), then I would suggest looking to Christ and not His followers, because we are all imperfect, and weak in different ways. I’m no different, and any good quality I have is from God. I’m praying for you as you seek God and His truth. It seems like you’re on the right track, my friend.

  10. Jordan, thank you for your boldness and courage to share your very real and thus very encouraging story! Our moments of great brokenness almost always wind up the most powerful testimonies of God’s love and strength. And thank you, Kevin, for sharing this wonderful young woman with us! 🙂

    • Jordan S says:

      Thank you very much, Dineen! You’re right. Our toughest moments are when we learn to rely on God the most, and if we are lucky, we can use them to help others do that too. 🙂 Thanks again for your nice words. I’m so glad that you got something out of it. God Bless you!

  11. MattT says:

    Kevin, thanks for sharing your story, and now Jordan’s story with us. Excellent writing on both parts. May God bless you both and continue to draw you to Himself and use you for His glory.

  12. mitchteemley says:

    Sweet and familiar–I’ve been blogging a lot lately about the tough phase Jordan S. speaks about, and about getting beyond it. Thanks for giving her the platform, Kevin!

  13. Paige Strickland says:

    Jordan I am so impressed with your spiritual maturity at such a young age. When I met your mother she was just a year older than you are now. She would be so proud to see how you are growing in your faith and walk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing your heart and for being His voice.

  14. I just discovered this blog and am looking forward to reading more! This post is such a breath of fresh air in a world that just doesn’t seem to get who God is or how He works. Keep up your walk with the Lord and relying on Him, Jordan! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  15. Thank you for writing this Kevin and encouraging Jordan, now following for more. Thanks also to Jordan. It takes guts and Faith to step out like this and write from your Heart. I feel it. I look forward to following your blog here soon maybe? 🙂
    Stephen.

  16. This is encouraging. Though I know the struggle of facing and it is so hard to see eye to eye with God when you feel ashamed of your life. Every transgression he lifts one by one so that you may see them going. Its not that you are losing anything, even when it looks that way. You are walking into something greater. Tell yourself that everyday. You are walking towards something greater than you, it is humbling to say the least. Once i am able, i will run to my Father like a little child and listen to his stories with all my heart all the time. There will be no ill wish in me. I will be humble, i will be kind, i will love and recieve it without shame or abandon. For now, i relinquish my strength in you. I relinquish my fears and doubts. I am not losing. I am not losing. I am not losing. I cannot lose if i dont give in to his will. He lost a son, i wont let him lose a daughter. Be of sober mind and of sober spirit. Eat and drink his praise. You are worth it. Every penny, you are worth it.

  17. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks for all that you are and all that you do. May God Bless you richly and multiply you mightily.

  18. Bev says:

    Thanks for this amazing article. My heart longs to draw closer and closer to the Holy One and when I’m in a painful situation I become desperately desperate for God’s healing comfort. When things are going well (on the outside) I’m not as desperate…but I want to be!!

    I’ve recently written a book called Return to Joy about my healing journey from all kinds of abuse, including sexual. I know that everything we need is found in the Holy One and when I bow my life before Him I find true LIFE. Unfortunately I can get distracted about so many things…even good things (like Martha) and my passion begins to fade.

    I want to stay so close to God that I can hear His heart beating…in the good times and the bad.

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