The Big Fight

About a year ago, my world collapsed.  I had become such a lost soul that my own daughter preferred to live her life without me.  I was spending all my time and energy pushing every chance at happiness away.  Every relationship I had was crumbling.  Of course it couldn’t be my fault.  I blamed everyone.

Over the course of 5 years I had destroyed my family, my career, and my soul.  I could not see what was really going on, until I saw how it was affecting my girlfriend at the time.  She was following in my footsteps.  We had broken up and both were on a path to self-destruction.  I finally saw in her eyes the pain that we were causing ourselves.
I knew it was time to make a change. It was urgent.  I reached out to a friend whom I had not talked to in years.  I had seen him around, and I knew that something had changed his life in a way I needed mine to change.
Within a couple of hours, we were sitting at a Starbucks and he was listening to my story and helping me gather my thoughts. 
He mentioned that I should attend church with him and just check it out.  My first thought was “God abandoned me when I was 14.  He won’t help me.”  But I decided to check it out. 
I walked into Hillcrest determined that God would not save me.  But I was so wrong.  I felt love and a feeling of hope that I had not felt in a long time. 
Over the last year God has shown me what love is.  He has taken a broken man who had no hope and has been helping me put the pieces back together a little every day. 
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17
It has not been an easy journey.  I have lost friends and relationships.  But my daughter is spending more and more time with me.  People are seeing a different man.  I have had people come to me for advice—never thought that would happen.
All this wonderful stuff was happening.  I started to lose the humility I had been working on and started giving myself credit for the gifts God had given me.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

I could feel things start to fall apart and slowly grow out of control.  I had been praying for God to give me a sign.  What was happening? What was he trying to show me?
That’s when it happened.  God and I had our first fight.  I had decided that He had given up on me and I needed to just admit defeat.  I was determined that I was going back to my old ways.  I was looking for my car keys and planning which bars I would go to first.  But I stopped long enough to send a text to my friend who had helped me out that day.  I wanted to let him know that I was giving up and was done trying to live my life for God.  Instantly my phone started ringing.  I ignored the first call, answered the second.  It was his wife.  I could hear the sadness in her voice.  We talked for a long time, and she helped me get my head straight.  I never ended up getting in my car that day

It is clear to me now that God never gave up on me for one second.
“[T]he LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy  31:6b.
He had been preparing me for that moment for a year.  He brought new meaningful friendships into my life.  He made sure that my feeling would lead me to pick up that phone before I walked out to my car.  He made sure she was in a position to call me back.  He did not let me take the easy route.  He pushed me in a direction that led me closer to him.  He did not instantly take away the pain, like I wanted.  Instead, he made sure I had the support and love to get through it.  I see now that God’s plan for me is bigger than I can imagine.  We have made up, and I am still working through pain.  But I know for sure now that I am never alone. 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Meet Jesse Ehlke

I am a new follower of Christ and dad of 2 amazing kids. I enjoy
playing my guitar, running, anything outdoors, and riding my motorcycle.  I
am excited to be on this journey with God.  Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

No Comments