It was my first time to ever leave everything and everyone I knew (internet, laptops and cell-phones weren’t around yet). And at the time, I was extremely insecure – and I do want to emphasize the explicative “extremely”. Part of the reason I felt so insecure was because I really had no clue who I was and where to go with my life or what life was really about. I grew up in the church. There were things that I thought I was expected to be, and things that I thought I was supposed to do. But it all felt impossible to me—I was deeply terrified. I believed that I didn’t fit in and that I was way behind everyone else around me, including all of these new students and new faces attending Capernwray Harbour Bible School on Thetis Island that year. They all seemed so secure, so happy – not a care in the world. It seemed like they had no clue what it was like to feel the way I felt. I thought I had to hide my true feelings or my true self.
I think that when we are insecure we try to manage and arrange our environment and surroundings to try to secure for ourselves the love and acceptance and stability we so deeply need and yearn for. It seemed however that at Capernwray Harbour God was not cooperating very well with this endeavour of mine. I was trying to do it in my own wisdom and my own strength. All of my efforts seemed to add stress as the security I was seeking for seemed to slip through my fingers and to entangle me in what felt like more insecurity. All my devices were starting to fall apart. And then one day the walls broke in and I could no longer protect myself from the dangerous environment that I was so sure was surrounding me. The rejection I feared so much—from all my peers and colleagues—finally culminated all in one day. The rising tides of insecurity in my own heart were finally pierced exactly as I had feared, and in a sense it felt as if my heart broke. I felt like there wasn’t anyone on my side to come and help me. I felt rejected, abandoned, uncared for, and that I had no hope and no one around me who could really see me and cared enough to enter my world and help me. Up to this point I was trying to be strong but that was just pride and self-reliance. It all caved in on this day.
But that night, as the rest of the guys in my cabin laid down to sleep after the lights were turned off, I pulled the blanket over my head, turned on a flash-light, and began to pour out my heart to God with my pen and open notebook. The dam broke and I poured out a prayer of broken, humble desperation to God. I still have the prayer that I wrote that night, blurred with teardrops. Through that prayer that night God showed me how self-obsessed I was—how there were so many bigger problems that people were suffering in the world.
In this state of brokenness I found the grace to surrender myself to God, and He was faithful. A warmth filled my heart after having poured it out. As I laid my notebook aside and turned over to lie on my back, a great sweet peace was now brooding in my heart, and I felt His love for me—really for the first time. Somehow I just naturally knew this to be the Holy Spirit, and I later scribbled a little note on that page: “HS came”. I loved it! The following morning and day was amazing. I felt so light and happy. But the more interesting thing was that I seemed so unaware of myself. I was truly what they call, “present in the moment” —and this lasted the entire day. I was not looking at myself or monitoring myself or trying to be anything. I was not worried about who was who and what I should be like. I didn’t need people to accept me, for I now knew that my God really does like me and loves me and desires me and accepts me! I was just free, me, and full of life and joy. I was enjoying life, and naturally (or supernaturally) loving others! This I believe was the life of Christ flowing in me and through me. As I write about it again it revives my hunger to know this and to learn to abide in Christ and stay in this place with Him. Christ is the place we want to be. He is our Teacher and He is the purpose and reason of everything.
I urge whoever is reading this to look up to Christ, and trust Him, and ask Him to lead you. Give yourself to Him and ask for Him to be your life. God will always be faithful to you wherever you are and whatever you do. Now imagine taking a year or more aside to learn, receive and practice get to know our all-in-all. We want to do this where Christ is alive and moving—where He is the centre, and where He is loved and glorified. For me, the clear message strongly flowing through the biblical Christ-centred teaching at Capernwray made this all possible. I was taught to seek, trust, see, and give myself to Christ in humble reliance upon Him. All of this teaching washed over me the whole year – something for which I am very thankful. This is how God used my initial insecurity to bring me to Himself and lay the solid foundation for the rest of my life—this is where I was able to know that He is my source and my life.
[Sponsored Post for Capernwray Harbour Bible Centre]