hindsight

A Year And Some Change

Today is my birthday. Well, not MY birthday, but my blog’s birthday, rather. Today, An Idol Heart is one year old!

I started this blog one year ago today. When I decided to start An Idol Heart it was because my world had turned upside down and I wanted to start telling the story, even while it was unresolved.

This time a year ago, I had just walked away from my career of 8 years, I was unemployed, I was two months in to being at a new church and was a little over a month in to diving head first into a community group I had joined. I was struggling with how to let go of the things I had allowed my life to be defined by and I was falling apart.

On why I decided to name this blog An Idol Heart, I had recently come to understand that my heart was indeed “an idol factory that mass produces idols.”  That was, at once, a very sobering yet dizzying realization, and one that still reverberates with me today.  A couple months earlier I had finished reading Timothy Keller’s “Counterfeit Gods”, a book that, to put it simply, completely undid me.

Going back now to read what I wrote as my first post a year ago was a pretty emotional experience. At that time, I was so afraid. The false bottom I had built in my heart was falling out and I felt like I had nothing to work with… but words.  I had no idea what the next day, let alone the next year would look like.

One year later, my story looks very different. I am now working in ministry on staff at Cross Point Church in Nashville, the church I had just come to when all this unraveling began to happen. The ministry I’ve received at Cross Point over the past year has done so much to heal my heart and teach me who I am.  Now, I lead ministry teams there and get to help others. The community group I had just come to in hopes of finding new friends when my world was turning upside down has been immeasurably instrumental in how God has reshaped my life this past year. I now co-lead that group of around 150 people and get to regularly share my story of how God rescued me from the pursuit of myself, challenging others to embrace uncertainly, get out of their comfort zones and be intentional about how they invest in this “stretch between” season of their life.

More than anything though, I am learning more each day how my identity does not rest in where my check comes from, but rather where my help comes from and the finished work of Christ on the cross.

I still don’t know what tomorrow will look like and I’m learning to live by faith daily, but looking back over the past year, I know what it was about. God was after my heart. He wanted to rewire it and “make it again into another vessel”.

This past Friday night, Timothy Keller, whose ministry has been such a key part of my story, was in Nashville on a tour for his new book, “King’s Cross”.  I went to hear him speak and also had the opportunity to personally thank him for his ministry and how God has used it to wreck and rebuild me.

He made a statement that I haven’t been able to shake since I heard it. Singularly giving perspective to much of the last year of my life, He said,

“Sometimes, the delays of Jesus are because of details and information that we don’t yet have access to. Ultimately, God gives you what you would have prayed for if you knew everything He knew.”

And there it is.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

One year ago, my prayers were very different. I’m so thankful that God heard my prayers but still gave me what I would have asked for, had I only known. Not getting what I thought I wanted is the best thing that could have happened to me.

What life perspective have you seen while looking back over the things you have been through?


Related Posts

Grant JenkinsA Year And Some Change
15 comments
gritandglory
gritandglory

i learn much from you and your journey. consistently. thank you for being as transparent and honest as you are. even when it's impossibly hard.

JasonWert
JasonWert

God has certainly rocked it for you over the last year. No one can see your story and really deny that God doesn't take lives and transform them for His purposes.

MorganMacGavin
MorganMacGavin

You won't be surprised that there are tears reading this. haha! I'm so proud of you and how far you've come in the past year!! The person I met back in June is NOT the same guy that I was chatting with on Tuesday. I've watched you grow as a leader, as a friend, and as a Christ-seeker. Your walk is definitely one that has inspired me from the beginning. I'm almost exactly 2 months from the start of my own journey, so reading this today really made me think over what all has happened. Honestly, the absolute largest thing that I have learned is that even when I think God couldn't possibly be there, He is. Learning to trust, to be, and to do. I can turn my back on Him in frustration any time I want, but God never leaves my side. He is always, ALWAYS there. I'm not sure there can be full comprehension of how amazing that love feels when you weren't aware it was waiting for you your whole life. I'm grateful. Every day.

MichaelPerkins
MichaelPerkins

Dude, it's been crazy wild seeing what God has done over the last year in your life. Your transparency truly has been inspiring. As to your question...I look back at everything I've ever done and it has prepared me for my next step. Managed a restraunt. Sold cars. Worked as a receptionist. Kids pastor. Youth Pastor. And now I've just accepted my first lead pastor's position and start in a month. It all has been leading up to this point. Congrats on one year. And major kudos for being faithful man throughout this process.

Leigh Kramer
Leigh Kramer

I'm still mulling over Keller's words from Friday night. It's so interesting to hear all the ways your life has changed this past year and how God answered your prayers in the ways that you needed. And I must say- your community group is 150 people? I was envisioning more around the standard 10-12. I'm impressed!

JonathanJacob
JonathanJacob

Dude...I needed to read this today. It's so awesome how God worked in your life, and how things always work out. I love that quote from Keller. I guess for me...I'm kind of in that "crossroads" stage. Being a recent college graduate, I'm still trying to figure things out and believing that God's plan are perfect.

AllisonRoberts
AllisonRoberts

I am learning more each day how my identity does not rest in where my check comes from, but rather where my help comes from and the finished work of Christ on the cross.
I can so relate to that...except it would read this way for me: I am learning more each day how my identity does not rest in my marriage/divorce or my relationships, but rather where my help comes from and the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Grant! I can't even tell you how much your blog has ministered to me over the past 10 months. I have loved watching your story unfold and my faith has grown because of it. Thank you!

bethridgeway
bethridgeway

A year ago, I thought I wanted rest...that's all...just rest...a full night's sleep for a change.

What God wanted me to have was an abundant life. This last year has been the most agonizingly difficult and ultimately amazing year of my life.

Thank God for having had the wisdom to deny my request for what I wanted and for giving me what I needed, instead.

anidolheart
anidolheart moderator

@MichaelPerkins Thank you so much for your kind comment, Michael. You've been one who has been around since I started chronicling this part of my journey here. Your consistent encouragement has meant so much to me. Congrats to you on your new position! That is so great! Your story is also an encouragement to me to keep pressing forward.

anidolheart
anidolheart moderator

@HopefulLeigh I cannot escape that quote. I love the way he set it up then delivered it. It's really challenged me on several levels. And it's actually closer to 200, but we're near the 150 mark for how many people are there on any given Sunday night. Crazniess!

anidolheart
anidolheart moderator

@bethridgeway "his last year has been the most agonizingly difficult and ultimately amazing year of my life." I can completely relate to that. Thank you for comment, Beth.

Trackbacks

  1. […] is that God is doing in each of our respective lives, I couldn’t help but think about the gift of perspective that is given over […]