moving-forward

Moving Forward

Over the past few months since I started blogging again, I think I’ve been pretty open and transparent about my story and this season in particular.  From sharing my story publicly for the for the first time, talking very frankly about coming face to face with my pride and entitlement while embracing this next chapter of life, to discussing the condition of my heart that led me to this point… I’ve pretty much put it out there. Each post has been increasingly difficult to write, largely because I’m still walking it out.  My story has not yet resolved and I still grapple with what that looks like every single day.

I’ll be writing more about this concept very soon, but it all comes down to this… my heart needed a detox.  I had become intoxicated with career, high on image, and sick with success.  As I’ve shared before, once I became aware of the condition of my heart, I very quickly wanted absolutely nothing to do with my career in the music industry.  I wanted out as quick as possible, and out I got.

I do want to be clear about one thing: while every industry struggles with its own varying degrees of dysfunction, the place I ended up had very little to do with the industry I worked in and everything to do with what I looked to it for.  The industry didn’t wear my heart out.  I wore my own heart out by leaning into my career and work in the industry, looking for it to define and give me worth and identity… something it is ultimately ill-equipped to do.

For most of the past 6 months, the very thought of going back into the music business has almost given me anxiety. I was afraid of it. I wasn’t afraid of the “big, bad industry”, but rather of the “big, bad me” who I became in trying to find who I was in the context of the industry. I was afraid of becoming “that guy” again.

After recently sharing this with some close friends, I was challenged to understand that my reluctance to even consider reentering the industry was entirely a fear-based decision.  I realized that if I choose to live out of a fear-based approach to life, that is actually unbelief in the work God is doing in my heart. My fear to move forward in my career was based on leaning on my own ability to not become “that guy” again, rather than leaning on God’s strength and power to mold and shape my heart daily.  My decision and reluctance may appear noble, but it is nothing but reliance on self instead of the work of the cross in my life. That was a pretty sobering realization.

In his book, Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller uses the context of human love to paint a striking picture of the way idolatry deceives our hearts:

If you are so afraid of love that you cannot have it, you are just as enslaved as those who must have it. If you are too afraid of love or too enamored with it, it has assumed God-like power, distorting your perceptions in your life.

Dang.

That’s real talk. While Keller may have been talking about human love, the same principle was certainly at work in my life as I went from being too enamored to being afraid in a matter of days.  Thinking that walking away was enough, I failed to see that living in fear of something is just as controlling and idolatrous as living in adulation of it.

I suppose the best way to sum up where I am right now is to say that after months of wondering what was next for me, running from the “monster”, trying to get jobs in anything BUT the music world, my heart has finally turned a pretty significant page.

I’m not afraid anymore.

So now you may be asking, what does that mean, exactly?

It means I have finally found a place of peace with regard to what my heart thought it had to have and what it then was terrified to have.
It means whether I ever have it again or not, I’m not afraid of having it.
It means I know what defines me and what doesn’t.
It means if I do ever have it again, I’m not afraid of IT having ME.
It means I am moving forward.

Does that mean I’m taking a job back in the music world?  I don’t know.  At this moment there aren’t any jobs on the table to talk about.  However, what it does mean is that whether I ever take another music job or not, I’m no longer afraid of what that might mean if it did happen.

If I believe 1 John 4:8

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

… and if I believe Hebrews 12:6

“The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

… then I have to believe that God allowed the bottom to fall out of my world because He loves me and wants to realign and awaken my heart to who He is.

In his book, Plan B, Pete Wilson says:

God will allow suffering, pain and crisis in order to detach hope from other things and attach it to himself.

That is 100% what has been happening in my life. Does that mean the struggle is over? Absolutely not. But it does mean I am more equipped to navigate the murky waters of my heart every single day that I wake up.

I’ve loved this song for a long time, but it has recently taken on even greater meaning in my life…

Israel Houghton - Moving Forward
You make all things new, and I will follow You forward…

Is there something in your life you need to move forward past?


Related Posts

Grant JenkinsMoving Forward
25 comments
Kristen
Kristen

dang, dude. how have I been missing out on your blog??

think I'm up to speed. in the near future I too will be stepping out from a "glamorous" travelling job in sports. quitting in this economy. to go where the Lord has put in my heart to go. your process, path and thoughts. all very encouraging, even the difficult stuff. Isn't it all really in believing He has ultimately a better plan for us than we do? daily. you may have read, but reading No Other Gods right now. fitting.Grateful how your story has encouraged so many others as I read through your posts and comments. thanks.

JennyRain
JennyRain

This is a huge step! I know what it is to be able to conquer fear... I think often "fear of self" and what we are possible of doing or not doing can be the most terrifying possibility :)
My recent post Celebrating on the Right Side of the Jordan

traceepersiko
traceepersiko

Awesome thoughts Grant. Hopeful for me in the dreaming process. Encouraging to trust in who matters and what he desires. You seem more free these days. You seem to have a new appreciation for the small things. That is awesome!
My recent post Hidden Track

disneybelle627
disneybelle627

you are so right on in so many ways. thanks for sharing Grant. i look forward to walking alongside you in your journey....even if it is all the way from Iowa! bk

lindzshaw
lindzshaw

Thank you for an inspiring and very poignant post. There are things I have to move forward from, and reading your blog--especially the scriptures you referenced--has given me something to hold onto. I appreciate your transparency and your desire to be an example to others.

Lindsey @ A New Life
Lindsey @ A New Life

Grant, you have no idea how encouraging and timely this is for my husband and I right now in some decisions we need to make.

Keep sharing your precious heart~ you are helping others see God in every moment, every struggle.

THANK YOU~
My recent post The God of Second Chances and Giveaway-

nmaestas
nmaestas

This makes me happy to read Grant!!! :)

Ani
Ani

Wooooow! Thanks for sharing how God is moving in your life. I'm thinking all those posts you wrote here. Next year you can look back and KNOW God is always there even if we don't feel it. I've been thinking about something I wrote on another blog. He is the same yesterday and today and forever. He is always faithful.
I'm wondering if you lead a group? Do you? To encourage and mentor? I don't know. Maybe I'm just talking nonsense here. What is making sense is that God is moving in your life and that is awesome!

Rodnesha Green
Rodnesha Green

Great blog! Great great blog!! SO timely and appropriate. So many times that we operate out of fear of something (and don't even realize that's our motivation). A friend of mine used to tell me that "fear" is simply putting faith in the what you don't want to happen. In essence, you're giving power to the thing you can't get past and basically telling that thing, "You're bigger than my God". I know that's where I'm at right now in a lot of areas.

I haven't been on here to read in a while, but I'm glad I did this morning. Thanks again, as always, for your transparency. God is doing something so unique in you. And I saw an aforementioned comment that you should write a book... that may not be too bad of an idea. Perhaps God fully walks you through this that will just be the natural result!

Beth
Beth

Will you please , please write a book? I love the hope and encouragement I get from reading your posts. Your transparency is evident, and I feel like you're sitting across the room from me telling us all these things. God has gifted you in a mighty way, and you are being faithful to tell your story for us to read and learn from. What you write brings glory to God, and that's what it's all about. Kudos to you.
My recent post And now back to our regularly scheduled summer

Michael
Michael

God is truly using you bro. This hits home.
My recent post I Want You To Know

Justin and Trisha
Justin and Trisha

I am so proud of you my friend. So honored to walk the journey with you.
My recent post Saying NO

Morgan
Morgan

This is amazing, G. I'm very proud of you!! Reading this made me really think about my own life and trials. The quote you picked out from Plan B was also one that stood out to me when I read it. I firmly believe it's 100% true. If God hadn't allowed my own Plan B crises to take place, believe me, He still would be no where to be found in my life. It's hard to sit back and hand over our fears to the Lord and trust that with Him, all will be good. But that''s where faith comes in--and in the little bit I've come to know you, I'd say you've got that. :o) Keep going LL Cool G!!
My recent post Crossing The River…

JuliaKate
JuliaKate

i think i've mentioned before that it gets more and more difficult to comment on here, the more i direct others to your blog... because then they can see my comments and my struggle and just me. this post hit home again.
i finally found a church home and i'm ready to do what i do again, this time fully and with less fear and a more realistic view of who i am and who i am not. i was heavily involved in music for most of my life. i am pretty darn good at what i do. not only have i spent most of my life on a stage, but so has the majority of my family. none of us are on stage currently. to be frank, we didn't have a fall or some big sin story. the relationship between the Church and who we are has just been complicated.
Individually, i tried a plan b. i handed over my responsibility as worship leader to 2 peeps i had mentored and took on a less visual, more get your hands dirty project. i started soju, a social justice ministry within the church i was serving at. i know why i did it. i know why i walked away from the stage. i know that it looked honorable, and to a degree it was, but the truth is... the nastiness of the system within the musical portion of Church (not just particularly that church) scared me. my biggest fear- being like the ones before me, getting wrapped up, compromising truth, and who i am just to obtain further placement up the ladder. i felt the tug within and had to fight it regularly. since the age of 15, i've been afraid to place my voice in the hands of the church, though i tried time and time again. i don't know if you understand how deep that goes, but let's just say i am typing through tears. i was afraid they'd continue to misuse me. we can say "but you're putting your gift in God's hands. He'll take care of you." and He did, i'm ok, but foul soil is foul soil and He gave enough sense to know there's a lack of wisdom in placing His stuff on foul soil.
so 2 months ago i found a church that doesn't idolize the music portion of the service. a church filled with talented people who appreciate creativity and talent. a church not intimidated by a certain caliber of talent. a church that has open doors and not hoops upon arrival. they will let me serve because they know it's what i need to do, not because they need me to make them bigger and better. i have no anxiety in this fellowship. i think i'm ready to do what i do again. regardless... it's time to move forward;)
thank you for sharing your heart and i don't think it's any mistake that i found your blog at the time i did... God is sovereign.
My recent post the Brighter Side of Meaninglessness…

basher
basher

That's huge bro, I've failed to see that fear of some things is just as idolatrous as adulation. Gonna require some thinking on my part!

Kyle Reed
Kyle Reed

Not only was this very encouraging to me it also brought up a lot of emotions.
The fear that holds me back is the idea of actually following through with my word and not being able to deliver. THis idea that if I try and do something and fail I will never recover and have to start over. In my mind I tell myself it is not even worth starting because of the risk of failure that could take over.

But moving forward with this I need to continue to be encouraged and read stuff like this to let me know I am not alone.
Thanks for sharing Grant.
My recent post Jon Stewart is My Favorite Preacher

JasonWert
JasonWert

Oh...so many things to move forward and leave in the dust! :)

Great post, man. Good to see you've turned this corner. Now God can really start to open doors.
My recent post The Pete Wilson Challenge Day 7

JuliaKate
JuliaKate

thanks Josh. You've always been such a great support... as encourager, protector, and most importantly truth seeker.
love you;)
My recent post the Brighter Side of Meaninglessness…

swodeck
swodeck

wow. Julia, I'm so proud of your sharing. (for the outsiders...Julia is my little sister). your words are both beautiful and painful, both comforting and challenging. thank you.

Grant, though at times I feel like an abused child going back to the very parents who have hurt me...I know that they too can find God and become the church that God has called them to be. I think we all at times get to a place where the "thing" (insert - career, relationship, ministry, etc) begins to transform our passions and desires...where we lose sight of the plan and purpose of God and become driven by the very thing that used to give Him glory.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

I'm so glad you're around and in my life, Brian. I love hanging with you, hearing you talk about your life and seeing you struggle through some of life's tough places. It is all making you into a better man and I'm honored to be able to have the view I do and be part of that.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks for being so open and sharing that, Kyle. You're great, dude. I'm really looking forward to getting to know you better.