“You are the melody! You matter!” Wm. Paul Young
These were the words penned on the cover page of my new book, Cross Roads, by Wm. Paul Young.
I had the privilege of spending the evening listening to Paul share his story.
His story of redemption.
Redemption from a horrific childhood that robbed him of having his own identity.
Redemption from a life of torment and guilt and sadness.
His story was divided into three acts. The first part being broken and hurt (my paraphrase as I can’t remember the exact words on the screen). He spoke of his childhood growing up in a missionary community in Africa. He spoke of the abuse not only from his own father, but of the tribes people. Heart wrenchingly devasting. You could hear audible gasps throughout the room as he shared.
The second act was (again, my paraphrase) that time in life when after we are hurt, we hurt others. Our brokenness drives us to inevitably hurt others. He spoke of a date in time that was that day that will forever be burned into his life story. The day he was confronted by his wife about an extramarital affair he’d been in for 3 months.
Act three began the healing and redemption. For him, it was a long and grueling journey that got worse before it got better. He spoke openly about making a trip to Mexico to end his life as far from his family as he could… so they would not find him.
He spoke of the 11 years of healing and the freedom he lives in today because of taking the journey. He also spoke of the relationship with his father that has not been restored. That part of his story is yet unfinished.
I can’t tell you the comfort that brought me. To hear a man speak of the amazing redemption of God in his life and admit that it’s not done. So often we idealize these people that come and share their stories with us. We tend to leave thinking they have made it and are living the dream. Time after time that has left me feeling a little empty. Will ever get there? How long will my journey be? I wish I had what he had.
This man who has experienced hell and glorious redemption, still struggles. He is human and hurting just like me. His fame does not set him apart or make him better. At the end, he hugged me like I was his long lost friend! I walked away knowing that I DO have what he has.
I have an amazing God who will walk me through every valley… down every path… up every mountain.
He will also put people in my life that will shepherd me on the journey. Paul spoke of opening up the phone book and finding a counseling agency to help him. He reached out and asked for help.
Why do we as Christians think we have to do this alone? We can get stuck on the idea that God is the only one who can help us. Yes, He is the ultimate helper and healer. Amen to that! He also puts people in our life that can join our journey. It takes a village.
Lord Jesus, give us all the courage to ask for help. Give us wisdom to know when to press in to You and when to reach out to others. Give us perseverance to stay on the path of redemption and not bale when it gets tough.
I AM the melody and I DO matter. I have a story and so do you. We are not promised a straight easy road in this life, but we are promised healing and redemption if we stay on the road He’s set before us and stay true to His promises. That makes my story even better. My melody even sweeter.