An Idol Heart (Grant Jenkins)

Today, we are so blessed to have Grant Jenkins share his heart with us. Our prayer today is that no matter where you are in your relationship with God, this post will prompt you to take your next step.

Read Grant’s Blog Here: An Idol Heart

Follow Grant on Twitter: Grant
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About a year ago my life hit a wall. A conflict arose in my professional life that quickly sent my heart into a tailspin. I found myself in a situation that appeared to be a threat that what I considered my career “success”. I didn’t react well. In fact, my heart freaked out.

One night while searching for answers, grasping for understanding and baring my soul to one of my best friends, he asked me a question that forced me to get very honest about the condition of my heart.

“What are you afraid of losing?” he asked.

After a bit of back and forth, I determined I really wasn’t afraid of losing a client or even losing money. However, my next statement would pull back the curtain and expose what had been pushing the buttons and pulling the strings in my heart for years.

“I guess if this whole thing folds up, I’ll just have to go get a job at Home Depot or something,” I said.

“And what’s wrong with working at Home Depot?” he replied.

BAM! There it was. Faster than you could say “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, the pride and entitlement that I had glossed over for years came shooting to the surface.

“I think career and success have become idols in your heart,” my friend gracefully stated.

Everyone needs a friend like that.

Looking back, God gave me the grace in that moment to understand exactly what he was saying and to know he was right. As my friend began to interject some truth into my situation, I realized pride had produced an idol of success in my heart. I also realized that I wasn’t nearly as concerned about failing privately as I was failing publicly. I fail privately much better than publicly because my pride and image aren’t at stake when I fail behind closed doors.

That began a breaking process in my life that was long overdue yet somehow right on time. I carried on with my career, somewhat reluctantly, got a hold of some powerful teaching about idolatry in our heart and culture and started walking it out.

Everything came to a head in January of this year when I was invited (i.e. forced) to face the motivations of my heart once again. But this time it was different. This time God took me much, much deeper and showed me the depth to which my heart looked to my career for my sense of worth, acceptance, approval and ultimate identity. It shook me to the core and my heart was wrecked.

Practically overnight I went from pursuing an 8-year long career to wanting absolutely nothing to do with it. In fact, the very thought of continuing to pursue this particular line of work made me want to run for the hills; not because it was particularly wicked, but because it was deceptively good and I now identified it with everything I didn’t want to be anymore.

Since then God has been strategically deconstructing my heart, only to begin to reassemble it His way. This journey has landed me in the middle of a huge heart and life realignment that is reshaping how I see and process pretty much everything. It has been the single most painful yet beautiful thing I have ever experienced.

I’ve been learning what it means to let go and what it means to embrace and pursue. One day in particular I broke, hard, as if I was mourning. I was mourning the death of my dream for myself and of the person I thought I had to be in order to prop that dream up. In exchange, I am learning to embrace God’s dream for me.

So what does this look like on a practical, day-to-day level? What do you do when everything changes and what you were pursuing before suddenly has no value to you? I’m trying to figure that out. At this very moment I have absolutely no idea what is next for me. I have walked away from the career I have pursued for the past 8 years. It’s actually been quite challenging in many ways, but I knew it was what I had to do. When the gravity of the condition of heart fully hit me, I knew I had to lay this down. My heart needed a detox.

For the past couple months I have been pursuing a “regular” job; a new environment and some balance for my life. There have been many moments where that has been hard, but I wouldn’t trade anything for the journey. I’ve even applied to work at Home Depot. 😀

For me, redemption has come, or should I say is coming, through the process of dying to the things I thought gave me value and defined me. It is very true that I allowed my heart to look to and find its worth in my career instead of in Christ.

For a long time, I also used my career as a cop-out as to why I wasn’t in a relationship or married. “There is just so much happening in my life and I travel all the time. It just wouldn’t be fair to a woman and I wouldn’t be able to give the relationship the time and focus it really deserves.” Yeah, I used to actually say that. The truth is my parents divorced 8 years ago, just before I was offered my first job in my line of work. So for pretty much the past 8 years I have been afraid of the idea of a relationship because of the possibility it might end up like my parents’ did, and instead I dove into my career. That fear created an idol of pride and self-sufficiency and I looked to my career to love me while all my single friends got married and had children. I’m keenly aware that “family” can easily be an idol as well, but for the first time in my life I’m not afraid.

What I do know is I am learning what it means to trust God for my life and my heart, not just my stuff. God is more than Jehovah-Jireh, my provider, my rent-payer, but He is Jesus The Christ, the ultimate provision for my wicked and whorish heart.

As I open my eyes each morning, I am greeted with looming uncertainty of what the day will bring, yet my heart has never felt more free and steadfast. I’m learning to anchor my heart in Christ and trust God in 24 hour, and sometimes 60 minute, increments. In many ways, I’ve never felt more broken, while in others, I’ve never felt more whole.

Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend. Psalm 5:3 (MSG)

Are all the idols gone? No. But knowing what my heart is prone to reach for and bow to is the biggest part of the battle. It is the battle for the affections of my heart and it is a battle I will fight every day of my life.

Today is Good Friday, when we observe and remember the crucifixion of Jesus. It’s interesting to me that everyone says they want to “be like Jesus” and they want the will of God for their life, but lest we forget the will of God for Jesus was the cross.

Today is a timely reminder that in God’s playbook, winning often looks like losing. The cross certainly didn’t look like a victory, but to fully understand the purpose of the cross, you have to be able to both see it and see past it. And so it is with whatever situation you are walking through right now. Without the crucifixion, there would be no resurrection to celebrate.

Still want to be like Jesus?

168 Responses to An Idol Heart (Grant Jenkins)

  1. Pingback: An Idol Heart – Guest Post At RefineUs.org | Fits Of Bravery

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  3. Andrea Haro

    Wow I read this at the perfect time. Good Friday is 3 days away and it really makes me think about my recent prayer; “Your will God, not mine”. There are days where I truly mean it and there are days I’m just not willing to go to the cross if that was God’s will for me. It’s an every day struggle but to read someone else has walked in my shoes gives me a sense of hope. It’s funny I teach the kids in youth group not to loose hope but its something I’m still trying to learn myself. Thank you again for the words you write.  

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  21. Grant – this is the 2nd time I've read this post and every time it ministers to me. I wish there were a way I could orchestrate you and my husband connecting… i think your story would really encourage him where he is at right now.
    My recent post The Chicken Truck

  22. Grant – this is the 2nd time I've read this post and every time it ministers to me. I wish there were a way I could orchestrate you and my husband connecting… i think your story would really encourage him where he is at right now.
    My recent post The Chicken Truck

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  25. I am just sitting here crying. This is one of those lessons like I keep relearning in new areas of my life. This week I have had some bumps in the road and God is really speaking to me to just trust, not fear and hand those idols over. Deep breath. More tears.
    My recent post Consistency and Conditional love

  26. I am just sitting here crying. This is one of those lessons like I keep relearning in new areas of my life. This week I have had some bumps in the road and God is really speaking to me to just trust, not fear and hand those idols over. Deep breath. More tears.
    My recent post Consistency and Conditional love

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  32. Grant– your transparency on this glorifies God and builds up His Church in a way that is inspiring.

    Over the past year, I've been blessed to watch your time of transition (as you've watched mine) because I've been perpetually assured of Christ's commitment to completing great works in us.

    Thanks for those deposits into my walk. Continuing to pray for yours…

    • Thank you so my, brother. Your encouragement and friendship mean a lot to me. "I've been perpetually assured of Christ's commitment to completing great works in us."… wow. That just so speaks to me. Thank you,bro.
      My recent post Follow Friday 4/9/10

  33. Grant– your transparency on this glorifies God and builds up His Church in a way that is inspiring.

    Over the past year, I've been blessed to watch your time of transition (as you've watched mine) because I've been perpetually assured of Christ's commitment to completing great works in us.

    Thanks for those deposits into my walk. Continuing to pray for yours…

    • Thank you so my, brother. Your encouragement and friendship mean a lot to me. "I've been perpetually assured of Christ's commitment to completing great works in us."… wow. That just so speaks to me. Thank you,bro.
      My recent post Follow Friday 4/9/10

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  37. Grant, your heart is awesome! Thank you for choosing to be real. The words of Tomlin come to mind for me as i read your story, “you see the depths of my heart and you love me the same.” So encouraging.

    Good Friday has been a day full of realizing the death of my heart needed. I struggle with self-sufficiency. I am learning to chose risk and humility instead. That is one hard prayer to pray.

    I appreciate hearing your fears voiced and your courage to ask him to step into the heart of them.

    refreshing.

  38. Grant, your heart is awesome! Thank you for choosing to be real. The words of Tomlin come to mind for me as i read your story, “you see the depths of my heart and you love me the same.” So encouraging.

    Good Friday has been a day full of realizing the death of my heart needed. I struggle with self-sufficiency. I am learning to chose risk and humility instead. That is one hard prayer to pray.

    I appreciate hearing your fears voiced and your courage to ask him to step into the heart of them.

    refreshing.

  39. Its a funny thing serving our 4th quarter God, when he operates in a place where His time is ungraspable… but ….still perfect. Thanks for sharing this.

  40. Its a funny thing serving our 4th quarter God, when he operates in a place where His time is ungraspable… but ….still perfect. Thanks for sharing this.

  41. What an amazing example of sacrifice and transparency my friend. You pointed something out that is very key I believe. The question of how many of us have really shared our true struggles and weaknesses in life (ie: nailed ourselves to the proverbial cross). I am a firm believer in this as that's the beginning of us truly living in freedom and helping others do the same, as it is one of the closest ways we can live out "the cross." You're right though by sarcastically asking, "still want to be like Jesus?"

    Great post Grant and I believe that it will inspire so many, as it has already for me, to be more transparent in life, own our struggles and weaknesses so that it may better ourselves and inspire those around us.
    My recent post How Many Plates Are You Juggling?

    • thanks so much, bro! Your comments and your friendship really mean a lot to me. We're all on a journey, and I love it when the paths we are on cross and intersect, and strong bonds are formed through the fellowship of adversity and struggle. Love you bro!
      My recent post Are You Listening?

  42. What an amazing example of sacrifice and transparency my friend. You pointed something out that is very key I believe. The question of how many of us have really shared our true struggles and weaknesses in life (ie: nailed ourselves to the proverbial cross). I am a firm believer in this as that's the beginning of us truly living in freedom and helping others do the same, as it is one of the closest ways we can live out "the cross." You're right though by sarcastically asking, "still want to be like Jesus?"

    Great post Grant and I believe that it will inspire so many, as it has already for me, to be more transparent in life, own our struggles and weaknesses so that it may better ourselves and inspire those around us.
    My recent post How Many Plates Are You Juggling?

    • thanks so much, bro! Your comments and your friendship really mean a lot to me. We're all on a journey, and I love it when the paths we are on cross and intersect, and strong bonds are formed through the fellowship of adversity and struggle. Love you bro!
      My recent post Are You Listening?

  43. Lindsey @ A New Life

    Oh my goodness, I am just in tears. You have so perfectly described the struggle I am going through right now. Knowing God is calling me away from my current state of fear-based apathy and idolatry when it comes to my faith.

    About 6 months ago I realized with startling clarity that I was "pretending" to be Christian. That my seeking Him for the 2 years before that had been another mask, another stepping stone to try and fix the mess I had made of my life in the aftermath of devastating sin. And like you, that realization has both painful and beautiful.

    I've been digging into those deep roots, getting to the core of why I didn't really believe in God or trust Him ever since and the experience has truly been amazing as I've finally grabbed hold of just a small measure of understanding of the love that God has for me and fallen madly, deeply in love with Him. Truly losing my "religion" and finding my "faith."

    Now my husband and I are at the point where we are truly willing to walk away from it all–the house and the money and the success, to follow God.

    We don't know what that looks like for us either, but we are seeking God's will and trusting that our path will be made evident. We'll be praying over your journey as well.

    Blessings~
    Lindsey
    My recent post Confession

    • Wow, Lindsey. Your post brought me to tears as well. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is not an easy journey but it is worth every single difficult step you will take. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend Timothy Keller's book "Counterfeit Gods" to you and your husband. It has been a huge catalyst and guide for this entire journey and process. It has helped me dig deep and uncover much that I have glossed over for a very long time. Thank you for your prayers. I will certainly be praying for you and your husband as well.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  44. Lindsey @ A New Life

    Oh my goodness, I am just in tears. You have so perfectly described the struggle I am going through right now. Knowing God is calling me away from my current state of fear-based apathy and idolatry when it comes to my faith.

    About 6 months ago I realized with startling clarity that I was "pretending" to be Christian. That my seeking Him for the 2 years before that had been another mask, another stepping stone to try and fix the mess I had made of my life in the aftermath of devastating sin. And like you, that realization has both painful and beautiful.

    I've been digging into those deep roots, getting to the core of why I didn't really believe in God or trust Him ever since and the experience has truly been amazing as I've finally grabbed hold of just a small measure of understanding of the love that God has for me and fallen madly, deeply in love with Him. Truly losing my "religion" and finding my "faith."

    Now my husband and I are at the point where we are truly willing to walk away from it all–the house and the money and the success, to follow God.

    We don't know what that looks like for us either, but we are seeking God's will and trusting that our path will be made evident. We'll be praying over your journey as well.

    Blessings~
    Lindsey
    My recent post Confession

    • Wow, Lindsey. Your post brought me to tears as well. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is not an easy journey but it is worth every single difficult step you will take. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend Timothy Keller's book "Counterfeit Gods" to you and your husband. It has been a huge catalyst and guide for this entire journey and process. It has helped me dig deep and uncover much that I have glossed over for a very long time. Thank you for your prayers. I will certainly be praying for you and your husband as well.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  45. Mom

    As I read your post, my eyes filled with tears and my heart swelled with love beyond measure for the greatest gift a person could ever receive…that would be YOU, son. You are truly a gift from God, and he has amazing things in store for you and your life. There have been experiences in all our lives that we can all relate to, and at the time of struggle we wondered where God was in those times. The truth is, He was right there beside us… we just have to put our trust in him for the right guidance. I have never been more proud of you than I am at this moment, and believe me, I "own" the word "proud" when it come to you. You have so embraced God and all He has in store for those that pray and live for him, with gladness…no matter what the situation. Failure? No way…you are climbing the mountain! I love you much!….Mom

  46. Mom

    As I read your post, my eyes filled with tears and my heart swelled with love beyond measure for the greatest gift a person could ever receive…that would be YOU, son. You are truly a gift from God, and he has amazing things in store for you and your life. There have been experiences in all our lives that we can all relate to, and at the time of struggle we wondered where God was in those times. The truth is, He was right there beside us… we just have to put our trust in him for the right guidance. I have never been more proud of you than I am at this moment, and believe me, I "own" the word "proud" when it come to you. You have so embraced God and all He has in store for those that pray and live for him, with gladness…no matter what the situation. Failure? No way…you are climbing the mountain! I love you much!….Mom

  47. Hey bro. Great words. I got mad love for ya and have enjoyed watching God rebuild your heart and mind. Romans 12:2 all day long bro.

  48. Anita

    It is amazing how we worry about our " Status" and that we think certain jobs are beneath us sometimes. Crazy! Whatever, you do , just do it to the best of your ability! So glad you are pursuing what God has in store for you. Love that he is growing and building you into this incredible man. I will pray for your journey. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    My recent post Spanish Lesson April 2010 Greetings

    • You're right, Anita. "Status" by anything other than the righteousness we have in Christ is both foolish and fleeting. Thank you for your kinds words. I appreciate your prayers. Bless you.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  49. Makeda

    Wow! What a powerful, powerful post. Your words here touched me in more than one place in my own heart. Among my favorite thoughts "For me, redemption has come, or should I say is coming, through the process of dying to the things I thought gave me value and defined me." I think I am on the opposite end of the spectrum in that I have let shame define me for so long I hardly know how to lift my head up and receive His redemptive power in my life. Learning to die to shame's voice is harder than I thought it would be. But He is working on me and your story has encouraged me in that journey. Thank you for being so honest and so raw here. It inspired me in more ways than I can say.

    • Makeda, thank you so much for your comments and for sharing your heart. Learning to die to anything is hard. God is faithful and He is our help. I'm glad you have been encouraged by what you've read. That is a blessing.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  50. Makeda

    Wow! What a powerful, powerful post. Your words here touched me in more than one place in my own heart. Among my favorite thoughts "For me, redemption has come, or should I say is coming, through the process of dying to the things I thought gave me value and defined me." I think I am on the opposite end of the spectrum in that I have let shame define me for so long I hardly know how to lift my head up and receive His redemptive power in my life. Learning to die to shame's voice is harder than I thought it would be. But He is working on me and your story has encouraged me in that journey. Thank you for being so honest and so raw here. It inspired me in more ways than I can say.

    • Makeda, thank you so much for your comments and for sharing your heart. Learning to die to anything is hard. God is faithful and He is our help. I'm glad you have been encouraged by what you've read. That is a blessing.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  51. Anita

    It is amazing how we worry about our " Status" and that we think certain jobs are beneath us sometimes. Crazy! Whatever, you do , just do it to the best of your ability! So glad you are pursuing what God has in store for you. Love that he is growing and building you into this incredible man. I will pray for your journey. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    My recent post Spanish Lesson April 2010 Greetings

    • You're right, Anita. "Status" by anything other than the righteousness we have in Christ is both foolish and fleeting. Thank you for your kinds words. I appreciate your prayers. Bless you.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  52. Well done my friend. Grateful that you are willing to share your lessons in brokenness. I've been in similar places recently and it is always encouraging to hear from others who are fighting as well. Grateful that your/our stories aren't over. Grateful that, in the process and in the end, He is greater. Thanks for your words and honesty.

    • Thanks Kevin, I really appreciate that. I'm grateful that our stories aren't over, too. There is so much more glory to be seen in the things that we press through. It's God's to get and it's ours to give. Yes, He is greater. Thank you for your words, bro.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  53. love God, love your neighbor. That is how we are to get validation. There is no other way endorsed by God. But society encourages us to get our validation from how we are ranked in the earthly pecking order. This is pervasive, almost impossible not to buy into, and… totally incorrect, spiritually. The fact that you perceive this shows that you're on the right track. Keep it up.

    • You are correct. Our culture lays our a virtual buffet of things to pick from to define and validate us. But none of it satisfies the deep longing of our soul to be known infinitely and ultimately. Thanks for your comments!
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  54. This really spoke to my heart.

    I've never been particularly ambitious when it has come to a career. But I have struggled with vain ambition as it pertains to being in ministry. My heart has been changing, especially since I determined to focus not on what I could achieve, but how I could help others with what I do.

    Like you, I've had to see a lot of dreams die so that my heart could get to the right place.

    Thanks for sharing so honestly.
    My recent post Part 1: My Confession

  55. Whoa! What a ride that was. All sorts of feelings and memories of my own struggle, ego, and breaking came flooding through. I am so grateful that God doesn't just get fed up with us and leave us in our mess of a life;)
    I'm just a nanny! hahaha… i crack up almost every time i say it. i used to be just a singer. i've even been just a worship leader. there are all sorts of reasons why i haven't sung in a while, but it was an amazing and torturous journey discovering who i was apart from what i did. i thank God for the breaking. i have since found that anything i do can become my identity… if i am not cautious to find my value apart from it. my value is in Him, my value is Him.
    It's a daily thing, as you referenced: "Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend." Psalm 5:3 (MSG)

    Thank you Grant, for your vulnerability and righteous honesty in sharing your story.

    My recent post To the Secretary of Christ…

    • I love that you can thank God for the breaking. Everyone isn't at that point yet. A lot of people are bitter at God for the breaking, but yet He is faithful to break us even still. Wow. Thanks for the love, Julia. I really appreciate it!
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  56. Whoa! What a ride that was. All sorts of feelings and memories of my own struggle, ego, and breaking came flooding through. I am so grateful that God doesn't just get fed up with us and leave us in our mess of a life;)
    I'm just a nanny! hahaha… i crack up almost every time i say it. i used to be just a singer. i've even been just a worship leader. there are all sorts of reasons why i haven't sung in a while, but it was an amazing and torturous journey discovering who i was apart from what i did. i thank God for the breaking. i have since found that anything i do can become my identity… if i am not cautious to find my value apart from it. my value is in Him, my value is Him.
    It's a daily thing, as you referenced: "Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend." Psalm 5:3 (MSG)

    Thank you Grant, for your vulnerability and righteous honesty in sharing your story.

    My recent post To the Secretary of Christ…

    • I love that you can thank God for the breaking. Everyone isn't at that point yet. A lot of people are bitter at God for the breaking, but yet He is faithful to break us even still. Wow. Thanks for the love, Julia. I really appreciate it!
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  57. Grant, I just started following your blog, and this is just awesome. I love your transparency and honesty in this post. Thanks for sharing parts of your story for all of us. It's crazy how God works right? He comes through even in the hardest and most confusing of times. I love what you said at the end…"Today is a timely reminder that in God’s playbook, winning often looks like losing." That is so true…so true. I believe that is in those moments…those moments of pain, confusion, hardship, where we have to completely trust in Him..it is in those moments where God can really work. I can relate to parts of your story bro..the Lord's came in and wrecked the plans that I thought I wanted for myself. God Bless.

    • thanks for your comments bro. You're right, faith actually becomes faith in the tough times. That's when trust is really formed and molded. Bless you man. Thanks for the love.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  58. Grant, I just started following your blog, and this is just awesome. I love your transparency and honesty in this post. Thanks for sharing parts of your story for all of us. It's crazy how God works right? He comes through even in the hardest and most confusing of times. I love what you said at the end…"Today is a timely reminder that in God’s playbook, winning often looks like losing." That is so true…so true. I believe that is in those moments…those moments of pain, confusion, hardship, where we have to completely trust in Him..it is in those moments where God can really work. I can relate to parts of your story bro..the Lord's came in and wrecked the plans that I thought I wanted for myself. God Bless.

    • thanks for your comments bro. You're right, faith actually becomes faith in the tough times. That's when trust is really formed and molded. Bless you man. Thanks for the love.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  59. cshell

    P R I D E… is what I take from your post, thank you for sharing. Those 5 letters still consume me…even after God has totally "wrecked" me…I still am amazed how much of it lingers in my heart.

  60. cshell

    P R I D E… is what I take from your post, thank you for sharing. Those 5 letters still consume me…even after God has totally "wrecked" me…I still am amazed how much of it lingers in my heart.

  61. Great post, Grant.

    I spent most of 2008 out of full-time employment, and it felt like everything that I had worked for was crumbling. During that time, my eyes were opened to the entitlement I had in my heart. I can relate to not wanting to apply to Home Depot simply out of hubris and ego. It's wonderfully humbling to break down those walls. Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post The End of Cynicism

    • You're right, Tyler, "wonderfully humbling" is a great way to put it. It's amazing and it hurts. Entitlement sucks! Thanks for your comments, bro. I really appreciate it.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  62. Great post! Honestly searching our heart for our "true" idols is hard, damaging to the ego and really what we all need to do….sometimes more than just once. Thank you for your honesty!

    Happy GLORIOUS Friday!

    My recent post Good just ain't good enough….

  63. Meredith

    At 35, I'm single and not where I ever imagined I would be at this point in my life. At 30, my life took a huge U turn. I engaged in an unfulfilling relationship that led me down a dangerous path. I jeopardized my relationships with family and friends, my financial stability, my morals and values, and most importantly my relationship with Christ.It has been a slow process of redemption for me, but bit by bit I have reorganized my relationship with Christ, my family, my friends, and myself. I am still a work in progress and probably always will be, but I know that there are greater things yet to come for me. I have to believe that. I now know that Christ never left me; I left Him. He never gave up on me even though there were times when I felt abandoned. My feelings were the results of bad decisions and trying to justify my actions that were not Christ centered. I try to focus on being grounded in knowing that Christ died to take on my problems and that I have to cling to Him in those times of doubt or uncertainty. Mainly I learned to stop relying on trying to find direction and purpose in unfullfilling relationships with people who are lost themselves.
    Thanks again for sharing your inspiring stories!

    • Wow, Meredith. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart. You said it right, we will ALWAYS be a work in progress. I think the sooner we learn to embrace that this is a journey, to be lived out day by day, the sooner we can allow our heart to get on pace with God's timing and purpose and not freak out. There are no quick fixes to redemption or sanctification. It is a process; a journey. I'll be praying for you as well.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  64. so appreciate the transparency of your heart in this post, grant. when i'm most honest with myself, i see so many areas of pride that keep my heart on lockdown… things in me i avoid facing and dealing with because i'm afraid of what it will really mean for me. but ultimately… i want to fear Him more than i fear any of this. (even public failure…)
    My recent post death and life

    • Thank you, my friend whom I have yet to meet in person. 🙂 This whole social media/blogging/interweb thing is crazy like that! You can sometimes get to know people better in these settings before you even meet them than some people you've known your whole life! Thank you for your words. Yes, the fear of public failure (or even the idea of the public PERCEPTION of failure) is tough to move past.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

    • Thank you, my friend whom I have yet to meet in person. 🙂 This whole social media/blogging/interweb thing is crazy like that! You can sometimes get to know people better in these settings before you even meet them than some people you've known your whole life! Thank you for your words. Yes, the fear of public failure (or even the idea of the public PERCEPTION of failure) is tough to move past.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

      • love God, love your neighbor. That is how we are to get validation. There is no other way endorsed by God. But society encourages us to get our validation from how we are ranked in the earthly pecking order. This is pervasive, almost impossible not to buy into, and… totally incorrect, spiritually. The fact that you perceive this shows that you're on the right track. Keep it up.

        • You are correct. Our culture lays our a virtual buffet of things to pick from to define and validate us. But none of it satisfies the deep longing of our soul to be known infinitely and ultimately. Thanks for your comments!
          My recent post God’s Playbook

  65. Dangerous Christian

    Grant you’re hurtin’ me, my Brother. But God bless you for it.

    I have to chime in with Stacey about restoration. Recently we restored hardwood floors in our upstairs apartment; for anyone who’s done this you know it’s a very involved process with the stripping, sanding, staining and sealing.

    That’s what God does to us. He strips us of all our idols and accumulated crap that gets between Him and us. It’s a very painful process, but it’s the only way God can get us back to the real us-the us He calls us to. He strips away our pride, attitudes and habits, careers, even loved ones that may hinder us. Trust me, God’s got His “zip strip” on me right now and it ain’t fun. It’s also interesting that He chose the Lenten season to pull this!

    But I know that God will restore me to where He wants me to be-a place where He gets the glory. Also, I see Him for Who HE Is. Not what I “think” Him to be.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  66. Dangerous Christian

    Grant you’re hurtin’ me, my Brother. But God bless you for it.

    I have to chime in with Stacey about restoration. Recently we restored hardwood floors in our upstairs apartment; for anyone who’s done this you know it’s a very involved process with the stripping, sanding, staining and sealing.

    That’s what God does to us. He strips us of all our idols and accumulated crap that gets between Him and us. It’s a very painful process, but it’s the only way God can get us back to the real us-the us He calls us to. He strips away our pride, attitudes and habits, careers, even loved ones that may hinder us. Trust me, God’s got His “zip strip” on me right now and it ain’t fun. It’s also interesting that He chose the Lenten season to pull this!

    But I know that God will restore me to where He wants me to be-a place where He gets the glory. Also, I see Him for Who HE Is. Not what I “think” Him to be.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  67. Grant,

    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! You are an example that it DOESN'T take a complete melt down of our person-hood to become broken. While it does take a "breaking process" it doesn't have to come through our sinful actions but rather an openness to allow God the break us. He is the ALMIGHTY and doesn't need sin to do so.

    I am happy for you because it is amazing to live in public freedom! When everything happened with JD and I it went public three days later and we had no choice in the matter. I am so glad that we didn't because I am not sure that I would have chosen it. We now live in the freedom of everyone knowing we are a messed-up couple redeemed only by God's grace…. FREEDOM!!

    Thank you for writing this post!

    • Trisha, I love your enthusiasm! 🙂 I came pretty close to a complete melt-down a couple times throughout this, but it was more my heart letting go of what I thought I had to have. That was so hard and there were times when it left me nearly breathless. But God, who is rich in mercy! Thank you so much for the encouragement, I appreciate it so very much. And thank you and Justin for this opportunity. This has been very good for my heart to do this.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  68. Grant,

    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! You are an example that it DOESN'T take a complete melt down of our person-hood to become broken. While it does take a "breaking process" it doesn't have to come through our sinful actions but rather an openness to allow God the break us. He is the ALMIGHTY and doesn't need sin to do so.

    I am happy for you because it is amazing to live in public freedom! When everything happened with JD and I it went public three days later and we had no choice in the matter. I am so glad that we didn't because I am not sure that I would have chosen it. We now live in the freedom of everyone knowing we are a messed-up couple redeemed only by God's grace…. FREEDOM!!

    Thank you for writing this post!

    • Trisha, I love your enthusiasm! 🙂 I came pretty close to a complete melt-down a couple times throughout this, but it was more my heart letting go of what I thought I had to have. That was so hard and there were times when it left me nearly breathless. But God, who is rich in mercy! Thank you so much for the encouragement, I appreciate it so very much. And thank you and Justin for this opportunity. This has been very good for my heart to do this.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

      • Well done my friend. Grateful that you are willing to share your lessons in brokenness. I've been in similar places recently and it is always encouraging to hear from others who are fighting as well. Grateful that your/our stories aren't over. Grateful that, in the process and in the end, He is greater. Thanks for your words and honesty.

        • Thanks Kevin, I really appreciate that. I'm grateful that our stories aren't over, too. There is so much more glory to be seen in the things that we press through. It's God's to get and it's ours to give. Yes, He is greater. Thank you for your words, bro.
          My recent post God’s Playbook

  69. How awe inspiring to see the hand of God at work in the life of a brother that is willing to allow Him to do such hard and painful work that produces such peace, joy and wholeness. Thanks for sharing this process and may God continue to do that work in you (and me) that He intends until the day of Jesus Christ.

    • Thanks so much for your comments, Randy. I don't know if I can honestly say I was all that "willing" to start with, but I got there pretty quickly. I'm thankful for that. Thank you for the encouragement.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

      • This really spoke to my heart.

        I've never been particularly ambitious when it has come to a career. But I have struggled with vain ambition as it pertains to being in ministry. My heart has been changing, especially since I determined to focus not on what I could achieve, but how I could help others with what I do.

        Like you, I've had to see a lot of dreams die so that my heart could get to the right place.

        Thanks for sharing so honestly.
        My recent post Part 1: My Confession

  70. How awe inspiring to see the hand of God at work in the life of a brother that is willing to allow Him to do such hard and painful work that produces such peace, joy and wholeness. Thanks for sharing this process and may God continue to do that work in you (and me) that He intends until the day of Jesus Christ.

    • Thanks so much for your comments, Randy. I don't know if I can honestly say I was all that "willing" to start with, but I got there pretty quickly. I'm thankful for that. Thank you for the encouragement.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  71. Stacey

    In Psalm 23, we are given what seems to be a peaceful picture. Green grass, quiet waters, and someone shepherding us. I love this image, it's like an exhale to my soul. However, if you keep reading, you come to the verse that says 'He restores my soul.' I always thought that was another part of the peaceful, loving picture. I always thought it meant that God heals my hurt soul or that God lovingly fills the holes of emptiness the world has left me with. I was talking with a pastor friend of mine about this Psalm. He told me that restoration is not a pretty, peaceful process. Restoration involves gutting, changing, and rebuilding. It's like when you restore a house, you have to take out all that is rotten, broken, un-usable, unwanted. Then you often move stuff around…like adding walls, building rooms, changing doorways. After that you get to start the rebuilding of your desired rooms: the lay out of the house and the interior designing. All that happens in our souls when God restores us. The peaceful grass and quiet waters seem to be far from the restoration site. I'm currently in a restoration process. It leaves me exhausted, drained, but hopeful and excited. I'm glad that you have friends who are encouraging you through this process. It's encouraging to me that you are listening to their wisdom and pursuing God. Ask God to bring you quiet waters when your soul is parched from all the reconstruction 🙂 .
    My recent post Practicing

    • Thank you for sharing that, Stacey. That's such an encouraging reminder of how God is present in all the seasons of our life. I'm glad I've got the right people around me as well. Who you have around you for counsel, wisdom and encouragement makes a HUGE different. I am truly blessed. I'll be praying for you as well. I can certainly relate to being "exhausted, drained, but hopeful and excited".
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  72. Stacey

    In Psalm 23, we are given what seems to be a peaceful picture. Green grass, quiet waters, and someone shepherding us. I love this image, it's like an exhale to my soul. However, if you keep reading, you come to the verse that says 'He restores my soul.' I always thought that was another part of the peaceful, loving picture. I always thought it meant that God heals my hurt soul or that God lovingly fills the holes of emptiness the world has left me with. I was talking with a pastor friend of mine about this Psalm. He told me that restoration is not a pretty, peaceful process. Restoration involves gutting, changing, and rebuilding. It's like when you restore a house, you have to take out all that is rotten, broken, un-usable, unwanted. Then you often move stuff around…like adding walls, building rooms, changing doorways. After that you get to start the rebuilding of your desired rooms: the lay out of the house and the interior designing. All that happens in our souls when God restores us. The peaceful grass and quiet waters seem to be far from the restoration site. I'm currently in a restoration process. It leaves me exhausted, drained, but hopeful and excited. I'm glad that you have friends who are encouraging you through this process. It's encouraging to me that you are listening to their wisdom and pursuing God. Ask God to bring you quiet waters when your soul is parched from all the reconstruction 🙂 .
    My recent post Practicing

    • Thank you for sharing that, Stacey. That's such an encouraging reminder of how God is present in all the seasons of our life. I'm glad I've got the right people around me as well. Who you have around you for counsel, wisdom and encouragement makes a HUGE different. I am truly blessed. I'll be praying for you as well. I can certainly relate to being "exhausted, drained, but hopeful and excited".
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  73. wow. wow. wow. what a post! i can so relate to this one. What a crossroads.

    Grant. i've gone through this and sometimes feel on the verge of it and different points along the way…

    during the transition of Big Tent Revival coming off the road i wrestled with my identity so much… i finally decided i was just a drummer. so i ended up at compassion… but in the mean time i waited tables at cozymels in cool springs. serving chips and salsa to artists who had opened for us. to label people i had done business with… to a crowd who was stunned when they saw me waiting tables. i was completely embarrassed at first. but the experience was liberating and worth it. although… i don't want to ever wait tables again:)

    thanks for your post!
    My recent post Are You Pursuing Your Worth With Great Diligence?

    • Wow, yourself, Spence! Thank YOU for sharing what you just did about your journey with this as well. It's a humbling but extremely significant journey, isn't it? What a crossroads, indeed. Thank you so much for the encouragement, bro.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

    • Wow, yourself, Spence! Thank YOU for sharing what you just did about your journey with this as well. It's a humbling but extremely significant journey, isn't it? What a crossroads, indeed. Thank you so much for the encouragement, bro.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  74. wow. wow. wow. what a post! i can so relate to this one. What a crossroads.

    Grant. i've gone through this and sometimes feel on the verge of it and different points along the way…

    during the transition of Big Tent Revival coming off the road i wrestled with my identity so much… i finally decided i was just a drummer. so i ended up at compassion… but in the mean time i waited tables at cozymels in cool springs. serving chips and salsa to artists who had opened for us. to label people i had done business with… to a crowd who was stunned when they saw me waiting tables. i was completely embarrassed at first. but the experience was liberating and worth it. although… i don't want to ever wait tables again:)

    thanks for your post!
    My recent post Are You Pursuing Your Worth With Great Diligence?

    • Wow, yourself, Spence! Thank YOU for sharing what you just did about your journey with this as well. It's a humbling but extremely significant journey, isn't it? What a crossroads, indeed. Thank you so much for the encouragement, bro.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

    • Wow, yourself, Spence! Thank YOU for sharing what you just did about your journey with this as well. It's a humbling but extremely significant journey, isn't it? What a crossroads, indeed. Thank you so much for the encouragement, bro.
      My recent post God’s Playbook

  75. Gosh, this is amazing. I have read pieces of your story on your blog. But I love the way you lay it all out here. Fearlessly.

    Candidly this is one of those areas of my life that I kind of like to just ignore. Afraid of what I'll find if I dig too deep. Oh, how we all want to be known for all the wrong reasons…

    As Jason said, you sum it up perfectly here: "Today is a timely reminder that in God’s playbook, winning often looks like losing." A great reminder!

    • Great post, Grant.

      I spent most of 2008 out of full-time employment, and it felt like everything that I had worked for was crumbling. During that time, my eyes were opened to the entitlement I had in my heart. I can relate to not wanting to apply to Home Depot simply out of hubris and ego. It's wonderfully humbling to break down those walls. Thanks for sharing.
      My recent post The End of Cynicism

      • You're right, Tyler, "wonderfully humbling" is a great way to put it. It's amazing and it hurts. Entitlement sucks! Thanks for your comments, bro. I really appreciate it.
        My recent post God’s Playbook

  76. Gosh, this is amazing. I have read pieces of your story on your blog. But I love the way you lay it all out here. Fearlessly.

    Candidly this is one of those areas of my life that I kind of like to just ignore. Afraid of what I'll find if I dig too deep. Oh, how we all want to be known for all the wrong reasons…

    As Jason said, you sum it up perfectly here: "Today is a timely reminder that in God’s playbook, winning often looks like losing." A great reminder!