(just a warning, I wrote this raw and didn't edit!!)
Today, I wake up thinking about my brother Phil. It was five year's ago that on June 16th, we received that terrible call that he left this life and gone on to be with Jesus for eternity. I miss my brother so much and there is so much that I would love to tell him, but here is a few of the things I would want to say to him now if I could.
Phil, I so desperately want to catch up with you. I just wish we could have had one good conversation in person. I was so looking forward to your furlough, and to give a hug again. I guess that hug will have to wait for when you welcome me into Heaven someday and we reunite.
These last years have been hard and good. there has been so much wrestling eternally. When you died, I was already in a hard season of life of burnout and but your passing only made that worse. I trusted that God was good and didn't struggle in that regard. but I struggled so much in questioning why I wasn't more like you. I was feeling so dry spiritually and it was hard for me to hear about all of the things you had already done in your life. and how you lived your life spiritually. It seemed that God had put so much into you at an early age. I was always envious of that. My life to that point, didn't seem to have the fullness spiritually that yours had. So what was it for you? how did you learn to pray at such an early age? You had such an intensity for the Lord and I wished my life was so much more like yours. I could go on and on. but I really struggled comparing myself to you. It was very hard. especially as I talked with so many people about your life. I loved hearing those stories but it just enforced inside of me, how much I wasn't like you at that time, no matter what people said to me.
But that ended up being a very good thing. In my wrestling, I had lots of help from other people. They came alongside me in my brokenness. I didn't know who I was. But the Lord started to teach me so much about Him and started to tell me that I wasn't like you and I didn't have to be like anybody else. He had created me unique. I started to learn more who that was. I started to become free and accept who God had made me. that was very hard for me to do. In some ways, I will always compare myself to others but there is more freedom there.
But still spiritually, I felt like there was some healing that was needed. Over a year ago, I started wrestling with my call again. I wondered if God would ever use me again in front line ministry. I had resigned from thinking I could ever be used again. but in that brokenness, I also told the Lord I was content to be behind the scenes. I told him, I didn't want leadership.
But I couldn't shake the wrestling with the Lord. I sensed, He wanted to do something new in our lives and was calling us to new ministry. but where, how, what would it look like?
We first thought we were called back into leading a new church plant. But the Lord continued to shift things in my life.
These last months have been so intense spiritually. As I have opened my life to the Lord, He has came on me in powerful ways and I have seen my passions for Him intensify. I know longer was doing this to try and prove myself. I was just wanting to live my life fully for the glory of God.
I started to love prayer. To love God's presence. to love praying for other's. So much more I could write and say to you. But the Holy Spirit become so powerful in my life. then the Lord called me led the prayer efforts for our new church planting efforts here in Wichita with World Impact. I am going to lead what we will call CTV Fire. We are going to seek the Fire of God for the city.
About two months ago, when I was sharing all of this to some friends who have helped me on my journey. My friend stopped me, and said, Matt, I sense it in the Spirit. The reason all of this is changing on you, is that you are carrying your brother's spirit. It is now resting on you. You have his passion now for prayer and for the Lord. It humbled me. for so long, I wanted to be like you. but when I why released myself to that, and paved me own path, God still gave me passions and a hear like yours. I thought that was so cool.
So now, I hope that for the rest of my life, I will live this life of passion for Jesus. My aim, like Paul's in First Cor 2. "for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." I will be committed to prayer and seeking God's presence and helping others experience God's healing prayer.
I look forward to Heaven. Where this life will be over. Then we will share stories and I can catch up with you. thanks for paving the way. for allowing the Lord to shine extremely bright in your quick life.
Here is the last time, I saw you. 7 years ago.