The Difficult Life Of Being A Christ-Follower

Is there a perfect picture to describe how the physical life on this earth is going to be for the Christ-Follower? This is one of many. In fact, it is going to be difficult. This is a picture of a person going through what looks like the after effects of a snow-storm on to a sidewalk. Difficult, indeed! However, this person has a walker which is supposed to keep you upright when used properly. Spiritually, the Holy Spirit inside of you is doing the same thing as a walker does. It keeping you upright. Just take a look at the words of Jesus recorded in the most intimate prayer to the Father:

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.~ John 17:14-16 (KJV)

It was a Sunday night back in 1984, when I was only thirteen. I remember there was a missionary speaking at our church. He gave an altar call for those who wanted to dedicate there life to some sort of ministry. I went up knowing full well what I was committing myself to. Immediately, I was day-dreaming about my future life being a missionary to some place over on the eastern continent. Yet, a year later, I received a formal call of God at school after the school day was over. But, for me, I didn’t receive a call as to what I would be doing. Yet, I was just finished reading The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. If you read that book (I would highly suggest it), I thought that this is what I am supposed to be doing, so I continued on with my path of being a youth pastor for the troubled youth.

In the book, it tells of a preacher, in the Pennsylvania area, looking for some place where the Lord wants him to minister. He finally gets established in a church with a parsonage. Then he comes across a picture in a magazine of a teenage boy who had obviously ran away from home and dealing drugs on a street in New York City. Days went by, but still he couldn’t get that picture out of his mind.

David Wilkerson consulted a group of close spiritual friends he had at his new church over the picture, and he went down to New York City several times. After several trips and many denominational churches, there arose Teen Challenge which has as its goal to bring the youth to Christ while dealing with their addiction problems.

That is what I thought my ministry would be since nothing is a coincidence rather a Christ-incidence. So I began preparing to be a youth pastor thinking that I was called to the forgotten teens of the world, or at least in the slums of some United States city. Pretty soon after, I began to notice that various youth pastors were using the youth as a stepping stone to get to the lead pastoral role, and that disgusted me because the youth are no stepping stone. So, I was going to be the pastor dedicated to the youth. And I prepared as such.

With this resolve, I began preaching sermonettes in my youth group, church, other churches that believed the same way that we do, weekend retreats, and summer camps. I also did regional youth rallies too. Each time, I would give the glory to God. Then it happened; with almost the completion of four years, at a Christian high school, a night in which I will never forget.

I had a dream about two weeks until I was scheduled to graduate from high school. However, it wasn’t like any other dream I had before. It was me in the hospital room. I couldn’t move or speak even though I tried as I suffered through this intensive long dream, in which I was silent for a long time even after the incident.

Well, that morning finally arrived. As I was getting off of my duty as a nite-time unarmed security guard, I was headed down the highway. Now, there was a lot of personal stuff that was going on in my life at that time, so I filled my days up with jobs six days a week. I had one full-time night job of 40 hours per week, and two part-time jobs which totaled over 80 hours per week. Besides, I was invincible so I thought.

Yet apparently I over-corrected in my new pre-owned 1986 Dodge Charger Turbo, to the detriment of my health. At precisely six in the morning of June 28th, 1989, I must have fallen asleep at the wheel, going 70 miles per hour. I understand, now, that what caused the accident is over-correction of me being overtired to find myself crashing into a granite ledge which they blasted through in order to make the highway.

What I suffered from was a month coma ridden in which my whole right side was paralyzed. A traumatic brain injury in which I still find difficulty in speaking, to this day given expressive aphasia. See, after two and a half months of in-patient rehabilitation, seven months of outpatient physical rehabilitation, about a year of outpatient occupational rehabilitation, and sixteen months of outpatient speech therapy, I was going to make an attempt at college, hopefully to fulfill my long standing dream of being a youth pastor. But, first, I must give props to Mrs. Adler because she was a substitute teacher in my high school that helped me regain the information I had lost in my twelve years of schooling. Yet, a little after Christmas, my brother and I went down to Lakeland, Florida to start what God was telling me to do — get started on my career as a college student.

However, my college plan remained the same: to be a youth pastor until I received more definition from God. With reluctance, I changed my major to Pastoral Counseling. But still, that is not where God wanted me to be, so I changed again to Psychology since I wanted to know what motivates others actions. And God used that.

Meanwhile, I was going through frustrating times because since the accident that almost took my life left me with frustration — frustration indeed. You know how easy it is to talk and do everything that a normal body can do. Well for me, at that time, it was very difficult for me to talk which made it extra difficult to get what I wanted to say out. I am extra slow performing any tasks, plus I have a forevermore limp. I take a few minutes longer to process things, yet, this is most important of them all, I am a child of the King.

You know, when I was a teenager, I thought in my mind that if there was somehow I could get paid for giving advice to people, then that would be the ultimate, as I was helping out customers at a local supermarket. However, at the time, I thought that was a dream of mine that would never come true, so I pursued accounting in high school.

My accident was behind me, and trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do since it looked like the dream of being a youth pastor wasn’t going to be fulfilled. That was a depressing time for me, because I had prepared most of my teenage years preaching to youth. Then, I said in my heart, “Ok, Lord, You don’t want me to be a youth pastor. What would You want me to do with the rest of my life then?” I

knew that a salary of a youth pastor was going to be minimal, I tried accounting in college. However, something happened to my brain in which I could no longer process accounting at the college level. My one thing that I had confidence in, shattered. I really had a difficult time in processing math, I found out. But late in my college career, I was able to do inferential and descriptive statistics.

Not knowing exactly God’s will for the rest of my life, sent me into confusion. There is one of two ways to effectively deal with frustration and confusion: 1) leave it up to the flesh, which reaps corruption, or 2) leave it up to God who reveals only a little bit at a time. I chose the latter, even though my flesh is right there beside me causing me to doubt.

Fast forward, I served on various agencies in which they work to better the lives of people with disabilities and those close to them. I have worked and still am working to better those affected with disability. As a professional direct support provider, you are charged with a variety of individuals that have the need of some assistance. That is where I find giving Godly advice to those in the disability world is promising plus getting paid to do it is the ultimate. Furthermore, having the privilege of being a person with a disability, it allows me to understand, have compassion, use empathy to relate to those in the disabled world. I can understand what keeps them, their friends, and family members from experiencing God’s grace in which I can effectively minister. Sure, I don’t have a reverend in front of my name, but God allows me to minister just the same. In fact, at my current church, I get to preach whenever the pastor is out sick or a well needed vacation. I praise God!

Labor Day weekend 2017 is when God put it on my heart to start a site in which you can interact (if you choose to do so) called, TrueLifeChristianity.com. I was wrestling with the fact that God was calling me to do more, but wasn’t sure how. Finally, God gave me an idea of starting up a website dedicated to presenting the truth about the Christian life. Now, there are a lot of lies out there making out the Christian life as, somehow, easier. I do not want any misnomers about following Christ. Thus, after about two years with the subtitle “Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Inspiration Through Jesus Christ,” I settled on “Go Into All The World – (Acts 1:8).”

That is my life: however, this is where you come in, the True Life Christians. The Holy Spirit is telling you to get up and start submitting yourself to the will of God. It may take you some places that you’re afraid to go, both physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It may take you be a missionary to some foreign land. It may have you minister to the youth. It may have you minister to children, or adults. It may have you minister with the abilities God has given you to make known His Word. It may have you you so overfilled with God that you begin to evangelize uncontrollably. It may have you minister to the disabled population so that you can identify with them through your own personal experience. Who knows? God knows. Don’t sell Him short of what He allows in your life. And be willing to endure whatever it is for the cause of Christ, thus fulfilling the words of Jesus:

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).

Erskin’s song about Jesus Christ: “Is He worth it?”

~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~


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