I sit here at nearly 1 o’clock in the morning a broken man. Far from perfect. Over the last few months I’ve found out that I have ADHD, my wife and I have separated, and my kids think I’m more Captain Hook than Peter Pan. I’m definitely a Lost Boy.

I started going to church again, and have had a few revelations, if you will, about my life, how I’ve been living, and what needs to change. I’ve found some peace with the Lord, because we’ve not always had a good relationship. I’ve always believed in God, I just didn’t (like many others…) understand why he wasn’t doing more?

I had never asked him to.

My first trip back to TAS, was the day after my oldest daughters birthday. I knew, at that point in time, that it was probably the best gift that I could give her (she’s never really wanted anything more, I don’t think), and young women are impossible to shop for anyway, so why not? I was a borderline emotional train wreck at that point, it would probably do me some good to square up with him and go a few rounds anyway.

I was wrong. He was ready and waiting for me, and he wasn’t wearing gloves. I would not be squaring up…

The anxiety, and the fear, very nearly kept me away. I texted my daughter that she might need to come help me inside the building. It was intense, but I made it there. I wanted to turn around and go home the entire 20 mile trip there. I walked in, was directed to where my former mother in law was sitting. dropped my coat off, and went to the altar to pray, as is customary.

I wasn’t into it, but I’m not one who likes to stand out.

I was wrong again.

I stood there, half watching my daughter play the piano, half reading the words to the song they were singing, and half asking God, what exactly his plan was - that it involved possibly losing my family? (that’s 3 halves, I tend to have a lot going on in my brain.)

I slowly moved completely to asking him - just how, exactly, this is a good idea?

He rolled up his sleeves, cracked his knuckles, and threw a jab.

*Bro. Barajas picked up the microphone. I had never met the man before today, but he made a reference to the movie Homeward Bound, so I thought he’d probably be OK to listen to. (If you cant hear Shadow saying “Sassy”, did you have a childhood?) I have almost no idea what he said after that. (I had to go back and watch the livestream)

I was off in my own little world, being shown how all of the **dreams I’ve ever had (minus the one I used to have about becoming a raccoon when I was little) were messages, in essence, that they had an order, and there were things that I was supposed to have done, or did do, how they played out, and a few that were still coming.

Almost comically, it would stop, at just the right time, for me to hear David speak a part of his sermon, or a word that I needed to hear, and I’d get roped right back in for the lesson he was giving me. I remember, vaguely, the Pastor watching me, like he knew exactly what was going on. I would look to him in those moments and just shrug, as if to say… Are you kidding me? There are parts of the message that were delivered, that still make me laugh, at how spot on they were.

If you’re into it, check out the TAS facebook page, they livestream services, it was October 28th, 2018.

I walked out of there at the end of service, possibly even more confused than I had been when I got there, but I was no longer afraid, I felt like a hundred pounds had been lifted off of my shoulders (literally.). There was and is a plan. Things will get better in one way or another.

In prayer, I asked him - why now? He replied, simply, that I had never been to church, for him, until today.

This was just the beginning…

I’m going to end this wall of text with - Your belief or non-belief in a higher power is your own. You own it. What you do with it, is also your own. Go do something good.

*I’m going to do a bit of name dropping here. I hope he’s OK with it, cause I’m going to do it anyway.

**C.F. Maidlow is one of those dreams that I’ve had, I’ve had this thing in my heart since I was around age 12. I can tell you once we get a retail location 20 years from now, exactly what the place is going to look like. EXACTLY. I’ve had that dream so many times, it’s unreal. 37 year old guys don’t typically decide to just start making soap overnight, this has been a long time coming.

Russell Maidlow