Even after the Lord found me and saved me as a adult, I could not shake off this stigma. It was so deep rooted within me. I washed myself in the water of the word,religiously, but alas the stain remained. I believed that everyone could see it and that they( despite what they would say ) thought of me as I did; that they could see what I saw. I battled periods of isolation before and after my conversion. In my forties I became a family man but the urge for isolation became stronger, and far more difficult to obtain. Despite these perceived setbacks I still managed to withdraw, if only emotionally, to the detriment of my wife and children. For a time I withdrew from the church body altogether. At the time I belonged to a very large interdenominational church,and for awhile I could get lost in the crowd. But I could not hide from myself or the judgment I was bringing upon my own head. While floundering emotionally and spiritually, and girding up my loins if you will with drugs, the Lord prompted me to go to a different body of believers closer to home. I went and found it was much smaller than the previous congregation. Much smaller with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. So each Sunday I would go and sit in the very back where there were no chairs. It was the entrance where the coffee pot was kept and it suited my place in time perfectly. I really tried to get into the members and the message but the inner voices in my head were shouting the truth as I believed it at the time.” You are small and despised.” However it was the music that would calm me and soothe me. I would just lay on the floor and basked in it. And for a least an hour, once a week I found a peaceful place, still waters and green pastures where it did not matter what everyone thought of me. It was the place and the presence that mattered. It was time for the Threshing Floor.
It started with external worship and continued with a cry. I used to just whisper to the Lord but I began to understand that it was not a whisper but a shout. So I did. And it felt so good I started to scream at the top of my lungs and it vibrated to the very foundations of my soul, shaking and dislodging the bars of my prison. They were becoming loose and the protective walls started to crack, but they still held me in. So I decided that I would praise God anyway. What little determination I still possessed I focused on my Deliverer. For a long time I had a djembe (hand drum) that I used for a night stand beside my bed. I cleared everything off of it one night and started to beat it. At first lightly, as I was still intimidated doing anything I had never done before. But with each and every beat the courage to speak through this drum arose, and I began to beat louder. Tears running down my face I would play until exhaustion would over take me. The dreams began immediately. The dreams would turn into memories I had long suppressed. These night passages would continue for months on end, always proceeded by my little attempts at worship on this hand drum. My children began to wonder what I was up to upstairs and were becoming concerned. My wife explained that I was communicating with Jesus. Then subtly the changes in me started happening. Little things that I didn’t notice as much as my family did. The way I began interacting with them, my countenance and slowly my own perception of myself began to change. I also found that the more I played the better I got at it. I got a Native American flute as a gift and learned to play it. I found that I had a passion in my life. With this new found courage (and legs still shaking), I approached our worship leader, Dan Montgomery about playing with the team. He had me come to a few practices and after a time invited me to play with the team. He presented me with my own book of worship music and I drove home feeling elated. It was a major hurdle for me that the Lord had empowered me to overcome. I told my wife who was waiting at home expectantly. As we stood basking in the joy that was overwhelming me I realized that I was starting to stand up. I was standing tall for the first time in my entire life. On my own two feet. All the baggage I had held on to, that bound me in a fetal position was falling away. With open hands I could worship my King and soar to new heights, over the walls that had imprisoned me for so long. This process is only just beginning for me. But His testimony to me is that it is everlasting. I cried out and You saved me. You gave me understanding so I could live. I will sing of Your statutes and Your righteousness. I will keep Your testimonies. And on the wings of worship I will embrace Your love that has saved me.