10 years by any means is a long time. That’s a decade. Yes, that was obvious but it needed to be stated. 10 years.
A lot can happen in the span of 10 years.
God can do a lot and use you a lot in 10 years.
When you’re lying on your death, not knowing if a next breath is coming, if there is one more beat of the heart in you, at 19 years old, you’re not looking at future Jonathon, 10 years down the road. No. Instead, you are worried about the next CT Scan, the next MRI, the next blood test, the next nurse coming in to check your vitals. You’re worried about the pain going away. You’re worried about getting your ass out of that hospital bed, changing out of the stupid gown, unplugging from the IV, taking out that cathetar, and getting back to normal.
But, if I can be totally, brutally, honest – I never thought normal would come again. Hell, I don’t even know if I knew what normal would be 10 years ago.
Staph infections of the blood that lead to Toxic Shock and Septic Shock usually wind up killing you. However, it’s not everyday death wasn’t in the cards for this 19 year.
God had other plans.
In 10 years time I’ve been blessed to see why God chose to save me – literally. I’ve been blessed to see why God healed me. I’ve been blessed to see why there is still at least one more beat in my heart, one more breath in my lungs.
In the span of 10 years, I’ve had opportunities to lead people to Jesus. In 10 years time, I’ve been able to walk with strangers, acquaintances, and dear friends through numerous struggles in pain points out of true empathy. In 10 years time, I’ve been able to live a life seeing me graduate from seminary. In 10 years time, I’ve been blessed with launching a ministry on my college campus, helping launch a church in the amazing city of Fullerton, be a Youth Pastor at an incredible church in Downtown Santa Ana, and help partner with a young church plant in Santa Ana.
I remember the words God spoke to me, months after getting my ass off that death bed. I was in a bad, bad place. Maybe the worst place I’ve ever been in. You know it was bad because I seriously thought suicide was a viable alternative to the life I wasn’t living.
See, the point of my comeback was because God chose to speak to me audibly. I know this is the exception to the rule, but I’m grateful none the less.
“Jonathon, I have you alive for a reason. If I wanted you dead, you’d be dead.”
Talk about a swift kick in the ass. Nothing will knock you out of your depression, anxiety, fear, and insecurity as fast as God dropping a truth bomb. However, that wasn’t the end of what God had to say.
“Transfer to Cal State Fullerton and major in Religious Studies.”
Friends, Internet, when God speaks you better listen.
I’m so grateful I did. In 10 years time, God has yet to disappoint.
It’s not like life has been easy or without other trials. If I could be 100 percent vulnerable, I could pull you into the story of how God has shaped me and prepared me to be the man and leader He wants me to be.
It’s not easy.
But if a staph infection of the blood taught me just 1 thing, 10 years ago, it’s this. Are you ready for it?
The things in life that are usually profound, beautiful, and worth going through are not easy. They are the complete opposite of easy. They are hard. Grueling. Testing. Yet, it’s those very things that unfortunately produce some scars, but make you you.
That staph infection of the blood wrecked me. I’m still wrestling with some of its ramifications 10 years later.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything. (Note: I also wouldn’t volunteer to walk through it again either.)