Matt Testimony – Part 5

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(Part 5/11)

“At the time, amongst my peers in career ministry, it wasn’t common. Thinking ‘Man how does life continue on?’ But it does. And you learn. And God grows you. If you take those negative circumstances and allow God to change you and grow you in categories, then He restores. I met my wife, Mina, and I’m like ‘Man, this is what it really means to be married! This is what it means to be healthy as an individual, having grown emotionally, learning from my mistakes.’ What God restored is so much more beautiful. That’s part of your story now, it is what it is. Here’s something I tried to build with my own hands, and it fell apart. Now here’s something I built with God and my hands and it’s flourishing. That’s a tough life lesson. Would I take it back? I wouldn’t take it back because I deal with people all the time that are going through divorce. I see marriages all the time that are on the brink. I can speak into it from experience now after having experienced both. Would I have liked to not have the public judgment? Of course. But being married, going through a divorce, and getting remarried – how that has shaped me up to help people I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If in the end I’m not looking to promote myself but to promote Jesus, now I can promote Him by showing how He has worked in the most difficult and hardest times of my life and the most positive.

There were some life lessons I didn’t learn until I was older. Probably even in my 30s, though I would have been seen as a person of strength and character in some ways, I was super emotionally immature. It took me into my late 20s, early 30s, to realize. I didn’t grow up in that category, so I had to work on that. As I got older, faith came in and was really significant. I don’t have a really good family story to pull from, so if I’ve been grafted into this whole thing as a Gentile, I guess I can take these guys’ stories as my stories now. Going through Scriptures going ‘Well God did this with them, so God would You want to do this with me? You can be a Heavenly Father as well as an earthly father, so I really need to lean into that with You as well.’ Faith was really valuable to me, growing in the lessons I didn’t learn from my family. There was just a lot of growing I had to do in general. You just have to figure it out, it’s just a piecework in your life. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. And when you don’t, if at least you have a humble spirit to learn, then you learn it and try to get it right again.”