Matt Testimony – Part 6

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(Part 6/11)

“I would say it was a year of growing, of learning what was wrong, learning what I needed to fix and grow in. Then it has probably been a growing experience ever since. It doesn’t just go away. It never goes away. I was fortunate to have some really good people around me. They really pulled me in and accepted me. I had some really mature men in my life that leaned in and were not just intentional, but action oriented. ‘You need to talk to this guy and I’m going to pay for it. You’re going to grow past this.’ 

They believed in me more than I believed in myself. I’m very fortunate, not everyone gets that opportunity. I think other people have that opportunity but they’re not even listening. I was listening, ‘Who can speak into this?’ They stuck by me, believed in me, believed God’s gifts in me. Reiterated to me over and over again that ‘God’s not done with you, He called you knowing this was going to happen already, He’s going to use it to grow you.’ A lot of where I am today is because of people like Craig Whittaker, Chuck Smith Jr., and others like them.

It took a while for the wound to become a scar. Because wounds cut deep and they have to heal from the inside out. It took more than a year for that wound to eventually become a scar. And it’s a scar now. It’s healed, my arm works great, but I still look at it. It’s still there, it’s still part of my life. But it’s not a wound and that’s the important thing.

There’s always an opportunity for anyone to revert back to their old self and have old behaviors. I don’t live in fear. I already know that way doesn’t work. I look at that scar and think ‘Don’t jump off those cliffs again because last time this is what happened.’ Am I that person still? No. The scar, I know, was hurting, but now it’s healed, and it is a scar. Now I can look at it and go ‘There’s hope because I learned from that mistake, and the hope is that I don’t have to do that again. And here’s a reminder, don’t be an idiot Matt because that’s what happened last time and this is how it needs to be now.’ No, I think it made me better, it’s a reminder, and that’s the joy of every scar. If we’re willing to walk through. If we stay in the wound it just festers, it stinks, it affects everyone around us, it makes us incapacitated. If we’re willing to go through the hard labor of cleaning it out, looking at it, facing it, not running from it, and allowing it to properly heal, eventually it becomes a scar and I don’t think you have to live in fear anymore. Now ironically, it looks gross, but it provides hope that you don’t have to go back there again. Do some people? Sure. For me, I haven’t, and I don’t plan to. I plan to use the scar as a reminder of what once was and where I get to go now.”