My name is Chris Powell, and this is my story.
So my wife Wendy, and my daughter, Cynthia and I have been a blended family for about 11 years now. And it's not easy to becoming a blended family in the beginning, because we all have baggage from our past – and we're bringing into the family dynamic.
It became very apparent to me that three years into our blended family that I need to do some heavy work on what was inside of me. There was a lot of built-up hurt, pain, and anger and frustration and confusion that, unfortunately, was negatively impacting our family. Pretty much I was being a jerk on a regular basis, and I didn't want to do that anymore.
So I sought out a professional Christian counselor, and that was my entry into my wilderness. See, in my sessions, I was led in prayer to forgive those who had hurt me or caused me pain. And also, I was led in prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me for the hurt that I caused people based on all that built up anger that I had inside of me.
There's one particular prayer that was really impactful to me. I was forgiving a couple people who did something huge to me in my past. In my mind, I was picturing standing face to face with Jesus, and I had this ball in my hands. It was like a big bowling ball, it had neon green and black swirling around and it was glowing, and it was full of toxicity, and this contained all of the anger and all the hurt, and all the pain that I had inside me.
So I was praying to Jesus, "I don't want this anger anymore. Please take it away." My mind pictured handing Jesus this anger ball, and he took it and he turned around with his back to me for a few seconds, and he turned back around and his clothes were light.
Still, His hands were clean, and the ball was gone. And he simply said to me, "What else you got for me, Chris?". And it was right there that I started experiencing some healing in my wilderness.
Now make no mistake, I'm not frolicking in the meadow and I'm not singing "Everything is awesome." I still get grumpy at times, but here's the thing – the triggers that were occurring to me on a regular basis, just don't seem to be affecting me as much now as time has gone on, that has been healed within me, and I'm very grateful for that.
See, I'm still in the wilderness. I don't know where the exit is. But I know that when I'm tucking into Jesus and relying on Jesus to guide me and to walk with me, I know that I'm in good hands.
During this time, as I'm in my wilderness, it has given me these great opportunities to be able to co-lead a class on blended families with my wife, Wendy, to be able to volunteer on base during weekends with a bunch of wonderful musicians. And he's blessed me with a small group of wonderful people who are for me who pray for me who are in my corner.
As I'm navigating my wilderness, it's so wonderful to have Jesus guiding my path and having the fortification of so many wonderful people to help me get out of this wilderness, whenever that time might be.