It was such a strange thing, waking up to the first blue sky I had ever seen.
Like I knew it was blue, but I never really saw it was blue. That was my first experience of Jesus. Funnily enough the same words were sung by Jon Foreman in the Switchfoot song 4:12.
So you walk outside and everything’s new; You’re looking at the world with new eyes; As if you’d never seen a sky before this blue; As if you’ve never seen the sky in your whole life.
It was such a strange sensation. I wasn’t sure if that’s how it was for everyone, but I had an incredibly radical spiritual transformation.
I was a typical type 2 sufferer of Bipolar Affective Disorder. I drank, smoked (a lot), swore every second or third word. I was a mess.
I think the funniest thing to me was when I was changed by Jesus it was the people I knew beforehand, outside the church, that found it so incredibly remarkable. They all thought I was the last person to go to church, let alone experience the transformation I did. People at church, on the other hand, weren’t sure how to take me.
They hadn’t seen a salvation like mine, most of them grew up in church. Not only that I was still mentally ill. I didn’t find that a problem, in fact, it seemed to enhance my spiritual experiences. I felt like I was more able to discern between God and not God due to my hypomania. I was far more spiritually sensitive than I realised at first. I went to a typical AOG church. Pentecostal, casual, a far cry from some of the spiritually pioneering churches in America. There wasn’t anything wrong with that, it was nice, and I still experienced Jesus there. The problem was that people didn’t get me and my mental illness made them doubt the credibility of my spiritual awakening.
The fact of the matter is, one-on-one not only would I be the one person anyone could rely on or get answers from God through, I knew and remembered scripture and bible in context when it was needed, where it was needed. I was no different to anyone else I went to church with. I was just a bit full on; and I only ever wanted to talk about God, never footy or pop music.
I eventually learned how to have relationships with people at church better, but I can’t say that people don’t treat me like I’m odd… Although far more people say more positive things about me and they find my contributions not only to church but their lives invaluable.
You see all I had to do was stop trying to find my value in how I was viewed, and to start finding my value in Jesus.