I came into the Living Waters group with no sense of who I was as a man. Even though I am in my late twenties, I came into the group a scared little boy, not even having any sense that I was a boy. I was an “it”, really unable to associate myself with masculinity or femininity.
Even though I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, I still came into the group very shut off and closed up. The heart and sincerity of the leaders was priceless. Their openness enabled openness in me. I was able to open up and release burdens I had even hid from myself.
Opening up in front of a group of guys was scary, but I could not have done half the growth if it were not for this aspect of the group. Not only to see through other’s eyes what I myself was blind to, but for other’s eyes to truly see and know the real me.
Through many different aspects of my time in this group God put His arms around me, walked me to the mirror, and introduced me to me. How He sees me and the man He is lifting me up to be.
In addition to revealing who I am in His sight, God worked hard to reveal who He wants to be in relation to me. “Are you my daddy?” God revealed Himself as my loving father. He looked at all that I was holding as my own (my pain, shame, self-hatred, other’s issues, need for control) and said to me, “I can take that.”
This is a deeply personal process and so I did not advertise I was part of Living Waters but some of my coworkers knew I went somewhere and tried to sneakily ask “how was last night?” and I could truly answer “Life Changing”. And I do not say that lightly. Living Waters is hard work but I can now see that I am not alone and that I am loved. I have been strengthened. I can walk this path.
As I write this, I am brought to tears, moved by what God has done and is continuing to do; more than can be mentioned here. Along with the above mentioned ground gained I, the scared “it” who walked into the program, stepped out of the program with a better sense that I am a man amongst men.
Lastly, I would like to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to the leaders, to Northshore Baptist Church, and to anyone who has supported this Living Waters program. You have forever changed my life.