My name is Danny. I’m one of the staff guys here at Northwest. I’m married to Melissa and we have three boys. Trey is 13, Nolan is four-and-a-half and Becket is 12 weeks. A few weeks ago Cory preached a message and the theme of the message was the fact that we’re God’s masterpiece. In the message Cory showed a video, an illustration of two guys, and they illustrated how God chisels us and often times it’s painful, but it’s part of the purifying process. Man, God wrecked me during the message, and so I was compelled, I was convicted that I needed to go to the altar. It’s not something normal for me, but that morning Corby led us in worship and we sang a song called, “Come To The Altar.” Finally, halfway through the song, I went to the altar, knelt down and…Man, I just broke before Jesus.
I wasn’t up there long before I felt the arm of somebody come over my shoulder and my neck and my first instinct was, “Oh man, Cory came off the stage.” I kind of felt bad that I pulled him away from his responsibilities up there, and then I thought, “Well maybe it’s one of my guys.” But as I looked over I saw that it was the leg of Trey. That morning…Man, God used my boy to love on and encourage me and it was a wonderful moment at the altar. So we got in the car later that afternoon and we were going to launch together and it was one of those unique Sundays that it was just Trey and myself going to launch. I asked him, I said, “Trey, why did you come to the altar with your dad, I was the only one up there?” Trey looked at me and he said, “Dad, I couldn’t let you go up there alone.” That day God used that time with Trey and I to humble me and convict me, but yet I didn’t realize that Trey didn’t just come up there for me, God was also working in Trey’s heart and life in a very fresh and different way.
A couple of weeks later then, Pastor was doing a series and the message title that day was, Absolute Surrender. That Sunday Trey and I sat in the front row, Melissa was sitting back in the Transitions Room I believe, with Becket. As we were sitting on the front row listening to the message on the Sunday, it’s a very normal and typical Sunday for Trey to be taking notes, but also drawing or you can just see him, at certain times in the message, kind of not focused as a father would like him to be. But that day specifically, Pastor then walked off the stage and came down and stood in front of us, and so I could see Trey was really engaged in a unique way. After Velocity that night Trey and I were headed home, and we had probably been in the car for 10 minutes and Trey looked at me and said, “Dad, Jesus did something in my heart and life today.” He said, “That scripture that Pastor preached on, it really impacted me.” Trey said, “Luke 14:33 that Pastor preached on,” and I had no idea what that scripture said at that moment. He said, “That verse says dad, that we are to forsake all.” He said, “Dad, if I’m gonna follow Jesus I have to change.”
I’m sitting there as a father and trying to process what my 13 year old is saying, what does that mean to him, because my viewpoint or my thoughts may be different that what he’s meaning. Trey went on to say, “Dad, it’s like…I got some bad friends, and I know that my friends are keeping me from the boy that I know that Jesus wants me to be. Dad I wanna tell you that I know that God wants me to change some things, so I have some things that I have to do tomorrow.” Then we talked through friends and what does that look like, to love to Jesus and to love your friends, but also take a stand with your fiends and be different. That day was a red letter day in Trey’s life and one of the first times that I’ve seen Jesus really impacting him in that way.
The next day would be a Monday, and I was working at the church and I got an email from Trey. That in itself is unique, and he said, “Dad, I just wanted to tell you that today I lost most of my friends.” His email went on to say, “Dad, today I told my friends that I need to change,” and his email just went through kind of his mindset of…He was so struggling with wanting to love his friends and be kind to them, but say that…“Dad, my friends are the ones that influence me, I’m not the ones that are positively influencing them.” I walked out of the office that day and I went to Pastor, I went to Cory, and one, thanked each of them for the impact that they had on that leading up to the change that Trey needed to make in his life. As that happened I immediately began to think of the impact that that would have on Trey. I realized that Trey’s 13, that by God’s grace God is gonna move and work in many ways in his life growing up, but this is one of the first times that God has really impacted Trey for more than just a short, maybe emotional time period. But this was something to where Trey went on his own and made a decision to follow Jesus, knowing that there was gonna be struggles and issues and ramifications because of that.
As I dad I want Trey to experience nothing but happiness, and joy, and the fullness, and goodness, and peace of God in his life. But I also know that in order to follow Jesus, there’s some though seasons, there’s some choices that Trey will continue to have to make, and unfortunately that will involve losing friends. In order to follow Jesus you have to be willing to put some things aside. As a dad, there’s this balance of struggling with, “Man, I want what’s best for Trey, I want all good things for Trey,” but also understating that in life some of the best things…Man, they take time. As I look back on my life, as much as I loved mountaintop experiences, as I look back on the story of my life it is the valleys, where Jesus has shaped and molded me and changed me and broken me, so that I became the son, the dad, the husband that the wants me to be.
And so with Trey…Man, I pray that he understands and sees that in surrendering to Jesus it is worth it all in the end. That Jesus’ plan is so much greater and better than anything that he could choose on his own.