I’m blessed to have Steve Schell as my pastor. (You may have heard him on Life Lessons radio.) He’s an excellent Biblical teacher, and he often shares little vignettes in his life that repeat over time – a few transformational moments in his life that made an impact on who he is today.
My short paraphrase of one of Pastor Steve’s stories: He was once just ready to give up – he suffers from depression, and he had just had it. He was done. The Lord spoke to him and said, “If you don’t want your life any more, can I just have it?” He surrendered it to God, so now, his life is a coin carried around in the pocket of the Lord, ready to be spent wherever He wishes.
Now, that is someone else’s story. It’s not mine. Why did it end up in my Bible journaling? I’m the one who encourages Bible journalers to seek the Lord for themselves. Not to journal someone else’s experience, either because it’s “genius,” or the image is one they want to try, or they just have a stamp or a sticker with a particular phrase or image on it.
In this case, though, Pastor Steve’s experience has informed mine – and saved me on repeated occasions. Steve has suffered from depression, and talks about it often. It still haunts him and he still has to seek the Lord over it. I suffer from it too. And anyone who has been in the same shoes knows the never-ending challenge to keep that dark spiral at bay. I really appreciate the honesty with which Pastor Steve speaks of his experience, and I can feel the Lord reaching out to me through hearing the same wrestling happens within someone whose strong faith I admire. Maybe I’m not a failure for not being able to fully overcome this!
I chose to journal the coins story since the phrase has come back to me in my own dark times many times over the years. Many nights when I would lay in the dark, staring at the ceiling, being ready to give up, Saturday afternoons when I can do nothing but lay on the couch. Much of life spent wishing I had a different life, was a better person, lived in another place….it can be a pretty endless spiral of doom and gloom.
My prayers in the darkness begin by sounding like a broken whining record…. but remembering this story, I deliberately turn my thoughts and ask the Lord to spend me His way. The visual of being in His pocket as His resource – valuable to God, whether or not I see myself as worthless – helps me to surrender my life back to Him, yet one more time. My desire is then not to get stuck in the dark with the pocket lint, and that leads me right back to serving others…which then breaks the depression spiral.
I often journal a powerful sermon, but usually not just recapping the pastor’s words – but the impact it had on me. The story of the coins is one that I made an exception for, given that it has ministered to me so well throughout the years that it’s become part of my own prayer life in dark times.
To see the video tutorial showing how to make this simple image, click HERE.