121 Stories - Discovering True Peace

Knowing God Will Be With You No Matter What Will Bring You Joy And Peace

Colton Barnes
Dec 18, 2022    9m
One man shares his story of struggling with depression and being afraid to share his feelings with anyone. But through his Christian Community, he learned that knowing God will be with you no matter what you do and what you're going through will bring you true joy and peace. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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121 Community - 121 Stories - Discovering True Peace
Colton Barnes: [00:00:00] My name is Colton, my wife, Cecily, and I have been coming here for two or three years. Right before the pandemic, I know it's when we really started to attend regularly, the nametags and the coffee got us.

Colton Barnes: [00:00:17] I was blessed to have both my parents around. I had two sisters, an older sister, and a twin sister. One parent is a believer, and one is not, and so that introduced an interesting dynamic as far as my faith was concerned. I went to a school; I was really blessed that this school kind of unapologetically was a Christian football program. It was a public school, but they, you know, we prayed, we talked about it, we had character class in the off-season where we...Looking back, it was all Bible-based stuff, which is really cool, I'm really grateful for it.

Colton Barnes: [00:00:49] But anyway, some camp came to our, you know, I was in class in the athletic [inaudible], and they came and talked to us and said, hey, we've got this overnight camp over the summer, and it's a Christian sports camp, you know, but it's a bunch fun, you know, they play up the fun. But I was like, hey, this is an opportunity to get away from mom and dad and really discover what is this about. And so it was kind of at that camp after my freshman year of high school, I remember like really hearing the story of the Gospel for the first time and being super moved, I couldn't understand why, and I guess professing my faith at that point. So that would be, I don't remember the date or anything, but that would be my moment of salvation. And I truly do believe, like that is when, you know, I was saved.

Colton Barnes: [00:01:30] I realize now a lot of what I was learning in that time was very sin focused, I was very focused on sin in my life. I was very legalistic in my mindset of, you know, hey, I struggle with this, I need to fix this because that's not right according to God. The Gospel was completely omitted from my thought process, which I now realize is the issue. I just like immediately, almost immediately after college went from being super excited and invigorated about work, I'm working out, I'm waking up early, I'm beating people to the office to like, I can't get up, I'm not dressing well anymore because I just can't bring myself to, and I'm struggling to get out of bed and I'm super isolated from people. And then that turns into, well, now I'm really angry at myself, there's this self-loathing because I don't respect who I'm becoming, I don't respect these weaknesses in me that I'm perceiving as weaknesses. And then I'm hurting, so now I'm afraid people are going to see that. So I don't want to go see people because I don't want them to see that hurt in me. Well, then enough of that. Well, now I don't trust myself socially, I'm unpracticed socially. And so it's just like all these things are kind of feeding themselves and driving me, like sending me deeper and deeper and deeper into like, this isolated state, and it just was super unhealthy.

Colton Barnes: [00:02:47] And so I remember driving to work kind of when the depression was probably at its peak, and I would just be driving, and I'd be on 360 and I would, like, have these thoughts of like, almost daydreams of like, hey, what if a truck just took me off the road? Like, that would solve things. Sorry. That would be a solution. It's not a sin because I'm arrogant and think I can game God's rules like, oh, that's not a sin, it's an accident. More importantly, I think God gave me some clarity in that time. When your mind is sick, you know, a healthy mind looks at something like taking your own life and you say, that's so selfish. And it is, to a healthy mind, it is absolutely selfish, you leave, and you wreak havoc. But that person isn't thinking that way, that person isn't healthy. Sorry.

Colton Barnes: [00:03:54] So, you know, I still felt a little lost, but we started making move movements in the right direction. And so another guy I'd met at the men's retreat, like, they were looking for a life group. And so we had, you know, we're asking Jordan, hey, what can we do about a life group? We become members; we get into a life group. And then another big thing that really happens in that time is I'm having one of those days, you know, where you're just like, hey, you're not really...You're a burden to everybody and all this kind of stuff. And having that real self-righteous conversation with God about, hey, why are you so hard to hear?

Colton Barnes: [00:04:39] And I remember I left a meeting I was in, I called Garrett Jones, who's in my group, and I said, Garrett, this is something I'm struggling with, like, can you help me? And I remember him saying, I'm not trained to help you, I want to help you, I love you and I'm here for you, but let's get you real help. Something my wife and I had talked about was counseling, honestly, my pride really didn't want to say I needed counseling. I felt like it was, as a man, I should be able to handle that. But I think my wife, being faithful to me, had kind of softened me up to that idea to where I was starting to look for one and was struggling.

Colton Barnes: [00:05:23] And then I called Garrett, and it was like, hey, man, I'm struggling, I don't know what to do. And he was like, okay, call Jordan, Jordan can probably put you in contact with a counselor, somebody to help with it. And so I remember him praying with me on the phone, which was mind-boggling to me, that's like something I'd never experienced. I'd never been in a community of believers that was like, hey, we're going to get in the mud with you. And so for him to just say, yeah, I'll get dirty, and I'll get in the mud with you, let's pray about it. Let's not, as men do that dance, we dance where we, you know, we talk at a mile-high view because it would be emasculating for me to sit here and act like I struggle like a human being. You know, to say, hey, let's pray through it. And that was just crazy to me, and I just appreciated that, that's been amazing.

Colton Barnes: [00:06:12] You know, I would say I'm still a work in progress, obviously, I think I will be til the day I die. But something I've learned is like I was very much mixing my salvation and this idea of sanctification and becoming, you know, so Christ-like, so early, and I'm so immature in my faith. And it's been amazing to just realize that, and to be taught, you know, when Christ died on the cross, he died for the sins I've already committed and the sins I will commit for the rest of my life, that debt is paid. And so I remember being young and asking my grandpa, I said, can you explain to me, I don't know where that line is between knowing I am just like insulting God because I'm sinning when I know something's wrong, and being a human being that needs forgiveness, you know, because I just like I was so mixed up with that idea. And that's something, you know, in counseling I've kind of been able to unpack and learn from a biblical perspective is like, know that that debt has been paid, period, end of discussion on that, like that debt has been paid. What a breath, what good news it is. No wonder they call it the good news, like, wow, you know,

Colton Barnes: [00:07:32] And then from there, yes, because of my salvation through my faith and my faith alone, because of that, now, you know, the law is written on my heart, if you will, and I want to be a better person because I want to better serve Christ. But I no longer want to be a good husband because I want to be seen as a good husband, I want to be a good husband because that better serves Christ's Kingdom. And so that's been just this amazing whirlwind of an experience that this past year has kind of presented itself as, I just feel this sense of peace in my heart, this new gratitude in my heart, and just this attitude of faith, honestly. I'm not naive enough to think that, hey, you're never going to struggle with depression again. I'm not naive enough to think that, hey, you're not going to struggle with sin or trouble at work. But I do truly believe that God will walk through that with me, and that God will not abandon me in those moments, and if anything, God will walk alongside me and stand with me in that. And so I just feel so much joy and peace in that, and I'm so grateful for that, and it's just been amazing.

Colton Barnes: [00:08:42] And we've been connected here and are starting to see familiar faces and talk to people, it's just been such a joy to be at the church now. And, you know, my wife and I are like, oh man, we got to say hi to people today. How fun is this now? You know, it's been really, really special.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051