Day 23: Frank Amodeo

Isaiah 26:8
"LORD, we show our trust in You by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify Your name."

Most of you may know me as the electric guitarist at Grace Chapel who had really long hair.  But only a select few really know me and what I've been through.  
About a year and a half ago, God really started a chain reaction in my life that all led up to the place I am right now.  He started a good and perfect work in me and put certain people in my life at the right moments.  In the moments of struggle and hardship, I wanted nothing more than to be plucked out of them and have my life changed instantly.  I think that’s what we all want in the winter seasons of our lives.  
I won't go into a crazy amount of detail, but that chain reaction God started in me was all spurred on by something going wrong in my life. This terrible thing had been plaguing me until recently. I’d have to overcome this hardship twice more within the next year and a half.  It was difficult.  Most of the time I felt like I was crying out to God for an answer yet there was no answer; almost as if I was screaming into an empty void.  I didn't want to hold on to this pain anymore.  I wanted change in my life.

I respectfully write to you that the personal details are sensitive and meant to be private, yet the gist of my story will still BOAST IN THE LORD for the process and outcome He saw me through.  He used key people in the process.
When the work was just getting started, God put someone in my life that had gone through the same struggles as me.  They helped me get things started on the right track.  They had me go through the book Soulcare and that also snowballed further change in my life.  They also said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life; that when you ask and pray for God to do something in your life, actually believe it will happen.  And be ready for it when it happens.  Sometimes it will feel like you’re in the trunk of a car going way too fast down a windy road, but hang on until the end!  All of that meaning, you may not like the circumstances you are in, but you can at least know that God is taking you to a place that is beyond your imagination.  You just have to get through that bumpy car ride.  
The next person God used has been with me throughout this entire journey.  It started with a meeting to get insight on one particular topic, but I ended up gaining a mentor and friend.  I would not give up this person for anything.  They’ve guided me through this hardship and was one of the first people I went to about these long-held struggles that had a hold of me.
Another person is someone I've known for a while, but didn't really get close to until recently.  We bonded over a love for cars and really got to know each other.  I would tell things that I was nervous to tell other people and God really used this person to show me that He really is still doing a good work in me.  
The next person was also with me throughout this entire struggle.  I would go as far as saying that they are my best friend.  This person has been with me throughout everything.  They were the first person I confessed certain things to and they did not judge me.  God used this person to show me that it is okay to tell people what is going on.  It really is healing to confess our sins to each other.  If they are a true friend and truly following Jesus, they will not judge, rather they will help you along the right path until completion.  
And finally, the next is more a group of people.  A group that I believe God has brought together to praise His name and glorify Him.  We have seen Him move in ways that did not make much sense and I believe He put us together for a reason and He has even greater plans for us in the future.  One person made me feel needed/wanted in a winter season when I did not feel confident at all.  Another person has been there for me whenever I felt at my lowest and showed me a way out and supported me.  It didn't matter if it was late in the night or early in the morning.  There are so many more people that God has used throughout this last year and a half.

As stated above, when we are in a winter season of life, we just want God to pluck us out. I know I certainly did.  And when the holidays came, I really started to feel like I was running on empty and could not take much more.
Once the holidays were done, January 3rd rolled around.  Some of you may be wondering "What's so special about January 3rd?"  Well, January 3rd was the day I flew down with a group of young adults to Passion 2024.  This is a nationwide annual worship gathering, primarily of young adults.  Like I said, I was running on empty and went with no idea of what God was going to do.  But I went and sought after Him for answers.  For me, January 3rd is when God said "Ok, I'm going to show you things beyond your imagination."  AND HE SHOWED UP!  
The first session started at 7 p.m.  We got into the stadium around 5pm and it was not an easy 2 hours for me.  I was anxious, wondering if God was going to move. What would happen?  Would I come out of these 3 days any different than I was?
The countdown starts and they start playing Praise by Elevation.  It is one of my favorite songs!  I was so happy they started out with that song.  I was singing as much and as loud as I could.  Barely into the first chorus, I was struggling to sing because I was choking up.  I was starting to cry because I knew, in that moment, that God was about to move in a way only He can move.  
The next day started and I was ready for more.  The worship that morning started with Holy Forever.  I can't even begin to describe how powerful that one song was for me nor begin to describe how beautiful it was to see an entire stadium of 55,000 young adults jumping up and down praising Him during Glorious Day.  I don't know how we all went to sleep after what God poured out that day.  
On the final day, the entire stadium sang Agnus Dei for 15 minutes straight.  I did not want it to end. I wanted more of that.  I don't think anyone was ready to leave nor wanted to go home.  
I wish I could fully describe in detail everything that happened to me.  I left those couple of days feeling so refreshed by Jesus; seeing things that He was working on in my life for the past year and a half fall right off of me.
My life-circumstances haven't changed, but I have changed through Him.  He took away the things from me that I wanted gone, showed me that I’m not a problem, and lit a blazing fire in me that I pray doesn’t ever falter.  
If anyone has any questions or wants to learn more about what happened to me at this conference, I would be more than happy to talk about it.

I chose Isaiah 26:8 because it perfectly describes the work God was doing in me.  Who knows, maybe He isn't done yet?  Maybe He still has more to do?  Anyway, that verse perfectly describes what was happening because in the path of His judgements He was still there working on me.  And nothing else but His name and remembrance are the desire of my soul.

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