It is the longest love affair of my life. It is the best relationship of my life. Nothing compares to it – past, present or future. It has a permanence to it that no other relationship could ever have. It is a central part of me; it defines me and dictates the choices that I make. It is the reason for my being. It is all I have ever wanted; all I have ever needed; and I have absolutely no idea how I survived without it.

And it is ten years old today.  

Ten years ago, on 28th February 2004, in a rare moment of honesty, I told God that I could not be the Father that I wanted to be, the husband that I hoped I could be, the man I believed that I could be but was most definitely not… my own strength. I told Him that I was scared, tired, ashamed, embarrassed and a failure and that I could not do life the way that I wanted to by myself. And I told Him that if He was real then I needed him to prove it. I needed Him like a starving man needed food – but I was pretty sure that I had nothing to offer Him and I honestly couldn’t see that He would want a scumbag like me anyway. You see I knew the real me: the cheat, thief, drunk, coward, adulterer, failed Father and bully that I had been at various points in my 35 years on the planet. Whilst to the world I looked successful I knew the truth.

And so did God. Somehow he saw that a little bit of the person that He originally created was still intact – unspoiled by selfishness, weakness and the depravity of the world that I had embraced.  He gave me the strength to ask him to come into my life.

And for ten years my Creator has been restoring the image of Himself in me. Ten years later I am still sober. I am kinder, gentler, more patient, braver, more loving and more like the person I was created to be. I am still a work in progress. But I am further forward than I ever thought possible. Ten years ago I hated the person that I saw in the mirror every morning. Today I think that he has potential. I see the absolutely amazing things that God has done in me and through me and I am astounded.

And I am grateful, so bloody grateful, that God didn’t give up on me. Because I had totally given up on me. And that is why today feels so amazing, so unlikely and miraculous. The God that filled me with himself by His Spirit beside a lake in Wales ten years ago has never failed me since. He has helped me to do more than I ever thought possible. He is my God, my boss, my friend, my strength, my saviour and my ever present help in times of trouble.

His name is Jesus. And he is the dog’s bollocks. Thank you my Lord.