Michael Loftis

Michael LoftisAPRIL 21, 2013, WAS A TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE

   My name is Michael Loftis and I would like to tell you my story.  I was born into a broken family and had a terrible example of a father that led to confusion and distrust in my family. When I was eight years old, my father left my mother to raise all six of us kids. She had no college degree and very little practical skills. She worked multiple part-time jobs in order to provide for her children; whom she never got to see.

   My father ended up going through two more marriages by the time I entered college. The third marriage is what hurt the most. Just after my father entered his third marriage; news came out that one of my family members was being sexually abused by another family member. These two incidents brought back memories that I had long hidden and forbidden to come back to my mind.

   I remembered for a very long time; that I had been sexually abused as a child and simply quit thinking about it. I blotted much of that memory out of my mind and although I never really forgot about it, I developed a good habit of suppressing those thoughts. The multiple marriages and string of sexual abuses that I had begun to realize was clearly generational.  It all came to a head and gave me the clarity of thought, that this was not just a sin problem; but it was a family-sin problem.

   The only way out I knew was through God. The problem was, I didn’t want to completely give myself up to God. I knew part of that meant confessing my sins. I was a “good” church kid. I volunteered, I interned, I even taught and discipled young people in the Word of God. Also I had the unconfessed sin of pornography in my life.

   On April 21, 2013, I confessed my sins completely for the first time. I had confessed my sins before, but not entirely. That is one of the problems I have found with “accountability partners.” You will only tell your accountability partner what you will get away with. You have to really want to be free, if you are ever going to be free. That was the first day I ever felt fatherly love.

   Fast forward three years. I was running a half-marathon and was proudly coming to the end. I was excited to finish running my second half-marathon in two years; but then tragedy struck. I crossed the finish line, grabbed my completion medal and went into cardiac arrest. Falling to the ground, hitting my head so hard that it was bleeding onto the pavement and my heart wasn’t beating. I was dead. Two nurses were among the crowd of 450 people, and one initiated CPR while the other grabbed an AED from a nearby fire truck. They put the AED on my and zapped me back to life. I was dead for a total of 3 minutes. They say that permanent brain damage begins to take place after 4 minutes.

    I remember waking up in a hospital and the doctor told me that I would need open heart surgery. I had a very rare condition, and they didn’t have enough data to tell me my odds of survival.

   I was engaged at the time, and I made a joke to Brittany, “I hadn’t really planned on having open heart surgery this time last week. What was I planning to do on this day last week?”

   I looked at my schedule and was shocked to see that the day of my surgery was April 21, 2016, the third anniversary of my first full confession as a Christian. In the years that followed 2013, I would always call Scotty Gibbons on April 21, and thank him for his investment in my life on that special day in. I realized that with all my sinfulness being what it was, it was too dark for me to overcome by myself. I tried to change, but I couldn’t. I wondered and often lost sleep over the fear that perhaps one day, I will be forever doomed to stay in this condition of being a slave to pornography for as long as I live.

   The question was, could my heart ever be God’s? Could I belong to Him? My heart can’t be changed. I need a new heart entirely. It was as if God was saying on April 21, 2013, you had spiritual open heart surgery; but on April 21, 2016, you had physical open heart surgery.

   The number 3 in Scripture is often being used to show that something is complete as a result of change (Jonah in big fish, Jesus buried, Peter’s denial when Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me?” three times). God was symbolically telling me that He sealed my sanctification by saying on the third anniversary (to the hour), that I was sealed by the number three while completing anything I was trying to do by my own effort and work.

   When you come to God fully like I did in 2013, God will begin to write a story about your life that is unbelievable. I have been able to tell my story to encourage young people, ex-cons, fathers who are at their wit’s end over custody battles; and even people facing medical crises. But what God did in my life, is not because of me. It’s because of Him. You can allow God to write a beautiful story with your life, if you just let Him take over. 

 

Michael Loftis Hearing His Voice

Michael Loftis