The Unseen Story


Exposing Fear

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Well, my name is David Porcheddu. I grew up here in Texas and live in Richardson with my beautiful wife Merrick and our two boys, Oliver and Silas. Oliver is six – He’s about to turn seven in a couple of weeks. – and then Silas is five. And they are…They’re fantastic. It’s a joy to be their dad. 

I remember two days before my first son was born, I was laying in his nursery, on the ground, on my back, completely terrified with anxiety that I was not going to be ready for this. I was like, Lord, what if I love myself more than my kid? Like, am I gonna neglect this kid? Like, I don’t know this kid. Am I going to be a good dad? But the moment my first child was born, and the nurse gave him to me, I just remember I was bawling crying, but I was also hysterically laughing. And the nurse, I remember the nurses were like, “I don’t know if we’ve ever seen someone do both at the same time, this hard.” you know. I was overcome with joy. I felt like the Grinch. Like, the Lord grew my heart, you know, three times that day. Since then, I’ve had such a passion to be a dad, and a passion to pour into my kids. 

I was in full time ministry, when I got out of Bible college, I went to the Brownsville Revival school in the late 90s, early 2000s, and we loved the Lord. There was an open heaven there, and I knew, I knew I was, I knew all I wanted was to serve God. When I got out, I started in ministry, and I had a lot of disappointments. I got out of ministry and actually walked away from the Lord for a few years and, and even told the Lord, “I don’t want You in my life anymore. I’m going to try this on my own.” And, obviously, as we all know, that got me nowhere, as it gets everybody nowhere. I remember one night, I was so hurt and I was so bitter, but I remember laying in bed and all I could muster up to say to God was, “I miss you.” It’s all I had room for. 

I didn’t invite Him back into my life. But, here’s what I know – And I don’t know, theologically where people who might hear this, where they stand. – I know that I said the words, “I don’t want you in my life anymore.” But I also know He never left.

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And His grace, His goodness, and kindness as Psalm 23 says, was still following me. It was still there with me waiting, waiting for the time to, you know, for me to surrender. And so I remember, I had this, this dream and I woke up the next day. I went to work and a lady came in and said, “Hey I… – I didn’t know who this lady was, I worked in retail. – and she was like, “I feel like, this is what God is doing in your life right now.” And she started, then she explained my dream. I did not tell her my dream. She told me word, like, basically word for word what my dream was. She was like, you know, “Does this make sense to you?” 

It was like, I didn’t know what to say. I was frozen, because I was in such rebellion. But here God was, meeting me in my rebellion, in His kindness and mercy saying, I still have My eyes on you. It was like when you’re, when you’re putting out fire in the fireplace or it’s starting to wane down and you want to try to get back up. There’s those embers and you blow on it, right? And you push air on and it just (whoosh), you know…I felt like that happened just a little bit. 

I was still kind of waning back and forth on trying to follow the Lord, but I was still stuck in these cycles of sin and strongholds. I was downtown in Deep Ellum and went outside to smoke a cigarette, and I saw this pastor friend of mine walk up to me. I was like aw crap, you know, and he’s like, “David!,” and I was like, “What’s up, man?” And he goes, “Man, you have no idea what’s going on right now.” I said, “Well, what? What’s going on?” And he goes, “I’m out here sharing the gospel with people and before I left tonight, I prayed specifically that God would cross my path with one of His children that was away from Him.” And he was like, “And you’re standing right in front of me, right now.” And so I’m just trembling again, you know, and he’s like, “Can I pray for you?” My pride rose up, my bitterness rose up, and I was like, “No, you can’t pray for me.” And so he uh, he’s like, “Well, I’m gonna pray for you anyway.

But I walked away just still with this hope; just another blow on my heart, just another (whoosh), you know like, Spirit of God blow breath of God on my, on these little tiny embers. It gave me hope, even in the midst of bitterness and I could tell the Lord was dealing with my heart. I remember a bunch of guys prayed for me and the Lord delivered me, right there, from a lot of strongholds, a lot of sin, a lot of bitterness towards the Lord. From then on I just started serving the Lord again and started leading worship. I started just doing my passion and started singing to the Lord in my room. You know? Not in front of anyone, but just in my room with my guitar and crying out to Him. Not really…It wasn’t really singing songs. I was just singing laments and desires, to where my voice would go out, you know, because I would just be in tears banging on my guitar. And that’s really kind of how I learned to do worship. 

So when someone put me in front of others to do that, that’s the only thing that came out. So that was really special. And the Lord gave me a lot of favor through that. I started, the Lord redeemed a lot of time when it came to worship for me and opened a lot of doors for me to do it as a career. But then when you have something that’s so personal and so intimate, and so, between you and the Lord, and then you start getting paid for it, it’s really tricky. It plays a lot of tricks on your mind and on your heart. You start to question, “Why am I doing this again?” And so just navigating those…There’s a lot of tributaries that could go off into those stories. But I think really what, where the Lord has brought me in these last two months has a lot to do with that. Okay, now I’m being paid for something that was a gift, which is a blessing of the Lord. But what I’ve allowed that to do to my heart,.” Like the Zoolander quote, you know. Like, “Dance monkey.” Like, let me just do what it is you’re asking me to do and not do what I know I’m created to do. 

So I started hiding who I truly was. And when you hide who you truly are, fear starts to creep in that you can’t show who you really are. And then when fear starts to creep in, there’s all kinds of different lies that can come in. Without knowing it, I started elevating my family above the Lord. I started idolizing them. But I would lie to myself, not knowingly, subconsciously that, No, no, no, this is just the Lord giving me a passion for my family. You know, this is just, I’m vigilant for my family. Look how great of a dad I am. You know, I’m homeschooling them. I’m protecting them. I’m passionate about them. I’m the best dad in the world, you know? And this was a huge idol for me. I had no idea, no idea. 

So two months ago I got Covid. I thought I was getting better but then I was developing some anxiety. I was developing some insomnia. I remember asking my mom, I was like, “Hey, what are you taking to sleep? Because I need to sleep. I really, really need to sleep.” So they bring over, her and my dad love me to death, but they brought over like, their sleeping drugs, you know. I was already on a ton of medication. So I take these sleeping drugs, I had four of them and I got the best sleep of my life. I was like, Oh my gosh, I got the best sleep of my life, I tested negative for Covid, and like, I’m on my way up. I could feel myself getting better, but the anxiety was still there. It was on the rise and then the next night, I tried to go to bed on my own but I couldn’t. So I took another one, next night took another one, next night took another one, and the whole time my anxiety is rising. 

Well, so after I’m done with those narcotics, I tried to go to bed that next night and every time I would try to go to bed (snaps), I would feel a neurotic impulse in my body that would shoot to my brain and focus me into waking back up. And this happened every 10 minutes. I went almost 60 hours with no sleep. I thought I was going crazy. I was exhausted. My body was physically exhausted and I didn’t know what was happening to my body, I thought it was going crazy. I thought I was going to hurt myself, I thought I was going to hurt my family. Anxiety crippled me. I have no strength. The only thing I had to do, the only strength I had was to breathe. So the only strength that I had in my body was completely…Whether it was exhaustion, or Covid, post-Covid, I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t have strength. 

I remember sitting at the top of my stairs, I was, I would cry to the Lord every night. I would cry out to the Lord, “Save me. Save me.” I was in the Psalms all the time. “Save me. Save me. Deliver me.” I could feel David being captured by the Philistines. I could feel him imprisoned. I felt that. I felt the darkness of that. So I was sitting at the top of the stairs and I had just read, you know, “Today, if you hear My voice, do not harden your heart.” My prayer shifted from, “Save me.” Then it shifted to, “Make me, just make me like You. And if that means suffering, I’m okay with that. I just want to look like You. It’s terrible and I hate it, but I’m okay with it.” And I thought to myself, Lord, I don’t know, like You see outside of everything, and whether or not, I know you didn’t give me Covid, but You see this. You saw me in the grand scale of Your sovereignty and knew that I would cross paths with the sickness. But You also knew that I needed something else. 

I didn’t know I struggled with fear. I had no idea I struggled with fear. I knew that there was some things about God that I knew in my mind, about His love. I was so afraid of God taking something from me. [It’s] such a backwards way of looking at God’s love, but I could never, I could never voice that. I could never, being in ministry, being a leader, being a pastor, those are things that you don’t have room to say. So when He started revealing to me fear, I was like, Okay, I’m afraid of You. Okay, let’s dive into that a little deeper. Like, I’m afraid of You. I’ve been, I’ve been afraid of the fire. I’m afraid. I’ve been afraid of getting burned. I’ve been afraid of pain. I’ve been afraid of suffering. Where does that stem from? I’m afraid of, even if it’s not directly to me, I’ve been afraid that my children are going to die. I’ve been afraid my wife is going to die. I’m afraid my children are going to get illnesses that are going to take them out. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my life. And then I realized that I must have never given my life to You in the first place. You know, wholly, wholly. 

So He started dealing with this about my kids. He started bringing this reality up of, “David, you have even said the words that, ‘If something were to happen to your family, there’s no point in you living anymore.’ You’ve said those words to yourself. You’ve made a vow that if something tragic happens…What you’ve really done is confessed that I’m not big enough to be there with you. That I’m not good enough to walk you through that.” 

A friend of mine said, “David, there’s no grace for a spiraling imagination. There’s only grace, if something happens. So you constantly worrying and constantly fearing that something terrible is going to happen, not only is it creating mistrust between you and God, but there’s no grace for that. It’s a bottomless pit of fear and anxiety. But if something does happen, tragically, – And bad things do happen. – but if something does happen, that’s when God’s grace meets you. And I meditated on that for a long time. I had to say, “Lord, I give you…” And by the way, this entire time I can barely walk. Like I fell twice in front of my kids. I’m passionate about being a strong dad and passionate about being there for my kids and now they’re seeing their dad not being able to…We had a mattress laying right here on the floor for over a month. I laid on it all day. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t help, I couldn’t feed them. They would want me to go play with him. I can’t go play with them. They want, all they ever want is me to be Dad and I couldn’t be Dad. 

All of this to say, I’m weak. All I want to do is cut off my arms and my legs and I’m realizing God’s exposing this fear of, and this reality, that I had made my children an idol. I’ve put them in a place of God and said, “They are my foundation.” Because if they, if they fall, my foundation falls. The enemy is so insidious, and he’s so deceptive, that he uses so many things, he uses something beautiful, like your love for your children to start taking the place of God, and you don’t even know it. But it was a beautiful and scary thing to realize that I had to let go. 

So I just lifted my children up to God and I said, “Okay, I have to, I take them down. I repent. I repent, for exalting them above You. I want You to have the first place. I want you and I trust you now. I trust You, as my Abba, as my Father. I trust You that Your intent is not to take them away. Your intent is not to hurt them. Your intent is not to hurt me, but it’s purely just to say, “I don’t want them in place of You.” And for Him to get me to a place of, “If something were to happen to my family, that life can go on because He’s with me.” I just had to confess that and yield to that and realize that my poverty mindset, my operating from a sense of lack, by operating from a sense of God isn’t enough, that has to go! That has to go. It has to go in order for Jesus to be present and to do all He wants to do in my life. 

If I look back, the moment I confessed those things, I started to regain strength in my body. It wasn’t 100%, but it was like I’ve had consistent strength now for two weeks, to where I could barely walk before, and it all stemmed from repentance. It all stemmed from a place of acknowledging idol worship for my precious kids, you know. That I had replaced the chief cornerstone. I had replaced Him with these boys that are like, they’re kind of helpless. Like they depend on me, you know. Like, why are they my God? Because if they depend on me and they’re my god, I’m in serious trouble. 

So it’s been a fantastic journey of just yielding these things to Him and realizing, and coming to grips with the reality that, Oh my God. I have been a scared, lonely, hiding son, afraid of my Dad. I’ve been afraid of my Dad and I never knew it. And I’ve led so many people to the presence of the Lord. I’ve ministered to so many people. I’m not tooting my own horn. I say that almost, you know, like in embarrassment of having God move through me, but never, but still hiding this huge area in my heart and realizing, I gotta go back to the beginning. I had to go back. I gotta go back to the thing, to the real reason of why I am who I am. 

I had just read, “Today, if you hear My voice, do not harden your heart.” My prayer shifted from, “Save me.” Then it shifted to, “Make me, just like You. And if that means suffering, I'm okay with that. I just want to look like You.

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