Who’s That Guy with the Scripture Memory Dance Moves?

Who’s That Guy with the Scripture Memory Dance Moves?
Gharrett leads scripture songs in a January 2021 episode of Family Hour­—a weekly children’s program which the church broadcasted during Covid.

Gharrett Dursma’s life is proof that God uses many unexpected methods and people to get through to us and help us grow closer to him. Even when we think our relationship with the Lord is solid, he will always show us how it could be stronger.

When Gharrett was in his early twenties, God brought him low so Gharrett would learn how to lift Him high.

Brought low

Around the time Gharrett began dating now-wife Mikaela, he found himself sinking into a dark depression. A heaviness began to invade his heart and weighed on him. Things he used to find great joy in no longer had any appeal. It became a struggle just to get through each day.

“Sometimes I would pray every hour and ask God to please give me the strength to get through the day.”

He also began questioning his relationships. He thought love should be all joy and lightheartedness, but he was feeling miserable. In hindsight, Gharrett thinks the depression may have been caused by his unrealistic expectations about love and relationships.

Mikaela began sending Gharrett sermons about love. These sermons explained that love is not just a feeling. One sermon defined love in a way he had not considered before. “Love is a general care for someone’s well being and putting someone else’s well being before your own,” Gharrett shared.

Getting out of bed each day had become a struggle for Gharrett. He began praying regularly, just asking God to help him get through everyday activities like going to work and school.

“Sometimes I would pray every hour and ask God to please give me the strength to get through the day.”

The song “I Need Thee Every Hour” would play through Gharrett’s head on repeat:

I need thee, O, I need thee
Every hour I need thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to thee

Gharrett’s battle against depression continued for eight months. Finally, the heaviness began to fade. Through that rough time in his life, God had really worked on Gharrett’s heart to show him that “relying on feelings was not a way to get through life. You must rely on God,” he explains.

Feelings are fleeting, but God is eternal. Isaiah 40:28 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.”

Discipleship in action

God continued to use Gharrett and Mikaela’s relationship as a catalyst for spiritual growth. When they started dating, Mikaela’s father required that Gharrett pick a fellow believing man to mentor him and help him grow spiritually. Gharrett asked his friend Paul Smith if he would be willing. Paul agreed and they began meeting regularly.

After Gharrett and Mikaela were married, Paul’s wife Lynette became a mentor for Mikaela as well. The Smiths committed to guide them both on every aspect of marriage and family life just as the Bible calls on more experienced believers to teach others in the ways of righteousness. As Ephesians 4:12-13 says: “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” (New Living Translation)

Paul and Lynette continued to walk beside Gharrett and Mikaela as they navigated life as a married couple and eventually as parents. The Smiths would invite them over regularly and let them see how they handled their household, from disciplining their children to family worship. When some of Gharrett and Mikaela’s issues were outside of the Smiths’ experience, they did not hesitate to recommend Faith Biblical Counseling Center.

Gharrett admits that he initially thought counseling was “only for very broken people.” He credits former Family Pastor Paul Funchess with changing that opinion. Paul explained that anyone at any phase in life can benefit from biblical counseling.

Through the counseling and continued meetings with Paul Smith, Gharrett came to realize he was struggling with the sin of pride and not wanting to admit when he needed help.

Proverbs 11:2 states: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” As Gharrett says, “Pride is a sneaky sin,” and it can impact your life without you recognizing it.

Paul Smith would lovingly admonish Gharrett when he was being prideful. Though Gharrett was not always receptive, Paul never gave up. Slowly Gharrett began to see the issues sinful pride was causing in his relationships and felt his heart being humbled.

Paul’s willingness to honestly, humbly and consistently point out his sin helped Gharrett come to grips with it and as a result he was able to grow in his faith and closer to God.

Lifting Jesus high

Gharrett had been serving for a while in Children’s Ministry when he was asked to sit in on the leadership meeting and observe. He already had kid-like levels of energy himself (if only he could share), but he gained a lot of insight into spiritual leadership through those meetings.

Paul Funchess and Paul Smith began entrusting him with tasks pertaining to that area of ministry. The level of responsibility began to increase as Gharrett gained more experience.

In 2020, Covid lockdowns pushed Wednesday night Discovery online, into a weekly video event called Family Hour. There, Gharrett found himself showing off his dance moves with Discovery’s Scripture memory songs. He was excellent at it, and his energy, passion and love of Christ were infectious for adults and children alike.

Gharrett Dursma and his wife Mikaela with their two sons, Declan and Kiernan (with one on the way). Photography by Anna Copley.

After the pandemic restrictions ended, Discovery started back in person. Since then, Paul Funchess and Paul Smith moved on to the Trinity Church plant in Spokane Valley. Gharrett was left holding the reins.

Partnered with new Family Pastor Joe Swanson, Gharrett did an amazing job this past year leading Discovery. His enthusiasm continues to be infectious for kids. It keeps them motivated and engaged as they learn key biblical concepts and grow in their faith.

Just as Gharrett’s influence helps disciple the kids in faith, the relationships he has built with fellow believers continues to help him mature in his own relationship with God. He still meets regularly with mature believing men in a book group and with Chris Connelly to learn and apply God’s Word.

They help Gharrett remember he still needs Jesus every hour.

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