Austin Binz

Age: 27

College: Southwestern Theological Baptist Seminary

Classification: Master’s Student

Degree: Master of Divinity

Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas

Role in Glowing Heart: Drummer

Contact:austin@glowingheart.org

We are the sum of our experiences.  For each of us, the struggles we face can
become a driving force for us or a debilitating crutch.  When I was four, I was
diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder characterized by repetitive,
involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.  The tics were very severe
early on which led to high blood pressure problems and anxiety disorders.  I
struggled to find my place.  I carried a great deal of shame regarding my struggles
and felt isolated from my peers. This created in me a lack of self-worth and caused
me to struggle to find my identity.  I spent years visiting various doctors and
physicians, psychologists and therapists.  It was a cycle of frustrations and broken
hopes.  I just wanted to be normal.  I wanted to be like my classmates.  This cycle
continued into my junior year of high school.  I reached a state of desperation to
identify with my peers.  They made fun of my tics while I struggled to keep up
academically.  I began to form a view of myself that only saw my faults.  But, my
God is known for using the most unlikely people and circumstances to remind us
how much He loves us and that He is working all things to the good of those who
are called according to His purpose.
At the age of 17, my life took an unexpected turn. I was at a church camp and
finally realized the identity and acceptance I was seeking could be found in my
Heavenly Father. From that point forward, God’s approval, not that of my peers,
became my focus and the basis of my self-worth. Basically God changed my life
from the inside out. I asked God to restore my body to its full capacity and release
me from the bonds of my severe Tourette’s and, shortly after that day, God healed
me.
Since then, ministry has consumed many aspects of my life. When I was younger, I
learned to play the drums as a way of focusing to control my tics.  God chose to
use that skill learned during my struggle as the avenue to insert myself into
ministry. I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve in a full time capacity
through worship ministry, and part time ministry teaching youth and college
students.
Currently, I am in my second year of the Masters of Divinity program at
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Though the program has challenged
me, I feel it is preparing me for the complexities of my future ministry.  Through
my life experiences and God’s grace to see me through the difficulties I have
faced, I have learned that not only does my identity have to originate from His love
for me, but also that I can trust and rely on Him no matter what I face in my life.
My past experiences in service with Glowing Heart ministries have shown me it is
a vibrant and essential ministry with a desire to reach many others who need to
reclaim or solidify their identities through Christ.  I have found that being a part of
this ministry has allowed me to learn valuable lessons that I can apply one day to
the church at which I will serve.

As I said, we are the sum of our experiences.  God has strategically provided many
experiences, some exhilarating, some extremely difficult, to mold me into the man
He wants me to become.  At one point, my circumstances seemed to define me, but
God had a plan to create beauty from ashes and to develop my identity to reach
others.  I am extremely grateful to serve a God who redeems.
“Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much
more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness
reign in the life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17