The last time the weather felt this way, we were in love… weren’t we? Were we… ever? Did we even know what that meant? I don’t know… but I know now what I meant to you. We both loved the rain and there was a time when, right about now, we’d be cuddled up close with something warm to drink and something classic lighting up the tv screen. We’d share dreams from long ago of things yet to come… but those dreams are gone now and much better left alone. They used to be our compass, but now we’re lost at sea… or maybe it’s just me. You’re overboard now, you went off into the deep… you took those dreams and promises with you; the ones, it seems, you never meant to keep. If only the rain would wash you away… I wish you were here with me, and yet I’m scared to death… that you will never leave.
It’s been a while and I apologize for that. A lot has changed. I spent the last week and a half moving into a new apartment. It’s just another step in the process of separation, as my wife moves to divorce me. I do like it here. It’s a nice home. I went and got a kitten last weekend. He is adorable and has proven himself a wonderful companion during this lonely time. I’m doing ok. I’m accepting what is going on and doing my best to build a new life. Part of doing so is requiring something of me. Something I have ran from for a very long time.
I mentioned before about my history of being sexually abused. It is a demon that has never left me, no matter how hard I tried to muscle my way through life and keep it buried. It is becoming clear that the time has come for me to finally tell my family about what happened. I am beyond scared. I am terrified. I just keep thinking, “God, do I really have to do this?” I don’t want to. I wish this cup could pass from me. But it is time. I can’t keep it buried any longer. This beast has shaped me far too much for far too long. It played a huge role in distorting and ruining my marriage. I have already lost good friends, and now the woman I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with because of how I let my past shape me. I did not choose what happened to me, but what I do now is my choice. I cannot let the damage spill from me any longer. I am shattered. It is time to let the truth pour out and set me free so God can begin to build me into something new.
Years ago, I went on a retreat into the mountains. It was just me and my closet guy friend. Who am I kidding, he is a brother to me. We packed up a couple of mountain bikes and just rode until we found a spot to pitch a tent. The purpose was to get away from the noise and spend time with God– no cell phone service, no television, and no internet. We prepared sermons to deliver to each other. It was awesome. On one of the days, we broke off. We went our separate ways to hike and spend time with the Lord one on one. We didn’t set a time to be back by, and frankly we didn’t have a means to tell time anyway. While I was hiking up stream and praying, I was captivated by a red dragonfly. It seemed it was following me on my hike. I kept going and praying. Finally, I reached an end point at a waterfall. The whole time I was there, this red dragonfly stayed perched on a rock near me. I kept my eye on it. After a while, it took flight headed back toward the direction we came. This time, I decided to follow it. I kept pace with it all the way back to camp. When I arrived, it was at the exact moment that my brother was returning as well. It was awesome. I am not one given over to mysticism, but I believe that red dragonfly was there for a reason. It was just something cool, you know? Something special I believe God did for me. Ever since that moment, I have taken seeing a red dragonfly as sort of a sign. Just God reminding me that He’s with me, He knows where I’m at, and I’m on the right path.
A couple days after moving into this new place, I stepped out onto the patio to have a smoke. It had been quite a while since I had seen a red dragonfly, but sure enough one came flying by from overhead. Out of all of the cars parked in the complex, it went and flew right over mine. It stopped there and just hovered for a while. I couldn’t help but smile. Eventually, it took off but I was left thinking… maybe I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Things have been devastating. Things have been tragic. But maybe I’m here, now, for a reason. Maybe I’ve been brought to this place and time in life to finally face what I am about to. I have been running for too long. As much as I do not want to do this… as much as I just want to keep running, it’s time. It is finally time.
If you’ve ever been forsaken by someone, somebody who you love more than you can stand… then you truly know heartbreak. What blows my mind is when I think of God… and how we forsake Him all the time, over and over again even after we’ve tasted His goodness. His heartbreak over humanity must be infinitely greater than mine. And yet, He not only maintains a capacity to love us, He is love. He doesn’t change. He doesn’t lose who He is through the heartbreak. He is God, He is good, and He continually showers us with undeserved blessings. It boggles my mind and makes me love Him more than ever. The more I know Him, the more I want to know Him. Yet, the more I know Him, the more I realize I will never truly understand Him. He is unfathomable beauty. His grace, His strength, His patience… the way He sees us as a prize and finished work when we can only see chaos, is nothing short of miraculous.
Oh Holy and wonderful God, You know me better than I know myself. How dare I consider hating myself when You love me?! The only thing I should ever hate is that which stands between us… help me to always view sin in that light, as the thing that gets between me and You… YOU who gave all for me. You who never leaves or forsakes me. You who remains perfect when I am anything but. I love you. Teach me how to love You more.
I heard a very special radio program on the way home from work tonight. A man was literally walked through the steps and the prayers of forgiveness towards his ex-wife who has torn him down for years and used his son as a weapon to hurt him. She tried to tear him down in his son’s eyes. It was so powerful and moving. Forgiveness is SO freeing. Not just when we receive it, but when we give it too. I prayed right along with Him. There are so many people, women especially, in my life throughout the years I have needed to forgive. There is so much I have needed to let go of.
My counselor has taught me a very important distinction between forgiveness and trust. You still need to guard your heart, and trust is something to be earned. But forgiveness is something we are called to give. It is something that does not need to be earned, because Christ offers it freely to us. It is not something we can earn ourselves, so why should we charge for it?
What are you still holding on to? Who do you need to forgive? It doesn’t mean you lift healthy boundaries and let those who hurt you have a foothold in your life. It just means that you are no longer captive to bitterness, anger, resentment, or even hatred. You can be set free from all those things. It’s a part of that changed heart I talked about before. It’s an important part to having joy that comes from within.
You know, I’ve spent my whole life thinking, “If I just [fill in the blank] I’ll be happy.” It was always, “If I just have a girlfriend, then I’ll be happy.” “If I just have a car, then I’ll be happy.” “If I become a rock star, then I’ll be happy.” “If I just lose the weight, then I’ll be happy.” “If I just make more money, then I’ll be happy.” “If I marry a beautiful woman, then I’ll be happy.” “If I just relocate, then things will start looking up.” And at least those things can have a positive connotation to them. But sometimes things get a bit darker, don’t they? Maybe for you it’s been, “If I just drink this… if I just smoke this… if I just give my body to him/her… if I just conquer him/her…” “If I just, if I just, IF I JUST…” That’s it. It’s always been about what I could do… it’s always about what WE can do… the next thing to try or that next step. But you know what? Maybe it’s not about all the external things. Maybe happiness doesn’t come from the outside in, but instead from the inside out.
The heart… the heart is the root of the problem. The Bible says our heart is a liar. Yeah, Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Yet the world tells us to follow it. It tells us to follow our heart. And then we move on to verse 10, “‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.’” The “reward” mentioned here isn’t always the good kind, either. It’s about our heart. Did you notice that our DEEDS are weighed according to our heart and mind? Even our “good” deeds are measured by what’s within. And it doesn’t stop there. Our words are telling of what lies within as well, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” -Matthew 12:34b. I know I’ve said some DISGUSTING things. I know I’ve said some DAMAGING things. You think they’re just words? Words hold the power of life and death. Words MEAN something.
What are you saying? What are you doing? What are you chasing, or better yet, what are you running from? For goodness to flow, we need a changed heart. For happiness, or better, joy to enter our lives, we need a changed heart. It’s not about what WE can do. It’s not about what WE can add to our lives. “If I just, if I just, if I just…” No, I reject that. Instead, “What He will, what He will, what He will…” Will you surrender? Will you offer your diseased heart over to the One who can… who WILL? It’s time to let go of the external and EMBRACE the eternal to live and dwell IN us… and change us… from the inside out.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has already started liking/following/commenting on my blogs. I am new to this whole blog page thing and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have started out by keeping myself somewhat anonymous on here, but that doesn’t mean I am putting up a wall. I am excited about being a part of this community. I just haven’t wanted all my Facebook friends coming on here to say what friends will say. I want to see if what I write holds merit with people I have never met before too. I want to branch out and meet new people… get to know a different crowd. It is freeing and exciting. Anyway, thank you again. I’m looking forward to all the people who I will be touched by and maybe I will touch too in the process. Here’s to new friendships and sharing life, love, and inspiration! God bless you all!
I hate finding traces of you here… you come and go as a phantom. Your life, that was once very much a part of mine, has become something left to the imagination. Sometimes I wonder what you are up to. Other times I simply don’t want to think about you at all. You’re beautiful and you kill me inside. I don’t want to know… don’t want to care, yet I’d give anything if I had any hint it would bring you here… next to me, where you once belonged. Next to me, where you once called home. You’re a shadow now and you’re fading fast. I reach to grab you, but nothing’s there. Our love, our life is vanishing. Any proof that it was ever real is becoming harder to find. What once was solid became liquid and flowed right down the drain. All that’s left is vapor now, and all our dreams are dissipating. Was it real? What did we have? Was it only a moment to come and go? Where have you gone? All I know is you are not here and you are not the women that I used to know.