Give It to Me Straight


Marriage is a hell of a thing to have to experience by trial and error. I don’t want to ever have to learn from it in this way again. That’s why it is so important that I extract every possible lesson from this, allow it to blow open all of my illusions, and let it cause me to face reality and all the ways I need to change. There’s what’s been done to you, but there’s also who you’ve allowed yourself to be and what you’ve allowed yourself to do. What you’ve been given is not your fault, but what you do with it is your charge. You want to know how to learn from mistakes? Allow yourself to feel all that you ought to through the consequences. That is lesson enough to not want to be there again. I am not talking about going to a morbid place, or taking it to an unhealthy extent, but escape, numbness, band-aids, and cutting corners is like pursuing leprosy of the soul. It was when you felt the burn that you learned touching fire will hurt. The draw to want to rush through the lessons is incredibly strong, but when I let myself feel through this time, I know that no shortcut is worth being here again. I only hope that my transparency will be used to help someone else not go through the same.
*This is a draft from 11/30/2013 that somehow got overlooked and not posted. It’s interesting to look back and see when the hurt and angst was still so raw.
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Hear My Heart


It’s better for me if I don’t know what she’s up to or how things are going. I just hope they’re going well. I pray that they are. I tried to pray tonight and realized I just didn’t know what to say. So, I just told God, “I’ll always love her… and so will You. That’s a good thing. That’s good enough for me.” Amen.

As It Stands- I’m On My Knees


I’ve been completely confounded by life. I’ve seen new depths of brokenness. I am wrestling with faith and trust… I believe only time will offer some of the answers for the reasons why, and that the rest won’t come until I step beyond this plane of time. I believe that God is good. I believe in the hope He offers. Right now, I’m just trying to do the best I can with what I have. I’m trying to spread love, and not hurt. I’m fighting to choose the right things, and not just the easy things. I want to be a tool for good, and not a weapon for wickedness. I desire peace, and hope to promote it in the lives of others. I hope to challenge people to not settle for the way things are, but to take responsibility for the person they are going to be and the life they are going to lead. Through it all, I don’t want my meaning to come from these things. I don’t want it to come in or from my “doing,” or from what you have to offer me. I want it to have already been obtained from the God who made me, died for me, and rose again. The One who dwells with me, in me, and will never leave me- in spite of me. Amen.

In Repair


I fall- fallingI fell,
The old habit, that old way,
Waiting for someone to save me,
From my long and lonely days.

Loneliness: a symptom,
Of the trouble that’s within,
Fragile life that has been splintered,
By the aftermath of sin.

So Lord, take this; hold me,
Come and save me from myself,
Let’s repair all of the damage,
Lest it spread to someone else.

It’s Time


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.

The Joy of Forgiveness


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.

If I Just…


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.