Free Love


Fear keeps rearing its ugly head, and I think the latest struggle is in wrestling with this:

The more you have, the more you have to lose.

I’m not just speaking in terms of money/possessions, although those things are included. I’m speaking in terms of relationships and letting people close…

… but even now, God is giving me a healing response. Changing one word in our perspective can change everything. You can turn fear into freedom, by way of love, and that statement above can become:

The more you have, the more you have to give.

When we stop worrying so much about what we have to gain or lose, start considering what’s already been perfectly given unto us from God, and the way He wants to bless others through us, we make the greatest exchanges of all– selfish for selfless, control for trust, pain for strength, and fear for freedomthe freedom to love.

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Feel the Pain


“Happiness creates a laziness which allows us to forget, but pain… teaches us a lesson which forces us to grow.” -The Killing

It’s interesting how as a society we chase happiness at all costs, especially to others, and numb or escape pain any way we can. I’m not saying let’s seek out pain, but really… which of the two can create the lasting benefit?

If we feel and face pain when it comes, then we’ll truly learn the lessons we ought to from it. That growth aligns our course towards a healthier future.

A Reflection on Depression


Dear Everyone,

As it has for a lot us, the tragic loss of Robin Williams has caused me to reflect. I think what’s cutting us to the core on this one is not only that we lost him, but also how we lost him. It has me thinking a lot about my own struggles with depression over the years, and I wanted to open up a bit about it and share. I know I am one among many afflicted. For those out there, you should know that you’re not alone. I am no expert in a field of study, but I know what it’s been like for me. I will share based on my own experience. Feel free to share based on yours.

Depression doesn’t have to be reasonable, logical, or rational. From the outside perspective, it can appear to be unwarranted. That’s part of what makes it so difficult to understand at times. It’s like seeing people with the worst circumstances in the world, yet they display strength, courage, hope, and even joy. Then you have people who are comparatively blessed beyond measure… who are tormented within their own heart and mind. It doesn’t have to be real to anyone else to be a devastating reality to the one experiencing it.

My depression was something that my ex-wife had to deal with. I know that wasn’t easy. We didn’t live together before we were married, and it is one of those things that can be managed enough at times to keep it unknown… enough. I never intentionally hid it, but it wasn’t who I wanted to be, so when at all possible, it wasn’t who I was. After marriage, she would see my times of withdrawal, of unexplainable sadness, of feelings of hopelessness and unbearable weight. When I was at that point there was nothing she could do, despite her best efforts. It wasn’t because of her or about her, but it surely effected her. I know it broke her spirits as well and caused her to feel inadequate in the sense that… she couldn’t fix the way I felt. I’m not meaning to speak for her. These are just things I’ve realized in hindsight, but are still coming from my perspective.

God has opened my eyes to the extent that I have realized what, for me, had perpetuated my depression. For me, it had been the disappointment of being failed by my idols. I am speaking of idols in the Biblical sense. The things I looked to for hope. The things I made my salvation and my source that never could’ve been those things for me. It was my misplaced and misguided expectation and ways of seeking for redemption. When people or things would fail me, fail to be what they were never intended to be, I would become disillusioned. I would withdrawal. I would unravel. I did this in lots of ways at different stages throughout my life, often seeking ways to escape the things I could not face, the most recent case being in my ended marriage.

You see, she was that savior from a home environment I didn’t know how to escape. She was that love that I never thought I’d deserve. She was that hope for a future away from a life of hidden pain. She was my grace for a life I never thought I’d get to have… and that was wrong. That was all wrong. It wasn’t fair to her for me to expect her to be something that no one could ever live up to. It caused me to only see and create who I wanted her to be, instead of who she was. I was in love with a version of her I created in my mind, and I deprived her of being loved for who she was. When reality broke through, when I was let down by my idol for being human as she was, I came undone. I could not be all she looked for me to be, just as she could not be all that I looked for her to be. We are not Gods and we were never meant to be.

I have been to the edge. I have been to the brink. I have come closer to leaving this place than I care to elaborate on. I am still paying off debt for medical bills from a panic attack and break down trip to the ER… but, I am lucky. Not all are so lucky. I have such loving, such incredible people in my life that reached out and reached into my life. They wouldn’t let me fade. They wouldn’t allow me to disappear. They wanted more for me than I did… they wanted me to live, and not to simply exist, but to take hold of that life that is truly life. God is good. God alone is God. God alone will never leave, forsake, nor fail. It is unfair to everyone involved to place someone else on the throne. They will only be burdened to live up to unattainable expectations, and you are only destined for disappointment by seeking perfection from the imperfect. The people who’ve loved me out of the darkness I was in have afforded me the opportunity to learn these things, seek healing, and begin again.

When you’re in that place, you don’t have the strength to reach out. You can’t even find the energy to expend. So I beseech you all, if know someone struggling, withdrawing, spiraling… reach out to them. Pray for them. Don’t ever try to rationalize away what they are experiencing. Let God’s love flow through you to break into their lives, for it’s that very love that will save them. It’s that very love that brings the hope, strength, and purpose to step out and live again. I thank you for your time, and I open the door to you as well. Let’s not be silent. Let’s not isolate or hide away. Let’s call this what it is, and throw ourselves on grace. I love you all and God bless.

Sincerely,

Me

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.

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.

Tears Like Rain


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.