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im learning that bravery doesnt always mean victory.  and that courage doesnt always equate success.  i’m learning that the bravest things we can do rarely reflect the courage you’ll see in a movie.  it is rarely glamorous or beautiful.  more often than not, you wont find real courage shouting from the top of the mountain turning the tide of war.

im learning that the stories we read, frodo of the shire, william wallace, the spartans, maximus in gladiator, that although each of these characters display the various shades of courage, they paint glamorous images of bravery that dont always translate into real life.

im learning that you’ll find courage in the day-to-day.  if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it in the single mom holding down a job while raising a toddler.  in the divorcee who still aches from the missing piece.  in the teacher who loves her children beyond their hardships and in doing so, changes a generation in their community.

im learning that bravery doesnt always shout.  sometimes, in rare moments, bravery whispers.  if you’re quiet, you’ll hear it.  in the hushed determination of the heartbroken to keep her heart beating, in the whispered prayer of the faithful, in the quiet decision of the wounded, to keep loving.

sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to step out on that branch, give away a chainsaw, and face our greatest fears.  even if it means we fall flat on our face.

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if you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’ve been to a doctor dozens of times since you were born.  from your childhood yearly check-ups to broken arms, from booster shots and minor surgery to emergency rooms and major issues, we’ve all seen doctors.

the average investment in time a person makes to sign their name “MD” is 11 years.  1 1 years of schooling.  11 years of dedication, hard work, tests, progress, mistakes, and learning from mistakes culminates in the bestowing of the title of Doctor.

when a highschool student decides he wants to look into the field of medicine, the road ahead of him, no matter his choice, is mapped out.  should he want the distinction of signing his name with those two impressive letters, there is a plan for that.  should he want to go into nursing, or radiology, or plastic surgery, or dermatology or any of the dozens of choices he has, there is a defined plan for that path.  a plan of challenges, tests, steps that need to be taken and tasks that must be competed.

a student doesnt decide to become a doctor and then wonder how to get from where he is in life, to where he wants to be.  yes, there will be challenges.  he’ll have to sacrifice sleep, time, money and countless other little things.  he’ll face tremendous hardships, but the plan, the map is there.  if he sticks to the plan, at the end of those 11 years, he’s a doctor.

this doctor successfully pushed himself through 11 years of training.  valuable training, for this doctor may hold peoples hearts in his hands.  but if we’re lucky enough to be healthy people, our actual time spent with a doctor during a visit will probably be less than 10 minutes.  11 years of training for for 10 minutes of time.

so where am i going with this?

we know the training a doctor will go through before he is tasked with momentarily holding someones life in his hands.  it’s detailed and thorough, as well it should be.   doctors are initiated into their profession through a long process of tests, success, victories and i’m sure, failures.  and, not to belittle the profession by any means, but that’s just a doctor.  it’s what someone does, it’s not who they are.

with so much effort already put into the plan, the map for this person to become the doctor he or she wants to be, it’s surprising that the same amount of effort isn’t already in place for other things a man or woman may want to become.  what about the woman who wants to be a mother?  or the guy who wants to be the best husband he can be?

what training exists for a man who may hold a womans heart in his hands for the rest of his life…..

and as i sit here tonight, i think about the doctor.  and the years of schooling, of sitting under those who’ve gone before, learning from their mistakes.  of the countless hours studying any of hundreds of textbooks that cover thousands of situations he may find himself in.  and i wonder.

why is this fatherlessness thing so big to me?  i’m not going to be a doctor, that’s not my calling in life.  but someday, i hope to be a husband.  and thats huge.  someday i’ll hold the heart of a woman in the palm of my hands.  and i want to know what to do.  i want to have gone through 11 years of learning, studying, absorbing the wisdom and learning from the mistakes of the countless men who’ve gone before me.

i’m learning a lot about this thing called fatherlesness.  and as much as i know people dont view that as a big deal, it is.

it is for me.

why?  because there is a guy.  and because there is a girl.  and this girl deserves a man.  a man who knows how to love her.  and fight for her.  a man who knows where he came from, who’s been through the training and has learned from the elders, a man who is skilled and capable and strong of heart.  a man who doesnt question his lineage but knows the ancient paths that have been walked by men for millenia.  a man, initiated into this thing called manhood, by the men who’ve gone before.

why is all this so important?  because beyond doctorates and medical degrees, beyond 11 years of schooling and 10 minutes per patient, beyond whatever profession i chose, who i am and who i become are infinitely more important.

and because loving her will be the most important thing i ever do.

that’s it.  that one phrase defines who i am.  defines my fears, my sleepless nights.  my confusion filled days and moments of take-your-breath-away terror.

i dont know how to do this.  i dont know how to be a man.  i feel like a teenage kid stuck in a grown-up suit two sizes too big.  i feel terrified.  i can change the oil, pay my bills each month and look the part of being a man.  but the important things are the things i worry about.  falling in love, actually loving a woman the way she should be loved, becoming a boyfriend, husband and father… those things, i dont know how to do those things.  i dont know how to be those things.

how do i present myself as a viable mate when all i know, the “how to be a man” handbook i was given was written my by father?  where, how do i find the role model i need when so many years ago i gave up and came to the understanding that i’m alone and that ive got to make it on my own?

how do i find a role model, how do i find love, when i’m simply too afraid to let anyone in?

i want to love her with all i am.  i want to care for her, be a light and an encouragement.  but i want to love her from a heart that is free.  the heart of a man.  and maybe this is what fighting for someone really looks like.  maybe im finally realizing that this is where things change, where pretenses and beliefs long ingrained begin to crumble.  maybe this is where i face those three defining words and begin to see them changed.

Jesus – i dont want to miss her.  whomever she is.  i dont want to miss the chance to love her for all she is, with all i am.  please, do this work in me, because i cannot do it on my own

i sat this evening in front of the fire, Mickey’s Christmas Carol on the television, and as much as i wanted to be there, i wasnt.  my mind wouldnt quiet.  I love Mickey’s Christmas Carol, I love Christmas with the whole family under one roof even more, but even through all of that i kept noticing things.

the fire in the fireplace, two very large pecan logs.  and id fought with it on and off all evening.  it would flare up and fade out.  i would go over and blow on it, it would flare up and fade out.  lather, rinse, repeat.

we finally got it going.  the logs were positioned incorrectly.  they needed to be moved, repositioned.  they needed to fit together differently.  and that got me thinking.  about how this is the last Christmas i’ll celebrate in my 20’s.  about how many more Christmases we’ll actually celebrate under one roof.  about how i hope next Christmas has all four of us under the same roof, plus some new members of the family:-).

it got me thinking about my positioning, and where i might need to change.

the two logs were in the proper place, they were the proper method to use to build a fire, but no matter how hard i tried, no matter how much kindling, or oxygen i could give the fire, it wouldnt catch.  because the logs weren’t positioned properly.  they were too close together.

too close, and they smother each other.  too far apart and the fire, the heat dies.  but positioned properly, and the fire burns for hours.

i’m reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  In it he makes the observation that we live so many of our days not pursuing what we actually want.  we get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner and spend the evening in front of the television.

we live, spend, invest enormous amounts of time not pursuing what we truly want, what our dreams call for.

so as 2009 draws to a close and 2010 begins fresh, clean and new, as this decade moves from present to past, and as i look at ’30’ closer and closer each day, my hearts prayer  is that i would be in the proper place, at the right time, and positioned in the right way to be a light and encouragement.  to fulfill the destiny that i was called for.  to live each day with purpose, with the knowing that i only get that chance, to make that day count.

i may stumble, i may even fall flat on my face at times…

but i will fall forward.

i came home tonight and i kept telling myself that i am where i’m supposed to be.  that im there for a reason.  that this responsibility i feel really is that, responsibility.  and not just some over developed sense of something like guilt.  that i’ll be back in new york when the time is right. or i’ll pour my heart out to that amazing woman when everything is finally where it should be.

maybe tonight i need to realize that this wasnt promised to me.  that i wasnt ever promised a path that would give me the white picket fence and 2.4 kids.  maybe i wasnt promised an easy road.  maybe im realizing that what my heart beats so longingly for, is something worth giving up what i’ve gained.

donald miller, in his book called Searching for God Knows What talks about adam and eve.  he speaks of the world God created, a world devoid of death, decay, crime, pollution, hatred and fear; a world where sin was absent.  he speaks of God creating the animals, the plants, the sky, the firmament, the sun, moon and stars, all culminating in what we commonly see as the pinnacle of creation – man.  and amongst this perfection, surrounded by every need being met in abundance, God said to adam that it wasnt good for him to be alone.

adam was perfect.  surrounded by perfection.  created by a perfect God.  and yet God makes it perfectly clear that it was not good for Adam to be alone.

if you were to ask me, i’d probably embellish the story a bit.  id want to say that adam was created with a yearning inside of him.  a yearning for something that he had not yet seen.  an emptiness inside that longed to be filled.

the facet of this that donald miller brings to light is something ive read dozens of times, and always missed.  in one verse, God states very clearly to adam that it isnt good for him to be alone.  i believe God confirmed to adam that he was created with this longing.  and yet in the very next verse, God has every created thing present itself to adam.  God gives adam the task of naming each creature that filled the earth.

what we dont realize, is the timing.  if you believe in the idea of creation, then you need to realize that the task given to adam was no small matter.  this wasnt something adam completed in a few minutes or even a few days.  Adam was given the responsibility of naming somewhere between 10 and 50 million creatures.  if you split the difference and say 30 million creatures, at an average of 1000 creatures a day, 6 days a week, adam may have easily spent the next 10 decades naming these creatures.

it’s almost as if God told adam “you shouldnt be alone” and then proceeded to show adam every single creature on earth, and why it wouldnt be his match.  why it wouldnt fill the need inside of adam to love in a way that he’d never known.

i wonder if adam felt the same way i sometimes do, if  – after God confirms for him something he’s felt since he was created and after he spends countless days naming each animal – he began to question.  question if there was that someone out there for him.

i wonder what is written between the lines of those two verses.  what adams nights were like.

i know i serve a perfect God with a perfect plan.  i’m not arguing that.  i’m just wondering what adam went through.

after 100 years, adam finally completes his task.  and God creates eve.  flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  i wonder if it took adam any time at all to realize that eve was wholly different.  different in every way from everything he’d seen in his century of work.  if perfection could have become more perfect, it did in eve.

so where am i going with this?

it’s you.  and thats what i’m finally realizing.  this is for you.

im not saying im your adam, but i do know beyond any doubt that you are an eve.  you’re worth what adam went through.  you’re worth the endless days of work, the refinement inside of adam that must have gone on.  you’re worth the century of waiting adam went through.  you’re the prize that adam finally realized was waiting for him.  you are worth fighting for.  you are worth the innumerable days and nights of waiting on this perfect God and His perfect timing.

it’s not me.  and that’s the other half of what i’m finally realizing.  that this is really for you.

i cannot sit here and tell you that i want to be your adam while knowing i fly 1700 miles away in less than two days.  so this isnt about me.

this is about you.  and my prayers that you’re encouraged.  that you realize that what you’ve always known existed inside of you is something of endless beauty.  that i know it must not be easy to be single and almost thirty.  i know that.  but please, hang on.  wait for that man who will be your adam.  who’s willing to follow the perfect voice of a perfect God and His perfect timing.  that man who needs an eve to be on the other side of the task he’s been given.

you are an eve.  always and forever.  it’s not something you can change, you were born that way.

so please, dont give up.  dont settle.

your adam is out there.  and he’s fighting for you.  and he needs you to be there, when his task is done.

i know, i know – i’ve slacked in my quest with thirty days of thankfulness.  to be honest, it’s not because i’m not thankful.  it’s not.  some of it is forgetfulness on my part, and some of it is sheer willpower, or the lack thereof.  either way, i’m not quiting.  and i’m contemplating extending this to fourty days.

we’ll see:-).

i will tell you that as we draw so close to the end of this journey (as today is day 29), i know there is still a work to be done in me.  i know that i’m far from complete and that the roads i’ve been asked to walk as are as much for me to be changed as they are for me to impact change.

today, i am thankful for

mistakes.  for making them.  and realizing that i’m making them while i’m doing it.  i’m thankful that i live under Grace.  and that even in the midst of stupid, self centered decisions, there is mercy.  there may not be excuses, and i need to own up to the decisions i make, but there is mercy.  thank God for mercy.

answered prayers.  be it a 6 month review that puts a lot of my concerns to rest, or surgery on a loved one that went much better than it could have, i am thankful for answered prayers.

challenges. i dont know if i’ve mentioned that before, but i am thankful for challenges.  although, when you’re walking through them, it’s not always something you look at and express thankfulness about:-).  i’m currently reading who moved my cheese and it’s opening my eyes to the proper way to handle change.

kate.  if you’ve not had the pleasure to know kate, you’re missing out.  i remember the first time i met her; she was goofy, fun, vibrant, beautiful and full of life.  not to mention the smart glasses…. those were what won me over:-).  in the years i’ve been blessed to know her, she has challenged, blessed, inspired, encouraged and been a light to my life in more ways than i could possibly mention.  our stories are somewhat similar.  and knowing that there is someone out there who has walked some of the roads i too must walk…. well, sometimes it just means everything.  i am thankful for her, and to her.  and i am thrilled for her and her super lucky man:-).

worries. i’m not exactly thankful for my worries as much as i am thankful for the chances to learn, and relearn to trust in the One who has called me by His name.  who has called me, called us all to not worry about our life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.   But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

family. because they simply rock.

second chances.  i think that speaks for itself.


at what point does one cross the line from playing it safe to walking off the field?  at what point does being careful transform into sitting in the stands?  at what point does being responsible equate a crutch? where did we, as a people, learn this fear of doing the wrong thing?  where did I learn this fear? since when did i trade living life, for sitting in the bleachers?

Erwin McManus said…

for too may of us, because we fear failure, we are afraid to try.  sometimes we live vicariously through the lives of others.  instead of being life voyagers, we become life voyeurs.  i think it’s one of the reasons we entertain ourselves to death.  we find our romance in You’ve Got Mail and we fight our battles through William Wallace and Maximus Aurelius.  And there might as well be a glass screen between real life and us because the closest we get to fulfilling our life’s dream is watching them.  we’ve accepted our place, our lot in life, as sideliners.

i’ve spent the better part of the past few weeks pouring over internet adds for apartments.  ive visited some, called others… and always, always… im finding something wrong with them.  and im coming to the conclusion that the apartment isnt necessarily wrong.   i am.

i’m blessed enough to be able to afford a nice place.  so thats not the issue.  the issue is me.  its that im afraid of failing.  of not finding the ‘right’ apartment.  its wanting the path before me to be highlighted and marked prior to stepping out the door.  its my refusal to live in the joy of the moment and in the walk of faith.

its crippling.  and it needs to stop.

part of it is my fear of how things went last time.  and that if i somehow screw up now, the past will simply repeat.

…..

i know i cannot continue to live this way.

people still talk about the lives of those they emulate.  william wallace, maximus aurelius, the spartans… all evoke emotion, passion and visions of glory in those who know their stories.  people tell and retell their stories because of exactly that truth.  they lived lives full of stories worth telling.   they did not live safe lives.  these were not safe men.  they lived, fought, loved, gave, won and lost with all they had.

i dont like life as a sideliner.  i dont.  because here, on the sidelines, i’m useless.  yes, my clothes are clean, i smell good and i’m healthy.  out there on the field, i’ll get dirty.  on the field, there will be days where i’ll not smell nice.   and i promise you, i will get hurt.  but at this point, the call is too loud.  i crave the adventure.  so i’ll take the scraped knees, the cuts and the grass stains and the sprains and twists and possible breaks.  i’ll take the bruised ego and the very real possibility of falling flat of my face.  i’ll take those risks because standing here on the sidelines means never living the life i want.  loving the way i want. painting the pictures i want to see.  hearing the music i want to hear.

i’ll take those risks because standing here on the sidelines, living life vicariously through others, drowing the love that burns inside of me, and swallowing the dreams that keep my heart alive will eventually destroy me.  i’ll be a nice looking, good smelling, healthy shell of a human being.  i’ll be dead on the inside.

and i refuse to live that life.

there is a woman out there.  a woman who i am destined to love.  and i will not be a safe man.  when i find her, i will love her with a love that has been tried through the fire, a love that was won with scars and pain and stories worth telling.  i will love her with all i am and each end every day, when i close my eyes, i will know i loved with everything i had.  because i will not live a quiet safe existence.

i will live a life full of stories that are worthy of being told.

….somehow we all know that to play it safe is to lose the game

-Erwin Raphael McManus

its finally happened. the paperwork has been filled out. all that is needed now is a trip to the courthouse. my parents divorce is only days away.

its been 5 years to get to this point. and now that its almost here, i have no idea how to feel. to be honest, im not even sure ‘if’ i feel. i feel numb. and in more situations than just this one.

i mean, come on, this is huge. isnt it? or at this point, is it a non-event? is this parsley on the dinner plate; the ‘final touch’ but basically pointless?

i know, its good to have it on paper, legally. but wow, i dont feel anything.

i wrote the following back in july 2006, while on vacation in florida. i was dealing with a lot of different thoughts and emotions and i felt… i hurt. and i wrote. and this was what came out.

july 2006

more than a thousand miles from the place i call home, and less than a thousand feet from the atlantic ocean. welcome to my vacation. im about halfway through my time here in florida. the weather has been beautiful. hot, but unlike texas, a constant breeze. and the nice thing is that it actually cools off in the evening. I have had a productive few days; ive made friends with the local wildlife (that being, we now have 2 or 3 families of ducks that come right up to the sliding glass door on our deck looking for breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack), ive learned that playing chicken with waves when the tide is coming in all but guarantees that you will lose and ive driven all over I95 and can tell you quite a bit about it.

and on a different level, at dinner today i realized that im not as infatuated with “fun” and “doing things” as i once was.

maybe its because of how long its been since i spent more than a few hours with those i consider close friends. with people from NY. but im realizing something the longer im here. i dont want fun. i honestly dont. id give up all the fun of this week for 2 hours, 2 solid hours of uninterrupted, unhindered, open, honest communication. id love to just be honest and real with someone, anyone. id love to meet someone here other than the cute but non-communicative feathered natives. i mean; they honk, and they’re very adapt at letting you know exactly what they want, but they dont make the best beach walking companions.

maybe its me, maybe im simply sabotaging my own chances of having exactly what i want. maybe im…. afraid of speaking up and saying, “you know what, i really dont want to spend the day walking around outlet malls” and “no, im not ok. im not ok with life. im not ok. i miss my sister. i hurt. my god i hurt. and i just want to stop hurting”.

maybe im simply realizing that im angry. angry at God for the past two, heck… 5 years. angry at the loss. at the take-your-breath-away feelings of loss and abandonment. maybe im realizing that i cannot continue to be angry, to be hurt; but that i must start asking the hard questions. i need to realize that wounds cannot heal until they are felt. i cannot experience the life i want until i experience the life i have. until i let myself feel the hurt, the pain, the abandonment, the questions of why. the screaming that is ablaze inside of me cannot be quenched. no amount of retail therapy or quiet sessions on the beach, no amount of good times or hanging out with those i consider friends will put out the fire that is fueled by hurts that go beyond emotion and scar the very fabric of our beings. soul hurts are the hardest to heal, because for some reason we humans believe firmly that they are things we should never talk about.

im dying to talk. i guess thats what im getting at. im dying for someone to simply say they care. i dont have any idea where to go with these feelings. and im lost as to how to handle them.

maybe thats where having a father figure comes in handy. i mean, im 26 years old and im slowly coming to the conclusion that if you have a father figure in your life for only one period, it would be between 18 and 25. those are, for me anyway, the times when who i was began to fade and the man i am to be, started to form. and im sitting here now and i can honestly tell you i have no idea what it means to be a man. none. period.

im lost. and that thought scares me more than anything. i have NO idea how to act around a woman. now, dont get me wrong, i can treat a lady right and i can be the gentleman…. but im 26, and im single.

i dont know how to handle the overwhelming feelings of utter incapability to be who i am supposed to be. a breadwinner, the head of a household, maybe even a father of my own one day. and yet, on that same token, i cannot imagine bringing kids into the picture. i dont have a clue on how to be a father, so why would i want to bring children into the picture?

im realizing that i dont even know how to judge my own growth.

im reading “to own a dragon” by donald miller right now. its his reflections on growing up without a father figure. i only picked it up yesterday and its already moved me to tears. i see myself in his writings. its scary.

don talks about a special he saw on the national geographic channel a few years ago. a documentary on elephants. 20 orphaned elephants that were rescued and brought to a wildlife preserve. he spoke of watching these adolescent males enter into well, puberty. and how during this one time in puberty (that mind you, is supposed to only last for a few days) an elephant in the wild separates himself from his mother and begins to seek out an older, more mature male elephant. when found, these two become almost inseparable. the elder male teaching the younger the finer points about being an elephant; how to handle the pressures, feelings, strengths and weaknesses that elephants inherently have. and the younger elephant offering protection to the older male.

its during this time in an elephants life that elephant children die, and the elephant adult is born.

unfortunately, the adolescent males that the documentary followed were unable to find elder males to help shape, mold and guide them. this led to a period of ‘sexual frustration’ which was only supposed to last a few days turning into a much longer ordeal. these physically adult males were lost. they had no idea how to handle the stresses, pressures and feelings which burned inside of them…. and it led to outbursts which i did not realize happened in nature.

these young elephants would amble up beside an unsuspecting rhinoceros at a water hole and with no warning would plunge their tusks into the rhino, pinning it beneath the water until it drowned.

they were that frustrated. and that lost.

i am that frustrated. and that lost.

maybe youre one of the lucky ones who grew up in an intact home. who never had to feel the sting of being left behind, of losing all you hold dear. maybe you dont know what it means to have the closest person to you walk away, walk out of your life and never look back. if you are, consider yourself lucky.

there has been this ache, following me. overflowing into everything ive done the past few days. and the thing is, ive no idea where it is coming from or how to handle it.

im on vaction. and i cannot get over this. i dont even know what “this” is. im just, lost. and hurting. so much.

and i want to go home.

can you believe that? im on vacation, and i dont fly out for another 3 days…. but all i can think about is how desperately i want to go home. my god there must be something wrong with me.

maybe i had this idea of how this vacation was going to go. maybe i had too many hopes and dreams of refreshing, of revitalization, of renewing and re-energizing. maybe what i wanted, and what was supposed to happen on this trip dont line up. im not actually sure.

but i do know that i should be able to say that im wishing i handnt spent the money. that i could be working right now and doing something productive with my time.

would someone please tell me what is wrong with me?

———-

i almost feel like i need to post a disclaimer, and say that florida was amazing. because it was. it absolutely was. its 300+ photos of one of the best weeks in my life. it was 8 days with people i love more than life itself.  the trip would have been worth 10x what i spent. i dont regret going in the least. heck, im already planning for 2007.

but sometimes even in the midst of paradise we need to deal with the dark areas of the soul. and by writing the above, i was doing just that.

life is not only watching the moon rise over the ocean… its also the fight to simply reach the shore.

what i wrote may not be fully correct, or right. but you know what? it came out of who i am. it came out of the moments, the places inside of my heart that are still beating. it was honesty. and im afraid that im losing that. that im somehow losing the ability to feel things deeply.

i want more of that. i want honesty. i want moments without make believe.

at this point? id rather simply be real and be absolutely wrong; id rather expose the dirt in my heart and simply be real, be the me that i am, than be right and be fake… and die on the inside.

i hunger for the storm. i hunger for the moments when i cant help but rely on someOne else to save. i dont want to be self sufficient.i almost feel like im drowing in this abyss of normalacy. and i dont want that. i dont.

i used believe in
some kind of feeling
that could change everything i thought i knew
but that door has closed
and my heart feels like its frozen
if You hear me
i cant feel You

so the question still remains. whats next? its nearly been two years since i got to texas. can you believe that? two years. and in some ways ive flourished, and in others, im lost wandering the land of always winter.

ive found myself, feeling very lost at times. wondering what im supposed to be doing. why i am here. where the ‘connections’ are that i seem to be missing.

april talked in her blog about the blessing her brother was coming into. the connections he had made. he was finding his place. discovering who he is. i yearn for that.

not to long ago someone said that without a vision, we die. i think it is especially true for guys. we need a goal. a vision to hold the randomness of our lives together. without a goal… without a goal we lose ourselves. we lose our ability to look up, to look beyond ourselves. and we begin to wonder if all we see around us really is all that there is.

its scary when you start to ask those questions. but if youre brave, you allow yourself to face them. althought i must say, i dont always like the answers. answers that tell me i live much of my life in fear. fear of not being good enough. of losing my job. of being the wrong person. of saying the wrong thing. of being unloved.

now i can stand here and point to specific times in my life when each of those fears were birthed. i can tell you how i logically attacked each one. how i developed very intricate strategies and defenses in dealing with them… but honestly, none of it matters.

im hungry. so desperately hungry. hungry for a church to call home. hungry for worship like bethel. to sit behind a sound board again. im hungry for a friend to just be with. hungry for the phone to ring with an invite for some coffee. its the desire to be wanted. to feel valued. to find hope in what one can offer.

we’re all born with the desire to love and be loved. we’re all born with dreams woven deeply into the very core of who we are. and when we allow ourselves to be the most real, those cries are what we hear. cries to worship. calls to dream again.

playing with a thunderstorm, the name of this blog. the name comes from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. in the part of the book where Aslan has just sacraficed himself to save the prodigal son, the two daughters of eve find Aslans body lying on the stone sacrificial table…. and, well, i’ll let you read it.

the stone table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end; and there was no Aslan.“oh oh oh!” cried the two girls, rushing back to the table. “oh its too bad” sobbed lucy; “they might have left the body alone.” “who’s done it?” cried susan. “what does it mean? is it more majic?”

“Yes!” said a great voice behind their backs. “It is more majic.” they turned around. there, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.

“oh Aslan!” cried both of the children, staring up at him, aslmost as much frightened as they were glad. “aren’t you dead then, dear Aslan?” said lucy.

“Not now” said Aslan.

“you’re not-not a-?” asked susan in a shaky voice. she couldnt bring herslef to say the word ghost. Aslan stooped his golden head and licked her forehead. the warmth of his breath and a rich sort of smell that seemed to hang about his hair came all over her.

“do I look it?” he said.

“oh, you’re real, you’re real! oh Aslan!” cried lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses. “but what does it all mean?” asked susan when they were somewhat calmer.

“it means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep majic, there is a majic deeper still which she did not know. her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. but if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. she would have known then when a willing victim who had commited no treachery was killed in a traitors stead, the table would crack and death itself would start working backwards. and now-“

“oh yes, now?” said lucy, jumping up and clapping her hands.

“oh, children,” said the Lion, “i feel my strength coming back to me. oh, children, catch me if you can!”

He stood for a second, His eyes very bright, His limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the table. laughing, though she didnt know why, lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. a mad chase began. round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. it was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Nanria; and wether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten lucy could never make up her mind….

so, the rest of the story remains to be written.

im going to dream.
im going to be someone.
im going to find my place.

and i will overcome.

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