How is it possible that its already June? I knew that I hadn't written anything for a while, but seven weeks? For many, seven weeks is not long enough! Sorry to disappoint.
The past few months have been really odd in my life and I'm still in the middle of trying to find myself in it all. I think that all the drama involving my church family has finally passed, and I'm very thankful that its over. I've come to terms with the fact that things will never be the same as before, and I've even come to understand that it is for the best that they never will be. I just hate to see people at odds with one another and not totally committed to reconciliation. As much as I'd like to think that the church is different from society, I have to understand that the common denominator in both cases is the human condition, and therefore they will always look alike in many ways.
Coming out of that cloud I've found myself in a strange place. I feel very alone. I'm spending some time with a few friends to dig into why I'm feeling alone, and I think I'm on the right track. But, like my old church family, nothing will be the same. I'm starting to realize how unhealthy it is for me to put so much stock in my relationships with others. Not to say that relationships aren't important, but I've come to realize that I substitute my relationships with people for the relationship I should have with Jesus. I had a friend (courageous is he) recently ask me if I get any degree if comfort or peace from the knowledge that the god that created me loves me deeply. And after some thought I had to be honest and say that I do not. You see, the idea of Jesus is something I love, and his mission is one that I willingly participate in, but Jesus himself has always been distant. To say that I have any sort of relationship or interaction with him would be stretching it. More like I know OF him and am down with his cause. But do I really know him? No. Instead, I've looked for my own identity in my relationships with others, assuming that I would be on the right path if I was cool with everyone around me. Unfortunately, I've found this to be a painful path. I know that my predisposition to love people is a gift from Father, and I love the life that it brings. However, its gotten so difficult to juggle it all that I'm starting to let things fall. This scares the crap out of me. I guess that my deepest fear is to have all the people I care about turn on me and leave me. Being alone is how I would describe hell in its most cruel form. So, when a relationship goes bad, or even begins to fade, I get anxious and fear my whole life is about to fall down. My days are then full of avoiding disaster and trying to keep everything in order so that chaos can't ruin my little world. My life becomes all about protecting and maintaining. I can't live this way any more.
The challenge now is to dive right into the problem. How do I re-center myself around the identity that I was created for? How do I anchor my whole being around a god that I can't see, hear or touch, when everything that I CAN see, hear or touch tries to pull me back towards my old ways? Well, its taking a lot of time. I'm only starting to realize the level to which I am trying to keep my deck of cards from falling down. I'm learning to be joyful regardless of the situation. I'm learning what it truly means to be loved by god, and what unconditional love looks like. I've held on to so many lies for so long that its going to take a while to identify all of them and kick them out of my mind. If I lose my job, my house and all my stuff; I am loved and everything will be OK. If I lose all my friends and my reputation; I am still loved and everything is going to be OK. If I lose my baby boy and my wife; I will still be loved and everything is going to be OK. It's scary to even type those words because I still don't really believe them. I know that God loves me, but I still need to protect what I have because losing what I have will end me. That's how I really feel. But Jesus tells me that if I ingest what he says about me; that I'm precious to him and nothing I can do will change that, I will never be alone and I have nothing to fear. That sounds too good to be true. Maybe I'm scared of what will happen if I live as though it is true. Probably.
My biggest challenge in this new way of thinking is coming up soon. I will have to make some difficult choices that may rub some people the wrong way. People may become upset, or some may not understand. And I have to look beyond that and do what I feel is my destiny. Regardless. I can't tell you how much that scares me. But I have to remind myself. I am loved and everything is going to be OK. These coming weeks will put that to the test. Exhale.