December 5, 2016

It has been 79 Days since I have sat down to prepare a post. Most of that time seems like a blur. But there were some vivid moments during that time that validated my pausing from certain things in my life.  Because if I did not pause I fear that I would have burned out. This can be seen in a letter I wrote in early November.

Excepts of letter I wrote November 9, 2016

So much has happened these past few months. So much has happened these past few years. Where do I start? Where do I end? How do I articulate the thoughts of my head and heart with the intensity and deepness with which I feel them? Certainly I am not alone in feeling overly burdened by the trials of life. But how can I turn and pour out these heavy weights on my brothers and sisters in Christ when they too sense the same weight as me in their own daily life? Perhaps I should cast my cares on Jesus? But I still find it easier to assume that not turning to anyone, even God, is a better option than asking for an ear to hear my tired story. The internet, and social media at large isn’t really looking to hear me. Most people I run into aren’t looking to listen. In fact, I try not to tell others my struggles, because I know they need someone to hear theirs. But how long can I carry the weight of life before I stumble?

Right now I haven’t fallen, but I have certainly lost almost all momentum. I’ve stopped working out. My prayer life is dull. Schoolwork is a distance dream looming over my shoulder. My clarity of mind is dull. I struggle with the difference between caffeine and other drugs. Meaning, if I am just drinking tea of Monster energy drinks, then what is the difference from someone taking a stronger stimulant (speed)? And If I am drinking caffeine to stimulate myself, in the same fashion as a stronger drug then shouldn’t I stop drinking tea? I need quiet. I need peace. I need a time of refreshing. … I need friends. I need friends I can trust. I need friends who are as honest with me as I am with them. I need friends who look out for me, and are bold enough to call out my areas of weakness and need. … Studying the scriptures is fun; enjoyable. But studying in the academy is hard work. Meeting the expectations and requirements is not my cup of tea. Especially when trying to balance the demands of needing (wanting) to pay the bills with being a dad, husband, pastor, and musician.

Looking back, I can see clearly how God was working in many ways to guide us through this time. A time not filled with sin, but a time steeped in fierce spiritual warfare. Two thoughts define these past 79 days. First, you cannot serve broken people until you yourself are first broken. Second, “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all” (Isaiah 7:9 – ESV). But now that I am past this time of difficult it is not time to relax, but instead it is time to once again pick up where I left off, and continue to love those people whom God has put in front of me.

Brother. Sister. Do not become discouraged, for Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. If you cannot believe his word, then maybe see my life as a living testimony of this truth.