Today I am thankful. Today I am full of unexplainable joy. Today I smile.
But the following blog entry is from where I have been. It was a few months back. It’s what I’ve left behind and learned from a series of events. I’m forever grateful for failure and disappointment.
April 4, 2012
I’ve made some risky life decisions lately. I like making risky decisions, I like taking risks, I like adventure, I like living by faith. This time some decisions I got to make, others were made for me and they were all heartbreaking. Heartbreaking in the best sense of the word. I’ve been hurting. Deep, intense, cry out to Jesus just to breathe; pain. It’s good for me. It’s hard. It feels like it’s almost over.
I don’t like it when I don’t write for a while. Sometimes it’s because I’m busy, sometimes it’s because I’m just a bit down. Sometimes it means I don’t have a lot to share and I’m in the midst of pain so the words won’t come out. That’s where I’ve been lately.
Things end, things change. It happens to everyone. We all have seasons. Life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes we’re on the top; sometimes we take a big leap to the bottom. It’s good. It’s where we grow. It’s where our character is tested, broken down and made new. It’s where we get on our knees and cry out to God for relief. It’s where we find ourselves.
A few things have ended for me recently. The relationship I was in, ended. And in step with that I ended my employment with Straight Ahead Ministries. There is a strong team working to open the coffee shop/community center that I know God will work through to bless the Main South area and every kid who walks through the door. And I hope to head over there and volunteer at some point, but not yet.
The ending of the relationship I was in was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been faced with. My heart’s desire is to find that special someone to team up with and live this life with. And I’ve given that search to God. Asking Him to bring my best friend into my life so I wouldn’t keep giving my heart away. The relationship I was in seemed to happen so organically. It felt like God was leading us together. I look back and I see God’s hand working in each one of us and in the relationship and I see opportunities I could have walked away.
I have learned a lot from the relationship and from the ending of it. I look back and think, maybe I should have walked away sooner, maybe I was holding on too tight, maybe I wanted it too badly. And then I think, maybe he wasn’t ready, maybe God has something better, maybe my job was just to love him while I had the chance and then to let him go when he walked away.
I’m thankful for the insight I have into the situation. God has blessed me with clarity so often in my life. I know He will reveal just what I need to know about a situation as I need to know it. I need to have confidence in those revelations and not look to others to confirm them. Don’t get me wrong, wise counsel is important and I will continue to seek it, but one of my biggest lessons in all of this is to have confidence in me, in what I hear from God and in my decisions, without needing everyone else’s approval.
I will admit I’m scared. I want to love again, I want to connect with someone, share life with them and let them into who I am. But my heart has been broken. It’s healing but it’s fragile. Maybe that’s right where it needs to be. More guarded than before.
Part of me feels like I’m back to the beginning. Back to where I was before those “big dreams” fell into place. I am and I’m not. I am in the sense that I don’t have a job, a partner in life or big project I’m working on. But I’m not too. Because I have renewed hope, I’ve healed and worked on things through this suffering and I’ve found new strength in Jesus. And I’ve been humbled. I’ve laid it all down before Him and He’s shown me some of my “weeds”. We’ve ripped them out.
I have direction from God to keep pursuing church planting, I have hope that He will bring my partner to me in His time and I have faith that the right job is right around the corner.
Life’s goal should never be to avoid suffering; it should never be to avoid pain. It should be to embrace suffering, to embrace pain, to cry out to God and say thank you for this. Thank you that in this pain I can cry out to you Jesus and you will rescue me. And it’s that rescue; it’s that love from Him that is more than enough. And in this pain, in this suffering I say thank you and pray that His glory is revealed. I ask God to use this pain for His good and to not waste a single tear. I know He won’t. It’s His promise.
Update – I am back with Straight Ahead Ministries, working in the café. You should come by sometime…it’s a great place to be and I’m so thankful God let me go back!