Monday, January 31, 2011

What Do I Really Want?

A couple weeks ago at church a sermon was given that really spoke to me.
It felt like Jesus was asking me, directly, "What do you want?"
I find it so hard to ask for what I really want.  I feel so selfish.

(Let me briefly explain why.  Shortly after graduating I went on a missions trip to the Ukraine.  Kiev was a mostly modern city and if that's all  you see of the Ukraine you'd think people were doing quite well.  However, outside the major city the countryside was filled with poverty.  People had so little and yet they shared so much with us.  It impacted me more than I think I will ever know.  There was also a spiritual hunger there that amazed me.  It was so different than the culture I grew up in.  It changed me.  When I came back to Canada I was so overwhelmed by the stuff we had.  It literally made me sick.  To this day I fight the materialistic urges that try to overcome us in North America because I know what others survive with on a daily basis and I know I don't need all the things I want.  Even praying for non-material things seems so selfish when I know how much better off my life is than most of the world.  I can't justify owning everything I do while knowing people in the world can barely afford to feed their families.  It's heart breaking.  I would recommend reading the book Rich Christians in a World of Hunger.)

So what do I want?  What do I really want?  What is at the core of my being?  What is it that makes me, me?  What desire has God placed in me that I really need to fulfill?

That is such a deep and loaded question.  What do I really want?  As usual, I came across something on facebook that has caused me to seriously try and answer that question.  I'm filtering out all the materialistic things like a new guitar or a double attached garage.  The things I really want are much more important.

My prayer:

I want to pray more.  With more understanding.  With more passion.  With more guidance from God.
I want to worship more freely.  And I thank God that this is slowly taking place.
I want to be used by God to lead others to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
I want to be able to give $ away to missions, missionaries and people who need it more than I do.
I want to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all areas of life
I want to be used by God to bring healing and miracles to others
I want to be me at all times
I want to have deep and real relationships that fill me up and build up those I'm in relationship with
I want to love people more
I want a deeper knowledge of God's word
I want my family to be closer
I want to work with youth again
I want the joy of the Lord to be my strength
I want to marry a woman of God, who is passionate for God, who challenges me and supports me and loves me and for whom I can do the same

I don't want to settle!

Lord, I've prayed vaguely in the past to help me serve You, and know Your heart and do Your will.  This time I'm praying a little more specifically.  I thank you that you do answer prayer.  I'm nervous because I don't know how all of this will be answered.  I'm nervous because I feel like I'm just starting out in life and an answer to these prayers may shuffle the deck I've just started to stack.  But God, I do trust You.  Please use me as You have planned.  Amen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Favourite Song

Sometimes, when I'm going through rough spots I listen to this song.
Sometimes, when I'm riding high I listen to this song.
Sometimes I just listen to this song.
Tonight I needed to hear it.
It's simple but true.
It is my favourite song.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I am feeling good right now.  Restful.  There has been some anxiety and stress in my life because of how my life is being rearranged.  But right now I feel restful.  I feel like no matter what happens I can rest because I know Who holds my life in His hands.  I'm still somewhat confused and unsure of things but I trust God that things will be ok.

The last week has been a blur.  So many gatherings.  I've been invited to 2 different bible studies, and they are both great.  I've bought a new car.  I've been to a film festival.  I've been to C&C and the C&C prayer times. Snowboarding.  Studying for some major exams.  Church.  Work.   I went to a Gilmore girls party last night that went from 7pm to 2:30am.  I met with CI this morning to discuss this longing I've been working through.  It's been busy.  I am finally ready to slow down and just rest.  And it feels good.  And it feels right.

The party last night was good because it was another step towards me being myself.  I know it sounds strange to say that the Gilmore Girls party was an important step for me but it was.  No masks, just me being me.  A few times I got nervous that I would say something stupid or do something weird but everyone was accepting and that's really all I needed.  It was good to be with other people who were just being themselves.  And we ate a lot of junk food, and it was good too.

This morning CI and I got together and tried to put some words to the things I've been feeling.  It was also good.  When all was said and done, the thing I took away from this time was that I need to just submit to God.  That's all.  There may be things that I have been holding on to too tightly in my life.  I am going to release my grip and hold them with open hands.  They are now submitted to God.  Whatever happens in my life I want to live submitted to God.  Whether I buy a guitar or study for flight tests, it will be in submission to God.  That doesn't mean everything will always go perfectly, but there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  If I'm living in submission and I make a mistake, Jesus is there to help me up and try again.  I am cool with that.  It feels like the burdens I place(d) on myself are lifting.  God's grace is working in my life.  It feels pretty good.  I am still somewhat confused.  I am still unsure of how the future will turn out.  But that's ok.  I am starting to feel at peace.

Another thought that popped up is how God guides.  There is a peace that passes understanding that acts as reassurance when we venture through life.  I have experienced it before and it is comforting to know that God can bring reassurance this way.  There is also the Damascus road method.  I haven't really experienced that in my life but I know God can just show up and say, "Hey, it's Me.  You really need to do this."  CI suggested another method of guidance to me that I never really thought of before.  If I trust God enough to ask Him to reveal His will to me, do I trust Him enough to reveal to me when/if I venture outside His will?  Yes, I do.  If that is the case then it is possible that sometimes no sign or direction really is a sign or direction.   It reminds me a bit of Homer Simpson's prayer, "Lord, if you wish me to ... please give me no sign whatsoever."  If I am truly living a life submitted to Jesus, and seeking Him daily I doubt I am going to find myself going drastically outside God's will.  I trust God to correct me if I make a mistake, so I trust Him enough to believe that the silence can also be confirmation.  I am mildly excited to start living this out and see where it takes me.

I hope I explained this clearly enough.  I just threw down some thoughts.
Now I'm going to rest.  And maybe watch another episode of Gilmore Girls.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


life as i know it doesn't satisfy me
love as i know it doesn't fill the gap
buying new treasures won't sanctify me
material things are part of the trap
i'm seeking for someone who's seeking the same
i'm searching for someone who's calling my name
and there's so many distractions
and they're so wonderfully good
amusements for stalling my actions
but i know that i should
avoid singing sirens
and continue seeking
to lay down my burdens
at the feet of my king
i'm so tired from searching
with my weights on my back
i'm exhausted from yearning
while holding what's holding me back
help me surrender all that is me
to give you first what you first gave me
what's in my heart
my words can't say
what's in my spirit
language betrays
Jesus i need you
more than the sun needs the day
Jesus i love you
more than these lines can convey
grateful, here i am before you
because it was you who found me
empty and tired
naked and filthy
and all i want is to lie in your arms
safe and secure, protected from harm
and all i want is what you want for me
and all of my life i want others to see

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

God's Will

I met with DA last week for a time of Spiritual Direction.  It was really good.  One of the things I took away from the flow of our discussions was the role of God in our priorities and our decisions.

First, can we divine God's will for all areas of our lives?  I like reducing everything to its absurd extremes to get a feel for the spectrum we are working with.  On the important end of the spectrum I would see life decisions such as buying a home, getting married, becoming a missionary in a foreign land.  I'm sure most Christians would seek out God's will for those things.  On the absurd side of the spectrum are things such as which color of socks to wear and what type of cereal to have for breakfast.  I doubt anyone has ever seriously asked God for His will in those areas.  Why not?  I don't think we think its important (enough).  So where along the spectrum do things become important enough for God's will to be applied to our lives?  And does God really prefer that we wear white socks to black?  If so, shouldn't we seek out God's will for even those absurd things?  I'll leave that there for a moment.

Next, what is God's will?  Is it like finding a needle in a haystack?  Is there only one option or possibility of the infinite choices available to us?  On the other side of the spectrum is the "Bless me" option.  All options become God's will in this example.  People will do whatever they want and then ask God to bless their decision, basically affirming that whatever they decided is now the will of God.  I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

These two main thoughts intersect somewhere.  Wherever that place is, it is truth.

Our discussion focussed on my relationship with God.  Who is God to me?  There are two absurd extremes to this answer.  Is God my dictator?  If so, I should seek God's will on everything from socks to career choices, because everything is too important to chance and there is only one right choice. Is God my magic genie?  If so, I don't need to seek God out for anything, regardless of importance, because there is no correct choice and God's will is whatever I chose. Obviously neither of those is correct.  The truth lies where the spectrums intersect.

If Christianity is about relationship, and I believe it is, God is both my lord and saviour, friend and father.  Decisions that come out of relationship are totally different.  The will of God is known through relationship, almost subconsciously.  If I am my Beloved's and He is mine, if I abide in Jesus and His words abide in me, God's will influences my will.  All decisions are made jointly, to some extent.  Now I also believe in free will and I know that I've gone and "Gomered" things up and ignored God's will on occasion, but God is always present in the decisions I make, whether I listen or not.  Sometimes there are decisions that are so big (to me at least) I want to turn up the volume of God's voice to see what He is saying, because He definitely has an opinion.  Other decisions may be inconsequential and God is somewhat indifferent.  And sometimes God's will really may be whatever I chose.  The truth, as I believe it, is that God's will is all three of those categories at different times and for different situations.  That doesn't mean I pray an hour each day about what to wear or I randomly make life altering decisions without going to God.  It means I try to listen to God in this relationship and let my decisions flow out of that relationship.

Does Jesus want me to be a Roughrider fan?  He probably doesn't care.

Does Jesus want me to help my neighbours?  Yes, but I think how I go about it is not as important as the fact that I will try to help, and God will honour this effort, what ever it may be.

Does Jesus have a specific goal for me?  A specific something that really is a needle in a haystack?  A divine appointment?  A direct set of instructions?  Sometimes.  I know there have been times in my life where I felt God telling me to do something specific, like going to CBC, which really was God's will for me.  To not do it would have meant disobeying and it would have been sin.

My whole point is that in a relationship you figure these things out.  God may have an ultimate plan for us that is very specific, but there may be a lot of roads to that destination. Sometimes God really doesn't care which road we take.  Sometimes God wants us to take a specific route, and other times He just wants us to pick a path so He can bless it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm Not Sure

Whenever I am tired my defenses seem to come down a little.  I am definitely tired right now.  I only had a couple hours of sleep because of some thoughts on my mind and I had to be up by 3:45am for work.  So, ya, my defenses are pretty low at the moment.  And instead of studying, which I probably should be doing, I felt the need to come here and say something.  I'm not sure.  That's about it.  I'm not sure.  I'm not sure about a lot of things.  Just not sure.  I used to be very sure about most things.  Not any more.  I don't think it's wrong to be certain of things.  I hope to be certain about many things again.  However, right now, some of the things I think I knew, I am not so sure about.

What am I sure of?
I am sure of Romans 8:1
I am sure of John 3:16-21

I am sure music is great.
I know God is good.
I know I am not.

I know the things of life, the most simple things that people take for granted, confuse me to no end.  I wish I could stop thinking of those things but I can't.  Love and relationships, church and holiness, friends and family.  These are not simple things to me.  They are vast mysteries.  Sometimes I wish I could just take them for granted like I see so many other people do.  I could put them in a tiny box and add them to the many boxes I used to keep my life segmented in.  Nice and tidy.  No need to think about the ramifications or power they contain.  But I have gotten rid of my boxes.  Their contents are a giant mess, all interconnected, and part of something larger than they ever where alone in their nice neat organized boxes.  And the mess I have created now belongs to God.  The giant mysteries and little blessings are His.  I wish I understood the process I feel like I am going through but I don't.

I am being very honest when I say I wonder if any of what I just wrote will make sense when I read it in the morning.

Life is still Great and Confusing.  Greater and more Confusing than ever.  I don't know how to proceed anymore.  Maybe that's the point.  I need to stop proceeding and just start being.  I'll let God proceed.  I will follow.

One of the great revelations that came out of my Spiritual Direction meeting with DA on Friday was how much of a whole all the little pieces of life really are.  God is not separate from my relationships which are not separate from my faith which is not separate from my finances, etc...  God is a part of all of them, and they all affect each other.  I wrote a little while ago about my plan to grow in my relationship with God before trying to grow other relationships before maybe even venturing into a romantic relationship, and how frustrated I was that it all seemed to happen at the same time.  It was suggested that if God really is a part of my life then as I grow with God all areas of my life will grow as well, because God is a part of them all.  And that is what happened.  As I grew closer to God all areas of my life became more God like.  I would even say the God given desires I have grew stronger too.  That's not to say I focussed them on the right things all the time, but they were there, stronger than ever.  I don't know where this leaves me now.  I still feel as confused and overwhelmed as I was before this revelation.  I think I trust God a little more now than before that it will all turn out all right.

Like I said, I wonder if any of this will make sense in the morning.
I'm not sure.

And totally unrelated but I thought I would share.  A little ago while I had an answer to prayer that seemed so insignificant I upped the ante.  And that prayer was answered too.  In all honesty, that confuses me even more though.  It's like the short story of The Monkey's Paw. (Look it up.  It's a classic.)  I don't know if I should continue praying along this line of thought because, even though my prayers seem to be answered, they aren't answered the way I want them to be.  And that really messes with me.  Once again, as long as I'm being honest, what I am praying for and how those prayers are being answered are some of the greatest sources of confusion in my life right now.  Maybe what I am asking for is not what God wants for me, and yet He is allowing it?  Maybe I'm just thinking too much.  I'm not sure. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who I Am

I Am Accepted In Christ
John 1:12  I am God's Child
John 15:15 I am Christ's Friend
Romans 5:1 I have been justified
1 Corinthians 6:17  I am united with the Lord and one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:20  I have been bought with a price; I belong to God
1 Corinthians 12:27  I am a member of Christ's Body
Ephesians 1:1  I am a saint
Ephesians 1:5  I have been adopted as God's child
Ephesians 2:18  I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit
Colossians 1:14  I have been redeened and forgiven of all my sins
Colossians 2:10  I am complete in Christ

I Am Secure In Christ
Romans 8:1,2  I am free forever from condemnation
Romans 8:28  I am assured that all things work together for good
Romans 8:33,34  I am free from any condemning charges against me
Romans 8:35  I cannot be separated from the love of God
2 Corinthians 1:21  I have been established, anointed and sealed by God
Colossians 3:3  I am hidden with Christ in God
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected
Philippians 3:20  I am a citizen of heaven
2 Timothy 1:7  I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind
Hebrews 4:16  I can find grace and mercy in time of need
1 John 5:18  I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me 

I Am Significant in Christ
Matthew 5:13,14  I am the salt and light of the earth
John 15:1,5  I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life
John 15:16  I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit
Acts 1:8  I am a personal witness of Christ's
1 Corinthians 3:16  I am God's temple
2 Corinthians 5:17-20  I am a minister of reconciliation
2 Corinthians 6:1  I am God's coworker
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Christ in the Heavenly realm
Ephesians 2:10  I am God's workmanship
Ephesians 3:12  I may apporach God with freedom and confidence
Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
2 Corinthians 5:17  I am a new creation in Christ, the Old has gone, the new has come.

Taken from Living Free In Christ, by Neil Anderson 1993, Regal Books.

I think I'm going to try and read this on a daily basis.  I know I have some issues with how I perceive myself, but I never really thought about how God sees me, and that is more important.
Thank you CK for bringing this to my attention.

Friday, January 21, 2011


It is amazing how we perceive things, both and good and bad.

I recently met someone who's blog I have been reading for several years.  I felt as though I got to know this person somewhat through the blog but there were still gaps that my mind must have filled in.  For instance, this person did not sound how I thought they would.  I know it's only a blog and it would be ridiculous to say it's possible to learn the sound of a person's voice through their writing, and yet I had expected this person to sound the way I heard them in my head.  This person was also shorter than I expected.  Same point again.  It isn't possible to figure out a person's height just by the thoughts they put on the internet, but I felt sure this person would be as tall as me or taller.  Strange.

So, I wonder how you, the reader perceive me, the blogger.  Am I tall or short, dark or fair, ripped or wimpy?  Funny or Sad?  I wonder how close your perception is to the actual truth, or even my own perception of me.

I wonder how close our perception of God is compared to reality?  I bet we as individuals only have a tiny portion of the whole.  That's why we need community, among a host of other reasons, to fill in the gaps we all have, and see the complete picture.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My First Love

You have foresaken your first love.

That's what I'm hearing lately. That was the message given to the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation. I can relate. However the story of Hosea and Gomer may be a more accurate description of my relationship with God. Ya, I'd say I'm definitely more of a Gomer than a Church in Ephesus. The message is still the same. You have foresaken your first love.

I just wrote and then erased a couple paragraphs. I don't need to get into all the details but I do want to share that I am working at returning to my first love. It's not as easy as it sounds. I absolutely must be more intentional with my time, and I must intentionally make time for God. I have been doing a lot of good things lately, even "God" things lately, but there is a difference between that and personal time with God. And I have been doing Gomer things lately too which make me want to roll my eyes and bang my head on the wall. Stupid Gomer. Thank you Lord for forgiving and accepting me still.

I am so glad I feel empty and hungry and this longing. If I didn't feel empty I wouldn't want to be full. If I wasn't hungry I wouldn't want to be satisfied. If I wasn't longing I wouldn't be seeking.

I'm so glad God accepts me as I am and loves me enough not to leave me that way. I still feel somewhat broken, but I also feel like God is beginning to put me back together again.

My prayer is that, Lord, You will continue this work started in me. My life is Yours. Help me make the most of it. Lord, you know the desires of my heart. I ask that Your desires become mine. Please rearrange my priorities. Help me be the person You have created me to be. Please help me make You my first and foremost love.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I Feel

There's so much going on in my my mind right now. This will be a very very long entry as I try to talk through all these unfamiliar feelings.

I am so tired now. I am physically tired from snowboarding. I am physiologically tired from getting very little sleep. But the biggest source of my exhaustion is an emotional tiredness. I feel so emotionally and psychologically drained.

I think I'm being broken. That's a bit of a Christianese phrase. I feel like all the things in my life that I've built up are being pulled down. I think that I am being torn down so I can be built up again, by God. I know of many people and books that talk about God using brokenness to build up people into the child of God they could/should be. I never really understood what that would feel like. However, now I feel like I'm going through something that I can only describe as brokenness. I feel so shattered and I can't think of any external reasons why. Besides having to replace my car, everything else is going rather well. However, on the inside there's so much turmoil and discontentment. I'm longing and hungry. I want to abandon myself to God. Is that just an excuse to not take responsibility for myself or is that the whole purpose of this brokenness?

I am still seeking. I need to be with Jesus. That's all I want right now.
No, I think I lied. The truth is I want a lot of things. What I'm learning is that I need to want Jesus first and foremost. There's still other things I want, but Jesus has to be first. I want a fully loaded luxury car, but can't justify it. I want to buy a rental property. I want to take a vacation. I wouldn't mind going on a trip to Israel. I want a particular someone to like me. I want a new electric guitar. All these things seem so conceited and selfish. I know that Jesus needs to be more important to me than all these things or nothing else will matter. It feels like my priorities are being shuffled around as Jesus takes His rightful place in my life. Frick. It hurts. I don't even know why. Inside things are being tossed and turned and mixed up. Nothing is where I left it.

Part of all this re-arranging in my life is tied to my longing. I'm searching for the thing that can satisfy my longing. I have been looking for the place where I fit and I don't know where that it is. It is disconcerting to feel like a round peg in a square hole. It is scary for me to think that the place I am at is not the place that God has planned for me. I don't like change and yet change seems to be on its way. That is causing me some internal turmoil as well.

This weekend I was at a thing called Veritas. It was basically working on discovering who we (my particular church) are and where we are going. It wasn't quite what I expected but it was good. I originally didn't want to go but I changed my mind at the last minute. I will be honest, as usual, and confess that I have been considering going to a different church. For some people that's about as inconsequential as changing socks, but to me it is a huge decision. I don't take it lightly. I grew up going to my parent's church because it was my parent's church. Then I went to a church of the same denomination when I moved to another city because it was the same denomination. This is the first time in my life I can honestly say I am looking for a church where I fit. I want to add that these churches are great but maybe just not great for me. We'll see. After searching I may find myself staying where I am at, but it will because I've have made an intentional effort to seek God's will in this area. The reason I attended Veritas was to find out who "we" really are. It was good. Many people opened up and shared what was on their hearts. It still left me feeling confused though.

I am struggling with how to reach the lost.  How do I share Jesus with others?  How do I care for others?  How do I meet the needs of others?  How do I live out the social gospel?  How do I serve?  Where are the opportunities for me to share my gifts?  I try to serve and give, but it never seems like enough.

And on top of all of this I just feel so empty.  Maybe it's because I haven't had much me time lately and I need to charge my batteries.  Maybe it's something else.  All I know for sure is I feel like I am running on fumes at the moment.  

And that's how I feel.

Lord, please help me.  You know my heart.  Please let me know Yours.  Please continue the work in me that You have begun.  Fill me up.  I am so tired and empty.  I need You more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Proverbs VI

The church does not have a mission; the mission has a church.

I Got A Hug

Dear Diary,

It was a long day today.  I was at work for 14 hours, my legal limit.  When I got back to Saskatoon I rushed to C&C, still in uniform.  It was good.  I am really feeding off the messages given.  I met some more people, exchanged some phone numbers, got invited to a film festival and was invited to join a men's small group bible study.  Awesome!  Just out of the blue.  I'm most excited about the last thing (although it was a group of single females that invited me to the film festival which is almost as noteworthy).

And someone came up to me and said, "I read your blog," and hugged me.  It was pretty awesome too.

I am so busy.  I need to find some me time and some me and God time.  Tomorrow I'm gone snowboarding from 8am to 6pm, then I have Veritas at church from 6pm to 9pm.  Veritas again all day Saturday followed by practicing guitar for worship on Sunday.  I'm at church on Sunday at 8:30 am to practice again, then church, and then the men's bible study.  Then I start work on Monday, followed by the film festival and I have a friend coming from out of town on Monday or Tuesday as well.  I really need to catch my breath.

Just a friendly reminder, if you read this blog, I want you to hug me.  Some of you have been getting a free ride.  It's time to pay the piper.  The only currency I accept are hugs.  And cash.  But mostly hugs.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


There are a lot of little things on my mind I want to put out "there".

First, God is good. No matter how I feel, I remind myself of that fact and it makes me happy.

On Sunday I helped with worship. I kept crying. I kept ducking into the prayer room to try and compose myself. I have said before that my mom is an intercessor. One of the things she does is cry. I never could understand it. I was always more intellectual and less emotional but now I'm always crying and it is confusing the heck out of me. I'm grateful for the tears though.

I've been snowboarding a lot lately. I'm definitely getting better. Two months ago the thought of snowboarding would have never crossed my mind. This is one of those things I'm doing to get out of my rut. Thanks C&C for the snowboarding trip. It pushed me out of my comfort zone a little bit. I'm excited and nervous about the upcoming trip to Montana. It sounds like fun, but the road trip for 2 days is a little intimidating to me. I only know a couple people going on the trip. I guess it's an opportunity to meet new friends and grow relationships that have just started. That was the main reason I signed up in the first place.

Next, my car was rear ended. Although it looks ok, there is some structural damage. The car could drive fine for another 10 years or rust could eat the chasis in a year and it's toast. Do I take a chance or take the SGI settlement and buy/lease a new/used vehicle? I know in the whole scheme of things it's not that important but it is a little stressful. My finances weren't planning for this.

I'm still longing. I need more time with God. I need to be more intentional with my time. When I was a recluse it was easier because I never had anything scheduled outside of work. But now life is better, and busier and if I want to hang out with people, go to church, go to C&C, make friends, go snowboarding and live out my relationship with Jesus I need to stop procrastinating and start scheduling. This longing is growing stronger. It's so good and so overwhelming. As always, words fail me when I try to describe this great goodness.

And finally, I need to sleep more and (over) think less.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011


There's something going on in my life right now and I am not sure what it is.  It feels like the supernatural and natural are colliding.  Collisions tend to be messy.  I feel a longing for something more.  It's a very deep and all consuming longing.  I just don't know what can satisfy this appetite.  God?  Relationships?  Church?  Humbleness?  I feel that hunger again.  So hungry.  I want something so much and I'm not really sure what that something is.  I've been looking for it for many months now and the longing seems to be getting stronger.

I had a plan, kind of, back in September or October.  First, I wanted to grow closer to God.  I thought that as my relationship with God began to develop I could work on other things.  Secondly, I wanted to develop some honest deep relationships with Christian friends.  Finally, I hoped that if these things would work out I wanted to start a special relationship with someone special.  That did not happen as I planned.  Everything seemed to start all at the same time in spurts, and then stops, retreats, and more spurts.  It's left me all feeling a little overwhelmed.  And still that longing I feel doesn't seem to be satisfied.

I'm searching for a place I feel I "fit" in life.  I have never really felt I fit anywhere, even at the best of times.  I think I am longing for the place in life I belong.  I have been looking everywhere and it has left me tired and somewhat confused because I still don't think I have found that fit yet.

It must be so wonderful to be content with life and God and relationships.  Some day I hope I will know what it feels like, but right now I am still longing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Letting The Mask Slip

I know I have referred to "posts" a lot in previous entries.

Here is the last really big post in my life.

My own insecurity.

It is a left over from my previous life suffering from social anxiety.  It is hard to feel confident growing up when it seems like everything about yourself is not good enough.  Poor self esteem is the natural product of social anxiety.  I always felt like I was being judged.  I felt like I wasn't smart enough, funny enough, good looking enough, athletic enough, etc...  I know now that it was all in my head but it's hard to go through your entire childhood thinking like that and then have it magically stop once you grow up.

I still fight the feeling sometimes.  I like me.  I know God likes me.  I suspect my family likes me too.  That's usually as far as I can take it. It's so difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea that someone who doesn't have to like me may actually like me.  It sometimes blows my mind that I have any friends at all.  I find it so hard to see what others could possibly see in me.  I find it so amazing that 2 strangers could meet and connect and fall in love and choose to spend the rest of their lives together.  I can barely comprehend what that type of relationship of love and commitment and understanding and acceptance would feel like.  I can't even imagine myself in such a relationship.  I'm not saying I have never wanted something like that, it's just I find it so hard to believe someone out there would ever want that with me.

It's really difficult to describe what it feels like to someone who's lived a relatively normal life.  Just like an abused dog that instinctively pulls away when a person raises their hand to pet it, I do the same in relationships.  My mind reflexively assumes that there is judgement or rejection around every corner.

For much of my life I've worn a mask to protect myself from the rejection I always thought would come if I put my true self out there for the world to see.  It's useless to me now.  I have an urge, a God given desire, to cultivate real relationships.  That can't be done wearing a mask.  I am not naive enough to believe that everyone will be my friend or that I can be a friend to everyone.  I'm different than most people and I know not everyone connects on the same level.  I am not looking for 100 new friends, I am looking for a few deep friendships.  I will be honest, as always, and admit I don't really know what that looks like.  I guess I'll know when I find it.  I am slowly letting the mask slip.  I am slowly looking at the world without this barrier.  I am slowly letting the world look at me without the mask as well.  That is scary.  As always, I don't know what this will all look like in the end, but I am excited to find out.

Please pray for me.  Pray that I step out from behind the mask and let myself be known and know others.  Thank you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social Butterfly

This last New Year's weekend turned out much like my Christmas weekend.  I thought it was going to be a lot of quiet time with me home alone.  It was not.

On Thursday I was invited to a Fond Du party put on by some people from C&C.  I only knew 2 of the 15 or so people there, which did make me a little nervous, but it was an opportunity to meet 13 new people, so I went.  It was good.  I didn't get home until early the next morning.  The next day was New Year's Eve.  I was invited to  a New Years Eve party by some of the C&Cers.  So I went, and met a bunch more new people.  I didn't get home until early the next morning, again.  I worked that day.  When I got home I came across a group on facebook called the Saskatoon Worship Community.  Their event simply said, "Why not enter the new year by praising God?"  Well, they convinced me, so I went rushing across the city to the Youth for Christ building where they were meeting and joined in, just barely making it on time.  I saw a couple faces I recognized from C&C but I did not really know them so I didn't bother to go and chat with them although I did meet another guy and we talked a bit.  It was difficult for me to blindly enter a room with 50 complete strangers, but I did it, and it was ok.  And then, on Monday, I was invited by some of the C&Cers who I met earlier to join them at a party and watch Canada play the US in the Under 20 Juniours.  I went.  It was good again.  I'm now invited back to watch Canada in the final.  This is crazy.  I'm not usually this social and I am finding it is making me exhausted.  I need to schedule some me time so I can have enough energy to keep this pace up.  Unfortunately I won't be able to go because of a lot of responsibilities starting to build up, but it has been really good.  And that has been my New Year's weekend.

The World's Done Shaking Me Down!

In the complete concert movie the song continues on for another 3 or 4 minutes after this clip ends. After the band left the stage the audience continues singing, "The World's done shaking me down," acapella for almost 2 minutes. It is a great spontaneous musical moment caught on film. Collective Soul returns to the stage with genuine surprise that the crowd is still singing. For some in the audience I'm sure it was just a song, but to others, you can see in the close ups, it is a declaration of something more.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year That Was (2010)

My first post of the new year.

I'll be honest, I was going to put a lot of effort into writing something deep but I am too tired.  I've been up way too late and way too early the last few days.  That's actually a good thing.  I haven't had a lot of sleep because I've been hanging out with a lot of new people until crazy hours of the night.  That's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to cultivate some new friendships.  So, instead of some great philosophical exposition on the nature of humankind or prognostications on the new year, I'm just going to talk about 2010.

It was a good year.  There's no point going into great detail about my life in 2010 before October (when I started my blog) because if I really felt the need to share it all I would have started blogging in January.  Instead I want to share how my life on January 1st, 2010, is different from my life Dec 31st, 2010.  It's like comparing black to white.  I am really not happy with how my life was 1 year ago today.  God has changed me a lot and I am incredibly grateful.  I can't wait do this again at the end of 2011 and see how God has continued to work in me.

Jan 1st, 2010
I lived in Northern Canada about 3 weeks of every month.
I went to church once a month, maybe.
No extra curricular activities.
I did not socialize or hang out with anyone when I was home one week each month.
I can't remember the last time I played guitar.
I rarely prayed.
I did not read my bible.
I played video games all the time.
I watched way too many movies and way too much tv.
I did not have a foster child.
I was not growing spiritually at all.  (Kinda goes without saying)
I made no effort to overcome the negatives of my shy, introverted personality.

Dec 31st, 2010
I live in the place I call home.
I go to church as much as possible.
(Sometimes to 2 different churches on the same day.)
I started getting involved in C&C.
I started attending prayer and solitude retreats.
I started attending morning prayer meetings.
I am looking for a small group to be involved in.
I've gone to different worship events throughout the city.
I've been going out with people and hanging out at people's homes and parties.
(Hence, the lack of sleep lately.)
I've helped with worship.
I play my guitar quite regularly, although mostly in my room.
I hardly watch tv or movies outside of social gatherings.
I pray all the time.
I still have to work at reading my bible, but I am making the effort.
I sold my Wii and all (37) games.
I'm learning to snowboard.
I'm going to Montana to snowboard in the mountains.  (ROAD TRIP!)
I have a foster child.
My relationship with Jesus is growing deeper.
(I don't really like to think about where my spiritual life was at the beginning of the year.)
I am giving of myself, my time, my abilities, my finances.
I am pushing myself to come out of my shell, to be with people, to socialize.  It hasn't always been successful but it has been overwhelmingly great.  Sometimes it is still a struggle, but I will not surrender to it.

Life is really good.  I mean really, really good.
When I think of the things that are most important to me now, almost none of them were a part of my life 2 or 3 months ago.  I am so grateful for C&C and church and times of prayer, wherever they may be, and times for goofing around and the beginnings of friendships I hope will grow much, much deeper.  These are all things that were almost non-existent in my life January 1st but are foundational in my life December 31st.

Thank You Lord.