Then I look back, and the mundane has taken on aspects of wonder.
The daily details often obscure the wonder that is life. Today I took some time to look back at previous posts. I am filled with awe at the things that have transpired in between the posts. Each post represents a period of time in which details to mundane to mention coalesced into incidents that have meaning.
Some posts are rich in detail about single events. Take my friend Peter's death. I read that post today. I was taken back to that time and I wept again. But then I remembered its been two years. Time has passed. His wife Shanie has remarried and is celebrating new life on her honeymoon in Europe and his kids have all begun successful adult lives of their own and one is even expecting his first grandchild.
In sadness there is joy, in grief there is new life. It is the way of the world. The way of the Creator. The way of grace.
Other posts are less poignant. They are simply milestones in the journey. Some of which I can't remember why I wrote them. They meant something then. What I cannot remember, nor do I care. I care about the ones that bring back the memories of wonder and awe of His goodness. While this blog is sparse in terms of posts, its still full of wonder and awe. I remember the previous six years and what this blog has been about.
And I'm blown away by it:
I lost my business
I filed bankruptcy
I lost my house
I lost the rental we were in after losing the house.
We are essentially homeless
I lost my reputation in the community
My brother lost his house as a result of my business failure.
My dad lost his house as a result of my business failure.
My dad had a quadruple bypass
My dad had a terrible gall bladder operation and took months to recover
My brother had stents put in due to heart disease.
My other brother had stents put in due to heart disease.
I had a heart attack.
I had three stents put in over a 6 month period.
I had pneumonia
I had 30 hours of Afib. Not fun at all.
I lost my identity. Who was I?
My wife was very depressed, ( who wouldn't be?)
I was depressed....but in severe denial about it.
I have severe tendonitis in my right shoulder. A result of 20+ years of being a desk jockey.( getting better but still its a handicap)
I lost most of my so called friends. They ran like rats on a ship when the money stopped flowing.
The church we called home for 25 years and that my wife grew up in collapsed. My spiritual foundations were shaken to the core. Some of those foundations gave way.
One of my best friends died.
One of my wife's best friends has cancer.
A friend I had trusted with my business, someone whom I had helped and placed in a position of trust betrayed not only me but my family including my brother to employers and pastors. Jobs were lost, trust was damaged.
Another friend and employee went out of their way to spread lies and rumors about me and my business around town. Someone I had taken in and trained to be my assistant. Who worked for me for 4-5 years. They made nearly six figures as my assistant. From next to nothing to six figures. And they betrayed me.
Hours of weeping
Constant and unrelenting worry
There are other things. Trivial in relation to these. All this happened from 2008 to the present. Six years so far. Seems like an eternity.
Through all this, my foundation which is supposed to be my faith in God was shaken, I mentioned this already but its important enough to reiterate. EVERYTHING was shaken. Some of it destroyed. The frame work of my life, success, money, friends, church, faith, even family, all shaken. This blog in part has been an attempt of retaining some of my moorings. Of trying to journey back to faith or more appropriately, of retaining what little I had left and yet done from a perspective of trying to hide or at least shield myself from the truth of the destruction my family and I have experienced over the last few years.
Reading back through the various posts, I am reminded that He is good. More importantly, I now know that even in the midst of this journey in which only bad things seem to be happening, He was still good. Its taken a long time to accept. My journey into grace which took off last February but was begun even before all this happened is what has sustained me in all this. In my deepest sorrow, anger, grief and frustration, He has been sustaining me. Often times I was not aware of it. I questioned the very existence of a being that was supposed to be good and yet let all this horrible stuff happen.
And so the truth is I am undone. Some of it my own doing. Some of it outside my control. Some of it intentionally done by others. Regardless, I am exhausted in my physical being. I am tired of trying. Of putting on the brave face. I am exhausted by the facade of OKness. I am weary of battle. I have PTSD. I am war weary. I am lonely. I am walking wounded. I have no community. I am prodigal.
But today, I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that no matter what, I am secure in His love. That I am in His light. And nothing can separate me from His eternal love. He has revealed to me what has always been. That I am loved. This the good news. That all these present troubles are but a mist. A mere trifle, a minor annoyance in light of His wonderful love and goodness. The promise of abundant life, the assurance of peace, the presence of eternal joy. These are His gifts of wonder and awe to me.
So hope springs eternal. Because I have Him. And the story is all about Him. Not me. Its about He has already rescued me. How His joy is my joy. How his rest is my rest, about how his strength is my strength. About how He is my closet friend. About how His contentment is my contentment. His health for my sickness. His riches for my poverty. His loyalty for my betrayals.
I'm sitting in Starbucks writing this. I love the atmosphere. The casual indifference. The strong smell of coffee which I'm becoming addicted to, the bitter taste of expresso....the swirl of people getting their caffeine fix (I drink decaf due to the heart condition). Sitting here, listening to my extensive library of worship music. I can't help but be of good cheer. For He has overcome the world.
I am a new creation. Honestly, I wish all the stuff I mentioned was fixed. Its not. Some of it hasn't even begun to be fixed. Maybe it never will be. Who knows. But I don't care. Jesus loves me. I love Him because He loves me. I can worship freely and with abandon. In the midst of continual struggle, I am finally free!
I can't believe it. Freedom has finally come. And it looks nothing like what I thought freedom would look like. I was blind but now I see!
This little video from Lakewood is a little bit of how I feel today. Worshipful, joyful and hopeful.