Friday, November 11, 2011

Starting Over

It's been over two years since my last post. A lot has happened in that time: my dad, grandma and my wife's grandma died. We've been dealing with her mom's health also. It has been a difficult year to say the least. With all the problems and added responsibilities we have stopped going to church. I know this strains our walk with God, our relationships, and our attitudes in everyday life. Sometimes it's hard getting out of bed. I'm not going into my whole life because people are involved. Let's just say living this life is not easy.
When life is difficult or hard to understand, I step back and reflect on: what is happening, why it is happening, how much is my fault, and what do I have to do or change to make this better? Most of the time I have to adjust my attitude or do what I don't want to do.(If not both) Well recently I was going in the wrong direction. I was looking at my life and wondering if I made any real difference at all, ever. If I died today would anybody come to my funeral? Would anybody have anything good to say about me? Would God say I wasted my life away and He never even knew me? As you see, I was spiraling down. I was willing to detach from every friend, stop praying (on purpose), and just exist. I have felt useless before. During that time I contemplated suicide. I guess that was the next step here. I mean knowing what I know and not being useful hurts too much. I was created to make a difference. I am living to make life better in some way for others.
You know what happened? A friend wrote me. It had been two weeks at least. I was feeling sorry for myself and she was asking for prayer and 'an encouraging word' to help in her difficult time. It was Sunday and I saw it Monday. I didn't respond until today. In those 5 days I had a couple blocks of time I could have used to write back. I chose not to until after whatever I was doing at the time. Every time I started something came up and I had to wait until later. I did think about what I was going to write. I wanted to say I'm the wrong person to ask for advice or prayer right now. My life is in shambles and I am no where near where I should be in the Lord. It would give her nothing. It would leave her with one less option. She specifically said, "I need an encouraging word." knowing I'm an encourager. She was reminding me WHO I AM. I make my difference by encouraging. So not really knowing this I started writing her. I started 3 times because it kept deleting what I wrote. Each time I started by saying how bad of a friend I was and how bad my life is now. None of that survived. I just wrote what I heard from her and how to change it. In the process of doing this I slipped back into character and started referencing the Bible and telling her how to respond. In the middle of all this I realized how hypocritical it was and I wanted to stop and delete. However I continued almost speaking to myself because our lives are very similar. I reread it to make sure I could say it to her with the same impact it was giving me. Many times I said how I was speaking to me when I wrote it. She emailed back saying it was exactly what she needed and quoted back something specifically I wrote about me needing as her own need, like it was for her instead. We have the same Spirit in us:
I John 4:4 My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. (The Message)
This is how I can go from committing suicide to encourager in one minute. I believe if God didn't interrupt that email all those times I would be contemplating suicide or on my way there right now.
I have intended to start over again and again. Sometimes good intentions last a whole week. (just read the last post) I have a plan. It's a good plan but I need to follow through. So right now "Starting Over" means following my own advice. Since most of what I told my friend was for me :-)