Monthly Archives: December 2008
As Christmas is approaching I find myself dreading it more and more. Not that I don’t like Christmas, it is by far my favorite holiday. There is something blessed about this time of year. The music is jolly, the snows a falling, everyone for the most part are in a pretty cheerful mood. The smell of the Christmas tree is grand and then all the beautiful lights, well just make this time of year very enchanting. I love Christmas and all of its cheer.
You see my memories of Christmas as a kid are just grand. We lived in this little house next door to where my grand parents live now, and I can still remember and smell the old family room where we would light the fire and put up the tree. The scent of burning pine and Christmas tree for me is very nostalgic. My whole life we celebrated Christmas with my cousin Jeremy and Heather, my aunt and uncle, Sheri and Danny, my Grand parents, and sometimes my aunt and uncle, Debbie and Keith. We would stay in our PJ’s and sit around the fire and play with what ever new thing we happened to get that year. My cousin Jeremy and I were like best friends and so to share this time with him it was very grand time. My parents on the other side of things never were around. In fact to this day I have not one memory of my mom at Christmas and only like 4 with my dad. And that being said that the last 3 years my dad has been at Christmas making only 1 memory prior to that. I dread going cause I dread facing one of the goliaths in my life. I have so much hurt and anger in my heart that seeing my dad at my favorite time of the year kind a makes it for me a hard time to be cheery. I find myself battling feeling I forgot I even had, ever time I am around him. I think it could be different if I felt like he even cared that I was his son, but he is so clueless to my life it is almost comical. I want so badly to forgive and move on, to just accept my lot and go on with my life. In fact I try really hard. When I am around him all he does is lie about everything, so much so I think that even he believes his own lies. And it is really hard to take the fact that no one really calls him out on anything. I have tried to tell him how I feel and how much he has hurt me but somehow it always just comes back to him. How nothing was his fault. Having the man that is suppose to be your father, show you nothing more than what it means to be 50 and have absolutely nothing going for yourself. To still live with mom and dad cause he can’t do it on his own. To run from everything in his life and yet still pretend that life is different. Sometimes I just can’t take it.
I hold my baby boy everyday and think to myself-how the hell could anyone do that to his or her child. How could someone just skip out and never look back. I tell my little boy daily that I love him, I hug him and kiss him, and at the same time I know that I don’t even know what that feels like. I use to long for those things, now I guess I have come to a place that I will be what my father wasn’t to me. I refuse to hurt my son this way. Sometimes I don’t even want my son around him in fear that he will hurt him like he hurt me. I hate these things about my self, how angry I can be. I just don’t know how to let go.
I have fallen on my face time and time again crying out for relief, crying out for healing, crying out for forgiveness, professing with my mouth that I forgive him. I have written him letters and tried talking with him and yet the wound is still very raw. I don’t hate him; I am just so saddened by his life. The pain is real, and sometimes the very sight of a man loving his child can just break me in half. I sit here in the heart of my pain knowing that in order to travel through I must wait it out. I much face my goliath. I know that just the fact he is here in my life now is God saying it is time to heal this broken heart of yours. That though this is going to be hard, I am with you, I am your salvation and I am your fortress.
I pray for this season to regain its joy. I pray that my heart can be alive even when death is creeping at my door. I pray that the Birth of Christ and the birth of my own son can be the healing factors of an absent father. I pray for the guidance on becoming a true man, a godly man, a man who would die for his family and considers his own life less valuable than those he loves. Let Christ be Christmas this year!
I grew up on the west coast in a little mountain town in the heart of Oregon. I was a wild little child with an adventurous type of personality. I loved the outdoors (still do) and I spent a bigger part of my youth in the Oregon wild. I love to fish and would fish a river about a couple miles from my house called the Deschutes River, A beautiful wondrous river placed down in a rocky canyon full of browns, rainbows, and cutthroat trout. It is a hard river to access and it is fly-fishing only making it a dwelling of large fish.
I also lived on a canyon that was full of dark crevasses and caves and miles of cow country. I grew up exploring this land, dreaming up grand adventure, and all the while, trying to be a kid in the midst of the departure of my parents. I know that God was healing my heart, even though I didn’t know him, through the beauty of his creation.
I lived on the west coast about 30 years and swore I would never leave. I swore I couldn’t handle living somewhere where mountains & oceans didn’t exist. Where stars were so many that they made a cluster of white and the air that was so dry, crisp and fresh you can hardly get enough.
It is funny how life changes and sometimes takes us to the very places we don’t want to go. I am now living in Bellefontaine OH and well there are none of the things that I love here. The town just got its first coffee shop, and well that is nice but the coffee is still just average. There is never live music, little to none trout fishing, no mountains to climb and defiantly not much to do. I find my self with a lot of time on my hands. The craziest part of the whole thing is that I am the most satisfied I have been in years. I am finding that is better to be where God wants you then to be where you want to be. I am learning that God desires obedience more than sacrifice. I am also learning that I had gotten really distracted by everything around me, and had lost sight of the truest of my loves, that being Christ. I am learn to lay in the bed that Christ is putting before me and finding that his ways are so much better than mine. I have said I believe these things for years but I don’t believe my belief really became a reality until I stepped forth in faith and started handing over my desires. My passion is returning, my heart is softening, my mind is strengthening, my goals are changing, and my life is becoming meaningful. If you wait to step out until you believe you might be waiting a really long time. You see if you already believed you wouldn’t need faith. Faith comes before belief. Sometimes letting go is really hard to do, but let us care more about his will than our own.
“Trust in the lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Egotism is pathological self-obsession, a reaction to anxiety about whether one really does count. It is a form of acute self-consciousness and can be prevented and healed only by the experience of being adequately loved. It is, indeed, a desperate response to frustration of the need we all have to count for something and be held to be irreplaceable, with price.” Dallas Willard – The Divine Conspiracy
When I was a child I remember making up these grand ideas of how I was so great at something in order to make myself feel like I was someone. The stories I came up with were absolutely ridiculous and now thinking back on them I find them quite funny, yet sad all at the same time. For example, I use to like to tape movies, being that DVDs were not invented yet. I would be able to get 3 movies per tape and I would take such pride in the order and organization of them. I remember going on and on dreaming about how people would stumble upon my tapes and would be just blown away at how good I was at taping them. I would dream about hero moments of being hoisted up on shoulders and wondrous chants being said in name of Shawn the amazing taper. Silly I know and looking back on this I am almost embarrassed to even confess it, being how stupid it is in light of real achievement. But the truth is I wanted to just feel important. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to just know that someone thought I was all right.
I grew up with my grand parents and even though I know they loved me very much, they didn’t love me the way I needed to be loved. I needed Parents that cared about my heart and while mine were off somewhere mostly likely getting high I never knew what that was like. I grew up affirming myself. I grew up dreaming grand Ideas of who I wish I were. I was never good at anything, never the kid who made it, never the athlete, never the straight A student, I was never cool, never funny, I wasn’t even a good nerd, I just was. And so I would make up these, to me, glorious achievements, of how I was someone. You see I felt so unloved, or even a better way of putting it is that I felt unlovable. That was the definition I came up with to explain my parent’s departure. And so I lived a bigger part of my life living in a fantasyland that took me to a place of deep self-obsession. I even to this day struggle with thoughts of self-worth. I am trying to learn how to reprogram my mind and heart. Hoping that someday that when the storms of “self-worth” flood in, the rock of “true-worth” will out weigh and I will be able to stand firm in the fact that I am uniquely made and deeply loved void of fantasy. It is one thing to say you believe these things, like being loved, but it is another to actually live in a way that proves it. I say I believe god loves me and my, oh so small life issues, but the fact I didn’t have a father makes relating to “God the father” a very hard thing for me to grasp.
I have been reading “The Divine Conspiracy – By Dallas Willard”. A really deep and slow read but very profound. That being said I wanted to state another quote that I think goes along the lines of reprogramming our hearts.
“So any significant change can come only by breaking the stranglehold of the ideas and concepts that automatically shunt aside Jesus, “the Prince of Life” when questions of concrete mastery of our life arise.” Dallas Willard
I am finding I have lots of strangleholds. That I have grown up believing life is one way but I am finding that my believe system to quickly falling apart. That the survival modes that I used to pull my self through the pains of childhood are the very things that are killing my life and the ones I love around me today. The self-centeredness that saved my heart from dieing as a child is now my greatest enemy. I think the only hope for life is on the movement of our father to bring us out of the shell of self. It is only there that flesh and blood separate and it is by the blood that we have life.