advice for the found out

Posted: November 30th, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »
The following is a response to someone whose affair was just discovered and whose shame has been publicly paraded.

Dear Found Out,

I am so sorry you’re in the spot you’re in. The level of shame and humiliation you must be feeling is crushing.

I’m not sure if you’re looking for practical information, spiritual perspective, or just to reach out to someone who has been that person and had to navigate that mess. So, I’ll offer you a little of each.

The practical information is this:

  • It is best to own everything you did, resist sticking up for yourself, avoid explaining your reasons, and let people fall apart in their own way.
The longer you take to come clean about everything, the harder it’s going to be for you in our healing process. It’s like breaking a bone, not telling anyone about it, then the doctor has to break the bone again so it can heal right. Just go through it all at once so that you can get this part behind you. It’s horrible and you’ll lose every bit of what you thought was good about you, but the rebuilding is amazing and thorough. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Don’t stick up for yourself or offer your excuses. You have them, but you got them little by little and they made sense at the time. But you’re giving this to people all at once and it will sound pathetic, even to you. Excuses have a one time use: to get you trapped. They cannot be resurrected to set you free.

People are going go through their own pain because of this. You can’t help them and it’s not even about you, though they’ll make it about you if they can. It’s about them and God. It’s going to be hard on them and they’ll want to make you feel some of it. The spiritual perspective will help you endure their pain along with your own.

The Spiritual perspective is this:

Every second you’ve been alive, every breath you’ve taken, and every moment you’ve lived up to this point, God has known about this. Every time He has told you that He loves you, He knew about this. When He made you, when He saved you, and when He used you… He knew about this. This will change you, but it won’t change Him. He would not be God if He couldn’t handle your worst.

You’ve always had this inside of you and this is the time that He has decided to finally root it out. You’re about to learn what it is to be refined by fire and it sucks. You’re about to understand why Jesus had to do what He did. There is no way you could pay this debt. That is what this is all about.

The gravity of finally understanding the Truth is absolutely terrifying in every way possible. It’s also very personal. It’s between you and God. God will not allow you to use other people as a pacifier, so He is going to put up walls between you and anyone who will crowd out His voice. You have to remember not to blame anyone for failing you right now. They’re not supposed to be enough, remember. Don’t keep a mental list of their failures toward you, because they’ll be so numerous and spiritually horrific they wouldn’t be able to bear them. The more you need from them, the more they’ll demand from you and fail you. It’s you and God and that’s it.

Remember that when Adam and Eve sinned the first sin, God came for them, He didn’t wait for them to come to Him. When Jesus came, He went even further than the path in the garden, He went to every depraved place we could go. He’s with you. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that He’s left you. That’s enemy territory and the power is in the lie.

There is a battle raging for you you right now. Hell wants you to believe that you’re ruined and God wants you to know that He’s closer than He’s ever been. Of all those times you’ve said “God, I’ve got this,”… this is not one of them and He’s all over it.

People will tell you that you have to do a), b), and c), but that’s an attempt to get you to believe you can save yourself. There is no climbing back up the cliff from which you jumped. It’s okay if that reality destroys you. You’re about to be rebuilt stronger and more beautiful than you ever were before. Again, you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

As someone who has been in some version of your shoes:

The Christian culture has been too candied to be able to come anywhere near being sufficient enough to find you where you are. Some of the songs have words that are so on point, it’s surreal, but they’re sung by Disneyish characters who have no soul. It’s infuriating and sickening. It’s hard to find something real, but when you do, it’s hard to believe that God would still talk to you like that.

I’ve spent nearly a decade trying to add some friction to the steps people take to find the Truth. The fact that you remembered me while laying broken at the bottom of the cliff is proof some of the grit stuck. Everything I write is for people in your position. It’s like a road map. I know it’s hard to believe that God still loves you, and not only knew about this, but has a plan for this. That’s why I use as many scriptures as possible to back it up. Read those blogs again… things will pop out at you that you never saw before. I write in layers. I hide things only people like us would get. People like us: Saved by grace. Literally and for real this time.

Oh, did you know that Adam and Eve’s names weren’t mentioned until after they sinned? Before then, they were called “Man” and “Woman”. Interesting, isn’t it? Also, Adam wasn’t cursed…. the serpent was cursed and the ground was cursed. Adam and Eve lost their innocence, but they weren’t cursed. You have lost your innocence, but this will be the pivotal moment of your entire life. …A moment in your narrative that your future self thanks God for.

Hold on. He’s got you.

He won't leave you.


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nine and a half years

Posted: October 25th, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments »

It’s been nine and a half years of healing. I don’t feel like garbage anymore.

It’s funny how feeling like garbage can give you more of a purpose than feeling invisible, or worse… ordinary.

I’m afraid of becoming cynical. I’m afraid I’ve become cynical.

I’m rainbows and butterflies. How could I become cynical?

Insight into the Mysteries has made me more disapproving than approving. Disapproving of Christians because I expect them to be just like The Others. Disapproving because I notice how irresponsible some can be with their bodies, their positions, and their beliefs. They clog themselves with sugared cheese, exploit the outcasts they’re supposed to be helping, and refuse to use their own brains and think for themselves. They destroy the earth with consumerism. They close off their social groups and become the equivalent of high school cliques. They jump on every feed trend, feast on fear, and cower when they should speak up. When I do find Christians who are well thought and have a voice loud enough to hear, I see them pelted with blasphemy from those who call themselves Christians.’

Yeah, I’ve become negative and cynical. I might also be a hypocrite.

I sugar my Velveeta when I feel like it, figuratively speaking. I turn smug around the less learned. I see negativity. I sing harmony with grace while refusing it to those who don’t know what it is. But seriously, Christians, how can you not know what grace is?

I’m real, though.

I don’t know if the Body is sick or I’m the sick one. It’s probably both.

I have a hard time thinking that I can be satisfied with the blase´. I think going to church is boring. It would be different, maybe, if I wasn’t an introvert with a wildly active brain. But, I am and church feels like psychological coddling instead of spiritual awakening.

The more I know, the more I know I don’t know. The reciprocal relationship where the mass of knowledge reveals the mass of unmet knowledge is a blissful trap of learning. A black hole of dark matter that infuriates and excites the researcher who can discern what he can’t see and know of the existence of what cannot be fully known.

I don’t know if I want to reenter the machine just in case I’m missing something, or if I should let my free spirit ride free. Untethered is my home.  I miss the idea of joining with “like-minded” individuals, but I don’t think I’ve ever had that. I daydream about starting a bible study just so we can talk about the mysteries of sovereignty and grace, but I don’t even know where to start or who would come.

I like that I’ve let the audience dwindle. I can speak as loud as I want, ….want…..want.

I don’t know if I’ll go back to church. I don’t know. It almost feels like going backward.

I need some source of conversation, though…. though…. though.

know


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encouragement for the crushed

Posted: October 6th, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: | Comments Off

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. - Isaiah 26:3 ESV 

Fruit from the vine pressed under Your feet. I would rather be crushed under Your feet than rotting flesh in Your burn pile.

Is want just as much a mirage as plenty? I can’t tell if it’s stress or cause for panic. I’m like a loyal dog. I just need a hint of Your scent. …you keep in him perfect peace…. A reminder.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. – Isaiah 26:4 ESV

I watch squirrels dodge traffic to get nuts. Encouragement by the provision is clouded out by the stress of acquisition.

Aren’t proud cities trampled under the feet of the poor (Isaiah 26:6)? I swing between the two so often that I don’t know if I’m being trampled or trampling.

“…in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” - Isaiah 30:15 ESV

“…whose mind is stayed on you…” A reminder of a mental direction. I’ll keep looking over the glass surface of the sea.

And then You answer….

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. - Exodus 14:15-16 ESV

“Why do you cry to me? Go forward.” 

squirrel


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twelve

Posted: September 22nd, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The quiet gets masked in fatigue so nobody will ask. Dull pain deep enough to sleep until the distractions can overtake the memories and the questions and swallow them into routine. Helplessness can make a gentle man angry, so the gentle man sleeps.

And I wonder.

God is not bound by time. He forgives from the outside of our beginning and beyond our end. Time heals human wounds unless you pay homage to the sins that caused your hurt. You mark the yearly landmarks like a sin historian whose only sense of worth is through the failures of others. Vowing to never forget only serves to justify your long standing vengeance.

What if you don’t know how to change the course?

The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment… - 1 Timothy 5:24 ESV

His sin was obvious. It walked itself into the light. While he stood exposed, his sins marched ahead of him and laid down at the cross. Like venom to venom, a scour to a wound, pain was the antidote. God knew the way to his heart. Gutted by his own sin, this man gladly gave away his rights to your failure so that he could be free from his own.

Are you are afraid of losing something?

…but the sins of others appear later. - 1 Timothy 5:24 ESV

Like a child hiding from his father, you poke sticks at the carcass just to see how the dead moves. You bear witness to his sin, turning the poured out Gospel into a lie. They are so deep that digging out would rearrange the life you built on top of them.

What is a life built on lies? Switch the names. Tell the story that makes you a redeemer. They don’t ask and you don’t tell.

Do you feel like it’s too late?

So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. - 1 Timothy 3:25 ESV

Does it make you limp?
Isn’t it tiring to hide all the time?
What do you do with the fear?

You keep telling yourself that the monster chasing you is him. But, he’s not chasing you.

Don’t be afraid.

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. - Luke 12:3 ESV

The truth-bomb is still ticking, but you’ve become accustomed to the sound.

One day, every tongue will confess that He is God. Your justifications are a wagging tongue of self. You hide behind his mistakes and justify yourself by blaming him. His sin was blotted from the books when the blood spilled. Are you the book keeper?

Put down your towel. This blood won’t wipe off.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9 ESV

Does your word mean nothing? You’ve built a house of cards, but he steadies his breath because she lives in that house. I already told you. He’s not your monster.

So, Who is chasing you?

He’s your Shepherd.

Stop running.

Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. - Luke 12:4 ESV

His quiet gets masked in fatigue so he can sleep it away. He lays under undisturbed blankets while the King breathes peace over him. He waits for the housetop proclamations and the mountains bow to the One who watches him sleep.

Love her extra for him today, will You? It’s her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Parker Rain.


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letting you in

Posted: September 16th, 2014 | Filed under: life | Tags: , | Comments Off

Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. - 2 Corinthians 4:1 MSG

The thing God “let us in on” is in spreading the message of the “new covenant”. The new covenant is Jesus. It’s grace that covers every sin and the absolute futility of a relationship with God through following a set of rules. There is no grace for those who justify themselves with the law.

our sufficiency is from God,  who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. - 2 Corinthians 3:6 ESV

We are given that revelation through our own “coming to Jesus” moment. He sets us free and we automatically become witnesses to how thorough and authoritative His forgiveness is. It’s impossible to know Him as our Savior without knowing ourselves as “sinner”. Once you’ve been rescued from yourself, you don’t want yourself anymore. Pride, the core of rebellion, is gone. It’s not a flippant thing and it requires absolute honesty as you let your own shame surface to face the Light.

We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. - 2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG

This isn’t a game. I don’t understand how people can just add religion to their schedule and not be completely overtaken by the mysteries and riddles. Those who have experienced the transformation don’t condemn others or doubt God’s immediate grace for the fallen.

You can’t just take the scriptures and make them mean whatever you want them to mean. Everything has to be balanced against the Gospel. If it doesn’t balance, or if it’s just someone’s life philosophy, then you have to consider their intellect. But, with the Gospel, even the simplest mind can get the profundity.

And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. - 2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG

in on it


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