Archives For doubt

Bad At Acquaintances

randomlychad  —  November 13, 2014 — 10 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I’m bad at being acquaintances. Friendships for me are more binary; they are on, or off. You see, I’m generally an introvert; as such, I’ve never had a lot of friends. And the ones I do have mean very much to me.

Probably more than is healthy, to be honest.

As an introvert, I find small talk boring. Much preferred is the diving into the deep, messy stuff of life. I’m finding, however, through age and experience that not everyone is wired like that. That in fact I may have someone in the friend column who has me in their acquaintance column.

We’re at cross purposes, having differing expectations of the relationship. This always makes me sad, and leaves feeling like an outsider. To be blunt, it never fails to catch me off guard. You would think I would have learned by now, but No! It hooks right into the latent abandonment issues bound up in my soul. It’s not true, but it feels like ever since my dad left my family over thirty years ago people are always leaving me.

I feel forgotten, wondering what I did to make them go. I wish it weren’t so, but I get pouty and lash out. Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Who wants to be around that?

I’m trying to surround myself with healthy community, but it’s hard to let people in, you know? Heck, it’s hard to let God in, to relate to Him. <--Have you been there? Where all of your prayers feel like so much dust flung at an uncaring sky, dissipated by the wind? That's the place I find myself in. Who am I in relation to: You Myself God I find my view of Him is still refracted by the prism given me by my earthly daddy. I want to let Him in--all the way in--but I don't know how. He wants to be more than mere acquaintance. He deserves more. How do I, the man who struggles with frienship, give Him what He longs for? Have you been there, my friends?

I believe in you–have faith you will succeed, will carry through. I believe God can, will, and does bless you.

But I have trouble believing for me.

I have trouble believing in me. I know you can do it; I just don’t know that I can. If you have a need, I can pray prayers that will bring the glory down. But for myself? For me, my faith is a frail thing. It’s small–smaller than a grain of mustard seed.

I don’t know how to pray for myself anyhow, relying upon recorded prayers. Trusting that God will hear my tongue-tied heart. I don’t know what to ask for.

Oh, I believe you’re worthy, my friend.

But maybe I know my own dark heart too well to even dare to dream that God will bless me? I’m not worthy…

Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief.

Give me the faith to believe for me.

Have you ever been there, friend?

Dear John Eldredge

randomlychad  —  August 9, 2012 — 12 Comments

To all of you who have read, commented, supported me over these last two years, the following is just as much for you as it is for John Eldredge. In fact, it is more for you than him; as such, I wanted you to see it first. I want you to know that as I head to the mountains of Colorado next week, I will be holding you all in my heart. It is because of your generosity that I’m able to go at all. And that is a gift I do not take lightly.

Thank-you.

————-

Dear John Eldredge,

You don’t know me. I have been reading, and have been helped tremendously by, your books for many years now. So much so that I longed to go to one of Ransomed Heart’s Bootcamps, to dive into that soul work with a group of like-minded men, but never had the means.

This year, that changed.

I didn’t suddenly come into some money. What happened was two years ago I started a blog. I envisioned it as a place where people could come to share their hearts–because that’s what I did: shared my heart. I spilled the pixels across the screen like the very blood of my heart. And the words that I threw out there, into the world, found a home in other hearts.

People responded to that heart, shared struggles of their own. My blog became a safe place to fall. My honesty begat honest sharing. I had a community.

Though, at the time, I didn’t quite know how large-hearted that community was. But time would tell.

It was this past June, and I felt that stirring again–the ache of unfinished work–so I put my name into the lottery for this August’s Bootcamp. I did this not knowing how I would pay if I were to be accepted.

It wasn’t too much later that I received notice that I was indeed accepted. My first thought wasn’t a faith-filled one, but was more akin to “Crap! What am I going to do?”

I almost let it go, let this opportunity pass me by. Because I was afraid. Then in the middle of the night, as Saturday became Sunday–as Father’s Day dawned–I had a crazy thought: what if I asked my readers? What if I laid this need out before them? Will they respond?

So I posted Lessons From My Father/I Need Your Help thinking that I would probably lose all of my readers. A man of great faith I was not. Not that night.

After writing, and praying, I think I finally turned in at about two A.M. And awoke bleary-eyed around seven. It was then that the faith became sight! Because as I checked my email, I saw a message indicating that my appeal had not fallen on deaf ears. In just those few short hours my Bootcamp tuition was two-thirds funded!

I was astounded! And my half-hearted faith was jolted into new life. The same people who read my blog, who were there through the thick and thin, honored the investment of myself I’d made into my blog, and into them, by investing in me very tangibly.

As I said, I was astonished. It was too wonderful for me. Who was I to deserve such kindness? I’m no one–a no one with a small blog, and a big dream. More than that, I’m a nobody who’s loved by a big God.

And those people–my readers–showed me God’s love in a big way. Funds continued to trickle in throughout the week, and I want you to know, John, that it came down the wire. I had to register before the deadline–not knowing where the last $70 was going to come from. As if it were even going to be an issue! But I fretted it.

God did, as He so often does, raise someone up at the eleventh hour, so that two things happened:

1) My Bootcamp tuition was fully funded; and,
2) God alone got the glory.

How cool is that?

Along the the way, He used those dear folks to teach me a precious lesson about community, and together they and I, with Him, started a brand new story.

As I said above, you don’t know me, but I wanted to honor those who sacrificed for me by letting you know how I came to be here.

————–

Folks that is the story you and I are telling together this summer here. What story is God using you to tell? How are you speaking faith into your, and others, lives?