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Joy Unspeakable

(This is the last in my entries from the book I am currently working on.  In no way do I think that I am done with this journey.  The following is just where I want to leave it for now.)

Since the beginning I have been looking for the time when I could tell you that I had some real joy in my life again.  Today is that day.  It started off as any day has.  I woke up, I prayed, I read my Bible and I prayed.  I ran through some of the thoughts that were beginning to try and entrap me and I cast them off.  Somewhere in the day God began to show His plan.  He began to show that all of the work that I had been doing with Him was beginning to take hold in the form of moving forward.  In the middle of all of that, I received a call for a job interview.  A ministry job interview.  I laughed out loud, not out of humor, but because I was happy.  I was thrilled, I am thrilled.  There are no guarantees, and that does not matter, it was another step to show that God had been moving.  Like watching the leaves blow in the wind, I could see God physically moving around me.  I have learned that there is only one guarantee that I can truly rely on, and that is that God keeps His word.  He does exactly what He says He will do.  The only thing I have that I hold onto is the love He has for me.  Today was such a reminder that in the midst of the storm, the gentle whisper on the wind is the words, “You are my child, and I love you!”   It brought to mind the phrase joy unspeakable.

I have been making all of these efforts to seek God, and God has been moving inside.  The feeling of that has been life changing.  It has been habit forming in amazing ways.  I have been strengthened, I have been changed, and I have been moved to healing in a way I never thought was possible.  This project has literally been a journal I have made every effort to keep to show what God was doing.  At its core it is not about me.  In its meaning it is not yet finished.  I have been on an amazing ride the last several weeks.  I have been places that I never want to go again, and I have been shown a future that I could not possibly dream up.  Things are not completely clear, they won’t be for some time and I know that.  I know that the pressures of the world are still there.  I will still make mistakes, I will stumble, and I will fall.  Yet in those moments I will not hesitate to look straight at God for direction.  In fact I will go one further.  I am going to strive every day to be more like Jesus, and get closer to God.  I have a long way to go to reach those goals.  The point I am seeking here is that I feel so much healing, so much strength.  I have a basis to stand on for the first time in a long time.  I have under my feet the solid rock of Christ.  I had stepped off it some time ago, and finding it again has been absolutely amazing, and it is not over by far.

Joy unspeakable is a strange thing to define, but I will make my best effort to do that for you.  To me it is finding strength every day in a God that should have nothing to do with me.  It is finding abilities that I never knew I had because they have been awakened in me by Him.  It also the knowledge that no matter what happens along my path I am never alone, and I never have to stand on my own.  It is the understanding that this life is a temporary moment and that God wants to do something huge for His kingdom with you regardless of what you think you are capable of doing.  Joy unspeakable is the ability to cast off all bitterness, anger, jealousy, and guilt.  It is the ability to begin to know who you truly are in Christ.

If you have been following this journey online, I thank you, and pray that you find comfort healing, and wisdom in my time here(this is not the end of my blog, just the end of this particular project for now).  If you are reading this as a published work again I thank you for the time.  My prayer is that whatever situation this finds you in that you see what God can do when you drop to your knees.  If your marriage is in trouble, God can fix it, His redemption is limitless.  I have lost my partner in life.  I have lost the woman I loved.  I am not married to her, and most likely will never have the chance to prove to her that I can be the man I claimed to be from the standpoint of her husband, and that is okay.  Yet in this I have gained her as a friend.  In fact we are better friends now than we were as husband and wife.  It has been an eye opening and sobering experience learning that though once there was bitterness and strife between us there is hope and love in a way I never thought possible, only because God can do such a thing.  So to those of you struggling to hold it together stop struggling and give your lives over to Christ, don’t wait stop reading and do it now.  If you are staring at the papers you were served, don’t sign them until you have turned your life over and sought His will.  If you are a wife struggling with thoughts of divorce, please for your sake pray hard and don’t move until God moves you.  Appointments can be cancelled, and money may be lost, but sometimes it does not matter.  There are situations where you have to protect yourself and I respect that I truly do.  In reality the majority of marriages that end, end because people are just tired of struggling along the path with their spouse.  Mac Powell says it right, “Cry out to Jesus!”  If prayer is not a part of your house, husbands I implore you, take back your house and pray for and with your wife.  Be the man God wants you to be.  Learn from the mistakes of this stupid stupid man that God has been so wonderful to.  If you are at the bottom, I am praying for you, and God is waiting for you to look up to Him.

If you are her, the one I once called my dearest, thank you for giving me the chance to stay in your life as your friend.  There will be times long after this page when we find ourselves at odds over trivial and petty things.  We are both, after all, human.  Never doubt that I will always have your back, and that I will always be there when you need me, as the fiercely loyal friend I am now.  I cannot see the path that God has for you.  I cannot see who will come in and out of your life or who you will fall in love with.  All I can ask is that for your sake you do not let him be who I was, make him be a Godly man you deserve it.  There were promises that we made on that day in January.  Most I can no longer keep, nor did I really from the beginning.  However there is one I will make now, one that I will not break.  I will never stop striving to be more the man of God that I always said I was.  I know there are a lot of hurts that you have from our time together, hurts you have been so gracious to forgive me for.  I pray that you also find the grace to forgive others, and that you find the grace and joy that God has offered me.  Know that I pray for you often and that yes what we are now the world will never understand, but we do.  Again, thank you for not giving up on me as a I truly am.

If you are my son, reading this many years from its writing.  I am sure you have questions, and I will answer the ones that need to be answered.  I freely admit that in the divorce I failed you as a father, and as the example and leader I was supposed to be.  For that I ask your forgiveness, God will that I never make those mistakes again.  I am sure there will be times when you get angry and frustrated with your mother and I.  Take it to God, and tell us how you feel, we have never stopped being here for you and we never will.  Know that God is a big boy and can handle your cares far better than you can.  Seek Him continually.  And know that I love you so much.  That fact has never been in question and never will be.  I pray this and so much more, that you feel joy unspeakable every day of your life and that you find that God is ready to dream for you and do wondrous things in and with your life.  I have two final thoughts for you specifically in this project.  One, you will never be able to love another as much as God loves them, and if you do not know Him, and His love, you will never be able to truly love them at all.   Secondly, the heart was never meant to be a compartmentalized closet; it was designed to be a vast open place where God’s love could fill and forge new places, and new far greener pastures.

This is not the end of my journey, and there will be much more to write.  But for now, I am but a humble man, travelling along with you, happily following my Savior home.  I hope I see you there!

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