IN ALL ERNESTNESS


Dust in the wind…
August 25, 2008, 9:58 pm
Filed under: life, love, ministry, missions, people, religion, Uncategorized, whatever

That is how I feel about my dreams sometimes…

I will be honest in saying that I hesitated writing about this. I hesitated putting this out there, opening up in such a real way, giving way to such vulnerability…

People may actually read this and if they do what will they think? What if someone is considering me for a speaking engagement and they read this and are like “Nevermind…this guys has issues…”? What if someone who is just getting to know me reads this and it changes the way they look at me?

Honestly, I don’t care. I do want people to like me and I definitely don’t want people to think I am some crazy guy with major issues but I want to be real.

REAL…that’s not something you see too often these days. We go to church and act one way. We go to work and act another. We answer the phone and all of the sudden our voice changes. We go through struggles and carry heavy burdens and wear a pseudo-smile; a mask that tells everyone on the outside everything is fine and we are happy when inside we’re wrecked.

Never been there? Okay, maybe I am some weirdo that has issues. But I know that even if you don’t have them too; even if you don’t struggle with life and what comes with it, there are others who do. I can’t be the only one. I see it in faces all the time. I hear it behind the empty words, “Oh, I am great…how are you?”

The truth is that I do struggle. I struggle at times with fear and doubt. I struggle with trust and faith. The truth is that I am experiencing some of those struggles now.

I want to start off by saying that my life has been filled with numerous joys and blessings. I have a family that loves me, parents that taught me wrong from right and about a God who loves me as well. Parents who despite the current trend have loved each other and stuck it out for 39 years and counting. I have a wife that should have counted her loss along time ago but has loved me and stood by me and forgiven me and has followed me through all kind of mountain tops and valleys. I have a wife who I still think is hot. I have a 3 beautiful kids…even though one is in Haiti. They all have my love and my heart. I am blessed and more of a person just for having them be a part of my life. I am a blessed man and will not deny that…

…but I am also a man who struggles to understand “Why?”. I have been a man of dreams. Big dreams, little dreams, crazy dreams…

Dreams of what could be and what should be and how I could be a part of change and making a difference. Dreams that would tie my convictions, my passions, my desires all together. Dreams of adventure…

But as time goes on I catch myself doubting…fearing that maybe that’s all they will ever be…just dreams. I have allowed myself to dream and get excited and believe in the past only to see what I thought would be not come about; left with my heartache and my tears struggling with the question of “Why?” again.

I sat with my beautiful bride tonight after dinner and we just talked about life and where we’re at right now and what we were feeling and so forth and I realized I have began to stop dreaming…maybe not stopped dreaming but struggling to believe…in the dreams…and dare I say God. Not about who He is or my belief in Him as God and Saviour…but in the fact that He will allow my dreams to be birthed. That he would allow my dreams to break through the amniotic sack of my thoughts and my ideas and be birthed into life and allowed to grow and flourish…

I tried to explain it to her this way…I feel like I am a caged lion. He is an animal that is fierce and wild and designed to be free to roam and rule as king of the jungle but then we see him caged in small pin at our local zoo…There’s something different about him and his brother who is out free roaming the wild. There is that haze, greyness, that lack of life in his eyes. He is not where he was designed to be, he’s not doing what his heart desires…his spirit has been broken.

Although I am not at the point of a broken spirit I relate to this caged friend of mine. I desire to be out…doing, going, living the great adventure for God. Reaching out to the least of these…holding their hands, hugging their necks, feeding their hunger, quenching their thirst, mending their hurts in the name of Jesus, the Liberating King…Being the hands and feet of Christ and just loving God and loving People here and all around the world. Leading students to do the same…showing them how to live their own faith out loud as they step out of the boat and put themselves aside to be Christ to the broken. As they not only are told how to be Christ-like and how to love and minister but are mobilized and given the chance to actually do it. To experience faith, to experience ministry, to experience the adventure of following Christ…see there it is…just talking about does something inside me…my heart is beginning to race…a smile has crept upon my face…I fell a sparkle in my eye…an excitement in my heart…do I dare embrace it and risk…risk it not ever being more than a dream? or do I shake it and keep myself from believing in an attempt to protect myself from further disappointments and let down? I must embrace it. If I am to truly live I must embrace it…I must believe…Without it I am nothing but a shell of who I desire to be…without it I just exist and I live life to survive and make a living instead of living life to live and making a difference.

Wow…what kind of a minister am I? What kind of minister would ever struggle with these things? Well, I am a human minister and I do struggle with these things…It doesn’t mean I believe them to be true…but it is a battle between truth and human logic…a battle between fear and faith…a battle between spirit and flesh…

But you know what? It’s okay, because it is when we trudge through difficulties and doubts like these; when we have to push and fight and battle that faith is tested. It is through these times that we are given the opportunity to grow; the opportunity to learn; the opportunity to discover…My pastor was speaking a few weeks ago and talked about how he wanted people to have questions…he wanted people to struggle with truth and God’s Word…to struggle when our pre-conceived notions and ideologies and traditions are challenged…because when we question…when we struggle…we seek for truth.

Don’t worry, I choose to dream…Each day I wake up I will call upon my king to fill my heart with dreams…to fill my heart with passions and desires and then give me to courage…the tenacity to believe in thosedreams…to defy human logic and trust in Him…

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7 Comments so far
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I am humbled by your honesty and open-ness. I truly believe that in times when we doubt or inwardly fear our deepest heart cries will never be heard, God is standing beside us growing us for something BIG. Maybe not what we desire, maybe not what we think we might need, but definatly something of Kingdom significance that will carry us into a season of being so close to God we hear Him breathing words of hope over us. Keep pressing forward! Keep searching out God in your day. He may just pop in where you least expect Him and give you a plan you never thought possible! Praying for you guys!

Comment by jen

I would like to encourage you as you journey through your doubts and fears. I believe that if you did not have those, the chances are you are not really following in Jesus’ footsteps. I too have been there, feeling like I have had to give up on dreams, hopes, and with a broken spirit. I do know, however, that we are meant to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. We are to nail “self” on the cross and live for others, and in doing that, we become that living sacrifice. This is the kind of love Jesus represents and the kind of love we are also called to give out as followers of Jesus Christ. Don’t be disheartened, you are on the right track, but know too Jesus never said it would be easy. No earthly dreams or aspirations could possibly compare to the promise of eternal life with Christ. Keep believing, keep trusting.
http://www.ransom33.wordpress.com

Comment by ransom33

II Timothy 7…read it. I know that from my own personal struggles with belief and faith, God will always provide the means necessary for me to accomplish whatever HE has set before me to do. It’s in his time, not mine. I’m not always ready for the things that I’d like to do and for some things, I’ll never be ready. Either that or it’s just not in the plans God has for me. My favorite verse in the bible is Jeremiah 29:11. It reminds me that God has got something for me to do. It may not be what I think it ought to be, but ultimately I have found that when I let go of a “dream”, he has replaced it with something far greater and more rewarding than I could have ever possibly imagined. And more importantly, when I am fearful or in doubt, I know that doesn’t come from God. My bible and my friends will tell me that. I applaud you for talking to your wife about how you’ve been feeling. Take heart, God is building you up for something great.

Comment by 249be35thst

“The truth is that I do struggle. I struggle at times with fear and doubt. I struggle with trust and faith. The truth is that I am experiencing some of those struggles now.”

Not about who He is or my belief in Him as God and Saviour…but in the fact that He will allow my dreams to be birthed. That he would allow my dreams to break through the amniotic sack of my thoughts and my ideas and be birthed into life and allowed to grow and flourish…

I tried to explain it to her this way…I feel like I am a caged lion. He is an animal that is fierce and wild and designed to be free to roam and rule as king of the jungle but then we see him caged in small pin at our local zoo…There’s something different about him and his brother who is out free roaming the wild. There is that haze, greyness, that lack of life in his eyes. He is not where he was designed to be, he’s not doing what his heart desires…his spirit has been broken.

This is exactly where I am right now. Beautiful words that captured the raging angst inside

Thank you. I could breathe easier knowing that I am not alone.

God bless you Pastor. I felt like I already know you because as you were discussing your thoughts and feelings, you were digging in my heart, deep where it hurts right now the most

Comment by oftherock

i am sitting @ d keyboard not knowing exactly how to start. but i am sure of one thing-i am glad. not for your troubles but also for your troubles. it is a pointer that you still have God in you. its a pity we have too many fakes out there even in the body of Christ. i struggle too… with many things lyk how am i goin to cope with living in heaven if God almost always have to pick me up. some times i when i slip i almost accept i am one of those created for destruction or damnation but God forbid for i know Him who i have trusted that He isable to keep safe that which i have committed into His hands… so i have given Him back the life to do as He pleases but one thing i do, o try wholehertedly to please my maker and i know He will NOT leave me
i am 19, an african, a nigerian and i have av vision a passion that can only be from God most times i dare not share it because it is bigger than me.[but not Him]. despite my knowing that i still fear that i may fail and then what will happen.
Everyone does stuggle.some are only better @’faking it’ than others. i pray that the lord almighty who sees into the deepest part of man will comfort u, direct u, show you the way and strenghten you till His coming.
In all,WE CANNOT STOP DREAMING. we have to keep something very important in our minds. they give us the drive to live and live well.for those of us who keep dreaming are the ones the world awaits.believe me many have ‘woken up’ to reality and thus have stopped dreaming. we cannot quit and join the league. the world is waiting for us. i told a friend:dare to dream. it is free of charge. you owe nobody for dreaming. stretch you mind. it will stretch but never snap.”
Pastor, welldone. God is on our side. but we have a responsibilities… taking baby steps about our dreams and trusting God to keep helping us. the only challenge is trusting God continuosly requires more than just church. it needs faith and that God can give us. we only need to ask and listen to His reponse. God hslp us all who have dared to dream, accept our vulnarebilities but keep on dreaming and doing something about such dreams. amen

Comment by tolu. nigeria

I am friends with Debra and I was going to see if you could link to me because I just put the scripture painting up on ebay for the Haiti adoption.

Comment by jenny williams

I have always believed that you and Debra would accomplish great things for the Lord – and now I see it happening as evidenced in your blogs! Praying for you both and so blessed to have you as friends. Thanks for being so open. Love you both!

Comment by Judy Works




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