Monday, May 02, 2011

no title comes to mind

I awoke from a dream as if some strange sense of reality had hit while I was asleep and my mind could not contain it any longer. There's a lot to ponder these days (and nights apparently) with changes arising yet again like a mountain stream in spring, it seems natural for spring to bring change I suppose. A year ago today I was enjoying the first night of slumber with my brand new wife and now I sit awake as she enjoys her sleep, thinking of the happiness and swift growth she has brought to this once dusty soil.

I can think back and say that God really has put us together because we really are better together than we were alone, isn't that the way it's supposed to be with marriage? The contributions of the two should vastly outweigh that which one could once muster. I see this happening, but I also see tremendous potential in what could be as a result of this pairing that has truly come from God. I fear that I don't always live up to what I know is necessary as a husband, even so briefly into being one, when it comes to leading or sparking fires that should be lit as we go about our day to day. I want to be worthy of this gift of love that God has blessed me with and I don't think I'm always living up to it. Insecurity I suppose, that which has plagued me for centuries (were I immortal I'm sure it would be the case) has carried on into this thing that many of us in the Christian world see as the central part of existence on earth. Marriage that is.

I remember dreaming of the day when I would no longer wonder what the face staring back at me would look like as I stood in front of family and friends to make that commitment. Of course now I see how beautiful she is, how kind and loving, truly breathtaking. But as I would picture being married (who knew that men would dream of such things, like a little girl might) I would have the naive belief that all things would change after that point. No longer would I be the insecure little child inside, no longer would the negative things that once held on be able to keep me in their grasp. While there may be some truth to it, ultimately it's not a woman (no matter how splendid as she certainly is) that can change a man's heart. I understand this, I know Christ makes the difference. I also know he uses people to see to his glorious work, without them even knowing it. This has all happened, indeed much has changed about me in all realms of life: physically, emotionally, spiritually. But as I reflect on things that can make me squirm a little, those old tendencies begin to crawl and produce more squirming than I would choose at times.

You see, while I have experience a great deal of change over the course of time, one thing has remained the same since I left the nest some 10 years ago...upheaval. Yes with spring comes new life and growth, buds on trees (I hear it is happening in some places, yet to see it here), new babies in the animal kingdom, and often times a new sense of life for those who have endured a long winter as if in autopilot not unlike a bear in hibernation. Also with spring it seems comes a new sense of adventure and for me, a move from one place (be it a house or a city) to another. It has been a tiring 10 years for me in this way because as I consider the number of places I have lived and the number of times I have moved either near or far, I believe the total is 13 homes in 10 years. The longest stretch in one home for me has been the latest and it will have been 14 months when all is said and done.

Yet again this spring the winds of change are blowing strong and soon 13 moves will become 14 and shortly thereafter 15. We're moving to a new location, a new settlement for myself but also for Amanda. Although she will be very familiar with her surrounding as it will be her home territory, it will be a new experience for her as a married woman seeking to find a nest where she can finally set up shop for the long haul. For me it will be a new place entirely, though quite familiar as a visitor I will be an unfamiliar resident. It's a move for family as we consider the future of our potential family, should we be so blessed. It's also a move for life as we seek to be better stewards of this creation that has been so brutally treated. A move for possible career paths as I embark on a new adventure in education and training for something that I feel compelled to study and hopefully continue to build on professional experience. It's also a bit of a move for sanity as the big city wears on these small town souls.

While there are many great things to look forward to with the newness that arises, I can't help but face intimidation as there are certainly unknowns that accompany the adventure. Where will we live after move # 15? What will life look like in a place that one of us knows well but the other can barely picture? What jobs will we find that we can continue with over time? Will I succeed with a Masters degree in a discipline that is not my previous area of study? Will I be able to support a family, should it come in the next few years? Will I end well where I am now (recognizing it is not my strong suit)? Will I feel more isolated than ever before? Will I build new relationships? Will I be able keep some old ones? Do I have anything to contribute? Is it the wrong choice?

The questions don't overwhelm me, they simply arise on occasion as a reminder that I do not control the outcome of life. I know the Creator maintains the world as His own, and nothing continues without His permission (to a point anyway), and I know that the notion of "call" is much broader than I once thought. The call on me and you is to preach Christ crucified, share in the resurrection and make it known to others through compassion and love by how we live and treat other people. My purpose is to testify to power of God's love that can make a vastly obese, insecure and depressed single pastor into a healthy husband who stands only by the strength of Christ in me to walk daily in a way that influences the beautiful gift of a wife He has given me and hopefully as a pair to influence the world around us. I see Christ in Amanda, in how she treats me and those she meets throughout her life. I want to see that in me and it has come to my attention that regardless of what I do vocationally, the call remains the same to be Christ in word and deed to everyone around me. No longer am I defined by a title or held down by a notion that comes from tradition more than truth that I must hold a certain "title" to be "where God wants me". That's a story for another time, perhaps in about a year when I sit down to write another entry.

Regardless of what's next for us, though it is exciting and slightly scary all in one, my biggest concern right now is to not leave poorly. To remain where I am while I am here and to try to discover a way to live where I live and not where I am not. I realize that I have an abrupt nature at times and this comes out especially when I am "moving on" because simply don't know how to approach that type of situation. Where emotion can run high because of the positive influence that others have had but I may be afraid to make it known. I will miss many people here, but I fear that they won't miss me (the insecurity shows itself again) because I have caused them to no longer want to.

I suppose it is part of the journey of life, when healing occurs there is something else that will surface that requires more healing. While I have once dealt with living in the past, thinking upon memories as better times, and neglecting the present. Perhaps now will be the time to face this struggle of not living in a picture of things to come while leaving the present behind too early.

I awoke from a dream that caused me to ponder, hopefully I can return to slumber having done so for now.