I love writing. It’s almost like I have to do it. So understand the seriousness of when I say that though I typically am compelled to do it, for the last two weeks it’s been better, or at the very least easier, for me to not. It’s just been rough…
Since blogging is neither my main income, nor main priority, I just had to deal with a few other things in life, full on. Plus, I don’t believe in being inauthentic and just posting random or scripted stuff. I’ve needed to deal with a few things. So today I just wanted to go ahead and break the silence and explain the reason(s) for a flatlined blog the last few weeks (and ask for help).
The Last Couple Weeks:
Before I begin with the hard stuff, let me say “it’s not all been bad.” My life is good, I am blessed, and there are more problems in this world than what I have been dealing with. Yet, pain is pain, hurt is hurt, sin is sin, and things just have to be dealt with. So I’m simply just explaining why my blog flatlined for two weeks, what I’ve learned, and how I can use some prayer and support…
The hard stuff:
- Over a year ago, Margo began reaching out to a young lady who had a horrible past, a difficult present, and really needed the love of Jesus. She shared the gospel with her and spent a great deal of time, tears, and stress on thinking through how to show her love in this last year. We tried hard, but didn’t always do the greatest, at reaching her and caring for her.We knew she was struggling, and had been for a while. To make a long story short, a few days after Margo spent the night with her she went missing. We suspected bad, but hoped for good. We got the call three days later that they found her body where she committed suicide on the edge of town.It’s been really hard for us and we’ve experienced the whole gamut of emotions. Everything. We’ve been careful to think well, pray hard, and not let this sin have any more power than it’s due. I keep saying, “It’s sad, but it’s gotta be sad for the right reasons – cause of the damage of sin, selfishness, and hurt, but not cause of guilt or condemnation.”I can’t even explain the amount of thinking, crying, talking, praying, sleeping, repeating, that’s gone on. People have been kind and Margo’s had a lot of support from her friends, but it’s just plain not easy. So much is unknown by others, and we don’t care to rehash all the details.We’re asking and looking hard for ways that our God, who’s in the business of redeeming, is going to bring good from bad.
- Second, I’m just going to be honest, though I may regret it later *ugh*… Ministry is just a matter of getting real, personal, life on life, messy and dirty. So while there are glorious aspects, it also just has, and always will have, stuff that springs up that just aren’t fun.Simply put, you have to deal with things like volunteers or staff complaining unreasonably or quitting jobs that nobody else is trained to do, needing replacements, picking up slack yourself, not having enough money, time, or knowledge, and not having the time, ability, or even good friends who care, understand or even know enough for you to vent.Also, sometimes the very people who you are endeavoring to lead with can become the hardest people, or most in need of ministry, that you know. Sometimes it’s where you can have the least respect or trust that you experience. This is never good when you should be walking with others, helping them make big decisions they’re asking for advice on, they’re dealing with death, they’re watching you for a model of how they should grow, they’re blind to sin in their lives, etc., and yet your own home base of support is all jacked up.All of the above has been true for a while in different ways at different times and it simply takes time, emotional energy, physical energy, spiritual work, or even all of the above at once!
- Third, to top it all off, in the midst of the above mentioned… after a stressful and emotional day of meetings and waste… our cat, which we’ve loved like a child, got ran over.It could have happened on any other time and it would have been terribly sad and hard still, but we could have dealt, reasoned, mourned and moved on. BUT, right now, it’s just kinda that final straw that’s breaking the proverbial camel’s back.We’re tired and worn out, as well as mad, sad, wanting to love, wanting to please God, feeling like we’re not doing well at it, having to pretend around some, able to slightly crumble around others, and required to just keep “trucking”… leading by example.
A Lesson (Of Many) In The Midst Of It All: On Pretending
Again, I would never want to be inauthentic in my writing, because I don’t want to be that way in my life – I’ve seen, and am presently dealing with, enough of that kind of living to know it’s ineffective at least, and destructive at worst.
Even in the midst of this, I’m aware of my requirement to lead by example if even the only way I can lead is to say, “I’m weak, in need of grace – which is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9-10) – and it’s okay to be hurt, sad, and unable to perform at times. It’s best to be real.
Too often, we as christians, create a culture of pretending. This leads to a community of people that feel they must “act” and cannot express their true hurts, struggles, sins, or whatever it may be, in order to receive encouragement, grace, care, concern, and help. If it’s not given freely, people won’t ask for it. We’ll all just pretend, and no matter how big or small the situation in which you are pretending, it disables you in everything else. Pretenders can neither receive love nor give it.
I’m so tired of pretenders… and don’t want to be one, myself.
Please be praying for me… us… and everyone else. I thank you in advance. God is good, and one day he will wipe away all tears and we will have completeness in all ways. Until then, we persevere… together.