This morning I started writing an extensive post about life spiraling out of control, and forgetting to give thanks to the one who makes it all possible…
Instead, at midnight I find myself in a dark living room, wife asleep, wind howling, and just lost in my own thoughts:
It’s been nearly three years since my ex-wife divorced me. In three years I’ve witnessed a transformation that books and video can’t even begin to describe adequately. I’m remarried, now to a woman that I hold close to me every, single night. I have a ‘real job’, I own a soccer team, and my life is just…completely new.
There are so many new readers on this site, that many don’t even know the struggles from 2011 and 2012. The rejection, heartache, emptiness, and desperate need of redemption. Many have missed the late nights, sickness from exhaustion, and my attempt to find my footing in the world.
So many have missed my life as Christian, leading a strange woman to know who Christ is, only to wind up marrying her down the road.
I’ve lived a lifetime in just three years.
I can’t remember most of college, and my previous marriage is a blur, high school felt as if it was someone else’s life, and my childhood is merely a rumor lost in history. I’ve completely removed myself from who I once was, and I’ve lost so many pieces of who I was. This isn’t a case of mistaken identity, it’s the case of redemption and life with new eyes.
I can’t express to you, through the drowsiness of my awakening each day, what it’s like to be alive. To loose a life, just to gain it again. Not to mention losing humanity nearly every night in my sleep. I awake Monday through Sunday, almost as if I was reborn once again. How’s that for random and somewhat creepy sounding?
My writing doesn’t revolve around soccer, that’s just the moment of the life that I’m in. I would have never dreamed in all my life, quite literally, that I would ever be in charge of something like the Kansas City Shock. More so, through the troubling ‘education’ within the church I grew up in and Southwest Baptist University; I would have never envisioned a program that I run having people that aren’t “like me” around me. Reality is, while I don’t agree, I would rather be around someone living a lifestyle deemed “sinful” then be around a Christian that’s too prideful to admit their own shortfalls.
I am a worthless waste of space. I am a sinful creature, that even though I openly know I am redeemed by grace, that of which I’ll never deserve, I continue to screw up. I get lost in my pride, worship my obsessions, and dream of the falsehood of rising above. Every night I find myself mentally sobbing, begging my Father to forgive me of my mistake of living throughout the day.
I tell Him my fears of reliving the hell on earth at I witnessed in 2011, and I beg Him not to give up on me. I open my tear stained eyes knowing that my Father loves my pathetic soul, and my desperate attempt to please Him.
If you ever wanted a reflection of my life since 2011, since the time FilingThePapers started, it would simply read:
I deserve none of this. I only deserve death.
Until you’ve lived a lifetime of living, breathing in new air on a continual basis, you’ll never know what I’m saying. Only those who have lost their life will understand what grace and redemption feels like. There isn’t even a word in this world that describes the sheer joy of standing in the doorway, watching my wife sleep, knowing that I’m responsible for her safety. There isn’t a single visual aid that can depict the heartfelt expression of what unconditional love is. In no way is there enough “#getyourpraiseon” statements that can envelop that life that I’ve lived.
I state this case just because tonight my heart hurts. It isn’t some mushy, fluffy Christian-speak. It’s coming from the soul of a troubling time in life. Personally, I’ve messed up as I’ve missed the mark with the Kansas City Shock. I’ve made it about revenge, bitterness, and the hope of crushing those who oppose. I daydreamed of ensuing chaos and demonstrations to let the world know who we are.
The world doesn’t need to know who we are. The world needs to know who I operate under. The lack of evidence to support that claim falls directly on my shoulders, and it is my sin to hold.
I proclaim this gospel, this faith, this stance because I’ve come to understand that being a Christian will never make you cool. If it does, you’re doing something wrong. Imagine this; I’m a Christian, based on the Bible I do not embrace same-sex marriage. I don’t accept abortion as an option, and I’m not an advocate for female preachers [talk about creating some targets tonight]. Imagine the same person telling a person on their roster, who is openly gay, that their safe from the world. Imagine the confusion, complexion, and complication that, that makes in the perspective of the world.
To put it bluntly, if you really want to know what Jesus would do…that’s exactly where I get my belief. There’s no way Jesus would look at a sinner, condemn to hell, and give up on them. He wouldn’t demoralize them, tear them down, or make them feel worthless. If you don’t believe me I’d encourage you check out the Gospel’s in the New Testament of the Bible. That isn’t Christ, and to act that way isn’t Christ-like, meaning it isn’t being a Christian.
If I’m a person who is to stand by my faith, no matter the outcome, then I can’t condemn the world around me. I don’t embrace it, but I’m not in a position to shun anyone. There is no right, no moral obligation, and no power from God that embraces that concept. Why? Because God would never do it.
I’m a liar, cheater, thief, adulterer, and idol worshiper; and that’s on a good day. Does God suddenly decree, “D is a lost cause, there is no hope for him.” No! God is hope, and God loves His creation. God loves me, God loves the people on my roster, God loves the people of the city I live in. That is His description, God is love. He is a wicked harsh judge in the end, but He’s a loving Father. If you want evidence, read the past months worth of posts on this site and read the first month in July of 2011. The whole idea behind FilingThePapers was to one day demonstrate that I’m one screwed up, random piece of trash…and yet somehow God still blesses me with things that I’ll never deserve. I’m not monetarily rich, but I have a family that I wouldn’t give up for anything. I don’t have a 45 foot yacht, but I have people that would surpass that type of value any day of the week.
Perhaps this rambling is a question, thought, and statement all in the same:
Question: Why are Christians so quite? They really have nothing to hide.
Thought: Jesus was never quiet, but He wasn’t rude to those that didn’t believe all in the same.
Statement: How could I live for Christ, but give up on the world?
I’m not a hero, just a story teller, one from experiences of my own vice. One day I’ll probably get skewered by someone for stating my faith, but I’m alright with that. To you dearest reader, know this right now; I’ve lived a life of no regrets because I know where I stand with God. He loves me and all my warts, He’s blessed me with a wonderful wife, a beautiful life, and a reason to breathe new air each morning.
I fear the future, because of the turbulent world that I currently reside in. However, know this as a fact [Jack], God isn’t going to let us disappear. It isn’t His plan, and He’s got some amazing, earth shattering [literally] stuff up His sleeve someday. I’m only here in this existence for a split-second, but in that time I can do so much through all the things that He’s given me.
Being humble with success.
Embracing the unknown, unwanted, and undesired.
Speaking truth, abstaining from lies.
Loving my family with every inch of the soul that exists within me.
Never giving up, on anyone…because my God never gave up on me.