Let me try and run fast enough;
maybe everything else will stand still.
A year ago, I sat down and looked at all that had gone on within that last 10 months, and looked ahead at the promises and challenges that were in store. In August of 2012, I was so lost and confused as to what was going to happen next that I literally had no choice but to run with it. I had moved twice that summer, my family had been shaken to a point where we didn’t know how to recover, and I was getting ready to start a new job. I didn’t know what this new year had in store, but I thought to myself that anything would be better than the hell that the last year had been.
Taking a job in youth ministry at my church would seem like the most logical thing for me to ever do. After all, most people that talk to me know that youth ministry is my passion. I talk about it nonstop. I know that the best time to reach students for Christ is during high school, and my biggest desire in life is to see as many high schoolers as possible be touched by the Gospel and live a life saved by and in surrender to Jesus. The relationships I’ve built with students this year through programs, missions (local and international) and camps have been nothing short of amazing. Overall, it was picture-perfect: I’ve been “living the dream” so to speak; I get paid to do what I love, and I get to have an impact.
I look in the mirror and see everything I despise;
The weight of these burdens engraved in my eyes.
In this war against my mind, my heart is no match.
I’ve been telling people that every high and low emotion I’ve felt for the first 18 years of my life was re-experienced during this last year. The highs of this year were incredible. I’ve never felt more on top of the world than in those moments where I see God working in the lives of those I get to work with, and the joy that this year has brought can barely be put into words. But the low points, the moments of desperation, crushed my soul like the weight of a million bricks. I’ve felt the need to “fake it” more than I should have.
I’m waiting for the day when I can say that I’m fine;
no longer feeding it like a memorized line.
Self-doubt has been my biggest setback for as long as I can remember. It’s torn friendships apart for me, driven me to points of utter depravity, and made me question every decision and move I’ve made during this entire year. I find the constant need to prove myself. After all, it’s difficult when you take on a different role in a familiar setting. I had grown up at Clovis Hills for 9 years, and developed a persona and image that people had become used to. I was the kid who was always passionate and eager, but who was usually hot-headed and made a lot of stupid decisions. It’s really hard to feel taken seriously when everyone wants to remind you of how many times you’ve fallen off a ladder. For the entire year, I tried to prove myself. I needed to show my friends that I wasn’t just there for comic relief. I needed to show my co-workers that I could contribute something of actual worth. I needed to show my parents that I could make something out of myself. But mostly, I needed to show God that I had it under control. I had wrapped myself around the idea that if I screwed this one up, God would never be able to use me for anything.
How can I say that all I am is Yours while I still hold on to control for dear life?
We both want my life; In the end, one of us will win.
I need you to win, but I can’t bear to let go.
What will it take to wake me up?
I wrote earlier this summer about my struggle to trust God for strength and comfort. During this year, whenever I faced situations that hurt, I never wanted to turn to God and instead wanted to just block it out. It’s easier to deal with your emotions if you just pretend they aren’t there. Or so I thought. To be honest, the more I held in, the more hurt I felt when it came and hit me in the face. When I found out that I wasn’t going to be leading worship this next year, I found out that the hurt wasn’t from the current situation, but because it had brought up my entire past of struggling to feel accepted as a musician, and going through high school feeling rejected for being mediocre at something I was so passionate about. The hurt came because I had spent the past 2 years trying to prove that I could be good enough only to have it crash in front of me. When I found out that my job this next year is being focused in a different area than youth ministry, I wasn’t disappointed due to anything related to what I would be doing. After all, I love the people in the area I’m moving to, and I’ll still be doing a lot of high level youth things. The discouragement came, however, from an internal feeling that I’m not valued in an area that all of my heart, soul, and strength has gone into for the past year of my life.
The air around you has become too thin.
Come back to the surface and breathe new life in.
I’ve spent the last 2 weeks questioning everything that has happened in my life this past year. And as I reflect, my biggest fear is that I haven’t gone anywhere since last year. I find myself ending this year feeling like I’m back at square one. How can I say I’ve significantly grown when I haven’t really accomplished anything? I still find myself just as troubled, just as restless, just as stressed, and just as lost as I was a year ago. As I start this new year, I don’t have a single clue as to what’s in store for me, and it doesn’t feel good at all. I relate to David in Psalm 25, where he desperately asks God for guidance because of how lost he has become. Exodus 33 shares about Moses and how he refused to make a move if God wasn’t there with him. This year’s going to take a miracle to pull off. I’m starting to realize though that God has already done the miracle. I need to wake up and surrender and accept the miracle, or else I’m going to drown.
Ask and receive; seek and find.
The race has already been won.
Open your eyes. Feed the truth. Kill the lies.
Your sorrows will meet their demise.
Here’s to the new year.