As 2011 comes to a close I am taking this week off to reflect on where I have been, where am I now, and where I am going. Perhaps, just as important, I will take into consideration where I don’t want to be in the future. Maybe that is easier said than done but its worth considering.
Where I have been?
When part of you dies: The most significant event of my year occurred in March when my divorce was finalized , and legally ended 15 years of marriage. You never think it will happen, and you certainly don’t plan for it. Even though I was no longer truly in love with my former spouse, it was the most difficult and painful thing that I have ever gone through. I don’t normally look into pop culture so much, but after watching Crazy, Stupid, Love I found myself intrigued with Cal Weaver’s character. Sadly, I could relate all to well with the character played by Steve Carrell.
I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it? – Jacob Palmer (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
I found myself post marriage wrestling with such insecurities.
Another year older?: In June I turned 41 years old, and thanks to my babyface I still get looks of unbelief when people learn how old I really am. I must admit that grey hairs are starting to appear, wisdom perhaps? Interestingly enough I find myself hanging out with a much younger group of people. I don’t know if this is just part of God’s plan for me or the reality that I don’t act 40 and just feel more comfortable with younger people for some reason.
When will you start dating?: This is a question that seemed to pop up a few times this year. I found myself to be in a unique place in life while grieving the loss of my marriage. My heart began to stir again, and the thought of dating entered my mind. This was something that generated some of the most internal conflict & growth in me this year as I prayerfully wrestled with the thought of pursing someone for the first time since my divorce. It forced me to deal with issues that I may not have otherwise wrestled with.
New place to call home: Also in June I was able to move into a new place thanks to a tip from friend at church. I continued a roommate situation still, but this time it was a significant improvement in my living situation. This allowed me to feel more at home, be closer to my church, and begin hosting events for my friends. This has also led to building closer relationships in our in church family.
Upgraded to 4 wheels: After a few years of walking, buses, and commuting by bicycle I was miraculously able to obtain a car about a year ahead of schedule. This has been a life changer for me. Having a car has no doubt made my commute easier but more importantly it has made it easier to work on my relationships with people. Having better transportation is more than just about a easier commute.
Where am I now?
As the year comes to a close I have come to realize many things.
I am blessed beyond measure: In spite of my failures, my past, loss, and pain I am truly blessed. That is the beauty of grace! I did not earn God’s blessings upon my life, and cannot take any credit for the goodness that He is allowing me to experience. I am still employed, and have a car now. I have an amazing church family, an awesome group of friends, the privilege to co-lead a community group filled with wonderful people. Life is good because He is good!
Shrinking Waistline, Yes!: After a year of exercising, and changes in eating habits I was able to see a significant improvement in my weightloss plan. I was able to fit into a size 36 waist pants for the 1st time in about 10 years. The progress continues.
There is only One to pursue at this time: After much prayer, and evaluation I decided that it was best to hold off from pursuing a dating relationship.
“If you have chemistry, you only need one other thing – timing” – Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother
At this time neither are present, and perhaps for good reason. Knowing the pain that can be produced from relationships, I was determined to discern God’s will for my life. To not move in a direction that could cause unfruitful or negative results. I also came to the realization that I needed to pursue Jesus more than anyone or anything. I needed to be totally dependent on Him, and that His grace would be sufficient for me. Would I like to date again? Yes. But it may be best to hold off so that God can continue the work He has begun in me. I trust that in due time He will orchestrate things, and bring someone to walk along side me.
Who am I?: As I evaluated my life, and self I came to a deeper understanding that my identity is in Christ Jesus. I am who I am because of Him. This is comfort and encouragement because my experience has taught me that it is extremely frustrating trying to be someone that I am not. I am loved, accepted, forgiven, and my worth is validated because Jesus does that. Sure I have room for growth, but my foundation is Christ. He is my example, and model for biblical manhood.
Above all, I came further in the knowledge that God is good, loving, gracious, and present in my life. My pain, and circumstances don’t change who God is and the adoration that He deserves from me. He uses all things for “good, and His glory.” He has a plan that is bigger than my life, and I consider myself blessed to be a part of His plan.
Where am I going?
I resolve to: Resolutions are made, most broken, and if lucky some are kept. Making New Year resolutions can be good as long as they are being made with an open hand, and in light of God’s will for our lives.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
I pray that I will be able to fulfill some of these resolutions in the coming year. If fortunate enough, I will keep some of these for life.
- Love Jesus More & be more like Him
- Love others more
- Preach the Gospel
- Teach Scripture
- Disciple Others
- Give More
- Save more
- Achieve better physical fitness & nutrition
I pray that all have a safe & Happy New Year, and a blessed 2012. Above all, I pray that you know Him, know Jesus in a genuine relationship, that you trust Him and the work of the cross. That you will stand ready to meet Him.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient ; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. (James 5:7-8)