Comfortability

Comfortability? First of all I know there is no such word. I know because I made it up. Its one of my special traits. I have been using it for a while and have grown quite found of it. Give it a try….you might like unless you are a grammar snob (I love you all).  Regardless, the point is that I love my comfort, and my ability to make myself comfortable. Its a “gift” that I have been privileged to have most of my life.  I was an only child who never had to share anything with anyone. Not much was asked of me, and there has been little accountability for me in life. My father was absent and my mother wasn’t fully there for various reasons. My grandfather provided for me financially but was not necessarily a father figure. My grandmother loved me and took care of me but did it the best way she knew how. By feeding me the most delicious food that I am sure I will ever eat. Needless to say I was spoiled! Not so much with possessions but with comfort!

Fast forward to becoming a father and marriage. I quickly learned that my desire and love of comfort followed me into this stage of life. This made the roles and responsibilities of manhood very difficult for me as well as the people I was to care for and love. It’s hard to love someone sacrificially when you love yourself more. Most importantly, its nearly impossible to truly love someone sacrificially when you are separated from Christ, and worshiping at the altar of self. Loving the idol of comfort. And no matter how hard you try to white knuckle it through life to try and change the person you have been your whole life it will only last so long. Even after coming to know the Lord I have prayed continuously for Him to make me the man He intended me to be.  And that is exactly what He has been doing.

So what have I learned this past year. God does not care about my comfortability! He will use people, circumstances, pain, conflict, and tension to make me uncomfortable. And if Jesus can leave the comfort of heaven only to come face a brutal death on a cross to pay for my sins then why would He! Only by freeing me from my idol of comfort will I grow closer to Him, grow in holiness, and become the man that He intended me to be. It is when I experience things that are uncomfortable and that are contrary to my normal mode of operation that I truly change. Its not easy or pleasant by any means but it is good. Why? Because God is good! He wants good for us, and love us enough to not leave us the way that He found us.

“I am not what you would call a handsome man. The good Lord chose not to bless me with… with charm, athletic ability… or a fully functional brain.” – Paco, The Waterboy

That is one of my favorite movie quotes and one that I can identify with. Even as I write this I think that maybe I have been the man that He intended me to be but I just haven’t fully realized it. Even with my weaknesses, failures, lack, and insecurities. The idea that God did not give what I desire for myself in life and that He has allowed me to live a comfortable life so that in my time of discomfort I would have no one to ultimately trust in but Him. That I would realize it is only in Christ and through Christ that I am and will ever be the man God intended me to be.

I know that the journey is not over, and that He will continue to walk me through uncomfortable moments in life. I still find myself going to comfort at times. The comfort of food, the comfort of laziness, the comfort of avoiding conflict. But I know that my hope is in the promises of God. Not for a perfect life but one that is eternal.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

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Post Divorce: 1 year later & the End

This Friday the 23rd will mark the 1 year anniversary date of my divorce being finalized. At the time, I pledged that I would give myself a year. A year alone for God to heal me, shape me, and to process the climax of the past 15 years. And that He has done.

Staying Single

During this time I wouldn’t date or pursue romantic relationships. There were temptations, and times of loneliness but I new that it was best for me. I also understood that I had a responsibility to protect other women. I found myself in an internal conflict during this time. This placed me in continued dependance on Jesus and I am sure it forced me to deal with heart issues that I would have never dived into so early on. Ultimately, I feel this was used to both test me, and heal me. It was difficult, but I highly recommend staying single during the 1st year for those that are facing this situation.

The Firsts

Because I was separated for a year prior to the divorce I was able to go through of my firsts alone, but this time I went through them as a single person. The first birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day without a spouse. Honestly, these still some tough days for me, and the end of the year seemed to be the most difficult. I was single but I wasn’t alone. God has given me an awesome church family, and friends. They have stood by me, and invited me into their homes when I could have been alone.  I can say that I am eternally grateful for the goodness of our God during this time. I have made it past the firsts, and those days are in the past now. I can now look forward to new firsts.

Who am I?

I blamed myself quite a bit for what happened for some time. After seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love I found myself knowing exactly how Cal Weaver (Steve Carrell) felt. I wrestled with my insecurities, fears, failures, and who I was as a man. I realized that the past was done, and there was no changing it. I also realized that I can be only myself. It was frustrating and exhausting trying to be someone that I was expected to be knowing that I could never be that person. I was able to see that my identity was not in what I do or my past or my failures but my identity is in Christ Jesus. I won’t lie and say that there aren’t moments were my insecurities try to creep in but they are just a reminder for me to stay fixed on the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is still shaping, molding, and transforming me into the man He intended me to be. I know He will accomplish this.

The End

This will mark the end of this season of my life for me. I know that God is good, and He wants good for me. He has provided for me, loved me, and walked with me in ways that I never would have expected. And though, I don’t deserve it He has forgiven me, and loved me because of what Jesus has done on the cross. I know that in due time He will bring someone else along my side, and that it will be an awesome picture of redemption. It has all has been for His glory. What comes next I don’t know but I can trust Him to be faithful because He has been faithful in the past.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.” Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

(Jeremiah. 29:11, Psalm 91:14-16, Romans 8:1-2;16, 2 Cor. 5:17, Philippians 1:6)