Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Free at Last

I know, I know. It has been a very long time since you have heard anything from me. I found myself at the bottom of a bottle. I gave the middle finger to everyone and everything. I have been reluctant to return to blogging because of my feelings of failure. But I am back and I am ready to go.

I have to tell a little story here. I have written about my past struggles with alcohol, relationships, and God. I have looked for a way to find God down so many avenues while still holding on to what I wanted. This is not complete surrender. Complete surrender is where you can truly meet God.

So, in November of 2013, I found myself in a room I rented from a man in Lincoln. I had empty bottles surrounding me, I was 260 lbs, and I was digging through the carpet looking for any stems of weed I may have dropped. I was smoking rocks, carpet fibers, and cat hair by the end just hoping I had picked up some weed with it. I was miserable.

I was absolutely miserable. I desired nothing more than to drink myself to sleep and never wake up again. I remember, I walked into my roommates room and stole some change from his dresser, I walked down to the gas station, I bought a pint of vodka and returned home. I set that bottle on the desk in front of me and stared at it. I stared for a long time. I realized in that moment that I didn't want to drink it, but I knew I was going to. This was my "moment of clarity". This is the moment I realized I was powerless and my moment of complete surrender. I checked myself into rehab 24 hours later.

That is what I will blog about for a while. My journey through sobriety and finding a God of my own understanding. I have been sober for over a year now and have no desire to return to my days before finding God.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Come Healing of the Heart

I know it's been a long time since I blogged about anything. To be fair, I haven't felt anything in a long time. I have always had glimpses of freedom (which is what I am searching for through this blog). Along the way, I have created some real wounds in my life.

I recently moved back to Lincoln, NE which is where I went to college. I love this town. I have a lot of friends here and some family. I have been doing a lot of thinking since I moved here. You know, influences are everywhere and I knew the negative and positive ones would be here. I remember one of the biggest things I took from my 90 day experience was to be honest with myself and others. Being here around those influences, I have had to hold on to that. I don't want to admit to some that I have issues. It's embarrassing. It is embarrassing to tell people that I allowed my life to get so far off track that I couldn't sleep without a substance to drown out the images seared into my memory. I was a coward to turn to the things I did. The way I handled the pain inside was destructive to not only myself, but to those I loved most.

Now that I am here, I have an opportunity to face those demons. I feel extremely free. Just before I came here, I went over to one of my best friends house, my sister. I sat in her living room broken. I fell apart. I cried like a child and confessed my hatred of who I had become. She listened as I cried. I am sure she was in shock and didn't know how to handle the situation but she just sat there and listened. It was exactly what I needed. She reached out and grabbed my hand at one point. I couldn't even look at her. I glanced over at her and the expression on her face was absolute acceptance and heartbreak for me. Unconditional love. Something I have experienced before but this was one of the first times in my life that I had felt it.

The pain I have inside is ready to be reconciled. I was watching the season premier of Son's of Anarchy. During a pivotal point a boy walks into a school with a sub machine gun and opens fire (tactfully filmed I might add). Jacks is in a brothel with his new business partner. His wife is in jail for something Jacks asked her to do. While at her bunk a girl comes by and steals her blanket as a show of power. She calmly gets up, walks over, and beats the woman until she is a bloody pulp. Violence we have not seen from her yet. It was a shocking moment to say the least because this is sort of an apex. She has been slowly been becoming more and more like the people she never wanted to be. This is all during a montage that shows members of the biker gang dealing with their pain in different ways. As it pans across the faces of each person that has done unspeakable things, I realized I was just like these people. No different. My soul is tainted. Evil rules us all. Every day in my heart I kill, I steal, I lust, I gossip, I hate, and I lie about it. At least the biker gang has the balls to be honest with the world around them.

A song comes on during that montage. Come Healing by Leonard Cohen. I realized this is what I want. Come Healing
Songwriters: Leonard, Patrick Raymond / Cohen, Leonard
Chorus:
O, gather 'round the brokenness
Bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow

The splinters that you carried
The cross you left behind
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

Leonard:
Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
Of cruelty or the grace

Together:
O, solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

O, see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart

O, troubledness concealing
An undivided love
The heart beneath is teaching
To the broken heart above

And let the heavens utter
Let the earth proclaim
Come healing of the altar
Come healing of the name

Chorus:
O, longing of the branches
To lift the little bird
O, longing of the arteries
To purify the blood

Together:
And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

O let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Carry On!

I wrote a post yesterday about my desire to have a family for the first time in my life. I think life has a lot to offer and I don't want to go through it alone. It is a lonely world unless you can find love. I had love once. And I still have that love in my memory. I came close to that life once and it all vanished. I started to think about how to get the things I want for my future. I think one of the things that I want more than anything in life is to be content with who I am and love myself so that I can love others.

I came up with a plan of how to accomplish this. First is a good self image. I want to look in the mirror and not hate who is looking back at me so I decided to take steps toward loving that man in the mirror. I have things to offer this world. Great things. I want a life of happiness so physically, I decided to lose the weight I have gained since p90x, I decided to read my Bible daily, and I decided to work in the yard every night to keep myself active, productive, and give myself a sense of accomplishment. I want to be able to look back at a job well done and SEE results. These things are visual. These things give tangible results.

Yesterday I did the whole routine. I read the Bible in the morning which set up the rest of my day. I then went to work and got a lot done, came home and worked out for an hour, and then worked on the yard. I could look back at the end of the day and feel like I had done something and contributed to society. It's wild because I lost 9 lbs from yesterday morning to today! That can't be healthy but I don't care. I am going to carry on.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Want a Family?

So, If any of you have known me for any extended period of time you probably know that I have not ever really wanted kids or a family and I am not sure why. I just wasn't ready for that and didn't want the responsibility at that time of my life.

I have recently revisited my view on that based on a few things and I wanted to share them here. The other day, ESPN ran a special showing soldiers returning from war and surprising their loved ones. It was amazing to see the joy on the faces of the families being reunited. The children would just run to their fathers/mothers in tears of joy, leaping into the arms of their parent too ecstatic for words. It was just heart wrenching to see how happy everyone was and how much they meant to each other.

You can probably see where I am going with this but I will say it anyways. The thought crept into my head that if I continue to live my life for myself, I will never know the joy of a child running and jumping into my arms with unconditional love. I will never have a beautiful wife I can share my life with. I will never know those joys that make living life on this earth bearable.

After drying my eyes from watching this emotionally draining clip (ESPN has a tendency to do that), I decided that I wanted that. I have not really wanted anything much from life. I have always had goals but none that were as clear in my head as that (besides finishing law school). I just wanted so bad to have that kind of love in my life.

I analyzed my thoughts on this and why this clip influenced me so much. Why had THIS clip made me want something like that? Then it hit me, I haven't had love in my life. I have hated myself, my life, my work, my future. I have just had hate in my heart. Selfishness had overtaken every crevasse in my soul.

I know have a clear vision of what I want from this life. A family, a career, and a body image that God is in control of. I want to be completely immersed in giving of myself to others that I have no time to think of myself.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm Done

My nephew used to have this habit of throwing a fit when he didn't get his way. You couldn't reason with him and he would just get worked up and be crying and screaming. I would always take him to the back bedroom, put him on the bed, and told him that when he was ready to have a calm conversation then he could get off the bed. He would always come out about 30 seconds later and say, "I'm done". He would be calm and would be done with his fit.

After these last two years of just pain and agony, I moved back in with my folks for a few months. I went running today and ran over this spot by the river where I used to love to take my ex. We would build a fire by the river and talk about our futures. I asked her out there and that is when my whole world fell apart but mostly because of how I handled the problems that came at me. Today when I went back, I saw the pit where we would build the fire. The coals were still there. I just sat down on the bank and cried out to God asking Him to heal me. I just completely surrendered. I looked down at the fire pit and there was a plant growing out of the middle. It was different from the other plants around. All the other plants were green and different but this one was teal and different.

It suddenly hit me that God was answering me. You see, God put me through the fire these last two years. Everything I had was burned and all that was left was a char-coaled heart. Broken and devastated. But God isn't done with me. This is not the end. This plant growing from the ashes was God telling me that He was going to make me new. I was going to be different after this experience but new. He was going to make me grow and flourish in life.

So here I am a new man ready to grow and become the man God intended me to be. I am coming from the ashes and will be stronger than before. God, I'm done.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Prove to me that God is Good

I don't know how to get this feeling out other than writing it down. I hate being completely honest. Anyone who says they enjoy absolute honesty is a liar which is ironic. I have a huge issue that I am reluctant to talk about but this blog is my safe environment. Truthfully, I am broken. I mean, I just went through a couple of the hardest years of my life. The experiences that I went through have really taken a toll on me and I turned to substances to ease the pain. But I made a decision to not let substances control me. As a result, I cannot sleep. I stay awake at night thinking about my past and all that I lost. I just want to sleep. I am exhausted, but unable to sleep because I am now forced to deal with the issues head on.

So now for the honesty. If I am being completely honest, I don't know if my relationship with God is repairable, not because He wouldn't take me back, but because I am having a hard time forgiving Him for allowing this pain. Night after night, I would lay awake and beg God with tears streaming down my face to comfort me or take the pain. He laid silent. I would scream to Him for some resolution or peace. He laid silent while all around me people are praying for a house to sell, the rain to stop, or some other visible act of Godly intervention and He answers them! While I sit here begging for something and He just waits. 

Honestly, I can't stand to hear people talk about how good God is. What evidence do you have of this that can't be explained away by coincidence? My pastor and his wife moved here from Greeley, CO and they aren't wealthy by any means. They had to carry a mortgage on their house in Greeley for a whole year! As well as provide housing for themselves here. They moved because they felt like "God called them too". All the while, a surgeon and his wife from here decided to move. They put their house on the market and it sold for appraisal value that week. They are atheists and despise most organized religion. God told our pastor to move, they had their friends, family, and church praying that their house would sell and no answer. The surgeon had no one pray, no spiritual connection, no help and his house sold almost instantly. So I challenge anyone to prove to me that God answers our prayers for intervention and I challenge you to prove to me that God is good. 

Now, having said that, I know that God interacts with His creation. He proved it to me once several years ago. I had a conversation with the Deity. So this is not a challenge to prove to me that God exists. It is a challenge to prove that HE was the one that answered your prayer. 

I pose this question for one main reason, If you can credit God for the prayers He answered in your favor, then why can't you blame Him for answering in a way that you didn't want? If you give Him credit for the good, why can't you blame Him for the bad? If you can credit Him with an answered prayer because it went your way, then why don't you credit Him for an answered prayer even if it isn't what you wanted to hear?

I don't know what plan He has but I am not giving up. I will continue to trust that He knows what He is doing because at this point, I have no other option. I need prayer from my readers, I need encouragement, and I need an answer to my prayer.