When you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.

closeup-tear

This was written over the course of the past few days. I would just jot down my disjointed thoughts, and then I tried to piece them together in a way that would make sense, without losing the overall feel of what I was trying to say, and I didn’t really expand or elaborate on any of my thoughts, so please keep that in mind as you read. If you would like me to elaborate, leaves comment with what you’d like me to elaborate on, and I will.

The phone rings. I take a deep breath, and pick up the phone and smile as I say “Hello, this is Joel. How can I serve you today?”

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Working is the hardest thing. I find myself at the front desk a lot these days. A place I need to be cheery, a place I need to smile, answer questions, and give hope. Hope I don’t feel. But behind the perfectly plastered smile on my face, my mind swirls with questions. Why? How? Somehow reaching out for understanding that doesn’t seem to come.

Then I read what others say. What the news says. The picture they paint. And I don’t see it. Instead I see someone broken, hurting, and in need of redemption. I don’t feel what society tells me to feel. Instead of anger, hate, rage, disgust, I feel sad, heartbroken, like someone died. And in a way, someone has.

In a way, a lot of people have.

So many people will never be the same. So many lives have had something ripped away from them. Peace, security, trust.

Trust.

And when trust is betrayed, we get angry. But when people are hurt, anger will never heal. Healing will only come when we replace anger with love. Redemption can only come from love. So many people are hurting right now. Spreading anger isn’t going to bring a single one of those people healing. We need to instead let our words be of love and support for everyone. And this love needs to come double from those of us who call ourselves the church. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:34-35

Maybe, if we can inject love into the situation, we can see healing come to each of people involved in and surrounding the situation. Maybe we can stop the cycle. Maybe, just maybe, we can actually change people.

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As my mind still swirls, as I find it hard to focus, I find myself asking questions. The worst kind of questions: questions that really have no answer. Questions that can’t be explained. And then the phone starts to ring. Someone comes in needing hope. And so I take all those swirling, twirling, questions and push them down, plaster a smile on my face that I don’t really feel, and answer the phone. And I give hope. Because when you give hope to others, you find hope for yourself.

Laying it all on the line

I’ve come to realize that I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like asking for things in general.

I’m independent like that.

So this Kickstarter Fundraiser has been a huge thing for me.

I guess I should give a little background for you.

If you’ve followed my blog  for a while, you’ll know that 3 of my best friends took a 3 month journey across the country, calling it “Further Along The Road“. When they traveled, they took an iPhone 4S and a GoPro and filmed their journey. Well, then they came back, and we began watching clips. It’s taken a long time, but we’ve finally finished watching clips. And then we ran into a problem. Continue reading

God Doesn’t Want To Answer Your Prayers

I believe that sometimes, God doesn’t want to answer your prayers. (and when I say “answer” I mean give us what we ask for)

That’s a bold statement, I get that, but just bear with me, I think by the end you’ll see what I mean by this…

We spend so much time asking God for things. We ask him for money, for miracles, for friends, for family, and everything else we can think of. And many times, these things are good things, healthy things, things that he should answer for us.

But sometimes he doesn’t want to answer. Even the good ones.

Why? Continue reading

Celebrations (2 of 5)

Continuing my walk down the past year, and the posts that indicated a time of change in my life, this one was a no brainer for me. This one was from one the biggest shifts in my personal life, and was the beginning of a crazy time of change and a fair bit of turmoil.. Continue reading

My Breaking Heart

 

“My love is over, it’s underneath It’s inside, it’s in between The times that you’re healing And when your heart breaks The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace” ~ “Times” by Tenth Avenue North

It’s 11:09 at night, everyone else is in bed, and I find myself sitting alone in the dark with a heavy, breaking, heart, tears rolling down my face. I guess I should back up. For almost 6 years now, I have started off every morning with the following prayer, “God, let me see people the way that you see them, and let me love them the way that you love them.” I’ve expanded it since then, but that was what it started as. And about 5 years ago, he started really answering that prayer in a major way. Continue reading

Something Refreshing

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
~ Charles Wesley

Background:
It was Saturday night. I was working the front desk, and there were these two (I’ll say kids, but idk how old they actually were, at least 20?) kids who had hiked all the way to oregon and back and had stopped in at the cafe for a rest, and then later on, Anne was going to take them to the train station.
Continue reading

And A Journey Begins

Tomorrow begins Cameron & Tyler’s journey! I have been so blessed to have these two guys as awesome friends, and I have been blessed to be a part of the planning for their trip! If I didn’t love what I was doing right now, I would be wishing I could go with them…

So today, in honor of them, and their trip, I want to take a minute to brag on them individually…
Continue reading

For The Times I Feel Attacked

Ever notice how when we are going through crap, we get attacked when we least expect it/are least able to withstand it?

I have been experiencing that a lot recently. With all the changes going on in my life (which you can find out about here). I’ve come to realize that, other than when I first made the decision, I’ve never cried about it with other people around. When I’ve told people about my decision, when I’ve talked about it, when I’ve seen people who it really affects, I’ve never cried then. But when I’m driving down the road, by myself, I lose it. I start bawling.

I get attacked.

I get attacked with these feelings of “You failed. You failed everyone. Your letting them down.” “They were counting on you. You let them down with this announcement.” “You’re abandoning every one of the youth you’ve built a relationship with.”

I know these are lies. I’m not stepping down from some sort of failure, almost everyone I’ve talked to has been very supportive. I’m making sure that the youth that I’ve built relationships with don’t feel abandoned and know that I do still care about them. But these are the attacks I get.

I had one of these HUGE attacks the other day, and when I asked a friend what they were doing, because I needed to be with someone, they were busy. At first I was upset even more. When I needed them, they didn’t have time for me. But then I realize it was God reminding me that in these times of attack, I need to rely on him to give my strength and to carry me through.

So instead I went to a local park and sat on the bed of my truck, and yelled, screamed, cried, even cussed a little at God, and let HIM be my strength in that time.

God, I need you to be my strength through all of this. I can’t rely on others to carry me, I need you to be my rock in all of this. Thank you for everything You have already done through this. I know I’m going to need you to keep being awesome and carrying me through this. Words could never express my gratitude. You’re the best!

The River of Tears That Flows From My Eyes

I never thought this day would come. I had thought about it, prayed about, felt uncertain about it. But I never thought it would actually happen.

But now it has.

I’ve been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles they’ve gone white
From fighting for who I want to be
I’m just trying to find security

But you say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul
You say let it go

I have made the decision to step down from Youth Ministry. For how long, I don’t know. Maybe just for a season. Maybe for forever. This has been the hardest decision I’ve ever come to. I know it’s right. I know it’s best. But it’s not easy. It’s not what I want to do. But it’s what I need to do.

After praying about for a few months now (if you remember, I posted about this back in March when it first started to be laid on my heart) and after talking to a few people, I made my decision. This was my choice, but it has been the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make. Upon making my decision on Wednesday, I bawled my eyes out. And again the day after. And the day after that. And every day since.

God, why does this have to be so hard? Why does it hurt so much? I’ve always said that if you call me to something, I would do it, without question. But why did you have to actually test me on that?

I know this will be good. I know it is the best thing for me to do. For myself. For everyone. But those thoughts are only small comforts when I feel like this. Now I begin to wonder “where do I go?” “what do I do now?” How do I leave without leaving a huge void behind?

What now will be the thing that makes my heart leap? What now will be the thing that gives me joy? Where does my dream go from here? This was MY God-sized dream. Now I don’t have that. So what do I do now?

I don’t have answers. I don’t have a nice, neat little bow to put on this to make it a nice little package of thoughts and emotions that has a happy ending. I just have the pain, the heartache, and the river of tears that flows from my eyes.