This photo is from Carrie’s and my date night two days ago. We’ve really enjoyed going on some “dates on the cheap,” and we’ve actually had more fun together than when we’ve done more traditional dates… We both enjoy photography and finding fun perspectives on things. This was an especially care-free moment for us. We saw these rocks at the top of our hike and started having me jump and Carrie snapping these fun angles. Felt like a kid again!
Over the last few days I had to – at least for now – let go of a dreamy opportunity and trust God with it. I can explain it more, but I only share this to reveal my heart and my realization of what trusting God looks like for me. I hope my story challenges and encourages you, friends.
Carrie and I have been really seeking God and asking Him to work on us and shape us as He pleases, to mold us into a team and unit in our marriage, to draw us together as a unit to Himself, that we might trust Him together and His good intentions for our lives, that He would use us for His glory and good pleasure!
In this process, I’ve had to realize that I too quickly have wanted my business to sustain us while I spend too much time on overt and obvious ministry activities. A friend of mine was gracious enough to point out that this is a good desire, but that I’ve gone too quickly into fulfilling my own desire. He said that many men in particular want to hoard and plan to have tremendous stability and figure they will be benevolent with their time and resources after say 30 years of building and saving. I’ve been basically reckless he pointed out in my early 30’s to try to have both now – a thriving vocation that allows both provision for my family and purpose and meaning for my life.
Getting more specific, I am wanting to daily get explicit with the Gospel in my interactions, and I can do this much more readily when in non-business contexts. With my profession, I need to be especially tactful and appropriate with my timing and frequency of presenting the things of God and the explicit Gospel of Jesus Christ (Good book btw by Matt Chandler called The Explicit Gospel). When in Tuolumne City or around Tuolumne County socially however, I can cut to the chase in my relationships and look more quickly for opportunities to share about the grace and joy and eternal purpose for existing available when we look in our mind’s eye upon the death of Jesus Christ for us!
Listen, I know I’m an odd bird. I’m evangelistic and passionate, and this can make people uncomfortable at times. Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of close friends partly because of this. Yet, I know I’m a tool in God’s tool belt, and I’m realizing there is a lot more fruitfulness in the raw honesty and real love part of existence than in the polished presentation of perfect Christians realm.
Carrie has helped me to see my weakness and my sin, and I have broken by degrees when seeing these in my life. God has brought me to Himself in love through this awareness, and my pride (an ugly beast) has been revealed day-by-day for the ugly thing it is in my life. Christ died for this sin, and I can know Him as the Beautiful One I’ve always longed to know. He is beyond my imagination, and yet He has revealed Himself to each of us in our weakest and most broken points. Even for a religious zealot like me, He has come and softened my pride with the real and actual historical act of His death in my place.
This is the Gospel on the ground for me. Carrie’s and my marriage is under construction, and we are falling in love all over again. I’m seeking to lead the way by giving up my carefully-contrived vision of what our lives together are supposed to look like. In that place of brokenness, God is helping the two of us to act as a unit and have a singular LIFE together in God’s grace.
While this wasn’t a perfectly clear post, I hope you can see the freedom and joy I’m experiencing in this place of humbling before God. I wish I could claim that I am being humble, but in many ways I’m aware that this is God’s work ON me. He is humbling me and breaking me, and He is meeting me there on the ground in my tears and weary repentance. He is forgiving and comforting me. He is mending my wounds and teaching me how to love and serve not from a place of position but from a place of genuine gratitude and servant-hearted love.
Let’s take the leap and learn to love again, friends.