The Greatest Battles

Its been quite a while since I’ve written anything. I’ve been very aware of my absence, not just on this blog, but on all social media websites, for a good couple of months now. I’ve decided to officially break the silence. Truth be told, I’ve been on a bit of an unexpected soul searching expedition. The type of searching where you honestly don’t even know what it is you’re looking for, just that you’re searching. 

 

Its remarkable how quickly things can change in one’s life. I won’t go into details, because the details aren’t that important at this point. Suffice to say, I got knocked off my horse so hard, and from such an unanticipated place, that I honestly wasn’t sure I’d be getting back up again. I’ll expand on what I mean here…

 

There are times in a person’s life that will test him or her, and reveal their true character. Up until this moment, I haven’t been very impressed with what these trials have revealed about my character. But then there’s this moment, this glimpse of something that wasn’t there before. This glimmer of calmer seas ahead. It’s so easy to feel a sense of hope, and yet so difficult to believe, after just coming out of what seemed an endless ocean of rough waters. Believe me when I say…My faith was shaken. 

 

The last couple of months have taught me so much about myself, my life, and the people I choose to have in my life. The reality is, I was forced by unforeseen circumstances to start over..yet again. The difference between this time and other times, was this time it hurt more than all other times combined. There were many casualties. Many friendships I cherished took a hit, and a life I once loved became toxic to even think about. 

I had no idea what kind of battles I was about to fight…

 

My life over the last 10 years or so has been an uphill battle with trust. I’ve struggled with trusting people more than I’ve struggled with anything else in my entire life. My heart has taken many brutal beatings from people I truly thought cared about me…But If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you can never really know someone. If you can’t ever really know them then how can you trust them? Not exactly insane logic.  

The last two years were leading up to something, a moment. This moment would change everything. This moment would define my very existence. In the film “The Matrix”, the main character (Neo) is given a choice…The red pill, or the blue pill. Take one path and wake up the next morning, living life as if everything is normal, and play out the rest of his existence completely ignorant to the fact that his reality is a lie, or take the other path that leads to the truth… I knew my moment was coming, where I’d have to choose one path or the other. Everything in my story was pointing towards a breaking point, and that breaking point was about to arrive. 

Mistakes are a powerful agent in the progress of a story. One mistake can completely change the course of a story. Mistakes rewrite our endings over and over again, though it could be argued that it was never rewritten, only constantly re-realized from our point-of-view, but thats not my point. My moment came in the form of a mistake that I made that cost me more than I could have imagined. The price I paid was great, but what I learned was greater. 

 

I came to a point where I asked myself “Do you really believe in the things you say you believe in?” I wasn’t sure if I did anymore. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. Suddenly I was filled with all these questions, all these problems, and no solution in sight. How could I believe in something I wasn’t sure was real to me anymore? 

I have long despised what the Church has become, for years in fact. The people who have hurt me most in my life were all leaders in churches. I’ve had a rocky relationship with the Church, to put it lightly. All my experiences had led me to this moment. Circumstances made me realize something about myself, I no longer wanted to be a Christian. I no longer wanted to be a part of something that had only caused me pain, resentment, anger, and distrust. I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t just completely stop believing in God, because I was pretty sure He still existed, but I was absolutely positive that I didn’t want to be a part of the church anymore. For weeks I tried so hard to push God out of my mind, along with every other hurtful thing that had happened. I was angry at people, angry at God, angry at myself. Faith seemed as foolish a concept as jumping off a cliff without a parachute, expecting to fly. The thing is, I had made this move before…two years ago. 

 

Two years ago, I spent months living in such a way that completely disregarded any moral ground. I chose not to care about myself, my life, or consequences to my decisions. I found myself in many situations, and had no idea how I got there. One day, I decided I had had enough of that life, and wanted to be better. It didn’t all go away all at once, but slowly something changed in me. My character was being molded into something…better. 

Let’s fast forward back to the last couple of months…

 

Here I was, once again, starting from scratch, and trying to do the same thing I did two years ago. I wanted to throw caution to the wind. I had made up my mind that I was no longer going to live by such ridiculous standards that some men made up and decided to put in a book and call it God-breathed. I was going to live my life the way I wanted to live it. There was only one problem…I wasn’t the same as I was two years ago. I almost immediately felt empty, as though I was missing some huge part of myself. 

I’m a particularly analytical person, so it didn’t take me long to figure out the problem. I was running from a God that has always pursued me, bringing me back. The only difference was I had let myself be formed into someone who depended on something greater than myself. I knew now I couldn’t do it alone. I didn’t want to. 

 

The fact is, I struggle every day with believing. I so desperately want to believe that none of it is true. I have been hurt so badly that I don’t want to try again. I don’t want to trust. I don’t want to love. I don’t want to let anyone in anymore. My mind tells me to get up and try again, and my heart cries “no more!” I guess God will just have to keep pursuing, and I will have to keep battling with the strings that pull me in every direction, and hope that one day it will get easier. 

 

I try to be thankful for things, even in dark times. One thing the last couple of months has revealed is who my real friends are. I admit, it was shocking to see who abandoned me in what was possibly my greatest time of need. But it was also enlightening to see who really cared about me and supported me. I was overwhelmed with a gratefulness I had never experienced before. These trials have shown me I have a woman in my life who truly loves me and supports me and wants to help me be the very best man I can be. I have a very loving family who has made their support quite known to me daily. My friendships may have dwindled down to only a few, but those few I am beyond thankful for. 

I’ve spent my life running from the very thing I only recently discovered I needed all along. My story is far from over. I will do my best to forgive, and move on. But one thing is for sure, I won’t soon forget…and that will be the greatest battle of all. 

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