Don’t you dare say you’re different!!

•March 5, 2011 • 5 Comments

WARNING: HARSH WORDS WILL FOLLOW – DON’T READ THIS

I have been living with and not saying much out loud about some major hurt in my life.  The culprit?  Church.  Surprising?  Not to a lot of you I’m sure.  Somehow I am a product of what happens when you’re not part of the “it” crowd.

It’s probably no surprise what I’m going through by now.  A lot of you even know all of the details and it’s just not pretty and so in a moment of need I turned to some men who are pastors.  I thought maybe this would be a time for me to be completely honest with someone about the pain I’ve caused and the pain handed to me.  I wanted to walk through with someone that might have another perspective.  I wanted to walk through this with someone who could show me that God was still able to hear me and heal me.  I thought that as men who have accepted the challenge and the role as a leader of the church they would be a good place to find some love and even a slap across the head if needed.  I told my story but have never heard anything since from either of these men.  I guess you have to do all the reaching out?  I guess I don’t want anything to do with that kind of help.

I kinda quit trying after that but a couple people did reach out and wanted to hear what was going on.  I shared as much as I could.  I shared about my hurt as a husband loosing his wife.  I shared about the hurt handed to me by men who said they wanted to help me.  I heard “we want to be a different view of the church for you.  We want to BE the church”.  Great!  This is good news!  Someone who gets it!  And for just a minute they were just that.  As soon as the word “divorce” hit though, they scattered.  I haven’t heard from “the church” since.  So help and concern is conditional?  Love is conditional?  God’s love is conditional?

You know where I’ve found love?  The people who don’t call themselves “the church” at all.  The people who wouldn’t even call themselves a “Christian”.  People who don’t have an agenda. 

So here is what I have to say and this is where it may get harsh.  Fuck you if you claim to “be the church” or if you accept a role as a leader in the church and let people fall alone!  It would have been better to never say a word at all.  And the thing that hurts the most is that you say you are different!  Bullshit!!!  This is the same story I’ve seen over and over again.  How about we stop talking about how we’re different and just BE different.  And I know that I’ve done the same thing so if I did it to you – I’m sorry!  I don’t want to be that man ever again! 

Let me just leave it with this: If you come to someone in their moment of need and you tell them that you want to show them God’s love, you better make damn sure you’re ready to do it.  Just remembering to pray for them isn’t enough.  Just one phone call isn’t enough.  Just one facebook message isn’t enough.  You better be ready to walk through that dark moment.  If you’re not or you even think that maybe you’re not – don’t because starting that path with someone who says they have your back and leaves you when the night becomes it’s scariest is far worse than starting it alone and having to finish it alone.  Don’t say you’re different – Just be different…………

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This Broken Down House

•January 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

I am sitting here alone in this broken down house.  This is a hard place to be.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying figure myself out but what I’m left with right now is just a big mess.  Give me a second to paint that picture.  I have a box that over my whole life i’ve put my stuff in.  All sorts of the most painful things I try to escape.  My defeats, my embarrassments, the words that tear me down, fights, losses, anger, failures.  I’ve pushed it all down like dark secrets that the light of day would have healed but I am too scared or too proud to let it out.  That box is getting old now.  The sides are bursting.  The cardboard has worn thin and what started as tiny tears easily covered with tape have torn open and exposed the contents.

So I’ve taken everything out of that box and I’m sitting here with it all around me.  Let me be quite clear – I’m not okay.  Those pains are taunting me and now as I’m sitting here watching my marriage crumble before me and my family ripped apart, I hurt.  I’m being loud about that because I don’t want to push it down and let it kill me anymore.  I want to heal.  This home doesn’t have to stay broken.  It won’t ever look the same as it once did but it doesn’t have to look like this.  I get the unique opportunity to start over and do it different.

The End of a Decade

•January 17, 2011 • 4 Comments

 

I posted this to Facebook yesterday but wanted it here as well.  If you you’ve already read it then never mind!  If not well I want you all to know……….

…………..There was a day 11 years ago that I was excited to start a new life.  I was blinded by love and anticipation.  I said those words “I do” with tears in my eyes and my heart bursting with joy.  I couldn’t tell you the future but I was excited about it and ready to take on anything that came my way with love by my side.  My love.  My wife.

And life was good.  It was moving fast but it was good.  It was full of music and friends.  Full of new love.  Even the trials of a n,ew marriage were forgotten the moment they passed.  About a year after Colleen and I got married we had our first son, Leif, in October of 2000.  I was scared but excited.  My heart was bursting with pride and love as I held him for the first time.  Not long after we learned that another baby was on the way.  More fear.  Lots of love.  Ezra was born in May 2002.  Again I held my little boy in my arms with a strong and prideful heart beating love for this new life in my arms.  And then in September 2004 my beautiful little girl, Adalie, joined our family.  If any of you have a daughter you know the bond of a father and his little girl.  No words can express how amazing it is to hold your little girl for the first time.

We built a life and a family.  We wrote a story.  The story has been full of love and accomplishment but it has an ugly underside marked with pain and loss.  Every good story has a moment where your stomach drops to the floor and you feel week in the knees.  Maybe you can’t even stay upright and fall to the floor.  And here comes that moment for me.

Those two kids who had hearts in their eyes somehow lost hope.  We tried to regain what had been lost but too much pain had been caused.  Some caused in the decade we spent together and even more before we’d even met.  It’s not funny how much one person’s selfish decisions can cause shattered lives for generations.  I don’t know who to hold responsible for this mess.  I’ve blamed God, I’ve blamed myself, I’ve blamed her, I’ve blamed alcohol, I’ve blamed the people who called themselves friends and then disappeared when the pain was too much to bear.  But the truth is that the pain has become too much to bear.  Hope has escaped us.  Choices have been made that don’t heal.  Love has stopped coming to rescue.  This life we built has been ripped and torn into something you can’t even recognize anymore.

And so with tears streaming down my face and shaking hands, my voice quivering and my breath short I have to tell you that this decade has come to an end.  It’s probably not a surprise as you’ve stood by and watched my Facebook posts.  It’s no surprise if you’ve showed up to a bar where I was singing my pain into a microphone.  It’s no surprise if you’ve been close enough to hear our laughs turn to groans.  But now you know as much of the truth as I can share.  I’m sorry.  Something like this doesn’t just hurt us.  It hurts everyone who knows us.  It’s not the story I wanted to tell but it’s the cards that have been dealt me……so I’m sorry.

It may be that your first response would be to judge but I beg you to instead breath love into a place where there is already too much pain.  If you have to talk about it, talk about it with me.  If you think we haven’t tried enough just ask.  Please, love come rescue……………..

 

This Could Get Ugly……

•December 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

I have not posted on here for almost a year! For good reason too! I had nothing nice to say. Like that famous quote, right!? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” Yeah well, I think I’m done being quiet for now.

..::DISCLAIMER::..
This could get ugly!  If you are still reading this blog and don’t want to read the potentially offensive truth about where I am at in my life, turn it off now.  We all get to choose what we’re going to read and this is my space to write down what I’ve been working through so read on with caution and an open mind.  If you can’t, fine, I understand!  Just so you know: You’ve been fairly warned!

More to come…………….

There’s a goal for that!

•March 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I’m at in life and where I want to be.  It’s a tough conversation because honestly I don’t know where I want to be and I’m also not real sure how I got where I am now.  I’ve never really set a “life goal” to go after.  Things have just fallen in my lap and I embraced it.  For example the career I’m in:  I didn’t say “yeah I’m gonna be a mortgage loan officer!”.  It found me – I needed a job and this is what became available.  Now, I don’t hate what I do.  In fact I really like it but I still think about what I’ll do when I’m done selling loans instead of thinking more long term and trying to reach a goal of let’s say – retirement!  So instead of really letting my job really mature I hold it off a little thinking this will not be “long term, this isn’t my career”.

I’ve also had to ponder the fact that I am a father of 3.  When Colleen and I got married kids were way off in the future.  At least we thought so!  3 months in we found out that our first was on the way.  We didn’t plan that.  Now we have 3!  I try to be a good dad but I don’t think I’ve really taken hold of that and worked hard enough to be a good dad.  I wonder now if we’d had time to plan on becoming parents would I be a better dad now?  I don’t want this to sound like I don’t want kids – I love my kids dearly.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world!  And that’s part of all of this.  Something is waking up inside of me.  Maybe it’s just me getting older and realizing that I’m not getting younger and that I do need a plan.  I should also point out that I don’t think I’m a horrible dad but I do think I could be a better dad.  I think I could be more intentional about being a good dad.  In just the same way I don’t think that I’m a bad loan officer but I do think I could be more intentional about where to go from here with my career.  And maybe it’s not as a loan officer.  But that’s just it – I need to find exactly what it is and go for it.

Part of my problem is that I’ve always been a dreamer.  My dreams, I guess as the nature of dreams go, are way out of proportion.  I want to save the world, I want travel as a musician and share my music to thousands, I want to………………….  But I’ve never gone after it.  Maybe it’s fear.  Fear of failure?  Maybe it’s just that voice inside your head that says “your not good enough”.  But it has to start somewhere so I’ll start right where I am by creating a goal to be a better dad and husband.  The job – well I’m still not sure about that.  Maybe I could still be a full time musician!  Maybe theres a goal for that too!

TalcKamp Update

•August 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

TalcKamp 2009Sorry I wasn’t able to update as much as I wanted to from the camp.  Cell phone reception was pretty spotty and there was only one place in town to get WiFi (lucky that there was even that) and there just wasn’t a lot of time to make it over there.  Anyway – This year, as expected, was amazing.  We never know exactly how it’s going to play out but went knowing there was a plan far greater than we could plan.  We expected that but somehow it’s still a little surprising when it happens.  The change we saw in the kids was tangible.  As is the change we’ve seen in ourselves.

Thursday night we started with a worship concert.  This year the kids seemed to be more expectantLeading Worship.  Some of them even ready to worship.  We, of course, had to work hard to get them involved but by the end we had them jumping and clapping and shouting!!  One of the days of the camp we did a “What is Worship” workshop (I’ll post my thoughts on “what is worship” in another post) and after that day we saw a lot more kids involved.  Something we had to remind ourselves is that the majority of these kids didn’t have a relationship with Jesus yet.  It’s really quite amazing that they would even show up to a camp like this!  But they did!

There were 37 kids – 10 of the them accepted Christ for the first time!  All but 1 wanted to know more or at least have a conversation with one of the leaders.  We all got a chance to meet one on one with some of the kids and really get to hear their stories.  It’s amazing what a teenager will tell you when they realize your just waiting to hear them.

So this year we walk away again with just as much change as the kids.  I’m still sorting it all out but I’m really just amazed at how God uses us when we just go.  We went with a specific set of skills but we were really there to live with some kids for a long weekend and help speak truth into their lives.  God is already working there and we got to plug into that which is an amazing thing to watch happen.

We’re already planning and anxious for next year!!  Thank you for everyone who prayed and helped make this possible.  We love all of you!!!

TalcKamp Day 1

•July 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t sleep all night but we are here safe and we’ve got a big day ahead of us. Got to set up the sound system and run through our for the big concert tonight. Gonna be LOUD and all Rock n Roll! Here are some pics off the top of a hundred foot cliff over the ocean….we were actually above the clouds! Beautiful!

~Stephen