It’s a funny feeling that comes when you return to somewhere that used to be your home after years of being away. The colors look different. The buildings look similar, but more faded. The People feel…slower…somehow– like you sped up and they just kept the same speed. You feel that sense of nostalgia, but nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. You changed, so your experience of that place has changed with you.
I haven’t been here in a long time.
I’ve left my blog up, because I still believe in what I was trying to create then, and I want people to discover the beauty and truth that I’ve found through my process. This place was meant to be a space for people to gather to discover, and to find that they are not alone. Less readers frequent me here now than they once did (I would expect that, since I’ve not touched it in so long), but people still find me, and I’d like to think they still get something out of these words when they do.
But I’m reading some of these posts, my old “about” page, and wondering if I could ever live in this house again. It’s a beautiful house, filled with passion, and drive, but I’m not sure if it’s the house I would live in today. I’m so grateful to all of you for coming here and sharing the experiences I’ve talked about on my journey via this blog. I’m still oscillating back and forth as to whether or not this is going to continue to be my home that I invite you all to when I want to open a conversation, or if it will be somewhere else. The decorations sometimes feel a bit harsh in this house.
If you have ever read any of my words, I’ve earned your trust–at least insomuch as you were willing to listen to me and consider my words. Whether you have only read a few sentences, or you’ve read every post, know that I am truly grateful, and that I intend to honor your trust here. That’s really what this post is about. I’ve never told most of you why I stopped writing, and as my friends you deserve that. So let me fill you in on my heart here, so that you don’t feel I’ve betrayed or abandoned you, and so that you can join me for the next stages of our journey together if you so desire.
I want you to know that my heart never changed. Only my surety did.
The thing about doubt, questions, and searching for truth, is it can take you places you weren’t prepared to go. I, for one, can say that this has been true of my life. I started out positive that the more I dug, the more I questioned and searched for what was really true, the closer I would become to God. I thought that my faith would become more rock solid, and I would only increase in confidence that I was sharing the truth with you. It turns out, that’s not what happened. I’m not sure why, and I don’t blame God anymore like I used to, but my search landed me well outside what I had believed faith was supposed to be.
It was as if in the beginning, I was taking off layers to get to the raw, real thing, but the layers kept coming off. I kept going, and soon I found myself losing things I cared about. I felt myself discovering that things I held true were speculation at best, and I couldn’t talk about them with the confidence that I once held. Some of them I couldn’t talk about anymore at all. Here I was, more passionate a seeker of God than many, and I was losing my religion. My Jesus was slipping from me, and every inch he slipped away was another ache of heartbreak. I’ve spent a lot of time aching. I still do.
Then I remembered my friends. I remembered the people that helped me lose my religious baggage in the first place, but still held firmly to their faith. The people that still loved me, no matter what state I was in. I felt lonely, so I started seeking them out again. Man, I’m telling you, never forget the beauty and power of authentic community.
We need friends like these. I need them. I get so lost in my head sometimes and I need people to process with. We see Jesus talking things out with the Pharisees and Sadducees as a kid. He didn’t start his ministry until he was 30. I wonder what he was doing at 27…
probably the same thing he was doing at 12.
He was talking things out. Processing.
Just imagine it for a minute. Your Jesus, sitting around, processing theology with his friends. God, thinking out what He believes. Jesus didn’t always have the answers in these years. He wasn’t the Ministry Answers Man yet. He was just Yeshu, the Builder, working with his hands and asking questions with his friends. Even Jesus needed friends like that.
So my friends did with me what Jesus’ friends did with him. They listened, and thought about things, and said “I don’t know” a lot. No one really gave me any answers that I was looking for, but they helped me keep moving towards them. Over time, some of the layers of me that were stripped down to the bone started growing sinews again. This walking skeleton started finding some skin again.
As I sit here sipping a beer at my favorite coffee shop, I have no idea what’s next. My worldwide speaker dreams are in shambles, my religion is in peices, and my Lord is still more distant than I would have thought three years ago, but I’m here. So is He. My Jesus never left. I just realized how much I don’t understand him. Returning is funny, because nothing is the same. Yet, the feel of the place has always stayed with me. When I think about what I’m returning to, I want you all to know that I never actually left.
I’m working on a book, and you are all invited to join me. I’m not ready to get too much feedback on it yet, but if you want to read what I’m working on, let me know and I’ll send you pieces that I think you’ll enjoy. Life is a process, and I’m sorry if I ever seemed to have all the answers, but I still think that my journey can help yours. I’d love to share it with you if you’re interested.
This blog might remain as it is, finished with this post. There may be another post at some point letting you guys know about a new blog where I’ll be hosting my content from down the road, or there may be a point where I find a way to renovate this house so I can call it my home again. My about page is a bit dated, and many of my thoughts just have a different feel to them than they used to, but I promise you I will do whatever I can to honor you as my readers, and I won’t leave you in the dark. When I know, you’ll know. I’ve missed you, and thank you for lending me your hearts and letting me love on them as best I can.
With all the love,