Two Years

Welp, two years ago today this crazy road began.

 
I say began, but I had already been on that road for 20 some years at that point. It just got significantly harder and forced me to realize I was on a road those around me were not.
 
-These last 6 years have been rough
 
-These last 2 years have been deadly
 
-I’m still unsure how I’ve made it through these last 7 months.
 

There have been many hits… and quite honestly I’m just tired at this point…

I’ve dealt with:
-Tests that backfired and caused more damage;
-Coping methods that are 10 minutes of extreme pain for almost a week of survivability;
-Increased headaches and brain fogs as most of my coping methods have been taken out of my diet;
-Short sighted rumors spread and the backlash that came from them;
-Pets dying,
-Relatives dying,
-The lifestyle I knew being torn apart.
-Constant pain no matter what I do
A world without a safe zone… a place to relax or think through everything that has happened. It’s honestly been so long since I’ve known what it feels like to…. feel… excitement? Happiness? Relief? Worry, anxiety, exhaustion, and regret have been my closest friends.
 
After two years of clawing at walls in an attempt to even slow the descent, I stand here fairly battered and bruised. You want the future to come, but there are days you wonder what’s even left to survive?
 

But then let’s look at what was gained in this time.

Because I may have lost a lot, and feel wiped out…. but the thing about hardships is that it builds our muscles and causes us to grow.
Besides, I never write these things just so I can whine about my life… but for the sake of all those who have told me they can relate.
I’m open and honest about how much it hurts and how weak I am, because there is no shame in admitting you’re weak. You may as well have shame for having two ears or a nose! It kind of comes with who we are.
 

But there has been growth as well throughout the hardships. Good news amidst the sorrows.

It was finally proven that I didn’t have liver cancer. That is a diagnosis I was more than thankful for.
 
God not only let me (the kid who was told by counselors he wouldn’t make it past grade 7 for context) graduate with a bachelor’s degree but even managed to gain Summa Cum Laude for getting a 4.0 GPA in every class!
 
I have had to become a lot more conscientious about things… My exercise, my diet, my finances… Sure this is also a bother. I’d much rather be eating triple patty burgers with pop, sit back, and go to Europe once a year like those around me…. but these aren’t bad skills to learn… and they mean I’ll be able to do more with less when the time comes again.
 
I lapped the Bible. Read through it once, and now am halfway through on lap two. There’s a lot of things I’ve managed to pick up on through reading it this way as well. I definitely recommend doing it cover to cover at least once in your life.
 
People are still as loud and obnoxious as ever… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are still twinges of bitterness as to those who lied to others about why I lost my last job, why I live at home, the validity of my condition, or have even told my parents to throw me out of the house for my own good and theirs… But at the same time… the world has gotten a lot larger around them as the world they live in has gotten so much smaller.
So much of our world just runs on rails of what is the right way to live our lives. What is expected of us. So many people fall through the cracks of this illusion. There are many people out there who are introverted, highly sensitive, chronic illness, shy, unemployed, in debt, or more… and in spite of what those on rails say; these people are NOT weak all the time! Actually, often times I’d say they have far more strength than those who maintain their illusion of the “Majority”
 
Speaking of the world not being on rails… I’ve learned how to find the un-walked path a lot better.
You can get into pretty much any industry easily for a lot of effort and $5000.
Want to publish a book? The publisher wants $5000 for professional marketing and editing. Want to get into Voice Over? Well unless you have a $500 demo that only comes after $4000 worth of lessons to go on your $40 website…. no one will ever dream of looking at you! Want to learn a language? Sure! Just spend $5000 on lessons! Streaming? Set up. Sales? Products. Accounting? Certification. Programming? Computer Degree. The list goes on, and each industry will tell you it is the ONLY way in!
 
Listen… There is NOT only one way forward because the people who founded these paths didn’t have these luxuries to begin them. If you can afford them, take them. It’s much easier to stay on the main road. But don’t let yourself feel trapped because every industry wants $5k just to reach the starting line!
 
I’ve also learned to do the best I can with what I have. Because I don’t have much. About 10 months ago, I was driving to Toronto with my laptop in my car and it struck me “If I got into an accident right now I’d lose pretty much 100% of the marketable assets I have left!” But do what you can with what you have! Don’t worry about the results! Don’t worry about the end goal! Don’t freeze in place because of how much lies before you! Focus on taking one more step right now! Then do a step after that! A step after that! And a step after that! Move at your own pace! Don’t let others berate you for it!
 
I’ve learned the importance of rest. There are days I wish I was even half as lazy as people assume I am. Each day, I do physio exercises, I make meals, I apply for jobs, I study language, business, and computer sciences, I read my Bible, I pray, I clean, I try to keep in contact with people from over 12 different countries…. I’ve learned there are days I need to just rest…. and I am not a failure for doing so!
 
I am not sure who made up the belief that you are ineffective if you take breaks. It was very short sighted and dumb. People are an investment. Not an asset. Give them rest and they will come back more awake, refreshed, and more effective towards you!
 
A large eye opener for me was when I started taking the nerve blocks and went from a 6-7 to a 4-5 on the normal pain scale…. I saw how much energy I had given back to me… I realized just how lazy those people who said I wasn’t working hard were if they were sitting at a 1-2 and had THAT much energy! I also realized how much I really needed to pace myself and take rest.
 
One of the big ones I learned was to ask for help. From doctors, from friends, from others. I have never wanted to be a burden to others. I was put into a place where I was forced to be. I was forced to realize it was okay, and to do it more often. We can’t make it through this life on our own. Stop trying!
 
My relationship with my parents hit a major improvement through these last two years. I think the same way that all kids; usually in their mid teens, though if they’re more responsible usually in their early-mid twenties; hit a point where they realize their parents’ AREN’T right on everything, and they have to decide how much they’ll cling to what they were taught, and how much they’ll decide to do differently that we call “rebellious phase.” I think every parent falls into the trap of believing “I know my kids better than anyone! Even better than they know themselves!” which of course means they stop looking for how you’ve grown and changed and start missing things. These last two years have forced communication to open up again… and it has been incredibly healing.
 

So here we stand as year three of this all starts…

my mountains seem no smaller, but the world seems a lot bigger. Honestly I don’t know what lies ahead, and if it weren’t for God I’d really see no point in even trying. (Yeesh! I was burnt out November of 2017!) But I remind myself… even though I don’t want to be paying off the debts of these last 2 years until I’m 40. Even though I don’t want to be alone nor living at home. Even though I don’t want to be a burden to my parents who have done so much to help me through all this. I know that if God wants me to stay here then there is nothing I can do to stop it and He will provide through it. I also know that He has taken people from prisoners to second in command of a country over night throughout the Bible. If God wants to… no mountain is too high for Him to topple.
 
I do however pray that this third year… God just does something ridiculous. Partially for the selfish reason that I am wiped out… emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted… I don’t have anything more to give unless He gives it.
 
At the same time though, I want Him to do something ridiculously from Him because I think this world, ESPECIALLY in the church… needs a reminder. We DON’T serve a dead God! It is NOT by OUR works but by what HE does THROUGH us!
 
“You may say to yourself ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ but remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth!” – Deuteronomy 8:17-18
 
In the end, it is not my place to command God. If it were, He wouldn’t be God! I would be! But I humbly concede that everyone’s success; from the greatest saint to the lowest tyrant; only has success because He has allowed it. And I cling to hope that He is merciful and does all things for our good.
 
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to this broken man’s ramble. I pray that it was encouraging for you, and that you find hope in it. Remember you are not alone!
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What is Strength?

Every now and then people find out about all that has been going on these last seven/two years and tell me that I am strong…
 
This always catches me off guard… I don’t really feel strong…
 
Stubborn? Yes…
 
A sore loser? Most definitely…
 
Abnormally low amounts of self preservation? Probably…
 
But strong? not really… The amount of times I have felt overwhelmed… like I couldn’t take another step forward are numerous. The amount of times I feel over my head and have no clue what on earth to do… the same… But still… people tell me that I’m strong…
 
Not that I really mind… I mean it’s a lot nicer than some of the things other people have called me. But if I’m strong, then let me give you a little insight into what strength is… because I feel like we have a wrong picture of it in our culture.
 
Strength is crying yourself to sleep at night.
 
Strength is losing your appetite over worry.
 
Strength is wanting to be alone.
 
Strength is desperately needing a hug.
 
Strength is being unable to fall asleep because you don’t want another day to begin.
 
Strength is admitting you can’t do it.
 
Strength is needing to take a day where you just can’t accomplish anything because you’re too broken.
 
Strength is accepting that hard work isn’t all it takes to get what you want.
 
Strength is realizing this world is much bigger than you know.
 
Strength is realizing just how many fall through the cracks.
 
Strength is being willing to beg for help and guidance.
 
Strength is putting up with those who throw insults at you and turn those you know against you.
 
Strength is days when you keep moving forward for no other reason than you don’t remember how to give up.
 
Strength is when you can no longer hide how weak you are.
 
Strength is when you’re scared for how things turn out because how can things ever look up?
 
Strength is feeling things so deeply that your heart feels like it is being torn apart.
 
Strength is the numbness that comes when you’ve burned out everything you can feel.
 
If you’ve felt like any of these things before and are still reading this… that means you’re still alive… congratulations, that took strength…
 
Don’t buy into the world’s lies that strength comes from insensitivity… from never feeling scared or overwhelmed… from boldly never showing weakness or faltering at all. Such a life isn’t strength. It is simply a life that has never been tested.
 
There is no strength in such a front. And the day may come when all fronts may crumble. Realize now who you really are. For THAT is the person who will survive the trials.
 
Don’t give up.
 
You are strong.
 
You are not alone
 
You’ve got this
 
Keep on fighting

I Pray

I Pray:

 
Not Because I Fear God Has Abandoned Me
But Because I Fear Giving in And Abandoning Him
 
Not Because I Want Things Back the Way They Were
But Because I Want to Fight on To Be Something Better
 
Not Because I Fear People Thinking I Can’t Accomplish Anything
But Because I Fear They Will Think it is by My Hand and Not God’s
 
Not Because I Want Vengeance on Those Who’ve Wronged Me
But Because I Want Them to See and Know Who God Is
 
Not Because I Want God to Destroy my Enemies
But Because I Want God to Turn Them Into Companions
 
Not Because I Believe This Will Never End
But Because I Fear I Might Weaken Before it Does
 
Not Because I Want to be Saved Quickly
But Because I Want to Endure Until God’s Work is Complete
 
Not Because I Fear God Will Ignore Me if I Don’t
But Because I Fear I Will Ignore Him if I Don’t
 
Not Because I Need to Convince God to Save Me
But Because I Need to be Reminded He Has
 
Not Because I Want My Life to Begin
But Because I Want to Make the Most of Every Moment of my Life Even Now
 
Not Because I am Strong Enough to Make it This Far
But Because He was Strong Enough to Take me This Far
 
Not Because I Fear the Pain Never Ending
But Because I Fear My Endurance Ending
 
Not Because I Want to Live in Riches and Power
But Because I Want the World to See What Riches and Power Truly Are
 

And So I Pray:

 
Not to be Saved
But to Bring Glory to His Name
 

I Pray:

When Life Begins

Ever think of all the wasted points of your life?

 
Those moments when you felt like you were stuck in the hallway waiting for a door to open? When you’re waiting for the next step but you just don’t have the resources to make it work? When everyone else seems to be moving forward with marriages, families, houses and careers, but you feel like you’re left standing at the starting line? Have you ever looked back at foolish things you’ve done in the past, or the opportunities you never had and think “Man I wasted so much time”?
 
But the thing is, there are no hallways in life. There are no wasted opportunities. Some things may seem less efficient than others, but the only way for an experience to be wasted is to consider it as such. To throw away the lessons you learned being ashamed of them.
 
Don’t let the “path” everyone longs to walk down fool you. You are not waiting for life to begin. You’re living now! Whether or not you have resources, opportunities, direction, or anything else you are alive. You are experiencing new things. Those experiences you will take with you for the rest of your life. How you handle them will determine if you treat those you meet with empathy or bitterness. Each day is a battle and you are in the middle of the war.
 
So live! Look for the opportunities in every day! Don’t let the short sightedness of those around you limit you! You are alive! You are learning! Give each day your best and never give up! Find the path no one has seen and keep moving forward one step at a time!
 

Keep on fighting!

Changing Perspective Not Circumstances

Many people get discouraged when they turn to God but their results do not change. Sometimes this happens. While sure; God can sometimes open doors for us the moment we rely on Him; This world has always BEEN in His control. Are the laws of reality going to change just because you’re willing to accept He’s there in control?
 

Sometimes it is not the results that need to change, but your perspective of the circumstances that change the effects of said results.

 

You work your hardest, and yet people can’t see it and hurl insults and discouragement on you instead?

 
Have you given your life to serve and please people? Give up if you have. Can we even please ourselves? How are we expected to keep millions of just as fickle people happy? You have given your life to serve and please God! If God is happy with your results, does it matter if others see or don’t see it? Is there anything people can give you that God can’t? Is there anything people can provide you with that God can’t take away?
 
In addition to this, God blinds the hearts of some and reveals things to others, even those who do not serve Him. If He wanted to, people could see. If He desires to, they never will. However; we also know that God is good and does all things for our benefit and for His glory, so if that is the case, and people do stand against you, isn’t it so that you can be given an opportunity to grow and be closer to God?
 
You are not outnumbered by things desiring to destroy you. You are witnessing a small portion of what is out there in an effort to help you grow in your faith and maturity. Much like a coach or manager, God is not devoted to your comfort and pride, but to your growth and reliance in Him.
 

You are more trustworthy and reliable than others, and yet still others get chosen for rewards and promotions?

 
We are ants, arguing to an elephant over which one is taller…
 
And still… people are not rewarded based on our merit. Do you think those who are placed in authority always deserve it? Do you think those who have great treasures have always earned it? Do you think those with power can always use it wisely?? You don’t even have to be trustworthy to run a country, how much less do you think it matters in day to day things??
 
We like to believe that “Good people get good things.” but who among is is truly good? And with our limited perspective how can we truly know what Good is ESPECIALLY when we throw aside the one fixed point of reference we had to judge it from??
 
But as we mentioned in the first point; God can open the eyes of those He wishes and of those He wishes they will remain closed. In this sense, it is not us, but God who lets those rise and others fall in power. It even says so in the Bible, whether they believed in God or not. If that is the case, why do you try so hard to win over the hearts of people? Why do you get angry at them when they lack to see your merit and raise hurtful people up instead. God has taken prisoners and slaves and turned them into rulers of nations. If God wanted too, is there any hole too deep to pull you out of?
 
And if God hasn’t decided to raise you to higher levels… doesn’t that mean He still has things to teach you where you are at? Doesn’t that mean He still has ways to use you where you are at? We are not trying to get to a certain point where God can use us. GOD IS USING YOU RIGHT NOW! His plan started before you even said yes. God is using you where you are with or without what mankind considers power and strength! Because GOD is your strength! What man can build with all the wealth and power in the world, God has outperformed with nothing but His word. Don’t fret because mankind doesn’t provide you with what you think you need. Rely on God!
 

I follow God and yet don’t have what I want yet!

 
You know… I’ve lost pretty much every one of my dreams at this point. All of my plans have fallen apart. I’m not a father, I’m not a pilot, I don’t have a steady career, I don’t have a house, I’m single and feel guilty even thinking of loving anyone because what kind of a life would I be pulling them into? I’m part of a generation that is being handed a world piece by piece as the previous generation chews every last bit of goodness out of it…
 
Even by others’ standards… I’m 28 years old and living at home without a well paying job. I’m the kind of guy you see on TV shows as “That guy you don’t want to be no matter what!”
 
So why… why is it in spite of all that I’ve lost… in spite of everything I wanted that I don’t know if I’ll ever get… Why do I so pity anyone who hasn’t experienced this??
 
Because God’s plans are greater than your dreams!
 
Don’t cling to what you value. Your dreams are far too small. Even though you may lose everything you hold dear…. God has a much more amazing world to show you if you let Him. Will you cling to your popped balloon? Or will you see the world that waits around you? It’s a terrifying ride, but more like a rollercoaster than a demolition derby. Because no matter how dark, or how scary it gets…. you know… You know that God is STILL in control. That God STILL is there for you! That God will look out for you and protect you through all of it!

 

So stop clinging to this world and what it has to offer…. Believe!

Before Anything; Pray

Too often we treat prayer as a last resort…

 
“Well first make sure there’s no way you can be working harder…. then check to make sure there’s nothing you should cut out of your life…. then make sure you don’t need to seek the wisdom of those older than you… then maybe just try harder again… then… AND ONLY THEN… if after all that it STILL doesn’t seem to work…. then maybe pray BUT STILL DO ALL THAT OTHER STUFF TOO!”
 

Why do we do this?? What pride do we take in waiting so long??

 
Do we feel our reward in heaven will be greater if we ask God for help less??
 
Yet in the Bible, there are countless examples of God showing how people relying on their own knowledge set before them a unnecessarily difficult path when they could have just asked him.
 
Do we feel like we can’t take up God’s time? That starving children in Africa could be saved if He weren’t so busy helping us pass tests and handle heartbreak??
 
God is not human. He is here for all of us equally. We cannot overwhelm what He can give!
 
Do we feel like we need to make sure we’re better people before we can face God lest our own shame condemn us?
 
SO HELP US ALL if God’s grace relies on our goodness! Who among us can say we are good? Who among us can say we are better than anyone else?? God does not help us because we are good. God is good, and can help us improve should we let Him do so!
 
Perhaps we feel it is a sign of weakness to rely on God when we should do it ourselves…. or perhaps it our fear of our own weakness, that deep down we still struggle to accept that He really CAN and more importantly WILL do anything…. Fear that we will be disappointed and look stupid when nothing happens, and will our faith be able to handle that??
 
You aren’t strong enough to bear the struggles of this world yourself; and faith that actively avoids anything that might question it isn’t faith…. it’s disillusionment!
 

Prayer is not meant to be a last resort to turn to when every other effort we make has failed. It is the first step we make before any other.

 
When a time of change, a fear, a decision, an opportunity, or even just a new day comes for you…. before you start trying… before you start preparing…. before start thinking what your next step should be…. before you even look to see what stands against you and what you have to throw against it….. pray…..
 
  • Pray for perception to see what you can’t see.
  • Pray for wisdom to know the answers you don’t know.
  • Pray for strength to keep moving forward when you can’t.
  • Pray for peace to stand against the anxiety that rises up within you.
  • Pray for encouragement to keep you moving forward.
  • Pray that God will take your disbelief and prove you wrong.
Most importantly;
  • Pray that God will be glorified in what you do.
 

Life is hard. There are many trials you will face, and guess what… you aren’t strong enough to stand against them alone. Let go of your pride. Bring your fears before God. You’ll be amazed what He can do with it.

Efforts and Results

Success most often comes from hard work, but hard work does not often end up in success.

 
We so tie the results to our efforts and as such our pride and self worth as well, forgetting this simple truth.
 
It is possible to do everything right and still fail. It is possible to do everything wrong and still succeed. We like to tell ourselves “Well the consequences of their actions are still coming.” and they may very well be… but there are those I know of who have done everything wrong. Who have walked over others, been frivolous with their resources, flippant with their relationships; and had lived long and happy lives, completely oblivious to the pain and suffering those around them had dealt with due to the consequences of their actions.
 

People are inconsistent. To the one who demands wine, we give them cake as well. To the one who begs for a drop of water, we cast them out for being entitled and lazy.

 
This world is unfair…. but if it wasn’t we probably all would be dead by now, so do not complain about that too much. But realize it. Realize it. Accept it. Choose your paths carefully aware of it.
 

To the one who is wise, a more difficult path often lays before them.

Naivety is a blessing in a lot of ways. The world is far kinder to the naive. Much like the old Loony Toons show where the dog who would nearly kill himself attempting to keep the young oblivious kitten safe.
 
So don’t look at your life; what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve failed at, and deem whether you really did your best or not through it. I have spent my life giving 110% only to be lapped by those who don’t try, and to be yelled at by those giving 70-80% to “kick it up a gear”
 
Your efforts do not guarantee results. Your results do not indicate your efforts. Don’t allow those who walked through a broad doorway criticize you for still struggling to get through the 18th story window! At the same time; if you struggled to get in, don’t forget all the times you failed and give foolish advice like “You just have to try harder.” Learn the lessons life taught you!
 
Because at the end of the day, you can’t guarantee the results of your actions. The results were never yours to decide. You can however guarantee that you learn from your actions. Both success and failure have lessons to learn. Both work and free time have wisdom to teach us. The only thing that deems as “a waste of time” is what we deem in our heads to be. Because by doing so we throw away all the lessons they could teach us.
 
Be observant. Learn constantly. Strive to improve! Whether you succeed or fail, fight on with all your heart! Through these struggles you will grow. As you grow these struggles will seem less significant. As these struggles seem less significant, others will see the strength you have.

 

Give life your best, and keep fighting forward!