1.28.2009

There's Somethin' Happenin' Here

What it is, ain't exactly clear.

So, lately...as in the past week or so...I've been noticing a....I guess transformation is really the best word...in my life.

(this is about to get God-talky and introspective, so turn away now if that's not your thang, I respect that).

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately from LiquidChurch.com. And they have been very cool. Not typical 'church' at all. If I lived in NJ, I'd definitely be going there. They have a very 'out of the box' vibe, much like ICC. In other words, a good fit for my distrust of organized religion, but belief in God.

So, I keep hearing people say 'fill yourself with the Word, and you will see a difference in your life.' 'Turn your life over to God and He'll do wonderful things.' All that sort of thing that seemed to be smoke and mirrors. Until recently.

I noticed something odd last week. I was getting ready to hang up with a customer on a support call. And I quite literally almost said 'Love you' as I hung up. The words were formed and the "LLL" was almost vocalized. It wasn't weird and didn't seem unnatural, it was something I was just going to say. I caught myself, because I'm not sure how it would have gone over (both with him, and any management that might have been listening to the call). But the thing is, it wasn't like I wanted to go out to Minnesota raise Llamas with the man, it wasn't that kind of love. It was 'hey...you're a good person in my life and I enjoy our interactions, thanks for that.' OK. So I kind of shrugged that off as 'too much Jesus' that week (which, really is laughable if you stop to think about it).

But then, there's this whole Facebook thing. I've been interacting with a lot of my friends (a lot of you) and people that really weren't my friends (people that in my feeble teenage mind I thought looked down on me because I was the weird guy, or not cool, or rich, or a partyer, or whatever (fill in the blanks)). As well as a couple of people that I actually dated in high school/college. Now, keep in mind, that most of these 'relationships'/'friendships' from back in the day didn't always have such happy endings for yours truly. And some might be saying "dude-you're nuts for talking to some of those people again...what could have changed? what makes you think they actually give a sh*t about you now?"

And I didn't really have an answer for that. I have to be honest, I still don't. But, if you're reading this on FB, there's a chance that I added you as a Friend by stepping out on faith. And what I have found has been amazing. All of you, with practically no exceptions, surprised me. You have all grown in to people that I feel that I can honestly call my friend. Not the 'fake high school kind of pass you in the hall' friend, but someone that I could share my life with. And I think part of that is that I've grown, too.

I hit a point, probably last week, maybe earlier, actually where I let it all go. All of the pain and hurt that I carried around with me. The crap from my childhood, the snubs, the failed relationships, the flubbed friendships. I just gave it back to God. It was getting to be too much for me to wallow in. I didn't even really realize I was carrying that crap around until I started seeing all of the 'blasts from the past' on FB. And I found that when I honestly interacted with people, from my heart, I got their heart back in return. And I found that we all have pretty good hearts (some of us have teflon re-enforced hearts, but that's a story for another day).

And it was at that point I let it go. I realized that we were ALL very different people and that most of us were dealing with sh*t we kept buried under several layers of facade. Whether it was abusive parents, homosexuality, severe self-esteem issues, or whatever...we were all dealing with crap. I think if I had realized that then (and maybe to an extent I did), but if I had realized that back in the day I wouldn't have gotten so bogged down with the crap.

I posted in my status a few days back that I forgive all wrongs and perceived wrongs and hurts that I associated with any one I've had relationships with, and I want to add to that, if I've in anyway caused you pain, please forgive me.

I think when I hit that realization was the point I felt like a new person. Time, it seems does heal all wounds (or did in my case, at least).

I don't want to go back to those times, but I'm also not trapped by them anymore. And I do really credit God with that. His influence in my life as of late is undeniable. Actually-he's always been there, I just havent' always looked or been ready to receive.

I did something this morning I haven't done in a long time. I actually prayed, aloud, on the way in to work. Not because the roads were bad, but because I had things on my heart that I needed to give back to God. And I could feel His presence there with me. There were no 'answers' or blinding light on the road to Damascus. But there was a peace. I've felt it a few times in my life and never really understood the full effect of what caused it.

And I'm sitting here at my desk (and should be working,)but I actually feel GOOD. Not the Dupont-induced happiness, but actually good...from the inside. I'm happy. I'm happy for the people in my life. I'm happy for my wife, and wonderful kids. I'm happy for my shitty credit. Sounds crazy, but you know what? It's happening for a reason. At some point, I'm going to be able to let someone else with shitty credit know that "hey-God deals in currency that doesn't rust." (that's not an endorsement to charge away, just a fact that I know that by turning things over to God, they always seem to work out the way they need to).

I guess that's what this is. Me telling you, that I turned things over to God. And I feel love. Each of you reading this will take those last 2 sentences in a very specific way. I'm sure of that. I don't know what way. I don't know what's on your hearts. I know what you've shared, through FB, emails, face to face interactions. But Love.

It's pretty powerful.

I am feeling like I'm rambling now so I'll cut this short. But it looks like Lennon had it right-All you need is love.

And second chances. :-)

-A.T.S.

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