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June 3, 2014

#DeadThingsCanLiveAgain (pt. I)



Religious Alert!!! 

Right now (as I write this) it's technically still Easter season. It's the last week in the 7th week of Easter. Next week, this coming Sunday kicks off Pentecost. I'm not going to get into any more religious technicalities than that, but for relevancy of this post, the timing matters. All this boils down to a point- Easter reminds us that dead things can come back to life again. #DeadThingsCanLiveAgain

6 years ago I started to pray. I was living in Michigan and each morning I would sit, have a cup of coffee and write. I was really praying. I called it: 20/20/20. 20 minutes of reading the Bible, 20 minutes of journalism and 20 minutes of reading something else. That was a manageable practice for me. Spending time with The Lord wasn't new to me, but spending money at Starbucks each morning to do so was. It's been a high priority discipline of mine ever since. That's a whole lot of coffee.

This is a story about a journey. It's a journey that started even years before I started actually moving. It all started when I started listening.

4 1/2 years ago I was in a bad place. The worst place, matter of factly. I had just experienced my worst nightmare of my life at that time. Someone had made a serious lie and accusation. It's the kind of lie that would have ruined my life. All my friends and close companions turned on me. It was all "stranger than fiction." What a horrible and unsettling time that was.

To the situation even more bleak, my marriage sucked. We were broke, depression resided in our home, bitterness took a deep root in both of us, bad habits were started. We did occasionally have sweetness in our marriage and in other arenas of life, but there was a whole lot of sour too. We were going through marriage counseling and it just seemed that we reflected what most think of the state of Michigan- a few bright spots, but a whole lot of cold and gray. We needed a change. We needed a change for many reasons. We had 2 kids too. We tried to pull it together and maybe put it aside, because we both met on one thing, that our kids were most important.

It takes two to tango. I was the reason for a lot of the shit. Sometimes there's no better vocab in the world than cuss. Sometimes things are just shitty. #PureShit.

But through it all I went. I went to my coffee spot. No matter how good or how shitty, my coffee was always warm and The Lord was there. Sometimes my days would start off really good, but end up rotten. Sometimes they would start shitty, but end up on a good note. No matter which circumstance, my coffee was always warm and The Lord was with me.

For years it was the same thing- a little sunshine, a lot of shit. My only sanity, my anchor was my coffee hour. I did a whole lot of soul searching and a whole lot of asking. I asked and I asked and I asked. I listened...and for years nothing. But it didn't stay that way forever. Boy, when The Lord decides to move swiftly, that's exactly how it goes.

The Lord spoke.

It was December of 2011. The Lord laid it confidently on my heart that it was time to go. After discussing it with Liz, she oddly enough felt as confidently as I did. We discussed it and felt it was wise to tell my supervisor the first week of January. It's probably noteworthy to say here that I had a job contract up 6 months later in June. I gave my boss, the Rector of the church, a 6 month job notice. What was so odd about Liz seeing the same way was that we never see eye-to-eye on issues. At least, at that point in our lives we didn't. We always saw things differently than the other and would always figure out very different methods for "skinning the same cat."

So in that first week of January, 2012, I meet with my supervisor, and said that we were leaving. He asked what I was going to do. I replied, I don't really know, but it's time. The Lord says so." That was the beginning of a crazy ride.




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