Often I reflect on the journey my life has taken. I process many things internally, and with carefully chosen words make know to others my innermost feelings. But only to those whom I feel safe and who I have built trust. For fear that I would be let down or the struggles and pain would not be understood.
I have been blessed beyond measure, but in the blessing and in the serving, which the serving was central to my life since I was eleven. Yes, at eleven I stopped attending church and began to serve the church. In this process I have found that I lost a piece of my identity. I often inwardly cringe at the sermons of identity, for in my own life the only identity of church that I found was in serving, and not ever in being. For years I sat in the background running sound for children’s and youth services. I set up chairs only to tear them down to prepare for the next church activity. I was always good at doing things, but never good at being someone.
People would compliment and say things like, you are good at everything, but the truth always haunted me, that the one reason I tried to be good at everything was to be loved and known by people, for it was and has always been that my struggle was being terrible at relationships and friendships. This I believe was grounded in not knowing who I am. In not being, but in simply doing.
I know your rebuttal, Oh you were just made to do things, each person is born to be good at different things, maybe friendships and relationships are just not your thing. I will submit that I do not believe you, there is too much longing and desire for real relationship and friendship in my soul to believe that I was made for less than that. One author which I admire is C.S.Lewis, who reflects on the desire and its prediction of spiritual things. He says something like, A man finds within Himself a longing which nothing on this earth can satisfy, which concludes that there is something more, an eternity for him to meet.
This past year of being out of college, and mostly working full time has led me to a refocused vision of myself. I have served less this year than at any time since I was eleven. And in this shift of duty and availability, I have felt a shift in my soul. I have lost who I am, yes, when all you have ever lived for is to serve the church, but have slowly drifted from a deep desire to know and love the Lord, it is a shaking and disturbing picture of christianity.
Why do I write these things? Because my prayer the last few months have been Lord, I want to know you again, Lord I have always loved you, But I do not know you. The only picture I can describe to you is of a boy who knew his father but has traveled far and wide and upon returning to his home town cannot find his home or his father because in his wandering the city has changed the streets, his father has moved, his friends have gone to other cities, and the search for his father and his home seems impossible.
I have no expectation that my life will suddenly recover when I press post, when it shows up on your facebook stream, or twitter feed. But my desire is that just maybe someone else that may read this has gone through the same process in their life and they will know that they are not alone. That there are others in this generation who are going through the same searching for who there are. Lord, today, help me to BE. Lord, not to do anything for you or for your church, but simply to learn how to BE.