Nevertheless . . .

In thinking on my experiences and the opportunity to share more as I prep the quote posts for The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands, I thought of some of what it’s been like to write this blog, and just live life. The truth is, in life we are weak if we want to admit it or not. The thing most won’t do is actually admit it. I’m going to, now – of course, you can get a sneak peek at what I still have available to post.

There’s all the other pressures going on that I’ve talked about and not talked about. Keeping myself afloat enough financially that I don’t completely sink and drown. The realization that if I didn’t get help along the way that I would. Not knowing what to do to make things better in this regard.

Then there’s career choices. One thing I realized when I was regularly employed at a “career” was that it was so unfulfilling. I could do it well, in fact much better than most, but I didn’t find the rewards coming back from it. Not so much actually getting paid like it, but knowing I was making a difference somewhere. The thing is, when I lost that job, I found a serious walk with Christ and had the time to actually ground myself in the faith by the Spirit. So there’s always a positive by anything. You could say I was called out of that to Christ.

But as I looked for more solid work in that line, I got discouraged by not finding anything, not hearing anything. Not even finding a niche for myself offering things online and elsewhere. It’s hard to not find a good solid place in the world where you’re appreciated and are fulfilled in the course of what you do.

Now in that trek, I’ve gotten the chance to facilitate several Bible studies, and even write some. In looking for solid career work, I’ve found that thought, and preaching, and praying for people, and…you get it… much more preferable than doing what I used to do. I get excited at the chance of doing it.

But as I got more knowledgeable about Scripture, and able to evaluate the things around me, the excitement waned. Could I participate in Churchianity, and put aside my own personal faith and convictions and service the blue-pill illusion behind such things? I found that harder and harder, as I learned more about the backroom politics and things behind how churches are run. As I learn the stories of how many faithful preachers are dismissed simply because the corrupt masses want their ears scratched by the Personal Jesus (2 Timothy 4:2-4) instead of want to hear someone share a solid walk in discipleship to Christ through the Scriptures, I get more discouraged. Of course, that discouragement extended to the blog – when I started I had the hope of finding people that loved…truth. But now…

Then there’s the matter of my mother. I had to take time away from doing the things I was doing that fulfilled me. Namely the blog, namely being around people I could find mutual support and encouragement from as opposed to the discouragement I was finding. Taking care of her until she finally passed. Then having a complete and large houseful of things to get rid of. I got away from doing the things that filled me, because I wasn’t sure I could commit to anything beyond a particular day. Then I lost steady Internet access to be able to read widely enough and keep the blog wide open and active. Again, a discouragement.

Of course, a good in that space has been the opportunity to learn about myself, and the effects of how I was raised. I was the normal kid in a house with a special needs kid that got all the attention until she passed and left a torn-up marriage in its wake between my mom and dad. So I basically raised myself. Given all the problems that whole situation created and how messed up those things have made me, and seeing signs of better in others, I get discouraged. But thankfully I didn’t receive all the traditional brainwashing of gender roles I’m about to blog about when I get these quotes copied.

Then there’s the time it takes sometimes with things of the blog not coming as quickly as I would like, which outside of the other discouragement is why the edit queue backed up so much. With the book review, I’ve been copying for the last week when I can. Then reading that stuff gets discouraging – that a vast majority of people actually believe in it and are Gribbles. Then there’s not so much enlightening out there that I read in blog-land to respond to that doesn’t stretch me and isn’t a retread of anything that hasn’t been posted twenty-million times by everybody.

Then there’s other stuff like reading through “No More Christian Nice Guy” by Paul Coughlin, being frustrated by it, and then completely forgetting everything about the book so I couldn’t even do a review and then going back through it. Then there’s the Arterburn notes (“Every Man’s Battle”, “Every Young Woman’s Battle”, “Every Heart Restored”) and the Dobson notes (“What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women”) that got lost, along with the draft of a book I co-authored under my real name (thankfully that happened AFTER it got published). I still have three of the books, but it involves going back through and reconstructing notes so I can finish out the posts I have started on those books. Of course, there’s the book idea that gets pushed on the back burner for other things and finishing out these two books I want to do (the mentioned one, and “I Am A Church Member”) before I start on that fully. Not to mention, all the other edit queue posts and things I haven’t even started on that I would like to post out of the 2+ pages I have typewritten here.

Then, as I see people put on their pretty perfect everything is fine faces, I get discouraged. I know people have problems themselves and are lying, but how does everyone else have all the answers for their lives, doing what they need to be doing, and are blessed and filled by it all? Communal shame is indeed a powerful motivator, but indeed a powerful tool in the hands of Satan and those that would work for his purposes. It’s so easy to ask the question “What’s wrong with me?” before the Lord in watching such things and be completely discouraged, like I’m not measuring up before Him and in some way am faking. In fact, once upon a time I asked several in one of my more melancholy moments, which I wrote down and kept:

Why is my best not good enough?
Why do I work so hard, get so tired, and get so little in return?
Why can’t I have validation that I am on a good path?
Can others see me as good?
Can I ever be good enough for others?
Can I ever find refreshment in life?
Can things ever work out?

All of this is just simply proof that I’m a broken person that is bankrupt of myself and needs healing and meaning spoken into my life. It’s proof that a true life walked in faith of Christ’s sacrifice isn’t an easy thing, nor a bed of roses (truth be told my life went to crap not soon after I came out of the water). It’s proof that feeling doesn’t matter in the light of the holy truth:

  • I may not feel loved by others, nevertheless Christ loves me.
  • I may not feel financially provided, nevertheless Christ has seen my way and will continue to do so.
  • I may not feel fulfilled by what I do every day, nevertheless by grace Christ will find me a place.
  • I may not feel part of a family, nevertheless Christ will put me in one.
  • I may not feel part of a church family is not apostate, nevertheless Christ will find one for me.
  • I may not feel refreshed by life, nevertheless Christ will refresh me with life eternal.
  • I may not feel like I have a good place of ministry, nevertheless Christ will give me one by His grace.
  • I may not feel like I’m doing enough for God’s Kingdom, nevertheless in Christ’s grace it will be sufficient.
  • I may not feel like I got life by the tail like others, nevertheless Christ’s grace will be sufficient.
  • I may not feel like I have any value to offer, nevertheless Christ will make me valuable.
  • I may not feel whole or healthy, nevertheless Christ will heal me.
  • I may not feel comfortable about all the evil things going on in the world, nevertheless Christ will deal with it all and in time I won’t have to.
  • I may not feel comfortable waiting on Christ, nevertheless He will be my ever present help in all of this trouble.

I may feel like everything is wrong and nothing is right, but all is right in Christ and He will make it right in those that are in His truth…at the right time. Lord, come quickly!

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7 thoughts on “Nevertheless . . .”

  1. Yes. He will.

    If it consoles? you any at all… I’m working on another book of my own, partially about being real about the walk of faith and how sometimes you know things that you’re not feeling – and how that has to be okay, that it has to be okay to tell the truth and not shove lies under the sofa cushions.

    Sometimes we forget that the process of sanctification is a process, up until we die or the Lord returns. And we each have easier times with some bits and harder times with others, because of where we started. That was in CS Lewis somewhere, where he said something about the pain in the behind parishoner, and not to judge, because you have no idea how bad she’d be *without* Christ.

    The important thing is Christ, and His glory.

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  2. I’m working on another book of my own, partially about being real about the walk of faith and how sometimes you know things that you’re not feeling – and how that has to be okay, that it has to be okay to tell the truth and not shove lies under the sofa cushions.

    Actually, that’s the point I was getting at in sharing that. That it’s okay to not be “right”, and that one needs Christ. I needed to share it on some level, too, but if anyone gets that message out of this, it serves what I intended as a message to others.

    Of course, for what I have in mind, this is going to be a chapter, too.

    Sometimes we forget that the process of sanctification is a process, up until we die or the Lord returns.

    Indeed. Or not even taught it at all. I hope that came out as well in this, that accepting Christ isn’t going to all the sudden make things “right” right now…but in His good time it will be made more right until He finally makes it right in the end…if we keep on in faith.

    The important thing is Christ, and His glory.

    Amen.

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  3. Okay, this will be a bit dorky. I don’t know if you were raised in the church. I was. There were a very few elderly folk that just glowed. The presence of the Lord was palpable when you were near them. The result of a life spent in relation to Christ. I wanted that. I still want that. THAT is who I want to grow up to be.

    They weren’t perfect. It didn’t matter. Little kid me could practically feel the Holy Spirit from several feet away.

    I think it’s okay to admit that’s what I want out of life…

    [B: Nothing wrong with any of that at all.]

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  4. I might have said this back at SoP. Re Steve Arterburn: No man who’s been married 3 times has any business saying anything to men about masculinity, marriage, Christianity, or pretty much anything else. Ditto Dennis Prager.

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  5. Why did you find No More Christian Nice Guy so frustrating? From some reviews by others and summaries by Coughlin himself, the author seems to “get it”, sort of. He talks mostly about the myth of the effeminate Jesus and cowardly passive men in churches. That’s some of it, but not nearly all of it. Nothing in the summaries or reviews about men taking charge of their own lives, standing up boldly for themselves, and pursuing what they want. Nothing about sexual attraction either.

    What do you think?

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  6. @thedeti
    I used Arterburn’s name because it’s the most prominent, but as “Every Man’s Battle” described, Arterburn is more of a “Script Supervisor”. The main writer of “Every Man’s Battle” and “Every Heart Restored” is Fred Stoeker. One can read those and see why such a history is there, as it mainly confirms the positions of just about everyone I’ve ever covered during SoP.

    While all modern marriage literature to some degree is hate literature against men, I was shocked at how blatant these books were (gender flip them and both authors would have been literally burnt in effigy). Additionally, Fred Stoeker’s wife had a lot of input into “Every Heart Restored” (the book I don’t have anymore to reconstruct notes, nothing really too “new” in it anyway), and it’s surprising the degree of shame (and hate) she tries to set out towards men in the course of the books for … being men. The agenda is pretty clear, yet as you say the fruit of the whole overt “female domination” dynamic ought to be pretty clear as well.

    As for “No More Christian Nice Guy”, I don’t wish to write a full review as of yet (though I may go ahead, I did get reconstructed notes for that one to do commentary on as well), it was pretty much as you say: the author seems to “get it”, sort of. The main frustration I had of the book outside of the disorganized, scattershot writing, is the large degree of “waffling”. He “gets it”…yet he doesn’t…like he doesn’t have any confidence in the positions he’s writing or trying to soften them to please women. Laura Schlessinger writing the forward wins no points, either.

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  7. Thank you for this, brother. It’s encouraging to know other brothers are going through similar struggles to my own, and it’s a reminder to me to keep remembering to trust in Him alone, as one can so clearly see you do.

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