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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Thursday, July 26, 2007

feeling like Peter

My last post was an attempt to lay out the jumble that goes on within my head dealing with my relationship with God and the wayi try to pursue Him. Obedience seems to be a major key as I read the New Testament. The Law was the standard of the OT but obedience evolving from love is what the focus of Jesus is. I struggle so much with fear of death because I struggle with obedience and essentially love I think its a combination of both thought and feeling as well. I have always been an avid readr love to do research and to analyze and think through things down to the nth degree but at the same time i am so moved by feelings in making decisions and in how i approach things as well. I was once identified as an *objective thinker* in a psych test i did and on another one came out as INFJ which places major emphasis on feeling. Hey us humans are a complex bunch eh???

I think a major aspect of what fuels the fear is my realizing my disobedience and seeming lack of faith. When i was young and even on into high school and college I was always identified as having a great *heart* Meaning I was very compassionate caring and sought to seek God as best i could. I was humbled by people always pointing this out but a lil part of me sought to nurture a rebellious piece of me inside and wanted to try to be the good guy with a bad streak wanting to keep my heart as i had it yet also take lil *walks on the wild side* as well too. I think in some cases this may be the beginning seeds of addictions. My *wild side* was mainly in my own head though carrying out fantasy actions i would never dare do in real life. Until I got to a point where the thrill wasnt cutting it just from fantasy anymore. Also, I had experienced almost nothing but rejection and pain in actual relationships in real life mostly concerning anything involving closeness with females. Fantasy was an ideal way to have a girl who wouldnt reject and wouldnt see me as nit attractive ot outgoing enough for her.The hook is that the fantasy never fulfills it just entices and allures and provides fleeting doses of pleasure and excitement but never fulfills.

I was in Bible College and had an atheist roomate. He was a cool guy and i got along good with him. I accepted him as he was and respected him as a perso nand his own choices. He thusly named me as *the best example of a christian he knew* when he took part in a survey on atheists done by a seminary student. That was quite an honor to have him say that ,especially since we lived together and he saw my life in all its ups and downs and he also was surrounded by an entire school of christians!!! It was very humbling and also a positive thing but it ended up eating at me overtime because i knew the fear inside as well as the fantasy life i kept inside dealing with sex which I never ceased to struggle with.

I had gone to Bible College in grand hopes of becoming a minister. Believing i had been gifted by God to become so. By the time of my senior year it seemed clear that a counselor was more fitting and not a youth minister. I graduated and went to work in office jobs wondering what would happen to my education. I decided to go to seminary and pursue being a counseling minister seemed a great opportunity. I went to a small seminary in Illinois long way away from my home It was a deliberate choice as a step in being more independent. Seminary went well i loved it and had a great time even was able to land a youth ministry job of all things at a small church. Problem was all my insecurities surfaced after i was hired. I endlessly worried that i would never be a good youth minister and agonized over it even though i recieved good response from the kids and people of the congregation. i even got to preach a few times and was on a float tossing out candy at a lil town parade they had!!!

My worries ended up being handled in an escapist way that was self destructive. I made several calls to a california phone sex line one afternoon from the home i stayed at while there on the weekend from a church phone. Needless to say i was asked to resign once the phone bill showd up. A slick operator i am not. I have been ashamed by that personal failing ever since but the real bizarre thing is i still have struggles to this day even after what happened.

I share this because its what really happened and it is something I have and am dealing with while still seeking to be a genuine pursuer of Jesus and live for Him. i gues a deep part of my fear which i try to keep in a deep deep portion of my mind is that I am not a real flollower of Jesus because of this struggle especially after all these years and while serving as a leader in His church. How can God and Jesus let alone people love me and accept me when i committed these actions and still struggle even to this day??? Im speaking from a personal emotional point of view because i know very well the intellectual and theological views. I sure hope this isnt seen as being too much information or inappropriate to divulge on here. i seek to be open so i can grow and by engaging in sharing with so many on here i hope God uses it to help me take in His love grace anf acceptance in ways which have seemed so hard for some reason to jsut let fill me at my deepest lovels.

i am very tempted to hit dlete and not publish this. i am not trying to be anything but honestly genuine in my sharing and hopefully let God use it for good as only he can. I have a struggle between the one part of me which finds escape and release in the fantasy world and the part of me that wants to be holy and committed to a pre life serving God and Jesus as best i can. I share as i have because it is a real struggle and i want to surrender to God even as i fight Him by clinging to these things for so long. I prayed He would wrestle with me awile back welli think He heard and responded!!!

I know this is a long post i thank all who read it. I appreciate as always any response even if you have criticism. i pray I did not go overboard and commit a mistake in posting all this. I do hope in sharin this that the fact we can be solid christians anf still suffer areas of deep conflict especially with sexuality is something that can be openly discussed and dealt with. Ministers with sex struggles is nothing new but aside from the high profile caes in the media i know there are so many who just live in secret shame and guilt or total denial, who may still be actively serving in a congregation. Take what you will and leave the rest.

Ladies i hope from the bottom of my heart this isnt offensive to any of you at all. It is a very personal struggle and one i know has affected so many I surely hope not to be hurtful in any way shape or fashion. Please feel free to email me if anyone would care to at all.


At 4:55 AM, Blogger bjk said...

How can God and Jesus let alone people love me and accept me when i committed these actions and still struggle even to this day???

Because He does.....and because He does and calls us to....do you really think you are worse than anyone else and in that thinking aren't you able to hold yourself apart from Him and everyone else??
I read this just before reading your post from Soul Cravings by ERM

Why should despair make a person open to God?
It's a troubling thing when your soul demands what your brain rejects. I guess if you think about it, if it wasn't for God, we might find ourselves capable of drowning in despair and thinking it was our natural habitat. Instead, we will always be haunted by this soul craving, this seemingly irrational need for hope. We should be able to live perfectly well without God and without hope. But neither proves to be the case. Ironically, when we should least believe in even the existence of hope, when we are most consumed with a sense of our own insignificance, it is here we will crave it the most. You can't give up on hope and go on with life. Without hope your life may not come to an end, but it does come to a stop.
It is when we are hiding in a cave that we desperately want someone to call us out and cause us to believe there is still a life to be lived.

Think it's coincedence that I read that just before reading here...not me...I am calling you out Robert....He died so that you may live.....Hope in Christ....come out of the cave and into THAT light Roberto.....the light hurts like hell when we've lived in darkness but it's LIGHT ...it's Him and HE will guide you, IS guiding you....grab on with both hands and trust HIM, not another person...don't give them the power....

Dang I'm preaching now Robert so please accept that you are accepted and live the life HE INTENDED for you to live....praying for you to see Him in ERM's words.....HOPE
love in CHRIST becky


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