Welcome back. It’s been a while. You still belong here, and so do I.
The name of this blog is Spring of My Soul. I still like that name. It’s still what’s happening in my life. The title came from reading Psalm 27
13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD ;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD .
Wait for the Lord…that’s the line that inspired this blog. The waiting through the darkness, leads us to spring. Wait for the Lord.
I started this latest version of my previous blog “Colors of Long Beach”, now archived by our friends at blogger, after the “dark night of my soul” back in 2003-2004. That darkness included the loss of my father, the pending death of the woman who raised me from age 6 (who died Jan. 3rd of this year), and other stuff. After the darkness, I figured, will come the Spring of My Soul.
Then Amanda Morales, my mother-figure ‘abuelita’, who lived in our home for the last 5 years, (I lived in hers for the previous 30), died and my world came tumbling down. During these last week of my blog fast, I have found myself in tears, sobbing at the foot of the bed in what used to be her room, saying, “I miss you so much!” Such is grief. All the grief classes and counseling I’ve been through with my father and now my grandmother tell you the same thing, “you gotta go there to get though it.”
Then in the last few weeks, a few conversations, some confrontations, and a lot of thinking, writing, praying, (this blog would have 20-30 posts if I had been posting during the last 10 days), I find myself at a weird place of both excitement and sorrow.
The sorrow comes from things said to me that I’m still working through. Things that have hurt me, but that I’m surrendering to God one day at a time. On the other hand, it’s been a time of great excitement as my wife and I and our three children have given up control of our jobs, home, stability and security, of Long Beach and even California, and have said to Jesus, “have your way in us”, lead us and we will follow.
I don’t know where this is all going. In some ways, I feel this is a natural process of growing up, of becoming a man, of looking at the second and third halves of my life and focusing in.
I am realizing that part of the Spring of My Soul had to include taking things away, as in my grandmother, my father, my securities and assumptions. On the other hand, it’s brought me strength, faith in God, and a confirmation that I am desired by Him, that He wants to work through me, that I am useful in His hands.
I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to figure out such a simple concept, God can use me. But it’s not a thousand people telling you this that will change your mind, it’s not your wife or your boss that will convince you, in some ways even your mother and father can’t make you a believer, although all those things really, really help.
It’s when the man, or woman shuts out the noise, closes the door to his or her room, kneels before his Father in heaven and hears the voice that says, “you are my beloved, you are valuable to me, I want to use you, I created you as you are, I will do a work in you, you will do great things for me. Get up, keep walking, keep your heart on me, fear God and shun evil, be in community with others, I will do great things through you, keep going, keep going…” That’s the message I needed to hear, and although I’ve heard it before, now I’m beginning to believe it.
And you know what, it’s been a thousand voices echoing the same thing all around. The council of witness supports me, my wife, our children, the 1st grade class I sang to yesterday from 9:30-9:45am. As we sang “Humble King” my heart was stirred with love for them and for Jesus. And then as I sang “Only You” last night at my friend Thien’s new church plant. There we were in downtown Long Beach, leading worship to urban postmoderns at the Blue Nile, a downtown café. As the Word was being taught and my friend Jamie and I stood in the back I thought, “this is part of the vision, years of dreaming of this night, here I am doing it. Lord Jesus, you are great.”
There is hope, there is joy. I will always like sad songs more than happy ones. I still don’t like country music, Faith Hill or Tim McGraw. I am the same person I’ve always been. If not for my running and lifting and eating plan, I’m not sure I would have physically gotten through the last few weeks. But Jesus has been my all, and my friends and the Spirit’s aid have been my council.
The silence in this blog for the last 10 days, the fast, the dedication to not posting and writing for the world has been good. Pakistan and India, Katrina and Rita, Mexico and El Salvador, Nicaragua has elections in 2006 that will determine its fate for the next 25 years, a lot bigger things are happening in the world than in my own life.
But in this space and time, my desire is still the same, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, His Kingdom, our city, passion, love, color, beauty, expression, hope and joy. He still captivates me, saturates me, enibriates me as Delirious says. That is my #1 passion and desire, and to love my wife daily. By the way, I’ve become a bit of a gourmet chef lately. More on that later.
So I’m here again. I must admit, I almost didn’t make it back. It was close. Maybe nex time I won’t fast as long so my first post back won’t be as long as this one. Hope you are still reading. If not, don’t worry, we can always catch up tomorrow.
Into the future,