He said “Q bien recordar a david con esa sonrrisa, me acuerdo cuando desayunamos junto algo q nunca olvidare.” (I remember David very well with that smile, I remember when we would have breakfast together, something I will never forget).
I want to be like my father.
The reality is that for many reasons, mostly due to my brokenness and pride, I’ve isolated from others. In many ways it’s been my defense mechanism “if you don’t get too close, you can’t hurt me.” For a long time it worked as I tried hard to be strong, avoid mistakes and be as perfect as possible.
But then life hit. And it hit hard.
I began to experience anxiety and fear I could not control, I began to make mistakes of character I could no longer hide, I started to act out in anger and rage I could not suppress, I was hurting those I loved. So I made a conscious effort to learn more about my isolation and anxiety. I went to counseling, began to work on my soul, on family of origin and inner child stuff, started on anti-depressants, read everything Brené Brown was putting out there, went on silent retreats, talked to friends and mentors, cried with my wife and mom more times than I can remember and went back to church. Slowly, God began to heal me.
Then I lost my job.
There’s nothing like losing your job to make you face all your fears! But as hard as that’s been, it has been one of the most amazing times in my life. Through this experience, I’ve seen the goodness of God in new ways and it’s provided a real test of faith as I’ve had to deal with issues of insecurity, isolation and anxiety all over again.
But every day I’m learning to choose JOY over fear, community over isolation, to enter the circle of fire versus remaining on the outside looking in. And I’m beginning to see people come into my life and being okay entering each other’s mess. I still stink at it, but I’m learning to walk into the circle.
Yesterday, my friend Cary came over, he too is broken just like I am. At first, I was tempted to put on a front and act like everything’s fine and I did some of that but I fought it. He was here to pick up his old Bible, the type that has the picture of your daughter in it from when she was in 6th grade. When I gave it to him after having it in my garage for almost three years, he kissed it.
As he was getting back in the car, he asked me about the “Finding Grace Through Anxiety Conference” I’m speaking at in a few weeks. He told me he’s not doing well, that although his facebook pictures may look awesome, his life is not. He asked me what the conference was about. I struggled for a bit, going back and forth between “God is Good!” and “Life Sucks!”
I finally said, “it’s about knowing we are fearfully and wonderfuly made, that God loves us as we are not as we should be.”
Today, I invite you to enter the circle of fire. Don’t isolate, don’t remain on the outside looking in, instead, enter the circle of community, healing and chaos. Enter the circle of fire, where the grace of God slowly burns away all our insecurities and over time brings out the gold inside each of us.
Like Antonio, I hope my friend Cary will one day say of me “I remember David, he found my Bible with the picture of my daughter in it.” Those are the kinds of breakfasts I hope to have.
Thank you for being here,