Where I've Been

Rummaging through some old files, I stumbled across this journal entry from eight years ago. It shocked me, like I was reading the story of someone else. And then it helped make everything make sense.

I was 24 years old.

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11/2/11

I had to apologize to the guys at Preacher’s Forum last night. I sort of blew my top at my elders two weeks ago. Okay, I really blew my top at them.

[6 lines redacted]

But the bond of guys at the meeting is really strong and they’re all very gracious.

I’ve learned something about myself this year that was totally unexpected: I have to get 8 hours of sleep. For years I’ve hated sleep. I thought people who slept were lazy and wasteful.

I can remember as a child I would get up at 7am or so and all my cousins would sleep in until 8 or 9am and that always bugged me. I woke up at 8am today (after going to bed at midnight) and it makes all the difference.

Monday night, I came home from class (10pm or so). Then, after dinking around for a while, started working on the Worldchangers’ website. I was up until 6am. I went to bed, woke up at noon and suffered from huge depression the entire day. It was bad.

That’s not the first time it’s happened, either. When I don’t get enough sleep, I start to come apart at the seams. Good to know, I guess.

Part of me wonders if this is going to be a liability, especially when I apply to work at Summit next summer. Fortunately, I’m working with the Summit guys for Worldchangers (especially [redacted], who would be my boss). So that can be a conversation we can have.

Speaking of Summit, confession time: I think I want to move to Colorado. This is the first time I’ve said that out loud. And I’m not entirely confident about it, but there it is.

A couple of things are pushing me in that direction. Firstly, I’m tired of being self-employed. It’s just way too much stress. At least for right now. I have so many irons in the fire that it just doesn’t seem possible to keep going like this. Even with the draconian cuts I’ve been making, I still can’t keep up.

Secondly, the finances are not working out. I haven’t been paying rent to Mom and Dad, haven’t been covering my share of the phone bill. I’ve tried to contribute in other ways, but this is ridiculous; I simply am not making enough money.

I would really like to work for an established organization. Working with the NCFCA (in spite of how badly I bungled that) was a nice window into working with an organization that wasn’t just getting started.

All of that seems to be pointing to Summit. Plus, when you add my experience with their curriculum, my experience in their program, my classroom experience and my event coordinating experience, I think it makes for a good fit.

So, right now, I’m planning (God willing) to apply for a staff position, work with the Summit folks in the spring, work for their program in the Summer and, God willing, see if I can land a job down there.

There’s a lot about this little scheme that sucks. I never thought I’d leave this state. And I don’t want to leave this state. But my living/housing situation needs a shakeup, my financial situation needs a shakeup, my ministry experience needs a shakeup, and my career direction in general needs a boost.

My worldview program isn’t making any strides forward this year. We try to make it better every year, but it’s just not happening. I’m learning to teach the concepts better and more efficiently, but the program itself is still too slapdash.

Our church’s preaching agenda is getting completely revamped. Sort of. [redacted] and I are pitching ideas back and forth and trying to make adjustments without stepping on each other’s toes or the toes of the leadership. I think we’re both feeling the weight of having the responsibility without the authority. To make matters worse, the church was given a re-affirmation cards to, basically, take a confidence vote on the deacons and the elders who are left. So it feels like [redacted] (a great worship guy), [redacted] and I are trying to get into replant mode, but we still don’t know who’s in charge.

On top of all of that, [redacted] asked me if I’d take over the administration of the preaching. After I totally lost it, I wrote out the following:

[50 lines redacted]

Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t send that to anybody. I was really cranky. But that’s the state of things right now: totally bonkers. Honestly, I’m just not sure I can take on a key role in what will inevitably be a re-plant –especially when the votes aren’t being counted until tonight, so I have no idea who is going to be in leadership 24 hours from now.

Father, give me wisdom and mercy, please.

School isn’t going well at all. I’m buried in Perspectives homework with no end in sight. [redacted] is going over Monday to help tutor me through the homework assignments. I’m really eating it.

Absolutely everything I have touched related to Worldchangers has been worse off for the experience. I broke the website, missed our save-the-date deadline, have still failed to double check hotel options, haven’t gotten PayPal up and running. It’s just a mess.

Plus, I’m afraid that my two music students are getting the short end of my attention span, but ironically enough, I think I have a clearer vision and more intentional approach with them than I do with anything else.

So between teaching, church, school and work it just seems like I’m eating it.

And I screwed it up with [redacted], so our thanksgiving family vacation is in limbo. I’m headed up to Seattle on Friday with [redacted]. Hopefully we’ll be able to have a conversation with [redacted] and get it all cleared up.

Then there are all of the things that I have yet to deal with, NCFCA and [redacted] in particular. That’s going to suck, too. [Redacted] at the Mars Hill PDX plant has asked me to play worship (I’m playing for the prayer meeting tonight, but he also asked me to play on Sunday). And I’m sure he’d let me start a small group (they really need one on the east side and I could really use the outlet for local, community ministry). But that’s a no. Of course. I just have to keep telling myself that.

Basically, I need to take a deep breath, sit down and figure out how to unravel this mess. There is just so much chaos and confusion that it’s beginning to have horrible effects. None of the least of which has been a reoccurring chest pain. It really scared me the first time, but then I read a post about a guy who had the experience and it was stressed induced. I don’t have insurance right now, so I’m not doing anything about it. That’s really dumb, I know. But I saw the doctor before [redacted]’s wedding because of my stomach problems and he said it could be stress induced as well.

Looking over this entry, that seems like a strong possibility.

So Summit is looking good. {Perspectives will be done in 6 weeks. Worldchangers will be off my plate in 6 months. Worldview will be done in 7 months. If I end up going to Summit, then I’ll be done with preaching in 7 months as well.

I think staffing an academic camp for 4 weeks in Colorado could be just what the doctor ordered.

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On October 31st, 2012, I drove a packed car from Oregon to Colorado to begin work as a full time Summit employee.

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