Monday, April 20, 2009

40

Rarely have I been so grateful for the presence in my life of my wife Erin than in this past week. She has sung counterpoint to my anger and frustration, working untiringly to lighten the collective mood of our household during a pretty rough time for our extended family. I am so lucky that she is in my life. I love you so much, E.

Rarely have I been more cognizant of my love for the church than this past week. My work has been a firm foundation for me when some other stuff has felt pretty shaky. I am surrounded by incredible people who love God with such dedication and give of themselves so selflessly, it lifts me up just to witness them, to be in ministry among them, to work together on Christ's behalf with them.

When something happens in your life that challenges the fundamental assumptions of what you thought to be true, you become immediately aware of your sources of strength. Like jumping into a lake and trying to find a foothold without being able to see the bottom, you try to step on a rock that won't shift with your weight, or that is too slippery and you slide off, or that may be sharp and cut you.

What has happened has made me angry, more angry than I have ever felt before. The anger has seeped into just about every part of my life, affecting my words and thoughts and actions. I find myself unable to think rationally about "the situation," let alone offer any grace or understanding. The truth is, I don't feel gracious and I don't understand. I'm just angry.

"Clarity emerges over time," said one of my wisest friends. I know that well. Water that has been muddied will clear as the sediment settles again. And in the meantime, all you can do is try to stand on firm footing, waiting for the current to move.

And I have found my firm footing, the metaphorical rocks that I can trust not to shift or slip or cut me. And I thank God.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

12 comments:

Kory Wilcox said...

I understand the anger. I don't know what the situation is, but I understand the anger. I have found the words of this hymn to be wildly comforting at the peaks of my own irrationality:

http://www.igracemusic.com/hymnbook/hymns/t04.html

TN Rambler said...

Praying for you.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Erin. Sometimes it is best for the situation when anger felt does not become anger expressed. the time for expressing anger will come. but maybe this is not the right time, when feelings are so raw and so full of pain. cb

Adam Caldwell said...

Andy,

Thank you for addressing this...although not on the same level, I reflect your anger. As a young man trying to walk this Christian life with my wife and family I'm angered. As a young man aspiring towards ministry I am angered. As a friend, though somewhat estranged, I am angered. My prayer is the same as yours. May clarity, forgiveness, and healing come with time.

I'm continuing to pray for you and yours.

John Schmalzbauer said...

Whatever the situation, we're behind you. You've been such a gracious leader at Campbell. You don't know how much you are appreciated. Now it is Campbell's turn to lift you up.

revlinda said...

Andy,
I pray for you every day. You have touched my life in ways you will never know and I care about you. While I don't know the specifics of what is causing you pain & anger, I do know that you are hurting. So I pray you know you are not alone in this, give thanks for your family, and look for signs of God's grace. Hug your wife and play with your kids :)

Kansas Bob said...

I liked this post Andy.. it is both transparent and vulnerable but not too much.. having this level of self-awareness is a good thing.. many angry folks walk around not knowing the depth of their pain.

Hang in there dear brother.

Blessings, Bob

Anonymous said...

Anger and pain makes us think God doesn't care. But He does care and He is always there. It's hard to know God's unfailing love until you let others help you through the tough times - and that's when you know God showed up. Our Father loves you and we do too. Peace and prayers for you.

Patrick Moore said...

Grace is easy when things go as we think they should. Not so easy when things don't.

I thank God grace comes to the publican who still has his job robbing the people.

Seems like someone died for us while we yet still broken.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read you are having a rough time. It is good to recognize your anger and frustration and confusion during disheartening situations. I always remember that God gets angry too...who knows, maybe He is feeling a lot like you. Let the comfort of your family blanket you with their presence. Hang in there--you are loved!

Anonymous said...

Adam and Andy - I am angry, too. But somehow I keep thinking "Let the ones without sin cast the first stone". "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." "Judge not, lest ye be judged" cb

Anonymous said...

Andy:

I am blessed and lucky as well in that my wife has been a source of comfort for me during times of anger and frustration.
I will have you and your family in our prayers.
Godspeed.

Joseph