Monday, December 18, 2017

The War

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, “What’s going on in their head?”  Ever heard someone talk about something they struggle with and wonder, “Why don’t they just stop doing that?  Thinking that?  Feeling that?

I was listening to a song recently with the line, “You want peace, but there’s war in your head,” and it has been rattling around in me since.  

I think sometimes music speaks things out of our souls that we have known were there, but never were able to put words and character to - it speaks them and then sets them before us.  And there we sit, shaken but vibrating with the harmony of the words and our lives.  Shocked that someone else feels what we feel - that someone else is experiencing the war we have in our head - that we are not alone - and that someone has been able to describe the war.

This song does that so well for me.

Want
Peace.

But 
there’s 
war
in 
my
head.

Look deeply into the eyes of the person who can’t rid themselves of their sadness - we describe it as depression - and you will not find someone who desires sadness.  They are not looking for chances to be sad.  They just are sad.  Trapped in a circle of hurt and loss, they wish there was something else - they envy people who can just laugh and revel in life, but they can't.

Listen to the ramblings of the schizophrenic - the word salad of disconnected thought and emotion and reality - listen to them.  Once, they were just a kid.  Just a baby who needed changed, fed, loved.  They were once someone who loved hugs, who craved affection, who ate breakfast and who ran in the park.  Yet, their thoughts have betrayed them - there is a war in their head.  I can tell you, having walked with people into the hell of psychosis from “normal,” that they did not wake up and decide, “Today i am going to start having delusions.  Today seems like a great day to be terrified that the world is coming to an end.  Today i want to break with reality.”  They want peace.  They want relief.

For a second, really allow yourself to see the addict.  See the horror of the descent of withdrawal.  See the experience of the power of the high, the drink, after the powerlessness of the hangover, the pain, the emptiness.  See them - the war in their head - the ongoing conversation:  “I need to quit”  “I can’t quit” “I don't want to do it anymore”  “I don't know what else to do”  For most of these, there was not a moment when they decided, “I’m going to pour my life out in the gutters of substances.”  “I’m going to destroy myself and those around me, to lie, to cheat, to steal, to betray.”  They simply tried to live life the best they could - to survive - to live and laugh - to have fun and experience something of life.

A
WAR

You see, my fears can tie me in knots.  The unsolvable problems of life can sometimes overwhelm me.  I can know and believe the truth and at the same time doubt it in my emotions.  I don't want to.  It just happens.  Out of the brokenness and betrayal and loss of my life has come doubt and fear and self-preservation.  And when the hurts of life mount, i feel the losses so deeply that my heart runs to associate this day with the ones of the past, and without meaning to..

A
WAR

I know the truth.  I know that i am loved.  I know that i am amazing.  I know that God has made me for a purpose.  I know that i am good.  I know that God always ends up blessing us more than we could have ever imagined as we follow Him, but i sometimes just cant feel it.  My mind races to fix the problems, spinning in circles, exhausting me.  My heart hides to protect against the unseen threat.

A
WAR

I hate the war.  I hate it.

The problem with this war is that it is not real.  The war of the past was real.  I was by myself.  I was betrayed and alone and hurting and lost.  Now, i am not.  In the war of the past, i was without belief - without love.  I did not serve anyone but myself and i did not know how to love anyone, even me.  But i have found love.  I have found me.  I have found truth and goodness.  I have found people who love me and who i love.  I have found my voice.  I have found God and a purpose and the world makes sense to me - it is not good, but it does make sense.

but 
still 
the
WAR

i hate it.

Thing is, i continue to fight the war of the past.  I don’t want to, but i do.

When i feel fear now - legit fear, about money, or health, or whatever - sometimes it feels like the war fear - and it drives my emotions to fight the war - i used to even begin fighting it without even realizing i was.
When i feel betrayal now, legit betrayal - sometimes it feels like the betrayal of the past - and i begin to fight the war.

I call it emotional connotation - my emotions form a bridge between the feelings of today and the feelings of yesterday - and when my heart remembers the feelings of yesterday, it brings all the “connotation” - all the baggage - of yesterday with it.  So, sometimes i continue to fight the wars of the past without meaning to.

And now for the wonderful part,

this war is not the same.

i have the truth
i am not the same 
life is not the same

God has saved me.

Always now, in the middle of the war in my head, somewhere along the way - hard to tell when - i wake to realize that the war was over a long time ago.  God and me, we won.  That, since i restarted the battling, i have been fighting a battle that is over.  Running out onto an old battlefield that is now grown over with grass and where children laugh and play, i have been fighting to win, struggling to be safe, when i it’s already done, and i already am safe.

See, the war now is a lie.  
And the Truth is right here.
Sometimes it is hard to see it thru the fog of the war in my head. 

Growing and grieving from the real war to the Truth of today has not been easy.  It has been its own journey, its own pilgrimage - a war of its own.  So many times i have re-fought the war in my head - craving peace - but trapped in the hurt of the past and how it warped my mind and emotions to run back for my weapons at the first sign of trouble.

I can tell you one thing.  

It’s possible.

It’s possible to go from the war to the Truth.  

It starts with trusting someone enough to believe that they could care about you.  It starts with letting your guard down just enough to stop fighting, to stop running, to stop defending, to stop hiding and believe.


I Won’t Let You Go
When it feels like surgery
And it burns like third degree
And you wonder what is it worth?
When your insides breaking in
And you feel that ache again
And you wonder
What's giving birth?
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control
If you could only let your guard down
You could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace but there's war in your head
Maybe that's where life is born
When our façades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
I'll always be by your side
Yeah
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
(I won’t let you go)
There ain't no darkness strong enough that could tear you out from my heart
There ain't no strength that's strong enough that could tear this love apart
Never gonna let you go
Never gonna let you go
No I won’t let you go


This has become my life.

You see, when i was in the war, all i wanted was for someone to reach out to me, to hold me, to give me someone to trust - to show the way out of the hell i was living in.

My life has become a daily wading out into the battlefields of other peoples’ wars, holding out my hand, and asking them to trust me - and to believe that there is a way out - it is hard, but I would not trade my life for anyone else's in the world - filled w hope, filled w life - In a world that feels hopeless, I see lives changed all around me for the better.


At More than more, we are committed to living a life for something More than just day to day - more than just the usual wars of this world.  We are committed to joining together in this life and caring about each other.  It is a strange group - a mix of older and younger - all different types of people - and yet we love - and we hold out our hands and reach for the hands of those around us, in order that the world would be a better place - daring to trust, trying to learn that maybe somewhere in this world it is ok to let our guard down...to silence the war, to move forward.

We would love for you to join us - we will be hanging out Thursday night, the 21st of Dec, - 645-800 pm at McAllister Rec Center - just off 20th and Schuyler in Lafayette.  As always there will be free childcare.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Joy and Noticing

Joy

I just don't see as much of it as i would like to - not as much of it in my own heart as i'd like to, and definitely not much of it at all in our world.

give me a situation, too many times i can find the problems within it - i can pick it apart and tell you what can be done to fix it - but too often i don't celebrate...

strange,

it's not that there's nothing to celebrate

 pretty much everyone i know has enough to eat - 

has decent access to education - 

has clean water - 

has the freedom to come and go and move about where they want to - 

has clean laundry and warm houses (or apartments) - 

has a deeply rooted sense of our common humanity and importance of love -

yet it seems that my (our) focus is just not where it should (could) be

there seems to be a voice in the back of our minds that is always telling us that we need something - to search, to critique, to argue, to wish, to aspire, to get, to go

sometimes it sounds like marketing voices - convincing us...

but more often it sounds like some broken parts of our souls, trying to fill in some strange gap.

problem is that what we use to fill in the gap seems to turn to liquid as soon as the gap is filled - and before we know it, it runs out and leaves the gap just as empty as it was to begin - so we clamor for more - assured by our world that there is a filler out there somewhere

The answer, i have found, is in noticing.

Noticing.

Noticing that what is really important is right around us.  there is joy to be had in cool air, and rustling leaves, in the smile of a friend, in food to eat and a warm blanket, in the smell of laundry and the change of seasons.

You see it seems there is another voice in the back of our minds - it the voice of the One who made us - and the cool the air, and the leaves and beauty of the seasons and the sense of smell delighted w the smell of laundry and the warmth in our hearts at the love of a friend - there is a beauty that we miss because the noise of our world drowns out the joy of His love - expressed all around us.

At More than more, we are determined to shove against the voice of the more of go and get and instead to pay attention and notice the loveliness of the More of joy all around us.

We are determined to provide a place where some people who are all on this same path can hang out and talk about what it looks like to notice - to remind each other once every other Thursday what is really important.  

We would love to have you join us!

our next time together will be Dec 7th (tomorrow), 645-800pm, at McAllister Recreation Center- just off 20th and Schuyler in Lafayette.  There will be free childcare thru 5th grade and there are plenty of activities at the center for older kids.

in the meantime, 

keep noticing...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mtm tomorrow

Hey everyone!

More than more will be hanging out tomorrow, Thursday, the 9th of November, 645-8pm at McAllister Recreation Center in Lafayette - just off 20th and Schuyler

It is always a good time to hang out, laugh some, and enjoy some time w some people who just like you because you are you, not for what you provide them!

Hope to see you there

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mtm tromorrow night at McAllister

Hey everyone!
Tomorrow night, the 26th of October, Mtm will be getting together at McAllister rec center in Lafayette - 645-8p - it is always an awesome time and we hope to see you there!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

More than more Outreach this Thursday night

Hey guys!  This Thursday night, the 12th of October, we will be doing an outreach at Murdock elementary school - we do this once or twice per yr  - we buy shoes for some in the school who have need - and we hang out & have dinner together - it is a great time to serve but also to have good food and good conversation and to share some of the love and blessings that god has given us!


we will start set up at 530 and dinner is at 6 pm - come to the back parking lot at Murdock


we need lots of food - there is a "sign up genius" where you can log in and put what you would like to bring




hope to see you there - come ready to notice the goodness of God showing up

Thursday, September 28, 2017

More than more tonight!

hey everyone - wanted to remind you that Mtm will be gathering at McAllister Recreation Center in Lafayette tonight, the 28th, from 645-8pm - as always there will be free childcare and it will be a great time of laughter and noticing some different ways to see this crazy world we live in

also, in 2wks, October 12th, we will be gathering at Murdock Elementary for an outreach - there is a link that I can get you if you respond to this blog post by commenting - it is always a good time when we hang out there and serve the folks of our community and so I hope you can join us!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Thursday - More than more - as "usual"

Hey everyone - we had been planning an outreach for Thursday night - however, there were some complications that have forced us to change it to October 12th - that will be a Murdock elementary - more details will come closer!!
So, we will be at McAllister as usual this Thursday, from 645-8pm - hope to see you there!!