Its about life and love and why

Open Doors

These posts have become less and less frequent, but there is a reason why. I tend to write when my heart and mind are full. Its a release for me, a way to process, and its a lot cheaper than a therapist. Before dad and I had surgery in May I was writing every day. I wrote because it was all I could think about. Getting through the surgery was consuming my entirety, so of course I wrote about it frequently. The fact that the blogs come slower these days is a blessing. It means there are other things in my life that can occupy my thoughts from time to time. I’m getting to the point in this episode where the focus of every conversation I have isn’t about surgery or livers or how sorry everyone is for me and I like that.

Ironically after starting like that, dad is back in the hospital today. He has a fever from an infection, they’re going to drain and abscess on his intestine and check some other stuff as well. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little worried. I can’t wait to be done with these unplanned hospital visits. When I told a friend about this yesterday her response was “I’m so sorry”. My response? Don’t be. Sure there have been some tough times this past year, but I prefer to focus on the good times of in the last few months. Since the spring I’ve completed my comprehensive exams, I was confirmed as a donor for my dad, we had surgery and it went smoothly, we have both started to recover, I got spend time in Maine with family and friends, I was part of a wedding for a dear friend, I feel as good as if I’d never had surgery, and I had the opportunity to meet someone who put a spark back in my eye. That’s three lines of blessings that have happened since March. Things are looking up and life is good. God is good and I’m excited for the future.

However, I’m also scared. See, the past year of my life has been focused on getting to surgery and coming out the other side. Through the whole thing I put on my brave face, determined to show no fear and no sign of weakness. It worked, I fooled everyone… including myself. Although its true I was never afraid before the surgery, since then I’ve found that some of the emotions are catching up on me. In the last blog, writing about the morning of the surgery the emotions that came back to me were overwhelming. I cried, I shook my head in disbelief, and I thanked God for how far He’d brought us from that point. Now I’m finding some other emotions, thoughts, and feelings are catching up on me. Real life stuff. A lot of things got put on the back burners this last year. I figured they could be dealt with later. It seems like later has finally arrived.

As I was recovering I had a lot of time to think. As early as the hospital I couldn’t shake this one thought, this small voice in my head that kept asking me “Are you doing what you want to do? Is this what is going to make you happy?” It seems like the answers to these questions should be fairly clear. It is my life after all, why would I do anything apart from what I want and what makes me happy? I found that I couldn’t look in the mirror and answer these questions. I just wasn’t sure. And I was shaken by that fact. I come off as a cocky confident person, like someone who has it all figured out and suddenly here I am completely unsure about the decisions I’ve made. If this were a fictional piece of writing, this is where there would be some breakthrough that I could tell you about, where it was revealed to me exactly what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Life doesn’t work like that. I have no breakthrough, instead I have questions.

I believe God has a plan and that his timing is perfect, but that doesn’t mean I can just walk through life with my eyes closed and everything will be ok. I believe that he can open the doors to the paths that I should walk, but I don’t believe he will push me through those doorways, it is up to me to take the first steps. Right now I worry if I’m looking hard enough at some of these doors. I’m worried I’m standing in a room with my eyes closed saying “I wish God would intervene in my life” and meanwhile there are open doors in the room with huge flashing arrows that say “this way dummy”. He’s opened doors and I’m too scared to go through them. Although I’m not sure if I’m happy now, I feel pretty safe and I think that keeps me from looks harder at the doors. A new career would be terrifying. What if I’m not accomplished enough to do what I want? What if I get rejected? A new relationship is even more terrifying, who is going to put up with me and my baggage? What if they break my heart or I break theirs? Nope, much safer to just sit in this room with my eyes closed… Through this blog I’ve talked about certain goals I have for becoming a better person. One major goal is to love on other people, especially those who are hurting. Another has been to do a better job of living this faith I claim to have. I think the third one has become to look for open doors. To ask God for guidance, to not to sit in a room with my eyes closed wondering where I’m supposed to go and to step through the doors when he opens them.

I don’t know if you’re still reading this blog (I don’t really know why you even started, but that is a topic for another day), but if you are I promise I will finish the story that led to “thesixtypercent”. In the meantime though, would you think with me about what it is you’re doing? Are you happy? If you’re not sure, lets look around and see what doors God has opened for us. Peek in and see where he might be leading us. If you are on that sure path, how’d you get there? How much do you still doubt? Your comments would be much appreciated.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

4 responses

  1. Best blog entry I’ve read in a while. Exactly what I needed–Thanks Josh!

    July 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  2. I think it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about seeing any doors. Right now my options are the lowest they’ve ever been. Yet, I still have a lot of possibilities.

    There’s the door that my heart aches to go through. It’s the door that I left the safety of my last job to push through. It’s the door that establishes a brutally honest community of friends pursuing what it means to follow Jesus. I was stepping through it when it suddenly slamming closed and broke my nose with news of my needing a liver transplant. More than anything I still want to go through it but I’m confused if it’s the right door for me. I feel like I’m still going to walk through it but just not right now. Like Paul wrote when he sat in a dank stone prison, I need to learn to be content no matter my circumstance. I believe it is door right (correct), but it is not door right-now as I wanted to be. Has God allowed me to be where I am right now because I have to finish this part well in order to move through that door? I really don’t know. I know I’m here for a reason although I’m not too happy about being here. Finishing this chapter is part of his plan for me, if I skip it I miss an important part of the story he’s writing in my life.

    There are several other doors; being a photographer, a web designer, working in an office, being a life coach, being a writer, going back into full-time church work, or just staying where I am.

    I think a couple of those doors are going to be included in my making it through the door I really want to go through. Maybe I have a couple of sets of French doors leading into the same room?

    It was a full four years before I left my last job when I got the itch to leave the room. I had no idea what room I wanted to go into, I just started getting a stirring knowing that leaving was in the future.

    It was like I was driving down the road with my hazard lights on just to warn people behind me that up ahead I was going to turn maybe left or maybe right but I just wanted them to be ready and know “something’s gonna happen.”

    Driving down that road was just a necessary part of the trip.

    I haven’t thought much about opportunities lately. Thanks for making me think.

    July 14, 2012 at 4:27 am

  3. Man, I do love me some auto-correct!

    July 14, 2012 at 4:38 am

  4. So we just recently had a message about open doors at our church, The River South, in Quincy, MA and I wanted to share the exact sermon with you but I’m not having much luck remembering what the title of the sermon was … but here’s a link to all the sermons … if you ever want to put it on as background noise, i think you really might like some of them: http://www.theriversouth.org/sermons?page=2

    July 18, 2012 at 3:13 am

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