What a caring e-mail. It is representative of what many have written me and have expressed in person and on their blogs.
"I guess I was asking, if you care to share, how you're doing with all of that, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, your family. I hope you're hanging in there, and feeling okay about your lot in life, hard as it is....."
Well, here's the answer. For those of you who hate blog posts that talk too much about a person's life and woes, you can hurry and just move on to another post further down the page.
It has been quite difficult. I fear that I may die. And it isn't about me that I fear. It is for my children, and in particular, my little 8-yr old boy Trey. He is at this stage in life where he needs me--he needs a man to direct his ornery nature in the right direction. He and his mom are always going at it (he is not very respectful of her these days), but he looks up to me and listens intently to my direction. He is struggling with figuring out how to yield to the Lordship of Christ...he is very selfish by nature but wants desperately not to be that way.
What if I am not here?
I also worry tremendously about my wife raising three children alone. She is a remarkable woman. What she has been through would break others, and yet she has remained strong and steadfast (glory be to God!). But that does not mean that she wouldn't struggle if I were not to survive this coming surgery.
Lastly (and I know cognitively that this least important, but emotionally it has been a great burden), I am struggling with feelings of, for a lack of a better term, directlessness. Before this happened, my life seemed going in a wonderful direction:
- I had found a ministry in the CCO as Area Director that matched my gifts and passions (I got to lead, manage, develop, train, and mentor campus ministers as they are reaching the current college generation with the gospel of the Kingdom of God).
- This ministry had opened an opportunity to teach at a local Christian college (where I could use the gifts God's Spirit has given me to teach, mentor, and engage in critical thinking in order to shape a group of young people).
- I saw my role on the web grow and expand as I was having about 2,000 - 3,000 readers a month here at the blog.
- I thought we could find a local church in which I could help in local ministry with a holistic gospel message.
Fortunately, I can still sit here and read and study and write my thoughts about stuff on the blog. It has been a wonderful thing to dialogue with you folks about very interesting topics. Thanks for your friendship (people who don't blog don't get it--but it's a whole lot of fun to create these friendships with people in the blog world. It's like a coffee shop where everybody sits and thinks deeply about things and talks. My favorite thing to do!)
But since my heart problems, all the other things have suffered greatly. I have not been able to develop my CCO ministry like I have wanted (not even close!), I have given up two semesters of teaching (and wonder if the window of opportunity at the college has closed), and my family has been unsuccessful in finding a local church.
But God is good.
Linda and I remember and repeat the favorite passages that got us through the first time. Here's one:
Have no fear of sudden disaster
__or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be your confidence
__and will keep your foot from being snared. (Prov 3:25-26)