Since my last post I have been in some deep thinking. Examining my life to this current point and looking back at my decisions with the 20/20 vision of hindsight is interesting and disturbing all at the same time. As an only child who was sheltered I was definitely a child in the ways of the world. In many ways I was not taught how to make a good decision or how to take the leadership role (which is kinda ironic since my father owns his own business and is a politician).
There were moments in high school that I should have noticed the gap there. Like when I was on an exchange trip to Germany and began drinking heavily and smoking. I had no idea how “hold my own” and take charge of myself. I was “trained” to be a follower. My father required obedience and my mother always did what he wanted and never stood up to him for fear of rocking the boat. And I can recall a few times we both should have stood up for ourselves. This is not to say that my father or mother are bad people but it is the way it is.
This issue of not knowing myself or following my own path continued into college and my marriage to the woman of my dreams. I am still not sure how someone so caring, so intelligent, so lovely, so beautiful, so wonderful would fall in love with me. It still amazes me to this day and I thank God for her daily. She has been an absolute blessing to me more than words could ever express.
I am recognizing these shortcomings in my behavior now. I am noticing where I have been selfish. I am realizing where my indecision has caused unnecessary pain and strife. I recognize where I have not followed Christ’s example and loved with my whole heart. I see now, ever so clearly, how my actions or inaction have caused others pain. Some wounds are deeper than others but I never meant to do them. and I thank God for His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others.
I am realizing all of this as we are entering into the Orthodox Church. I have attended churches my whole life but never felt at home. Never felt comfortable with the theology…Always felt like something was missing. Coming into Orthodoxy has shown me what I was missing and has really pressed on me the importance of what Christ has done for me and how it is important to follow Him closely. It has taught me life is a journey and what matters most in life is my relationship with God and my family.
This journey of “growing up” has been a scary experience. It honestly is scary to realize that I have not been who I should have and that I need to move on and change. The uncertainty is what is scary and yet exciting. Putting my trust in God and His guidance is all I can do. I need to change, I will change. With the Lord’s help I will walk closer to God, I will love my Beloved the way she deserves, I will be the father my children deserve, I will make wise decisions, and I will grow into the man God wants me to be.
Here are some verses that have been on my mind:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. ~ Song of Solomon 2:16
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; ~Ephesians 5:25
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh ~Genesis 2:24
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5
He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. ~ Proverbs 13:20