Out of self-rejection – new year’s thoughts

A new year is upon us, and I thought it was time to sit and jot down some thoughts about what’s been going on, what is going on, and what I hope will happen in 2012.

To start with the latter first, maybe I should explain the title of this blog entry a bit. My dream for 2012 is to write a book! I want to write a book about how Jesus sets us free from self-rejection to live as people who experience true freedom. I have most of the book in my head. I have lots of thoughts of chapters about brokenness, suffering, self-embrace, etc. I hope I’ll be able to sit down and get it down on paper. I’m terribly nervous about this project. Who on earth would want to read a book that I write? Does that even matter? Is there really a need for a book about these realities? Won’t it just drown with all the other books being published every day? Do I have what it takes to write it? Lots of questions, and I’m okay just letting the questions be there. That’s part of self-acceptance too. To be okay with doubt and fear. Maybe, just maybe, these realities aren’t the opposite of faith. Maybe I can embrace myself in my doubt and fear. Because I know that Jesus does. Anyway, I’m excited about this dream. I have several books I want to write. And I somehow feel released to pursue the first one this year.

My beautiful wife Jeannette is 38 weeks pregnant so at any point our baby will join us and revolutionize our world. I have loved seeing the baby grow inside of Jeannette. I have loved experiencing the gentle journey out of fear and dread into hope and excitement that Jesus has had both Jeannette and I on. I have loved feeling accepted and received at all stages of this journey. I have loved watching Jeannette fall in love with the baby in a way that I can’t even begin to imagine or express. The link of love between my wife and our baby is already unbelievable. I am excited to hold our little miracle in my arms. I’m scared and nervous when I think about so many aspects of parenting. In particular the financial side of things scare me. We live on financial support from friends and family members who support the ministry Jesus is doing through us. How will we survive? I don’t know. But I cling faithfully to the promise Jesus has given me that “he will pay the postage”. We are a letter from Jesus about life, freedom and self-acceptance, and that letter won’t stop being read just because we have a baby. The letter might get a different audience. The letter might change some of its content. But the sender of the letter, Jesus, is the same. And he has promised that he will continue to take care of us. I rest in that as a father to be. I can’t wait to be a father. I am excited about the relationship with our baby. We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. And we will be happy either way. We are just excited to be able to invite a new, beautiful person into our family. We are excited to love, live and learn together all three of us. I know Jesus has much he will teach me through this baby. I know I will become a different person and more authentically the Torben I was created to be through this child. I can’t wait.

2011 started out in darkness. We were mourning the loss of our first baby who was lost to us in a long, drawn out nightmare of a miscarriage in the last months of 2010. Tears flowed freely. Darkness surrounded us. And we journeyed with Jesus through that valley of the shadow of death. I didn’t like it. I hated it. Pain was real. Hopelessness was tempting. And yet, I always knew that Jesus knew what he was doing. I didn’t agree with his ways in the midst of the pain and struggles. I still don’t think it was the best way. And that’s okay too. Jesus is, thankfully, very untroubled by my lack of agreement with his plans.

What will happen this year? I have little to no clue. And that’s okay. I am excited to continue my personal journey with Jesus. I’m a different person January 2012 than I was January 2011. There is more fruit in my life. There is more freedom. There is more real honesty. Not the middle-finger-to-the-world-attitude to everybody that passes as honesty today. Not cynicism that I thought for years was real honesty. But real honesty and transparency taught to me by Christ himself. He has overwhelmed me with his acceptance in the midst of my mess. Even in the midst of my sin. He has laughed with me when I’ve screwed up. He has smiled when I’ve lied. This sounds wrong to religious ears. This will be covered more in my book 🙂 But this is, also, how Jesus is! Sin is off the table between Jesus and me. He will never bring sins up against me, and I don’t have to either. I am truly free. I have loved seeing how mercy continues to overtake my life. How the mercy and compassion of Christ is flowing more and more freely through me. Some interpret it as weakness. I know it’s strength. I have loved experiencing more in 2011 than ever before that being a person of mercy and compassion doesn’t take anything away from the passion, strength, directness, and plain old cutting-through-the-crap that Jesus has also given me as parts of my character. Jesus was 100% authentically himself both when he touched the sick, played with the children AND when he attacked people for being sons of Satan and when he cleared out the temple with a home-made whip. There is no separation. It’s all authentic. And I’ve been allowed to see more of that in my own life. And I have fun with it! I have more fun being myself!

Thus I embark on a new leg of the journey. It’s called 2012. I don’t know what will happen. Will there be more smiles than tears this year? I hope so. But I don’t know. And I choose to rest in that Jesus knows exactly what he is doing in and through me.

Happy New Year!

Love, Torben

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