A snapshot of my inner world

Most blogs from people in Christian ministries are teaching tools where they start with a question they ponder, or that they know other people think about, and then they talk about it, include some God-stuff and wrap it up neatly with a bow at the end. I’ve thought about writing like that. I guess I wish I could. I guess I wish that would be true to me. True to what’s going on in my life. Alas, it’s not. Far from it. I’m a teacher, but I teach from my mess. I teach in the midst of my mess. I know no other way.

I thought about posting an update about how I’m doing on Facebook, and I chickened out. Afraid of peoples’ comments. Afraid of being put on a pedestal for being honest. Afraid of hearing empty clichés with zero power to help me or anybody else. So I thought I would share something of how I’m doing out here in my little corner of cyber space where I can write whatever I want, and whoever reads it can take it for what it is.

Life is tough right now. Tremendously tough. If I were to give a snapshot of my inner world, these are some of the thoughts and feelings I run into a lot these days:

Worries. Lots of worries. I come from a family line of worriers. Not warriors, but worriers. My grandad was a worrier. My dad is a worrier. It’s something that’s in my blood. It’s a temptation that’s always present. It’s easy to worry about the future, and right now, where we have zero certainty and endless unanswered questions about our immediate future, it’s particularly easy to worry. “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere“, someone semi-philosophic wrote. It’s obviously true. But it doesn’t change the fact that I worry a lot about the future these days. And there is plenty of real reason to worry. We don’t have a place to stay, when we move back to Marietta, Georgia, USA at the end of July, and will we be able to find something that we can afford? We don’t have anything to drive at this point either. We don’t have a bed to sleep in or a table to eat at. We don’t have the financial support we need for our immediate and long-term future, and so far our renewed support raising efforts have been almost completely fruitless. It’s desperately discouraging and sends me into many dark thoughts and feelings that include anger, resentment, hurt, loneliness, confusion. And some more confusion and some more worries….

Frustrations. Frustrations that Jeannette and I can’t seem to talk through the things we need to talk through. We don’t seem as apt at conversing as we normally are. We misunderstand each other. We jump to conclusions that are not right. We both have lots of hurts to work through before we move to the States again. Old wounds have resurfaced. And we struggle to help each other the way we normally do. The pressure in our home is high. “Won’t we just go to Marietta and fall into another empty, lonely, frustrated hole with no money, limited future prospects and few deep relationships?” is one of the questions lingering under the surface.

Tiredness. Not just tiredness from being a dad of a (wonderful) 15 month old toddler who struggles to sleep through the night, and who was sick for three weeks in a row recently. But also tiredness from trying to finish up my last semester of university. I feel stretched like too little Nutella on too much bread. And it will keep going like this the next couple of months.

Confusion. Confusion about my calling. Isn’t my calling crystal-clear? It seems to be clear to me, but it’s as if it’s still not happening. Still I run into walls. Walls of a lack of support, both humanly speaking and financially. Walls of a lack of opportunities. Walls of being misunderstood and seen as someone I’m not.

Irritation. Irritation that it’s so hard for me to rest as I walk through this corner of the valley of the shadow of death. I oughta know better. I’ve been here so many times before. I know this too shall pass. Somehow. And I know who I am in Christ. And I know the truths about who Jesus really is. I know I’m okay with Jesus no matter what I do, say, think or feel. And yet, I can’t rest very well. I struggle. And I get even more tired and frustrated and angry.

Hope. There are feelings of hope. Indeed there are. Not based on anything in my circumstances right now. But hope that God somehow knows what he is up to. And hope that he hasn’t left us alone. I feel alone, but I know I’m not.

I had to end on a slightly brighter note. Because that’s the truth. The other stuff feels a lot more real, and my thoughts agree with my feelings. There are times where I wish I only felt a few feelings, and only thought a little, and typically landed on simple statements of truth. Again, I’m not created like that. I feel feelings deeper than most. Hurt deeper than most. Experience glorious joys deeper than most. I guess the whole “than most” is irrelevant to write. It’s not a competition. No-one wins. And we can’t trade with each other anyway.

‘Till next time.


1 Response to “A snapshot of my inner world”

  1. 1 rob
    May 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    HI Torbin

    I cant tell you how I would agree with your teaching method! I believe God has given us a chance to change our lives when we take Him as our Saviour. But when he transforms the brokenness into something which we can take and share with others, we teach from that our experience which we would call our testimony. Our lives restored is by the Grace of God – and that in itself is more powerful than the best teachers out there – except for Jesus of course.

    I saw your situation – and I thought to myself – How close are my experiences to yours. I was in a bike accident at the end of Jan this year – and broke my wrist. I just started at a new job and was there for two weeks! Needless to say – even though it was an injury on duty – my employer was not registered. His business practice came out to be sketchy and I resigned. Being from South Africa – this is not a good idea as unemployment is high and finding a job is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

    I moved to another area with family and now, still unemployed – I realise one thing: I do not believe in coincidences – I had to move but it would have not been on my own choice. God is moving people around – and we have to be working through our own difficulties in trusting Him or having faith for what He has planned for us.

    It is not easy. I had the suicidal thoughts going through my mind – and lets say a very hard time living with my family – but God said He will not abandon us – So I have faith there is a reason for everything happening to us, however small or big it is. But I know God wants to hear how we feel about this and how he can make our lives a bit easier – yes, not all of our prayers are answered – but I know that he blesses those who are faithful in the times of trouble.

    I trust He was a plan for you – and your move is for a divine reason. And I think if that is the case, we should be at peace while knowing that He is and always been in control..

    Even though I do not have a job and have no more savings left – I trust He will provide for me soon. I will do what He asks me to do without worrying – cause He has provided in the past – and that is where I look for my faith – He provided before – He will do it again..

    Not easy – but what we do not see is what is put into refining us! WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS!!!

    Blessings to you….

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