The dim sounds of my dogs chewing their food and the foreground sound of the new A Hope For Home cd, “In Abstraction”, sets the soundtrack for the evening at hand. My feet are warm but not comfortable. My knee is burning with pain, but it is not unbearable. My stomach churns but is not upset (well, its more of a small hissy-fit). Anyway you look at it, I did not plan tonight; I did not plan this last year. I thought I would be out driving on winding roads and finding something exciting to do, but I am neither driving nor doing something exciting. Instead of talk mindlessly with no end destination, give this a watch.
About one year and one month ago, I moved back to Syracuse, New York after a brief time of staying with my parents down here in Pennsylvania while trying to save money. Although my motives for moving back to Syracuse were well-meaning and hopeful, the last year has been toilsome and if anything, a pure battle. I was talking with my friend David late last Monday night and I mentioned something about feeling like ever since I’ve moved back to Syracuse, I’ve been in the biggest spiritual battle of my life. I’ve definitely had the darkest times in my life occur in the last calendar year. There have been blessings through it all and there have been hurts that have not been laid before the Healer yet. David agreed with me that there is something about Syracuse that weighs heavy on the soul and deserves the sharpest of heavenly swords. There is something about Syracuse that has stolen my heart and in the same motion left me paralyzed. Back in September, an opportunity came by my way for me to meet the guys and girls in Enemy Opposition and develop a friendship with them. They had just moved their home base to Nashville and that was heavenly to my ears! Nashville… oh, Nashville! Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to move to Nashville. I know that it’s because they have the best music scene and an awesome city to ride my bike in, but there was more that captivated me. It’s possible that it was how it reminded me of Pennsylvania, the only place I will ever call home. I don’t know why, but Nashville. At the very thought of having an “in” to this city in a big way, I made my decision; I wanted to get the hell out of Syracuse as soon as possible. Syracuse is no doubt an awesome city and I love that my familiarity with it is proof that I care about my surroundings, but it has been crushing me to no end. I fear that if I stay, it will be the end of me and how could anyone wish for that ending?
By the grace of God though, I signed a lease. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not been in a lease, I would have quit my job, moved back to Pennsylvania to save money and been finding a place to live in Nashville as soon as humanly possible. That decision would have been impulsive and wrong in so many ways. Jonah, hold that boat, I’m ready to be a cast away. There is something beautiful in the way that God molds us and while I wish to be whole, I must be broken in the way that I have made my life from my own hands. I know that there is a reason that I have to wait until nearly June or July before I have the ability to move freely and I know that God is stirring my heart for that time. These last two weeks of the year have provided clarity that somehow explains the whole year. I don’t understand it, but God has been calling my name and I am letting myself listen. He has given my heart desires that are far more grand then I believe my hands are capable of and that gives me hope that they are His. It gives me hope that Christ is my connection with the Father and we have a bond that is holy, no matter how unholy I am. I believe that I have been left in Syracuse to face my demons. The very battle I sought to flee, I have been commanded to dig in deeper and move the Kingdom forward. I am scared, but knowing that there is a battle inside my heart and out my front door is the very first step in victory. I have great things to learn when it comes to being a human and part of society, but even greater things when it comes to building the Kingdom and being a son of the Father. I need wisdom and I need encouragement. My days can grow weary and my stance sloppy.
Father make me a fighter.