Real Talk

Real Talk

In this process that is transitioning to full-time mission work, things got a lot more real today.

It started this afternoon when Lee and I met with our realtor. Referred by my new boss, our realtor Jeff was very nice and we found him to be confident and personable. After we showed him around the house, we sat down to discuss the details of the house, what additional work needs to be done in order to list it, what the right price point is for the house (given various factors), and the expectations Lee and I should have in terms of timelines and processes.

The experience was informative and eye-opening. On some aspects, Lee and I were right on with what we thought the answer would be, and Jeff’s concurrence was reassuring. On other points, however, Lee and I were way off. So it was a bit of a learning experience, and one we can step through with confidence knowing Jeff has our best interests in mind.

A couple of hours later, we fielded a call from my aforementioned new boss and we discussed the missionary agreement the non-profit put together for us, as well as a possible option for living accommodations in the Dominican Republic. It was a constructive and informative conversation, and one that has brought us one step closer to the reality of becoming full-time missionaries.

After it was all said and done, I took a moment to process it all. Selling the house, moving out, finding an interim solution until we can move to Samaná, and figuring out all the logistics and timelines of actually getting to the D.R. For the first time since we thought about making the move into mission work with Advocates of Love, I felt the weight of this new reality bear down on me. For the first time, I had to take a deep breath and deliberately remind myself to trust God.

It’s not hard to trust God. It’s hard to remember to trust God. And for now, that is what I must do: remember to trust in Him. I know this is a process, and I know I cannot determine all the answers myself. Instead, I will pray for continued patience and wisdom, and I will lean on the words of Proverbs 16:9.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.

– Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

My Voice

I’m so bad at conflict. Getting called out, being put on the spot, having to defend my position; it’s all a water slide to a deep pool of uncomfortableness. Still, there’s growth in those challenging moments. There’s something to be learned about hearing myself present my arguments. I oftentimes realize that what makes sense in my head is not so clear as I try to verbalize it to someone else.

And then there’s the emotion. It’s like a Doberman Pincher in a junkyard, trained to maul and attack the first thing it sees. Learning to keep my emotions in check in times of disagreement has been the toughest challenge of all. And it’s hard for me, when I feel my words and logical thought processes are falling upon deaf ears, to not throw my hands up in frustration and just walk away. I feel like Clarence in Coming to America:

I really used to worry about what someone might think of my writing. I really used to worry about having to censor myself because my audience continued to expand . Yes, I’ve caught myself editing out controversial items. Yes, I’ve changed language or tone or syntax because I took into consideration how others may interpret what I am saying. To me, that’s part of the self-editing process of a writer, ensuring the subject is not so narrow that no one will enjoy reading it. But in the end, I always fall back on a brief conversation I had with a friend of mine from Church. He told me, “Don’t change a thing. You have a voice. Don’t be afraid to use it.”

A voice. My voice. And as small and miniscule as my online reach may be, I have the opportunity to speak my mind and advocate for those who cannot. I have the opportunity to, in my own little way, affect change and help make a difference. This is my voice and these are my words, words that are fueled by my experiences and the passion in my heart.

I used to think my writing was just for me. However, be it on the pages of this blog or on any other site to which I may contribute, I’m reminded tonight that my writing is not always just for me. I may be a flawed messenger, and I may get destroyed by others in the arena of debate, but these are my words ….. and they aren’t going away.

025/365 K.O.’d

You ever have one of those nights where you wrap up your workday, grab a bite for dinner on your way home, arrive at your humble abode, and then proceed to simply pass out? That was my night last night, and that is why I didn’t have a post (until just now).

One of the drawbacks from falling asleep early is that I tend to wake up … and stay up … in the middle of the night. This means I’m channel surfing until my eyelids get heavy and I fall back to sleep. Yet, something interesting happened as I perused the 1500 channels my video service provider offers.

Now … I don’t know who does the informational summaries for Verizon FiOS, but whoever it is needs to check IMDB before they do.