I’m Still Standing

An act of betrayal, by design, can only be delivered by those we allow close to our hearts. Betrayal by definition requires exposing a disloyalty from a source that was otherwise trusted. Sheer hate and judgment from those in obvious opposition is a blow I brace for, bare my chest to, and I accept those attacks willingly and peaceably. It’s the unexpected, soft, subtle knife in the back driven with a smile, that drops a man to the ground. It’s a discrete, devious, deceitful blade that cannot be defended against or countered. Delivered from within your inner circle, the very people you stand to guard, it comes while your eyes are turned.  One tiny sweet piercing word is more effective than all the abhorrent stones hurled in repugnance by the hateful hoards a man could face. It is said that a crocodile may eat a man, but will not pretend to be his friend first.

When a person speaks from their heart, they have to be, on some level, prepared to face ridicule and judgment. The majority that says, “Tolerance is key” are intolerant to those that are not all inclusively tolerant, and simply possessing an unpopular opinion about something will absolutely not be tolerated. I see that coming when I write, and I welcome it. In fact, I need ridicule and hate from some portion of the world in order to know that the theme of my heart is still in Christ. When all the world loves me, I’ve gone astray. I, and others like me, prepare for this reaction. We anticipate it, we depend on it. How do you plan on betrayal?

In my heart, I’m a writer. It’s where my passion lies. I’m not a talented writer, I’m not a good writer, I’m an honest and all confessing writer, and maybe a bit neurotic and introverted. In our minds, there is a place where thoughts are developed. For most people, that place connects to our mouths. We think something, we say it. We converse, we respond, we chat, we tell each other what we think. Over time, we develop social skills, filters, and other devices. For some others, that place doesn’t connect to our mouths very well. Maybe it is a narrow passage, a broken passage. I love people, so I’m social in my own awkward way, it just doesn’t come easy to me. For me, and others like me, our thoughts connect better to our hands. Some of us have a hard time controlling our emotions, our thoughts shoot around in our minds with fierce ardency, but it simply doesn’t come out our mouths. Instead, we write, we paint, we play music, we communicate our thoughts and feelings through other means.

God knows my heart better than I know my own heart. I know one thing for sure people, I am flawed. But I know who I am, and where I am, and how I got here, and where I came from. I know the scars that my mistakes have marked me with. I can accept my mistakes as lessons learned, because even if I lacked faith, the alternative to acceptance would result in self destruction. I simply must accept. If I couldn’t forgive myself, I’d become bitter and cold, and hate myself. That hate would then be projected at the rest of the world as well. I’d be swapping a hand grenade for a malatov cocktail.

While I’m not the same person I was ten years ago, I don’t view my changes as progress, because I don’t grade myself on a curve. I don’t have my own standards that I use in order to tell myself, “wow, you’re a really good person!”  Or, “wow, you have really been a turd lately.” I’m just growing. I see myself as just a person, just as anyone else, walking a path. I come to forks, and I make choices, Jesus as my compass, and a bible in my hand.  The further I walk down this path, the fewer people I see walking around me, and it saddens me, but I must walk on. I make wrong turns, I get lost in the woods, but for the love of God, I try with all of my being, and with His help, to put myself back on the path that I know I should be on. Only God knows better than I, how many times I have gone astray, and the choices that led me there, and the shame I feel.

Some of you know me personally, some of you do not. If you’ve read many of my entries here, you know me well enough. I don’t hide much. I give it away, because it is what I possess to give. However, being honest earns people like me some nasty criticism. I’m fine with that, and I can accept that it comes from all directions, from in front and behind. So to anyone who would wish to judge me for what I say here, I offer some words. Judge me for who I am, who I once was, hold things against me that I can never take back or undo. I praise God that not all people agree with me.

 Just one thing, before you judge me for what I have shared in love, know this. These are my struggles. They are no lesser or greater than yours, but they are mine. I struggle to tears trying to make my actions match my words, and I fail! Regardless of how I’m viewed, I will continue to write from my heart, because if I change who I am because of who you are, then I have lost my individuality, and am no longer who I claim to be. So judge me, call me a hypocrite, turn you nose up to me. But understand that however long it took you to read this, I just spent two hours writing it, with tears in my eyes, just to convey the simple idea to you that not only are you right, but I agree with you. You are not my toughest critic, I am.

I have dozens of friends who love me and my family, friends who have become my family, and I am in a rock solid place.  I will have ups and downs, but I know the people who will always be there for me. I hope to God they know who they are.  So, anyone with a blade, cut me. Jesus still wins, and I rejoice in His name. Now I’m going to bed, you’ve worn me out. Good night, God bless.

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