Hey Guys! Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. I want to share with you about my own personal experiences in my pursuit of love and chasing after God. First I would like to address how difficult opening up can be for us men (especially in full blown public form eh?), but we need to overcome and see it through to the end, so we can spur each other on and carry each other through the battle ground. For me it was really hard to admit in the beginning that I was prideful, and that my pride kept getting in the way of my progress in my relentless pursuit of love, because I didn’t really understand what that meant. I never realized that there was different forms of pride and thinking that I could fix everything on my own was the biggest form I struggled with.
So after a lot of mistakes, and I mean A LOT! I realized that even though I had accepted Christ in my life, I was not fully giving Him all of my heart. There was that little piece that I kept holding onto just in case I needed to fix my problems on my own. I am going to be fully transparent with you, I want to share with you my various mistakes over the years of my marriage and how I wrongly tried to fix them without the help of God, so hopefully you will see and understand how Christ is now doing all the work in me; in my pursuit of Him, in the pursuit of my wife, and in the pursuit of leading our kids towards the love and life that only God can provide for them.
The biggest hurdle I have had to overcome has definitely been being fruitful with my life. In the book of John chapter 15 Jesus is saying that we didn’t choose Him, but that He chose us. He chose us and appointed us so that we can bear fruit that will last. After I accepted Christ I started helping out in church with the worship music or wherever else help was needed and soon I started to grow and mature. Before too long I was even delivering the word on Sunday mornings, and leading a young men’s Bible study. I thought things were going really well, and that I was bearing good fruit that would last, but in all reality I was slacking in the lasting good fruit department at home. I thought that I was doing a great job, I was working really hard to provide for my family, working in church, helping out around the house when I had time after work (which was really rare that I actually had time), spending time with the kids and trying to spend time quality time with my wife. Working 5 days a week 12+ hours a day didn’t leave a lot of quality time…time. I’m sure a lot of you can probably relate to that.
One day my wife Sherri gave me an ultimatum, either my actions started showing that I loved her and that I was pursuing God in a way that would lead our family, or she was going to leave me. Wow! Is all I could think because here I was thinking that I was actually doing a good job! Now here I am thinking to my self how was I failing! Immediately, I started to try to fix things on my own. Every time we would argue about something I was or wasn’t doing I would start to try to fix that one area. Fixing my eyes on that one area and trying to make it right, would cause me to slack in another. I turned to the help of the one friend who I knew would actually listen and help me. After I laid it all out to him what was going on he had one piece of advice;
“You need to focus your entire marriage around Christ. Don’t worry about the kids as much as you should your wife, and as your marriage grows and you follow Christ together your children will be drawn in to that along side of you.”
So I started to do just that, and in doing so, God moved us to move from Utah to Oregon. We let go of everything we didn’t absolutely need, and moved. The move lasted a few weeks. No joke. Thousands of miles and dollars in a matter of weeks and we were back in Utah living at my in-laws house with no job and no home, I was feeling even more like a failure than I ever had before, not even realizing that God finally had me where He wanted me. I had no where else to turn other-than straight to Him, I had finally found something that I couldn’t fix on my own. I also found in this trial the really meaning of being prideful, and what it meant to be fruitful.
It wasn’t about what I was doing outside of my home, but what I was doing inside of it… Inside our homes, in our marriages and in the lives of our children, that is where bearing fruit will last. I found that when we focus on things out side of our homes such as work or other avenues that take up our time, that is when we really start to fall into the temptations of the flesh.
It seems to me as men and with our prideful, manly ways, its not hard for us to not be able to fully connect the dots. We fix our eyes on our circumstance or on our role as provider for our families, and we take our eyes off of God, which in turn leads to sin and not bearing fruit. As I was connecting the dots with Gods leading, He provided a very good job for me, and then a place for us to live. With a little more time and a better connection with my family, He provided us an even better place to live, a job for my wife, a great church and an awesome Christian school for my two youngest kids to attend. Now things were really looking up for me!
All of this took a little over a year to come together after we had walked away from everything we once knew to pursue where we felt God was taking us. The hardest part for me, during that year was that I was not seeing the results or you could say the “fruit” of my labor. That was so discouraging in so many ways that inside it felt like it was killing me. The worst part of it was that my wife had no idea that I was keeping all of those feelings inside or what I was going through, she couldn’t tell. I was hiding it so well by still trying do different things to mend our relationship. The reason it was killing me inside was because I wasn’t sharing any of this with her or the one person I should’ve been which was God. Even though He knows all the thoughts of our hearts I wasn’t actually saying it to Him, so in turn I was not allowing Him to help.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, I got a job offer to move back to the place (Egypt or our spiritual desert as we call it) where all of this had first started. We were literally coming full circle, and it made no sense. After praying about it, I felt like God was saying yes we are suppose to move back. I took the job offer without coming to an agreement about it with my wife and started the moving process.This caused my marriage and my family to start falling back apart which once again caused that feeling of failing all over again.*Insert L on forehead here*
After the move my wife opened up to me about how in this place (the desert) I am a different man, and how she missed the man I had become prior. Woah! That really caused me to take a step back and say how did i miss all of that? How did I miss how happy she was and how great I was doing with the kids? How did I let a job offer blind me to what we had become? So i opened up to her about the way i was feeling, the discouragement, the anger and the frustration of thinking I was doing the right thing for our family, but it was only causing strife. I have never opened up to her or to anyone for that matter all the personal feelings I shared with her that day.
She suggested that I start writing a blog to share my experiences and struggles in hopes of helping others through theirs. When I finally took the steps to do so, God ripped down the door and showed me in the most humbling way that this whole time I was missing the fruit of my labor!
During the maybe 6 month time frame that I was actually doing things right (and plainly missing it) I was leaving my wife little love notes in random places everyday or I would write on her mirror something special a couple times a week to let her know how amazing she really is, and how much I love her. *Now to the part about the door being ripped down… Also, during that time and even up to now our kids write us little notes or even write on our mirrors too, but I just thought that it was cute and sweet. Then, about a week ago my 6 year old little man wrote me a message on my bathroom mirror, it was a picture of two people that he had labeled dad & Dax Under the picture he wrote I love you so so much!
And that’s when I felt God say “See what you were doing and who I created you to be inside is teaching your kids how to really love some one.” That hit me so hard and opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking! God was moving in a way that I never even gave a second thought to, it was just something I did, and it was bearing the image of Christ and the fruit of pursuing him to my kids.
I would encourage you to look into your own lives for the bearing of the image of Christ and the fruit of your labor taking hold. It might be in places that you never expected, or that just look like something ordinary. So take that extra moment as some would say “To stop and smell the roses”.
I hope that you will continue to walk with me as I share with you the different things God has shown me about myself so that I can in turn be used in those experiences to help others who might be going through the same things for His glory.
I would love to connect with you and pray for, or with you, just leave me a comment or hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.
Always remember to relentlessly pursue the love of God and your family!!