(originally posted march 2, 2009)
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. Part of that is I haven’t taken the time to write. The other part is I mainly write stuff when I’m laying in bed right before I go to sleep. My laptop’s been broken so I haven’t been able to do that. Instead of one theme to write about, I thought I’d just give an update of what all’s been going on with me. Read if you want. Don’t read if you want. Doesn’t matter to me. I’ll go ahead and warn you it’s rather long but I think there are some good things in here that some of you would be better off reading.
School’s going awesome. I know I’ve said that before but I truly love school more than I ever have before. My classes are great. My professors are even better. It just feels good. Everything with my classes feels right, like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I have a complete peace about them. I don’t mind reading for class. I don’t mind doing the work. It’s weird. I’m not complaining at all though.
Lately, I’ve started giving myself 30 minutes to an hour at the end of my day for quiet time. It’s something I always knew was my weak part spiritually and I’ve challenged myself to do it. Yeah, I’ve missed it on a couple nights, but I’ve been pretty good about it. Some nights I’ll use it to do some reading for school. Some nights I’ll break out my Bible and read some in there. Then I spend a while just talking to God. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always said my prayers before bed. They were normally basic and really became routine. The way I’m doing it now is I’m just sitting back and talking to God. We’re having a conversation. It’s great. Every night I fall asleep talking to the dude who made me. That’s kinda awesome.
One of the best parts about this whole thing is how the pieces of this huge puzzle called life have been coming together. I’ve been raised in church. I graduated from a Christian university. I’m even in seminary. I’ve always heard about the way God worked and how prayers have been directly answered basically on the spot. I knew all of this was possible. I believed in it. Believing it and experiencing it are two completely different things. Seeing God answer a question that you had is quite possibly one of the best things you’ll experience.
A couple weeks ago, I got in touch with Brentwood’s student pastor. I told him I was wanting to get involved with the youth, serving, and all of that good stuff. We met, I went to one of the youth meetings, and then a week later I was told they didn’t need me to serve with the youth. I said, “Alright, God, what’s up? I wasn’t expecting that.” I go home that weekend and I’m over at my grandparent’s house and my grandpa mentions Central Church of God. Central is one of the best churches in North Carolina. I thought it’d be awesome to get on down there so I said I’d call them when I got back to school the next week. That Tuesday, this dude comes and teaches my youth class for Dr. Wheeler. He was the lead pastor at this new church in Bedford that met at the YMCA. I thought it’d be cool to check out, but never really thought much of it. A couple days later, I called down to Central and had to leave a voicemail. That weekend, I went ahead and went to Brentwood. It was a great service, I loved it. A couple days after that, I e-mailed Central just to check on things because I hadn’t received a call back. That night I sat down and talked to God and basically said, “Hey, I’m trying to do what you want me to do. I want to live this thing out. Brentwood didn’t work out. It wasn’t what you wanted. That’s cool. If this Central thing is what’s right, let me know. If not, open a door for me. I’m going to be looking for that door, just crack it for me so I can get in.” The very next day I get into work and no more than five minutes later I get a call from Central. They said they didn’t have anything open. Alright, cool. So, uh, God, I’m still looking for that crack. Two hours later, I go to class and there’s that dude from that church in Bedford. He’s teaching my Evan class now. That’s two classes in two weeks. Needless to say, I went to church there this morning. We’ll see how it goes from here, but I’ve got a good feeling about it.
That’s just one example. There’s another one I wanna share with you guys. I was really apprehensive telling anyone about this but after telling Jaymie tonight, I thought it’d be something that some of you might need to hear/think about. I’m not telling you this for you guys to think I’m some great person because in all actuality, I’m not. I’m not trying to get Jesus points for sharing this or anything like that. I just think some of you might want to read about this and think it over.
I never knew what love your enemy as yourself meant until lately. When I had that conversation with God, I had my list of people that I prayed for every single day. I mentioned them all by name and spent a little time praying for each one of them. So I’m laying here in bed, chillin out with God. We’re having this great conversation, things are going good. Then Ashley pops in my head. Wait, what? C’mon God, we were doing good, why’d you bring this up? I’ve cut those ties. I wanna get past that. Let’s go talk about something else. That wasn’t the plan apparently. It was basically God telling me hey, pray for her. Um, ok? So I did. I sat there praying for the person who hurt me more than anyone I’ve ever met. I started out thinking that I’d just say some quick, 30 second prayer for her. Five or ten minutes later I’m still praying for her and I’ve got this peace inside me that I hadn’t felt since we broke up. I wasn’t praying for us to get back together. I wasn’t praying for God to take the feelings away. I wasn’t praying to forget about her. I had prayed all of that stuff before and none of it worked. Instead, I was praying for her as a person. I have no clue what’s going on in her life right now. I don’t know if things are good, bad, whatever. I don’t know if she needed someone to pray for her that night or the nights after that when I did. I just know my heart was open and I did what I was told and I was rewarded with the peace I’ve been searching for over the past few months. I realized that if I could pray for the person who caused me the most pain, and truly mean the stuff I was saying, that I would finally be on the road to true forgiveness. I once told her that I thought if you truly loved someone, that love never goes away, it just changes. For a while I wondered if that was a lie. Now I’m starting to realize that what I said was really true. There’s a type of love that we’ve got through God that is now taking over and starting to take the place of that other type of love.
I’m still having to play Marco Polo with God. There’s a lot of stuff that’s being thrown my way and finding what is from Him and what isn’t can be tough at times. I’ve got a job interview sometime this week. It was supposed to be tomorrow (Monday). I felt really apprehensive about it. It would be a great job if I got it. I would be more financially stable and it would really help out. I’m just not sure if it’s what is right. I’ve been praying about it and trying to find out what’s from God and what’s not. I like to think God has a sense of humor, because right now there’s a couple inches of snow on the ground outside with a few more inches coming overnight that’s going to cancel the interview tomorrow. I think that might be my answer to that prayer. We’ll see though.
I may be “preaching” for the first time at the end of the month. My grandpa wants me to speak at our youth service at church at home and he thinks he wants me to do it this month but isn’t sure. I’m not nervous or anything like that. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve been running from it for so long that it’s kinda cool to start to embrace it. Yeah, you read that right. I’m starting to embrace this whole ministry thing. Still haven’t figured out completely what I’m gonna be doing but I’m starting to. The past month or two has been the most fun ride I’ve ever had. The happiness I had with Ashley has been replaced by this joy of knowing I’m living the way I’m supposed to and walking down the path I’m supposed to be.
I know this has been the churchiest note I’ve ever written on here but it’s what’s been going on lately. I’m done running. I’m done fighting God and trying to change his mind. This is me. This is who I’ve always been. This is the part that I hid forever. I gotta say, I kinda like letting it out. Being able to combine Jonathan and SuperJon is what I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m finally starting to figure out how to do that. Hopefully something in here spoke to you a little bit. If you’re running from God, just stop. It’s not worth it. Believe me. If you’re holding some type of grudge against someone, take it to God. Pray for em. Live out all this stuff that you’ve been taught in school and church. Believe me, being a Christian’s a lot more fun when you do it that way.
It’s now 12:16 in the AM and you’ve been listening to Perspectives.
Say your prayers and take your vitamins.
Have a nice day.