Tag Archives: Doubt

March 12th, 2008

I wrote this to Brenda but I can’t remember if I actually sent it to her or not. If I didn’t: Brenda, you need to know that the spirit behind this (even though it sounds quite melancholy) is really more peaceful resignation, like finally surrendering to sleep in the early hours of the morning after a long night with a sick child. It’s a welcome thing.

Today, (November of 2010) it reminds me of the thoughts I have about Jesus, who resisted only one thing: evil, and in everything else accepted (peaceful resignation) what the Father gave him. (John 5:19)

I translated the idea of the “monkey trap” http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/monkey_trap

into song lyrics that I hope someday to set to music.

Let me cut the suspense, start at the end and then start over with the details:

I’m not leaving. I’m not quitting. But I am going to “give up”. I surrender.

After more than a year and half, I’m exhausted, and I know you are too, so one of us has to quit or we’re going to ruin our children and the potential that comes if God works a miracle.

It’s been a long battle of attrition, fighting to get the intimacy that I want, that I believe we are supposed to experience, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s never going to happen. I’ve felt this way for some time, but in the last few weeks as I feel myself being pulled into a season of battle again. I realize nothing has changed on the most fundamental levels. There are still secrets, there is still little trust, and next to no understanding of one another’s needs.

As I laid in bed this morning, yet again, finding no honest way to span the gap between us that won’t require me to die to who I truly am…I considered writing down the history of how we’ve arrived here in this place. I sit here now, going back and forth on whether I should travel that road yet again, and I’m unsure.

After Mondays argument, (when I brought my best work to the issue…doing/being everything I know I should do/be) and still no movement, no progress, no change, I sat on the bed for 10 minutes hitting my own head and repeating the phrase: “It’s never going to happen. It’s never going to happen. It’s never going to happen.”

It’s like we’re both caught in a monkey trap…your fist clenched around some “prize” inside a jar. As long as you hold on to it, you can’t pull it (or your hand) free of the jar. The jar is chained to an anchor, so you can’t leave. You just sit and wait for the hunter to come and get you. But the truth is that if you just let go of the prize inside (that you can never have anyway)….you can walk away with your freedom.

For me…I’m clinging to the prize of truly winning you someday; of someday really having your trust and openness; of having you shower me with the reward of yourself; of saying to me…”I’m scared, but you’ve won me over. You’ve proved yourself…you have acquired enough “credit” to win my trust and I open myself to you…”

I LOOOOOOONGGGG to experience something like that.

I know…you would say that this has already happened.

I don’t know how to respond to that anymore. All I CAN say is: I don’t believe that’s true.

There’s more.

But the point of this particular letter is: Somehow…my desire for intimacy with you has turned into a very selfish need on my part. It’s become corrupted. It started in a beautiful, wholesome place 2 years ago. But it’s become a battle now. Now it’s just a fight I don’t want to lose. It’s at least to SOME extent about me getting what I want as it is about wanting you’re freedom.

I’m so sorry for that.

And so…right, wrong or indifferent, I’m letting go of the prize. I know I’ve already bruised it with my efforts to yank it free…and I don’t want to crush it all-together…that would just be wrong. Finesse hasn’t worked any better than brute force, and simply waiting for …well, SOMETHING to change is resulting in resentment.

So I’m letting go. I’m dropping it, I’m pulling my hand free of the trap, and I’m letting the prize drop.

The truth is: it feels like love is dead. To drop it, leaves me feeling nothing.

But which is better:

  • To leave the prize intact, un-touched, feeling nothing, but allowing for a miracle?


  • To continue yanking, manipulating, grasping and strategizing, thereby eventually crushing it altogether?

What would Sam do?

January 3rd, 2008

It’s been a while. I’m un-sure why I have felt no compulsion or desire to write lately. There is an after-taste of apathy in my soul. There have been some real high times (my new job, vision, music, dreams of co-housing, etc) and some seemingly normal times with Brenda.

But recent events have also exposed that I am still mired in self. It seems I have made little progress from the time of my first entry in this journal: September 2003. Almost 5 years. It feels like I’ve gone in circles, slightly expanding circles, yes, but the distance from where I started 5 years ago to where I stand now is a tiny fraction of the distance I have actually traveled. At first, I pictured a swirl shape, beginning from the center and moving outward. But then I pictured it in three dimensions, as a cone with each successive turn around the center not just moving away from that center laterally, but also moving UP and away from that center vertically; like a spiral staircase that slowly widens as it rises.

Perhaps things ARE different. Perhaps the path to transformation is not (to paraphrase Lewis) tried and found wanting, but found difficult and not tried. I just have to keep trudging.

(I don’t recall the circumstances that lead to calling for help, but I remember something happened between Brenda and I that threatened to drag me backwards to the other side of the valley, where I had been months before. I called in three of my dearest and trusted friends who rode up beside me. I call them my “Personal Board of Directors’)

When my “board of directors” came over the other night to save me from ruining everything, one of the key themes I heard from them was “it’s getting better…it will continue to get better.” That’s just so hard to FEEL..but that  little vision of “spiral staircase” the helps me.

Thanks God.

I am now in day three of what I plan to be a 28 day fast. I don’t know if I can make it. I don’t know if I’m supposed to make it. This morning, the sense of waiting for God to feed me was powerful again. I haven’t felt that in a while. It was good. My hope, my prayer is that like any other addict, 28 days without my “stuff” will serve as a psychic BREAK for me.

Food is an idol. I don’t want to want it anymore. I want to fast every day, and take from God only what He gives me…I want to truly live like a lily or a sparrow.