Faith.

I have lived my life by one rule…and if you have been reading this blog or my previous incarnation, then you know what it is…

“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

Now, I don’t claim to have always lived a good life, full of good deeds.  I don’t claim to have always been the nicest person, nor do I think I am the worst.  I am human and with that comes free choice, which leads to both good and bad decisions.

But at the bottom of it all, I have tried to live honestly…and fully.  I have never once intentionally hurt another person and am the first to offer forgiveness.  Even when someone doesn’t ask.

For those who know me, they know my heart.  They know that I agonize over hurting people and want to right my wrongs.  It’s been a life long battle, letting go of those that can’t forgive.  It kills me to this day.

But these days, it’s a battle I am winning.  I am learning to let go.  To let these folks answer to God.  Not me.  Just like I will.   If it weren’t for the love of my wife, my kids, my family and my friends, I would fold up, dive head first into darkness and dwell there all my days.

But see, they bring light, happiness and joy to me.  They are what God put in my way…to show me my faith.  To show me that just because I don’t go to church, just because I am not a member of a congregation, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my faith shown to me in many ways.  Every day.

I had a rough time at work this week with a former employee.  An employee that threatened my very life.  And in this week, specifically today when they showed up unannounced, I saw God had put people around me to surround me, to protect me.  I didn’t know until the person was gone and even with that, I had others calling me to check, to warn…I had others to escort me out, to make sure I got to my car safely.  And then I had others to check on me later in the evening just because they thought of me.  It was His way of showing me that His arms were around me, protecting me through others.  It was peaceful.

God had shown me the path back to my children.  I spent a few years allowing another to make me make small choices everyday….between this person and my children.  I can see it now.  It wasn’t intentional, I truly believe this.  But there were choices and sometimes, I didn’t make the right ones.  Now, God has put this wonderful being into my life and the choice is automatic.  It’s kids first.  Period. For both of us.  Kids first.  He put her there, to show me that He knew I needed this, that I needed to not be where I was and that He had my heart in His hands….and was leading me home.

God has put this being in my life to love me.  To treat me as her equal.  To show me that a relationship isn’t all about the angst.  That it does take work, but not THAT much work.  It’s been a whirlwind and I wouldn’t trade anything other than the fact that I wish I had been here five years earlier than I was.  But He works in His time and I realize now that I wasn’t ready for this, that she wasn’t ready.  We had to wait until His time was right.  And we are on the same path, hand in hand…

My faith was shaken when I left my church a few years ago.  It didn’t feel like home any more.  It was my place with a former relationship and became her sanctuary.  In the end, I felt judged by others that knew nothing about our end other than one side and I felt that church wasn’t the place to air such things.  So I removed myself, surrounded myself with love and waited.  I don’t know what for, but I waited for some sign, something that showed me a new church home….that I longed for the lessons of the Book, His word….

…I learned that my faith didn’t leave me.  Ever.  Just because I was testing it, I was questioning Him, didn’t mean He left me, that He questioned me.  I had a purpose and I needed to settle into that and be still.  My faith would rise up and fill me.

And it did.

Now days, I don’t question Him. I talk to Him.  In my quietest moments, I am in my head, feeling my way through my faith.  It is a sense of self where I feel it most.  That I know I am right where I need to be and more importantly, who I want to be.

I think faith will see you through everything.  Faith in something bigger than me, something that will tie me to another person.  Our common bond in our faith.  It doesn’t mean I have to be Baptist, Catholic or Jewish….I just have to have faith. 

I try to continue to share this faith with others.  And this year, I realized that I didn’t attend Ash Wednesday services, Maunday Thursday services or Good Friday services.  I don’t expect to attend Easter morning services.  And as much as I miss this, I realize that I don’t have to be in a room full of people to celebrate Christ and his life, his sacrifice for me and the forgiveness I have each day, even before I get out of bed.  That God loves me enough to keep giving me chances and choices. 

I intend to continue to float on my faith.  To rise above the hatred, the ugliness and the pettiness of others.  To realize that no matter what the past is, it is truly the past and it is forgiven.  That my past led me to my present, and will light my path to the future.

I will continue to float on my faith, with love in my heart, with laughter on the tip of my tongue and forgiveness in my soul. 

And on Sunday, as everyday, I will remember the season, I will rejoice in His rising and I will do so with light in my eyes and faith all around.  I will celebrate His eternal life, His boundless sacrifice and be grateful that my faith cup runneth over.

Amen.

God give me strength.

I am at it again…I have three, count ’em THREE open positions in my department.  And truth be told….I hate interviewing people.  

I wanna say, “Can you add?”  “Can you walk and chew gum?”  “Do you have your own hair?”  If you answer yes to ANY of these three….I want to hire you and be done.

But it’s a room full of women…and I have trained them well.  They will eat the weak.  I love that!

So, folks, say a prayer…for me, for my team….for the newbies. 

And Lord, when I tell them it’s in Hutchins, don’t have them reply, “Oh!  where’s that?!!?”  If you don’t live in Texas…or even the metroplex, why are you applying?!?!  I have them as far away as Oklahoma…what gives?  I guess if you gots a great resume…I might think about it.  But you best bring your A-game to the interview.  I.am.ruthless.

Cause, I may need a snack…

I have been told.

That all things happen for a reason.  I have seen the lesson in many things, I am still waiting for the lesson in others. 

Such as:

Why, oh why, do I continuously get behind the slowest car?

Why do I always seem to walk in a crowd, at a festival, so the strollers find my heels?

Why does my wife always seem to enjoy Wal Mart after midnight? 

Why do folks find the need to create drama where there just isn’t any?

I have been told that I have an inquisitive mind, that I am bubbly, that I am chill.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how the stupid surrounds me.  Don’t get me wrong, it amuses me to no end.  But I am scared to drive on the roads with these folks…but ABC, while you are cancelling soaps for more reality….create some sort of show surrounding the simpleton.  Oh wait, you already got the Kardshians…my bad.

I have been told I have the patience of Job and the impatience of a toddler.  I don’t need a middle round…I like to keep folks on their toes. 

I have been told I seem lighter, more clear…well, I have chucked off the drama, the angst and the unbearable weight of those that want to put it in my life….and I can’t begin to tell you the peace that comes from losing the walking, talking bullshit that surrounded me for so long. 

I have been told that I am at times naive and gullible.  I want to say I am optimistically cynical. 

I have been told I am a bitch.  What you may not understand, is that is only when you cross me or my loved ones…. and I will take it and take it until you back me into a wall…you will walk away with a limp and I will walk away with my pride.  You will always think of me and I won’t give you one more thought.

I have been told I trust too much.  Not anymore….learned that lesson and made it through the fire…

I have been told I am strong.  It’s because of those that surround me.  That I choose to protect, that I love.  I am strong because I gather strength from those relationships. 

I have been told I am very loved.  And I belive it.  To.my.core.

I have been told she’s loved me for a lifetime.  I will love her the rest of mine.  I believe I always have.