–warning: This post talks quite a bit about my personal faith. If such writing makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to skip this one. I by no means intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Also I am whining quite a bit and acting all emo. If this makes you uncomfortable (as it does me), again, feel free to skip.
Several years ago, my wife and I decided to dramatically alter our lives. We created a family mission statement and set out to be incredibly intentional about living by it. We are far from perfect and I highly doubt we will ever be much closer, but the journey to where we are today has been an incredible experience, while difficult at times, we have learned so much and grown so much closer as a family.
Before our family mission statement and the change that developed out of that I wanted to love and serve those around me. The problem was I knew I needed to make a lot more money and have a much nicer house and a lot more things before I could do that. At some level I believed this was for others though in actuality it was probably not. After our family mission statement and the subsequent changes we made we have taken every opportunity we can to help others regardless of our personal circumstances. During that time I have been fortunate to be a part of several amazing organizations that are truly making a difference both in a volunteer role and in a professional capacity. It has truly been awesome to see how being intentional about caring for those around you can play out if you make it a priority.
Enough with the back story. Where are we today? Shannon and I have attuned our eyes to see both the injustices that surround us as well as the beauty. We constantly strive to fight those injustices while bringing into view the beauty that is often missed out on in others perspectives of the space. But we have hit a bit of plateau. There are things that we could have done, if I only had the heart and brain 3 to 4 years ago but instead I squandered those resources trying to make sure we could “one day” be “philanthropists.” So here we are are today with big, God inspired dreams and a record of both strong implementation and a heartfelt and correct perspective on who we are and how we fit into the bigger picture but insufficient resources to actualize the vision.
As the kids get older expenses have also grown. We already went through several rounds of trimming the fat and continue to do so. I have had several things happen with my business that seem to point to a big break being just around the bend but none have materialized as of late (though, admittedly, I am EXTREMELY impatient, though I chalk it up to having Activation as a strength). Money has been tight since we began this journey but we knew that would be the case. But it seems like it has been a bit more tight that usual lately. I guess I felt that if this journey was all God inspired then at the end we would have some answers about the direction. It seems like our big dream is that answer and yet execution seems impossible at this point.
I find this extremely disconcerting. I am not one to see God behind every bush assume fires were probably started by punk kids so having this sense that God was leading us is a big deal for me. So to feel like the culmination of of this journey is in failure or indefinite limbo is a very uncomfortable feeling.
But maybe that is a good thing. I do not like being uncomfortable. What makes me uncomfortable over time has changed as I have taken steps to put myself into those situations which use to make me uncomfortable (personal connectedness, transparency, one on one contact with those experiencing homelessness, weird food, etc) to the point where I was feeling very comfortable minus the occasional financial hiccup. Maybe I am going through this season to further stretch the bounds of what is “ok” or “acceptable” in my book. I really do not know the answers here, these are simply my ramblings as I try to flesh out my thoughts.
Regardless, I am learning about myself right now. I am not immune to stress (contrary to the opinions of myself and many who have known me over the last couple years). As, what many define as, an extreme extrovert, I am increasingly desiring time away from crowds. Since I process through interaction this appears to be a defense mechanism designed to avoid dealing with this newfound stress. While I struggle quite a bit with this one, I also recently came to see that, for the first time probably in my life, that I can take joy in the small wins that do not scale and would not be viewed by my peers as a win.
I do not have any answers and I am not sure if you do, but I appreciate your insights and prayers.