Blank Inside

Hi, my name is Donny and I have a problem. I’m me. I am not who God made me to be. I am who I have tricked myself into becoming. I am a selfish thirty-two year old man that doesn’t care about himself. I like to be needy, but have a hard time accepting the help of others. I want to be blessed, but so often times, I sit and wait. I want to serve others, but I want the needs of others to fit my schedule. I deny myself, as the Bible commands, but too many times, have left my cross where I last dropped it. Its not me first, but I want my participation trophy. I find myself loving when its easy, convenient, or returned. I live tired, frustrated, worried and have become a juggling-illusionist.

…and yet, my God loves me. I don’t deserve the love of others, much less, the love of my Creator. But whether I hurt someone, bother someone, annoy someone, or flat out offend someone, there is love in my life. For me, it is far easier to love others than to love myself. There is more satisfaction in my hurt to say I am sorry, will you please forgive me, again, than it is to hear them say, “yes.” I don’t hold onto grudges, but I hold onto the scars I’ve caused. I have allowed my life’s circumstances to interfere with friendships and relationships and love way too many times.

Over the last few months, I have a developed a “friendship” with Ron Taylor, the Sunday morning radio DJ on the Christian radio station here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I don’t call in to get on-air or to plug anything. I think it actually started because I called in one Sunday morning and thanked him for some words he had shared that really spoke to me that particular morning. We got to talking about life and what it was suppose to be about and what it ends up turning into. Anyways, he and I talked this morning for about 5 or 6 minutes (it went that long because he put me on hold to do a live spot) regarding what’s going on in my life. He said something to me within the first 15 seconds of the call.  I didn’t say my name when he picked up…but he said, “I remember you.” This morning, driving alone in the car, headed for some time of worship at church, those words were not his own.

So as I rolled up to the church building, wife in the hospital, kids at friends’ house, life swirling around me…I was blank inside. And it was a good thing. So often times, I carry the same dang baggage around and it prevents God from changing me. Its my call to be transformed. But as long as I keep walking around in this dead carcass, why would and how would He bother. I am not doing myself or anyone else any favors by not changing. Forgive, forgive, forgive…times 7, times 7, times 77. But, if I can become more blank inside, the more room He has to write on my life. But today’s card wasn’t an “I love you” card and “Hang in there” wasn’t written on the inside. All it says at the end of this day is, “I remember you.”

Liz’s surgery will be this week. Another trip to the OR. Another round of talking to the anesthesiologist and the vascular surgery. Another week of depending on others for kid(s) care, laundry, meals, and well, life. But as it says in Psalm 86:7 (I am learning so much from others and how I need to change my ways…so many in my life are living Biblical truths) ” When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.” I understand that that verse is referring to David calling out to God. But when I do cry out to Him, He continues to use those around me to take care of a need. What examples I have before me, if only I would open my hands and recognize lives opposite mine. Lives of service, humility, forgiveness, understanding, patience, kindness, and love.

Before I’m a man, before I’m 40…I want to be different than the me I have become. I want to be used more. The other night, after work, I was headed down interstate 75 in Dallas and one of the highways I needed to take to get to the hospital where Liz was had been closed. So, I rolled on down to the next exit and worked my way through downtown Dallas. One moment I am driving by Stephan Pyles place and the next, a man crosses in front of me at a red-light pushing a baby stroller, with all his worldly positions inside. And he was wearing  a trash bag. And then, within 15 minutes, I am standing in the doorway of Liz’s hospital room, staring at a barren room that is smaller than many people’s bathroom.

Life isn’t what I make it. LIFE is what I give back to God, to do something with. I may be bitter and stubborn and hurtful and downright mean…but until I am blank inside, not gonna be much use to anyone. Until I let Him fill my heart with thanksgiving, love, mercy, patience, and gentleness, I’ll continue to be stuck. Yeah, I have a problem and its the man in the mirror. Its the Donny I say I want to get rid of, yet keep returning to daily or at least every other day.

But, there’s hope. There has been hope. There will always be hope. Change is coming. Change is my future. I just pray someone is still around when it happens. Its time for me to put down the pen and choose to allow a new author to write the rest of my story. My kids don’t need a new dad. They aren’t looking for change or some new awakening. They just want the father they were entrusted to. Their eyes, smiles, giggles, and stories all said the same thing tonight as I spent time with each one of them individually…”I remember you.”

My day-to-day living has seemed the heaviest it ever has been and yet more people are praying than ever before. I pray my enemy feels threatened. I pray my friends are strengthened. I pray my family be blanketed by His protection. In Christian “talk”, there’s the old adage of “one day at a time” because the Bible says that His grace is sufficient for the day; not a day, but the day, the present. I want my prayers to be that. One prayer at a time. My prayer tonight is that I wake in the morning joy in the fact that I am alive. That I may wake my children up and get them ready and off to school with more than a pep in my step. That I may see the day as blank inside, ready to be lived. There’s no false positive when God is tested. He has won. He defines winning. (Duh!)

Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Don’t wake with a case of the Mondays, but rather, let this verse be real tomorrow. I want the “more to me and for me” to be set free. I want to be the Donny I know I can be. Blank inside………………………..

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