If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Road to Reality

Being real with myself didn't happen in a vacuum, I mean, who has a vacuum big enough for that?

: P

Sorry, had to throw in a lame joke to lighten up the mood of a post with a more serious tone. Gotta keep a balanace you know. ; ) 

I didn't discover who I was by finding out, bit by bit, my inner nature. I found out who I really was by looking at my past, thinking about not who I was, but how I got to who I was. And let me tell you, that was a journey I wasn't prepared for.

I wanna tell you my past - my lonely, dark-hearted past, and hope that my story helps you find yours - and yes, their's a challenge coming. : ) 

I grew up the under-dog. I was a bit (did I say bit? I meant BIG BIT) chunky, short, and not cool. Everybody around me was cool, had all the cool toys, all the cool clothes, everything I ever wanted and didn't have.

I was saved when I was about seven, but due to lack of real biblical teaching, I didn't really know anything, or know to study, or anything conducive to Christian teaching. 

My only sphere of friends was at our church, and my Homeschool P.E. group - a bunch of 'Christian' families that were more secular than Christian, at least the kids were. They always had the cool toys, the cool video games, listened to the cool  music, had cool clothes, and I didn't.

I wasn't anything really special. I couldn't do anything interesting or noteworthy of attention. I was David, nothing more, and nothing I wanted to be. In fact, I didn't really know who I wanted to be - All I knew was that I wanted to be something different than what I was. All of this was subconscious, and I think I would have told you I liked who I was, and was happy overall.

Me in my favorite tree

I wasn't, but I didn't know it.

There was always the cool group of kids, the big older teenagers who looked cool, acted cool, laughed, joked, and hung out. There was always the slightly younger gang that hung out, that secretly admired and envied the older kids, and tried to imitate them in their coolness.

Whichever group I hung out with, or tried to hang out with, I was never "in". I never had the same cool clothes, the same cool toys, or watched the same movies. I was 'different', and I longed to be normal.
I put on acts of toughness, coolness, and other varieties of masks. I built around me a wall and buttress of pride and arrogance, trying to make myself something - anything.  

My friends had LOTR action figures, and I wanted a set desperately. I had it all planned out where they would go in my dresser, and I would stand them up all on top, all posed in various villain-slashing poses, just like my friends did.

My friends had LOTR video games, and I could and would have spent hours playing them. I would go over to their houses and we would play video games for as long as we could possibly squeeze in. It was my one slice of normality, my one slice of coolness, and I held on to it as much and as often as I could.

My friends listened to Rock and Rap - secular rock and rap of course. I listened to our Christian Contemporary - and I liked it. Whether it was because I really liked it, or because it was what everybody else did, I don't really know, but hey, I was kinda like everybody else.

The only bit of real me I really held onto and cherished, was Legos.

Legos, legos, and more legos. When I was home, and not doing school (what a drudgery.....) I would sit and play in my room for hours with Legos. There, I was happy - truly happy. My fondest childhood memories are of me, swimming in a lake of legos, for hours at a time. There, I made my own rules, made my own world. My ship was always the biggest and the fastest, my base was nigh on indestructible, with more weapons. My lego figure always was the best with a sword, best shot with a gun, and had the fastest and coolest car.  There, life was sane, life was safe, and nobody but the villainous bad-guy legos got hurt.

I loosened my first 'loose tooth' by trying to split two legos apart that were stuck together. Live and learn.

My other realm of happiness was my backyard. There, my problems were forgotten in my favorite cottonwood tree, with my homemade bows and arrows, swords and other various weapons. I was Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket, Aragorn, Lewis and Clark, Robin hood, and the list went on.

Oh, and I drew. and drew. and drew. and drew. I have no idea how many scetchbooks I have used in my lifetime, but it sure is more than my fair share.

I grew older, my legos grew more worn, my wooden weapons broke or wore out, I went through scetchbook after scetchbook, and my friends, off in their realm of coolness and rebellion, grew further and further away.

Eventually we moved, and a whole new world was opened up. Now my friends weren't the cool rebels, they were the nice and pristine church kids, picture perfect in their obedience and appearance.

I tried to fit in, and did, to a certain extent. I made new friends, got a new status, and lived my life, in about the same manner as before.

My new social life was solely members of my new church, and I, for the first time in my life, found real friends. But still, even with those new friends, I wasn't totally happy. I wandered from hobby to hobby, trying to find out who I was. I wasn't good at much, and the rest I was just plain 'not good enough'. In fact, in about everything but legos, playing outside and drawing, I 'wasn't good enough'. I just wasn't up to par.

Looking back, I realize why I was who I was. I didn't have an identity. I didn't know who I was. I didn't know my bearings in the universe, what I wanted to be, or where I wanted to go. But the biggest thing was I didn't know who I was. If you have never been there, that is one of the loneliest places in all humanity to be.

I always, way deep down, wondered, doubted, secretly questioned whether or not the Bible was true. I was taught that it was, but there was always that lingering fear. I had questions I could never answer, and things that I saw that didn't seem to line up. I tried to 'have faith' and just believe, but there was always that shadow of doubt in my heart.

But then my hero came riding along, actually riding, his white hat and his silver six-shooters capturing my imagination like nothing else ever had, and few things have since.

Roy Rogers came into my life, and I knew right from the first, I wanted to be a cowboy.

I wanted to wear a big white hat, and ride a horse, and shoot up the bad guys, because maybe then, I would be important, and loved and wanted. I wanted to be that smart, (skinny......) crack-shot cowboy whom the bad guys could never pin down, because then, I would be loved and important. I wanted to be that one who always meted out justice and order, and revenge, because then, I would never be hurt again.

I bought myself a white hat, I wore jeans, and strutted around in boots. For once, I actually looked and felt like I had always wanted. I finally had an identity - a cowboy. I was a cowboy, and I wanted to grow up to be a full blown cowboy, with horses and cattle and plenty of bad guys in my sights.  

I slowly, over the years, came to a dangerous spot in my life. I no longer had to look to other heroes to find who I wanted to be, I could look to myself. I finally was becoming who I had always wanted. I hit puberty, and thinned out. I worked here and there on friends farms, and got stronger. I learned to sword fight like I saw in all the movies, and (though I say it myself) became formidable enough to command the respect of my peers. I learned to shoot and became a good shot. I studied apologetics, creation and evolution, philosophy, and finally had all the answers I never knew existed. I had all the answers, and I knew it. I was rough, tough, and formidable, like I had always wanted. I could twitch, and people would flinch. Surely now, now that I had everything together, now people would love me and respect me.  In other words, my pride was through the roof.

Life went on, and my hobbies came and went. I still wanted to be a cowboy, but my interests began to change. I began to fish, and had a fishing binge for a period of my life. That was my new identity - fishing.
Other hobbies and identities came and went, and I finally landed on hunting. I went on my first deer hunt, and was sold, heart and soul.

Through all of this, I was slowly, very slowly, growing in my walk with Christ. I had a serious bout of rebellion in my early to mid teens, but was convicted and repented to my parents. I have become more and more devoted in my walk with Christ, and struggle every day to try to die to self. And slowly, bit by bit, I am discovering what it really means to be happy.

Slowly, very slowly recently, God showed me and reminded me of all my history, and me, and my life, finally started to make sense. I finally figured out what and why I sinned, and it was no longer a mystery as to the triggers that set it off.

I finally figured out who I was, but not only who I was, but how, and why, I got here.

I hopped from hobby to hobby, because I didn't have an identity. I was a nobody, and was trying to make myself somebody by my hobbies and desires, in other ways outside of Christ.

I am prideful, because I thought I had mad myself the person I had always wanted to be. I am prideful because I think I have thought through everything, and know all the answers, and can debunk anyone who tries to threaten my interior mental security.

I am scared of vulnerability, because I was always vulnerable growing up. I was the little kid, the one who couldn't do it. I couldn't run far enough, fast enough, or be big enough and strong enough to fend off everybody else. I was always hurt, mostly mentally, and didn't want to be hurt again. I shied away from anything that would wound my inner heart, touch that deep chord, and I put up a wall of tough-dude to try to convince myself that I was the type of guy who was unable to be emotionally hurt.

I am deeply affected by how people talk about me, because I never really was praised much at all growing up. A bad or degrading word would and will leave me in the dumps for days, while I will soar for weeks on a slice of real praise.

I am constantly afraid of not being good enough, because I never was. I was never up to par, one of the gang, or somehow in the realm of merit. I was always doing it wrong, or not doing it right. When I was about ten, my P.E. had a physical fitness exam. Kids my age should have (supposedly) been able to do 10 pull-ups. I don't think I got one in.

I am constantly judging others as to their worth, by how well they do, because I judged myself that way. If I wasn't up to par, I wasn't good enough. If they aren't up to par, neither are they.    

I try to have an answer for everything, because at one point I never did. I was open, defenseless, and had no clue as to why I believed what I believed. I was scared to death of finding out that what I believed was a lie, scared to death of actually having to give a reason for what I believed, and tried to ensconce myself in enough answers to make myself feel secure.

I was, and am - but thank God not as much, loud and obnoxious to get somebodies, anybodies, attention. I wanted to be noticed, and I didn't care if it was because I was annoying.


That's me. That's who I was, and to a certain extent, who I am. I will never be able to shake off my past, and  my past had made me who I am in ways that can't be changed or reversed.

Through all of this, through stipping away every wall I had built up around me, through digging through my past, through going through more hobbies than I can count, I have learned what the real me, way past the layers of leather and jeans, really is like.

I enjoy the great outdoors - especially hunting and fishing. It honestly is where I feel the most at home, the huge, wide, unpopulated wild. I am the most at home walking through the wild in search of deer, or knee deep in a stream casting under a log in hope of that big one latching on.

I enjoy writing, and intend to start a side career in writing. I enjoy using my creativity to make stories that seem real, that transport the reader into the action, the plot, the drama. Not very good at it, but hey, I enjoy it.

I am very tender, and am trying to learn to peel back my layers of armor that I put up to try to convince myself and others that I was anything but. I am learning to be sensitive to people, because I finally realized how sensitive I was. I don't want to hurt them, because I know how much it hurt myself.

I am constantly worried about not being good enough - in everything. I fear being below par - again.

I still like cowboys and the west, six-shooters and the like, but I am more of a hunter and country-boy now than Cowboy.

I am very lonely. As much as I enjoy the vast loneliness of the wild, I still want a friend there, someone to talk to, to share with, to pour my heart into. I have some very close friends in my life, and there is few things I enjoy more than outdoorsying with them.

I also enjoy animals, whether it be hunting them, or feeding them in the barnyard and rolling my eyes at their odd and seemingly brainless ways, I don't know what I would do or be without animals in my life.

Witnessing scares me to death, because it puts my beliefs and the whys and hows wide open - and vulnerable.

Some days I still feel like that little boy playing in his backyard with his bows and arrows, his guns and knives, wanting to grow up and do something big, be something exciting. I still am just a little boy way deep down, wanting and waiting for the day when I'll do something big, something spectacular, save the day, and be the hero.

I am learning how desperately I need God, and how desperately I need his word. It is one of my daily struggles to put aside myself and merely sit down and read his word, and try to apply it to my life. I would much rather go look up hunting and outdoor gear.

But through all of this, I am learning to rest on Christ more and more. My prayers aren't  "Lord, help me to be better," but "Lord, I can't. Only you can."

But that's me. That's who I really am. I'm glad God made me the way he did, because If He didn't want me here, I wouldn't be here. So I have no reason to complain or feel guilty as to my condition, because God thought that this was best.

And for that, I am glad.


So, just like I promised, there is a challenge. Anyone who is up for it, put up a post about your road to reality - your life, in essence. Your life, and what it has entailed, has made you in more ways than you may realize. Of course, keep it clean, keep it edifying. Post about how your past has affected you today.
You will probably be surprised as to how drastically your history has made you who you are today, in far more ways than you realize - I know I was, and still am. 
Oh, and put a link back here so we all can see it. : )       

Who's in?



  1. "I still am just a little boy way deep down, wanting and waiting for the day when I'll do something big, something spectacular, save the day, and be the hero."
    You already have!! It might not feel like it to you, but you've saved my day soooooo many times. You *are* the hero - at least in my book. And, knowing you, I firmly believe God's got big plans for your life. With all the gifts and talents you have (despite what you may believe about yourself) and with the personality He's given you, there's nothing you couldn't do.

    Not trying to send your pride through the roof, but the girls and I are so grateful for you!! We all think the world of you...and as much as we value you, God values you more!!! I know how hard it is cause I have so many of the same fears you do, but you are sooo accepted and loved by the only One who matters. And, insignificantly, by your little sisters ;)

    1. Well, what am I supposed to say after that? Whew!
      But seriously - all I can say is thanks. It's good to know that I have friends who don't mind all my shortcomings and still like hanging out with me.
      What I was referring to with the whole hero thing, is a plague common with most boys. We wan't to go flying down the road in a jeep being pursued by crooks, engaged in a climactic firefight with overwhelming odds, bullets flying and explosions here and there making things interesting, and then rush into the crumbling building and have a knife fight hand to hand with the chief villain. :)
      It's a boy thing, that no boy, men included, ever really shake off. It's part of them, its just that the younger they are, the more they dream about it. I still am partially captive to that big-hero dream. It's what makes us who we are.
      But anyway, I get the gist. :) Thanks for the encouragement.
      Hope all of this helps - helping other people is one of the main reasons for these posts.

    2. Oh yeah...and leaping over fences to tackle a renegade horse and save a damsel in distress doesn't count....

      Doesn't count at all.....

      :) :) :)

    3. That was supposed to be "You're goofy". Apparently my spelling is as well....

  2. I might be up for it; depends on how much time I have within the next few weeks, as I start the summer quarter of college on Monday. : P

    1. *shaking finger reproachfully*
      You'd better....

    2. *stares* o_o A-a-a-a-all r-right...


  3. Oh wow, Lis about summed it up in the "we think the world of you...." But really,

    We do!

    It's kinda amazing to me that you of all people feel like you're not good enough.....that is so not you in my mind...like, you (for lack of a better word...) rock at everything :) You are such a thinker, and, most of the time, pretty sharp. You have been an example to me countless...literally...times in so many different ways. But I think especially in the way you respect (and submit to) your parents, but again, especially your dad even, well, no matter what.

    And as another encouragement....I have seen you get much more encouraging lately...especially in how you treat/talk about Noah. Instead of the "I am the important one here" attitude, you have built him up, even if it costs you humbling yourself. Another lesson I need to learn!

    So yeah, keep on doing what you're doing! We all appreciate you sooo much!

    1. Well, that was sort of the whole point (or part of it) of this post - to show the real me. :)
      That's a total praise about the whole encouragement thing. I honestly had no idea that there had been a positive noticeable change in that area, so thank God for that!
      I am glad God used me to help you, because the real me is pretty selfish :). - that really makes my day to know I was able to help people in that way.

      Thanks y'all for hangin in there with me. :)

  4. Here's a link to mine, I guess: http://ofsongsandstories.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-road-to-reality-challenge.html

    'Tis rather rambling, but it's the best I could do what with all the school and business lately. : P


Tell me what you think!
I don't care if you disagree, hate me or love me! Just comment!