Company and Hope

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33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 (CSB)

 

Lately I’ve been taking Uber to get to CrossFit once a week, and it’s been really fun, I’ve had the opportunity of chatting with some awesome people along the way. Normally before each ride, I say a little prayer, for safety and that God might allow me to have the words to inspire hope in some way and even talk about my faith and love for Jesus. As cliche as it sounds, I mean that in the least cliche way possible.

Yesterday though, when my first ride came and got me I didn’t pray. I got in the car, locked in my seat belt and quickly noticed the cigarettes and lighter near me. As soon as we pulled out of the drive way, this man, (whom we will call- Sam) starts talking to me about how it’s been a long day of driving, and that it would be an even longer night of baking. As that is his second job when he is not driving people around.

I asked him “do you ever have a day off?” He chuckled a bit and said “No, I can’t really have a day off, I work hard to support my daughter… But, my daughter ran away from home again, she’s been gone almost 2 weeks. She took off with some really horrible people. She was doing so well.” At this point, all I could do was say that I was sorry for his pain and listen to what he had to say.

I’m angry he said “And I can feel the depression coming back…. She was doing so well, but she ran off again with those idiots man! What don’t they understand about not coming on my damn property?”

 

I know sir, I said,  “she hangs out with bad company and it corrupts her” it was at this point that I remembered the verse above and wondered if Sam knew he was paraphrasing the bible. Before we reached my stop, I said “sir, if I have learned anything in my short life and all my training in psychology, it’s that there is always hope. Even in the darkest of times.”

Sam looked at me and said “Did they teach you that in school?”

“No” I said in response, “that’s what I believe about life.” He looked at me and said “well, sometimes people need to know what it’s like to be down, down, down and have no hope first.”  I thought to myself “but I have.”  I  want you to take away a few things from this:

  1. It matters who we let into our lives, regardless of age. The more we are around a person or a group of people. The more they influence us, for better or for worse. That being said, be selective of who you let in (and out) of your life, know what your boundaries are and if people don’t respect them. Get rid of them. Lastly, listen to the wisdom of those you trust. If someone close to you says that they are not sure about someone or group of people, listen to that. It’ll save you from a lot of heart ache.

Remember that how dark things get in life, it can always get better.

-Brandon

 

 

 

Company and Hope

Remember Hope is Greater Than Evil

Over the past month, maybe more, I’ve been working a night job at a non profit called Project Harmony. This particular non profit deals with helping guide children who have been abused (either by violence or sexual abuse). Project Harmony also aids in helping parents heal through the process as well. It’s a great place to work, our building has everything under one roof: Police, nurses, a nice unit to stay in should a child or family need a place to stay temporarily

To get the job I worked with another non profit called Vocational Rehab, they helped prepare for the job interview process and so on. It’s honestly amazing how God works for our good. Project Harmony is right across the street from Vocational Rehab. On a morning that I was scheduled for an appointment there, my Dad and I had gotten lost. As a result we pulled into the parking lot of Project Harmony and without thinking I said to my Dad “wouldn’t it be cool if I got a job here?”

Well, looked what happened? A few weeks later, after a few weeks later and a background check (and a job interview-can’t forget that!) I got the job! My job mainly consists of working after hours, buzzing in clients, making sure kids have snacks, water and are enjoying themselves before they go and meet with either the police or therapist. Simple right? It may look simple, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t leave work with a deep anger at the evil and injustice that these kids have had to endure. Emails that come in on different people just turn my stomach inside out.

And I honestly don’t see the full brunt of what the therapists and police have to deal with on a daily basis. To which I have a profound respect for every individual that has to see the much darker side of our work. Alas, in the midsts of see such darkness on the days that I do work. I LOVE my job. My prayer is that God works through me in the small things, brightening the child’s day, smiling at a parent and offering a small bit of encouragement where I can.  Trying to help the police and therapists where I can.

There has only been a struggle inside me, as it relates to the evil that is seen in any capacity where I work. And rightly so, if I wasn’t angry at this evil I would naturally wonder if there was something wrong or off in my soul. At least I hope. As I spend personal time in quiet reflection, I yet again come to the understand that hope and love are bigger than evil. And while evil to an extent calls for a bit of holy anger, it is vastly more important to remember hope.

Remember hope, dwell in hope, live in hope and be hope. Do not become blind or naive to the forces of evil in this world, for doing so creates a unhealthy delusion of granger. But as we have learned in mindfulness therapy, let us learn to be present to the hope that we have and give it as a candle gives light to a dark room.

-Brandon

 

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Remember Hope is Greater Than Evil

The Love of Christ-For you

Jesus. Loves. you. I know that some might dread or roll their eyes regarding the amount of Jesus posts today. Some might even have a good laugh, but I genuinely mean what I’m saying (or rather typing), I know some people might point and say that myself and other Christians in the world or delusional for believing as we do. But the love of Jesus Christ has truly changed me inside and out, it was the love that I have always wanted and needed. The love that I have found in Christ, has moved me away from the yoke of perfection and to embrace the mad love and acceptance that he has poured out upon me. In my estimation, there are not enough words to describe how my life continues to change because of the love of Christ. Your life can change too, as though you were a new creation.

The Love of Christ-For you

60 days.

In an act of self-disclosure.

I want to say that I’ve been porn free for 60 days! That is the longest I have ever been without this horrible drug. And you know what? I feel amazing, the urge to use this drug is less and less every day. Is the temptation still there? Sure, but God is faithful, and  His strength is my strength.

I actually desire real relationships, real conversation, and interaction. My prior blog on being mentally tough remains true. For I am a warrior and no enemy will easily overcome me.

My weapon of choice is 1st Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

I can and will make it to 90 days, which is the standard time for the brain to fully re-wire. If you are struggling with any sort of addiction. You too can be free but know this: 1) you need Gods help, you need community, you need transparency and you need to be willing to give it time. But you can be free!

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60 days.

Losing..

I feel so tired emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The past week or so I have felt such great negative energy around me, it leaves me drained, in one sense it leaves me wanting to be the Lord and in another sense, it leaves me feeling like I should consider going into hiding somewhere.

Much time has been spent in prayer and reading of scripture, yet there has been a nagging sense that I need to do more. Do in the sense that I need to do X, Y, and Z in order for God to love me.

Now I know deep down that this is not truth, it is not grace. It is slavery and my best efforts as a human being are like toilet paper after you have wiped your butt. The past weeks I have not felt that I have God’s unmerited favor, which is what grace is. Instead, I feel like I have to earn God’s approval, his peace, his justification and so on.

I know all the language, the do’s and dont’s, I know how to put on the church face. I know how to do it all. And to be honest, I’m sick of it all. I just want Jesus. But even with a statement like that, it’s bound to get some backlash.  “You can’t just have Jesus Brandon, you need A, B, and C too!”

It’s all so frustrating, I never feel like I am good enough as a Christian these days. And in a lot of ways, I’m not, and won’t until Christ returns.  I know I have to pursue holiness while in this body. I’m trying, and sometimes it seems like Christians can add more bricks than needed.

I’m tired, worn out and tired of feeling like I’m losing Gods amazing grace.

Losing..

When Your Not Actually A Burden

Someone recently asked what my greatest struggle was, in regards to having cerebral palsy.  I stopped and thought about my response, (as everyone should do). As I was thinking, it occurred to me that it wasn’t the amount of physical pain that I have to endure some days or the fact that I use crutches or even a wheelchair. It was more the fact that I have I have felt like a burden in the past.

The only thing that I have yet to do, on my own is drive. Yes, I am aware that there are adaptations, but my startle reflex is bad, that even with adaptations I’d ram into someone. Am I completely giving up on trying? No, but I have been told by doctors that driving is not safe for me.

As such, I still have to ask for rides to go from place to place. A lot of times it doesn’t feel very good to ask for rides, because that means that they have me to tag along with them. For me, it could be that my mind races with various thoughts and feelings, it could be a thought as simple as “I feel horrible taking up their time, what if they have better things to do.” Or worse yet  “If I didn’t have CP then they wouldn’t have to deal with me.”

I know, it’s self-pity, but these are the real thoughts and feelings that have flown through the mental, emotional and even spiritual aspects of my being. Sometimes it feels like it’s all at once. When this happens, I often raise my fist toward God and blame Him for the life that I have.

But honestly, He has been pretty damn good to me, without my adaptive requirements. I wouldn’t be able to do have the things that I am doing now. Furthermore, I am thankful for everyone that has ever helped me get somewhere. The fact is, like anyone else I have really crappy days. Yet I try and pick myself off the ground by Gods grace.

The hope that I do have, though, is that all this “burden” **** is a lie, if you are like me and have struggled with driving unless you have a hundred percent proof that you can’t do it.You probably shouldn’t, but if you can still try, you should. And that goes for any goal in life. One should never feel ashamed by the physically challenged community for doing something on their timeline.

For it is your journey and no one else’s, and if people are not willing to help you. It’s their problem and loss more than anything because they missed out on the blessing of being in your life.

You matter. Don’t let anyone take that from you.serveimage

 

When Your Not Actually A Burden

As A Man

I want to go on a journey of self-mastery.

I want to be in better control of my thoughts and emotions.

I want to say goodbye bye to childish behavior.

I want to know truth self-confidence.

I want to know what it’s like to live with insecurity and fear.

I want to disconnect

I want to know adventure and freedom.

Lord help me on this journey- on knowing what is to be a man.serveimage

 

 

As A Man