Every Time You Run

Since my last update, things are slightly more hopeful.

Last Thursday I had lunch with my former coworkers and friends. In addition to hanging out and catching up, my former boss wanted to talk to me about some project possibilities. Long story short, I have been doing temporary work for C2F again for the past week.

It is surprisingly liberating to finally have income again. This is only a temporary situation, but a welcome one. I don’t feel quite as stuck at home, with not even enough money to drive anywhere.

My intention is to continue to look for work outside the Metro area. Tuesday I will drive to Salem for my first interview. Since last I wrote, I have applied for eight jobs. All are government jobs, and most are in Salem. They are positions I feel pretty confident to fill. The biggest challenge is to stand out. Government jobs always attract huge numbers of applicants. Many are likely qualified like I am. This doesn’t worry me. If I’m meant to get a particular job, I figure it will happen.

I rarely listen to the radio or music of any kind. Today while driving home from work I heard a great song on Air1 Radio. The chorus delivers a particularly encouraging message. Several other songs also caught my attention in a positive way, but the prize definitely goes to Every Time You Run by Manafest. Most music groups and artists are unknown to me, and this was the first time I heard this song.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

Every time you run, every time you hide
Every time it hurts, every time you cry
Every time you run away, every time you hide your face
And it feels so far away, I’m right here, with you

Containing a very familiar theme to me, the song reminds me of one of my favorite repeating ideas in Scripture. It is best summed up by the following verse.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Phew. Thank God it is true. If He favored the beautiful, the strong, the intelligent and successful… then I’d be the last to receive any attention from Him. It will never cease to amaze me that the most powerful Being who exists – the One who created everything we know and see – favors those who are weak and desperately in need of of Him. The most ridiculous example of “opposites attract.”

Whatnot News

Hey guys,

A couple people have asked for an update. In particular some C2Fers. Callout hipatseanate! (should be a new word, sorta like hypotenuse and hyphenate combined) And of course Catherine always asks too. And Sandra, but she’s gotsa no internet, so I guess I’ll print for her. Maybe someone else asked some time back too. Sorry, I forgot cuz my brain sucks. Even if you didn’t ask, thanks for sending a dit or dot of thot, heer or thair, and a blumun prare. Mispelled-Rhymies!

Nothing has been written lately because I haven’t had anything to say. In many ways, life has sucked for me, and I know less about my future than when I first set out… but with less steam and hope. I haven’t “found myself” and I haven’t “heard from God” like I endlessly strive for. Don’t get me wrong, He speaks, but I don’t really receive the message clearly at this time. Story of my life. Fortunately I kinda LOVE adventure and the great unknown, so maybe all my prayers are best answered by NOT being answered! Ha. I-runny.

As of this week I am down to zero money, and nothing I have of value will sell well enough to get me afloat again. Though I have been searching diligently for jobs and have applied for many, none have gone anywhere. I’m such an introvert that people who haven’t met me yet write me off and forget I exist in advance. When I actually think about any job or career, it all sounds like crap to me. “This will accelerate my already epic burnout” type of crap, or “this is for genius people who lack my disabilities and who have skills, confidence and college degrees I will never have” type of crap, or “if I take this job, I will make less than any job I ever took, including my first ones in the late 90s” type crap, or “so boring and meaningless that I would prefer to lose an eye, arm and leg like a pirate AND walk off my own plank where sharks await” type of crap.

The only thing that makes sense to my heart is to live abroad doing… uh, something? But guess what? I have nothing to offer any country, and my strategy last autumn of going back to school instantly bombed en mi cara like all my other life-goes-kablooies. How those connect is that degrees are required to do most things overseas. When I tried plan B, C, D, E and F (all on the fly, responsive, not preconceived)… all those have failed too, and not for lack of trying.

My goals are based on blind faith, not reality. Remember when I stepped away from my job and started seeking unknown answers back in February 2015? All those things I sought to do were impossible for me. Hear from God on a spiritual retreat. Hear God for months on end. Be a pastor. Be a missionary. Live overseas. Go back to college. Live in Central Oregon. Live at the Coast. Work from home. Live in Salem. Find a job anyplace. Make a living by selling my handiwork. None of them were catered to my abilities or strengths. To my desires and dreams? Heck yes, especially the bold ones (the rest were next step experiments after failure with the first).

I might be a bigger dreamer than any famous person you’ve ever heard of, and it’s all crazy stuff that doesn’t match the realm of reality. I knew this from the beginning when my burnout peaked and my faith journey began. I chose to ignore the fact that I faced impossible odds, hoping God would step in. One figures if I’m weak, but He calls, He will make me strong or find something a weak person can do. All my life, every day, I hear the same thing, it doesn’t ever go away, and it drowns out all other sound and sense – this desire to do something different. I can’t survive in corporate America. All things are possible with God, right? You know the theology as well as I do. My belief stands firm, and I won’t discredit even an iota of it even though my whole life speaks the exact opposite message. It must be a timing thing or something else I’ve missed. It’s never His fault.

I don’t give a blooming rhinoceros about the mismatch of faith versus reality, or that my hopes are always dashed at every turn. I’m an insane freak, and I will follow God even if He tests me with unbearable circumstances. Because there… is… nothing… else. Seriously. The rest in this world is fluff and dumb. Cloud-poof nothing’o’rama! I am 100% convinced that the truest realities are unseen ones. I believe God made all things visible and invisible, and the Bible presents reliable truth.

The purpose and direction of my life might end tomorrow, and someone might say, “What ever happened to that call God gave you? If it wasn’t fulfilled, was there no call to begin with? Or did you fail to fulfill it in the proper time-frame, and it was therefore rescinded or reassigned to someone else?” And I’ll be dancing the “so what” jig for a million years with the greatest joy anyone has ever witnessed because I tried to follow, and if He chooses for it all to be a test or something, then it’s fine – as long as He doesn’t judge on my performance. He is sovereign and knows the end from the beginning.

I love sticking it to the despair and meaninglessness men. They claim to have mastered a technique to get me down for good. Some days it seems like they indeed win. But then I can just make a funny face and bounce back, and they are the ones who get to eat muck for buckaroo (dinner, but buckaroo sounds cooler). Weird people require weird techniques and constant adaptation to defeat. I guess that’s one advantage of being me. The onslaught continues daily, so someone likes a challenge.

It has come to my attention that I experienced extreme burnout in all areas of life. All is seemingly lost except this determination: God is good no matter how I feel or whatever my circumstances. He is with me even though most days I have no perception.

A similar crisis and burnout occurred when I was a senior in high school. Someone wants to get me down again. Now it’s a full-fledged mid-life crisis, amplified by say eight thousand. All things are falling into oblivion. It is comical in a way. My comatose heart and brain are utterly spent like a boneless flesh blob trying to…. faceplant, like an incomplete sentence! Underneath that surface blob is an irrational and crazy person who somehow chooses to keep chugging along like blue engine soupeme (sometimes I like the word “supreme” without the R sound, but if I left the R out, you would have thought I simply typo-ed).

Even though everything I’m made for and called to seems to have been V O I D-stamped with indelible ink, and it feels like “the end,” I don’t really care. Despair is a dull bedfellow that no longer impresses me. He started out as my enemy almost from birth, mocking me daily… but now his messages almost sound pathetic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to it, just desensitized a bit. At the moment, my heart feels like hell, and I feel the full weight of despair’s intents. But then a survey of how pathetic my life is starts to become funny, and I can write it all off like an absurdly huge tax deduction.

I’ll just keep seeking, cuz, like, what else can I possibly do, right? Yeah, like, totally. In very recent times I have thought, “I hate life and everything about it.” But I fling a big wooptido booger at myself – and eat it too – and keep trying to figure “it” out, not giving up. Someone mind telling me what “it” is already?

I say these things not to worry you or to mastermind-guilt-write-manipulate-your-eyes-are-getting-droopy into some kind of pitiful aid provision. Nope! I might seem like the most pretentious person you’ve ever met, but actually… this is 100% who I am.

Things are fine. Same-o same-o. The general situation and feelings I describe haven’t changed a whole lot over the years. It just so happens that I am insanely honest about how I feel, and I hold nothing back in my tmi confessions. It helps me to write them, but I understand if it’s eye-popping or eye-rolling material for y’all. This stuff is routine for extreme introverts and melancholics like myself. It won’t likely change, it’s my healthy process to spit it out, and it’s not something to fret about.

For those praying frantically right now for my “salvation” from some form of “insanity” that’s ok too (now my eyes are rolling). Just know that God also made weirdos like me alongside normals like you, and He doesn’t panic or get shocked by my words. He also made King David who wrote some crazy Psalms that I’ll never cut the mustard to. Those who know me well know that I have said things like this my… whole… life… long. Nutinu.

All dat sed, I want to share this email sent to a friend a couple hours ago. Most of you have experienced one or more of my crazy long emails where I paste a journal entry. I usually write something to the tune of, “I feel like this is for more than just me, so I want to share it.” Well, I guess this is another one of those. Worth exactly one penny, you are now a stockholder in Freakshow International.

As always, my disclaimer is that I’m not overly wise. I don’t have sick writing skills, but just speak my mind. Nothing I write is doctrine or “thus saith the Lord.” Not even close.

If I get that feeling that “I should share this,” and I don’t do it… then what if someone else misses out on a rare blessing I can provide? The thought of that is unbearable for me to consider, since I have so little to offer already. Gotta do what I can, puny as it is.

I was weeping big ole tears as I wrote the following email, especially the “consolation award” thing, so I wanted to share it with you. Some of you will be like, “O…K! Emo-boy is weird and totally off track again. Those words em wig! I’ll never get that hour of life back.” Maybe a word or two might strike a note with you. Perhaps you can better understand and be kind to other introvert/burnout/weak-people you encounter. If so, great. If not, hopefully no harm done. You all know I’m a freak already, and I don’t expect you to mesh with my vus.

So here goes… Kazoomail!…

Maybe it’s not, maybe it is an answer to prayer… but I randomly came across a blog today. I didn’t pray for something like that, and I wasn’t looking for a blog to read. I don’t really read blogs anymore. I can’t even remember how I found it… I think it was because I did a search for “jobs for introverts,” and somehow I clicked on some link to a link to a link or something and found this site.

Anyway, I read a few sentences randomly from the screen when on the site and was emotionally and spiritually blessed. Actually, I couldn’t help but cry because EVERY WORD I read was like my dream and my hurt and my need, altogether.

So I might try to read some things on the site to see if there is anything that can help me there. In the end, I might just think, “It’s great stuff… but yet again, here is a person living the dream that I thought was for ME! But all my dreams are impossible ones, and God doesn’t help me get anywhere.” But hopefully that won’t be the reality I have to face yet AGAIN. I’m sick of closed doors, no options, no directions, and all failures. I am dying in this state.

I’m not sure if you pray at all. If you do, please pray that I would find something useful or hear from God through this blog or through some other method. Maybe it can be through something you say. You are always welcome to tell me anything you think, and I will listen to it. But if you don’t pray, no worries. You can just sort of hope it works out or that my life won’t suck as much or something.

In case you want to read it too, here it is (they are): http://www.theadventurouswriter.com/ and http://whenlovebugsyou.com/.

I want my life to be a crazy, risky adventure. I want to thrive as an introvert and be an encouragement like this lady. I want to feel like all my gifts are being used in some way. This lady and so many other people have stolen all my dreams, and I’m not sure there is enough “energy” in the universe (or in “God’s hand”) to also give me some fulfillment of similar things… but I so wish He would. 😧🙇🙏

If God never gives me any kind of “thing” in this life, I hope He at least gives me a really awesome consolation prize in heaven, something like this…

“I gave every other person I created something to do, someone to be, something to feel, someone to love, someone to be loved by, somewhere to go, a purpose, a plan, abilities, joy, success and contentment. I gave it to all the billions of people I made, and I planned it all out with great care and detail, catered to each person. Phil, you are the only person I intentionally forgot. I didn’t give you any of those things. In reality, I gave you those things, but you didn’t see them. I also knew this would happen because I made you and cannot be surprised. I knew you would feel like garbage and be very sad your whole life. I also know that you realize all this, that you know there are other people who are in worse conditions than you, and that you hated yourself for complaining so much instead of being thankful and content. I allowed your brain to be unaware of My presence in your life, and I allowed you to feel very deep loneliness. (I’m not going to explain why I did all this because this is actually Phil writing, and Phil doesn’t know the reasons why God did all that stuff, but if this was actually God writing… He would maybe show how His plan comes together and that my life wasn’t a complete hell-waste. Lots of confusing pronoun switching, but the proverbial “you-reader” will maybe understand what I-Phil mean). I am not going to congratulate you or give you a merit badge here at your end of days. I know you wouldn’t want that anyway because you are aware you did nothing to warrant such a prize. You weren’t better than anyone else, and you failed and sinned a lot. Lots of people did more amazing things in life, but I choose not to measure you against them. For no particular reason other than that you are my beloved Son, I give you a ridiculous award. Today I more clearly reveal the true nature of my love for you without all the silence and lack of direct, personal contact. I’m not talking to the church in general, I’m actually talking to you, Phil. It’s not because you deserve it after performing so well on earth, but it’s because I choose to forgive you and to be your Father. You get to live near Me in heaven because I know how important intimacy is for you. You can talk to me as much as you want, and I will look at you and listen. You won’t have to stand in line to see me even though you have millions of brothers and sisters who also live here. I’ll show you some incomprehensible stuff that scientists can’t explain to meet everyone’s needs simultaneously. No one will feel left out, less important or envious. I will wipe your tears away and not allow you to ever feel unloved or useless again. All those things that felt like torture, failure, disappointment and insignificance during your life on earth will be erased and exposed to My light. You will know Me fully now and forever. You won’t feel loneliness ever again. There’s nothing that you can even imagine that will feel unfulfilled or unanswered because of how I designed things to be here. You can’t even dream up a way that it could be better, and it will surprise afresh all the time. I’m glad I made you, and I’m glad you finally get to meet me in person. I’ve been watching you, guiding you, protecting you, and awaiting this moment eagerly. I will never turn you away. Please come to me now.”

THE END

I hope you get to hear God say things like that to you too. Feel free to write your own letter of what you hope God says to you if it’s helpful for you. It made me feel better when I wrote it. I don’t know why I did that. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

By the way, I wanted to insert a random feature image for this post, but Google has no brain most of the time. Most people, including Google search, have no true grasp of what utter nonsense is. Disappointed that no image measured up, I was about to pull one of my own drawings out of the archive. Luckily I finally found Edward Lear after scrolling forever through endless lame images that aren’t random or senseless at all. How delightful, this Edward Lear! A kindred spirit who lived in the 1800s? How have I not heard of this guy until now? His drawings are a lot like mine (though many seem to be based on “funny observations” in life rather than total nonsense). I might just have to see if there is such thing as a modern reprint of his “books of nonsense” somewhere. Oh happy day!

Good News

Give God all your pain, sadness, sickness and sin that together amount to a heavy burden of worthless and rotten garbage. Believe on Him. In return, God will give you eternal life, joy, rest, purpose in life, and an infinite storehouse of more wonderful things than you can possibly imagine. For whatever reason, He wants you to do this, even though  He does not receive the better side of the trade. Oh how He loves you and me! He desires to have your love in return. My answer and choice are that His desire is not too much to ask. The deal is irresistible. How could I possibly choose otherwise?