Back To The Starting Line

The Cheesecake Factory, our first date. I remember it like it was yesterday, what you wore, most of what we talked about it, your laugh, your smile, your innocence.

You asked if you could order a Bud Light with your salad. I smiled and thought it was the cutest thing I’d ever heard. I ordered the Louisiana Chicken Pasta with a Mich Ultra. I was never a fan of Bud Light.

We’ve only been back once in the last nineteen years since then. We were going through our first rough patch and I thought it would help to remember.

It didn’t go well.

But we survived, we healed.

At least I felt as if we did.

Now, I am sitting across from you for the third time at this restaurant. If my memory serves me well, this may be the exact table we sat at. If it’s not, it’s pretty close.

I brought us back here, back to the starting line, to see if we can get a new start. Remember why, how, when we fell in love.

I’m not ready to cross the finish line yet.

But here we are.

You order an Angry Orchard , without asking. You started drinking cider years ago when you went gluten free. I still order the Louisiana Chicken Pasta. I know, so many choices but I like what I like. But I order an IPA.

I guess we all change in our own ways.

We both kind of half smile at each other. It feels like we both are afraid to speak first.

How did we get here?

Slowly the words come but the conversation doesn’t flow like it did all those years ago. Every word seems like a struggle. Both of us are afraid to say the wrong thing so we don’t say much at all.

I try to say something funny. But you don’t laugh. Man, how I miss the sound of your laugh. Right now, it would light up my world just to see you smile. But you don’t.

I reach across the table and touch your hand. You start to pull away but you leave it there. But there’s no feeling there. No spark. No emotion.

Damn this sucks.

We eat in silence but there are so many words in my head.

How did we get here? Can this be fixed? What did I do? What did I not do? Is it worth fixing? Why can’t we talk like we used to? Why’s it so hard to tear down these walls we built? Why can’t we get back to where we were all those years ago, in this same restaurant, when we fell in love? Love, what is it, does it even exist? What happened to that light in your eyes? When did you know it was over? When did I quit trying? How did we lose it all? Why can’t we find something to connect us again?

I can’t turn my mind off. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I think too much instead of just being me, letting it flow.

Maybe it’s as simple as you don’t love me anymore.

Maybe that’s all there is too understand.

We finish our meals and both look at each other , another half smile.

And I know. In my heart I know.

Back here at the starting line, we’ve crossed the finish line.

Say Something by A Great Big World –

Over For You by Morgan Evans –

Leave Me Again by Kelsea Ballerini –

Hard Season by Matthew West-

Just Say I’m Sorry by Pink/Chris Stapleton-

God, We Need To Talk

God, we need to talk! This isn’t working for me. I have been doing everything you are asking me to. I am stressed, going insane, and a complete mess. I didn’t think this was how following you was supposed to be. Yes, I know it’s not all roses and champagne but I am lost. I don’t know how much longer I can stand in this hurricane on my own. The rain and winds are battering me, beating me down. Everytime I get a step up, I get knocked two steps back. God, why are you letting this happen to me? Can you not give me a day of relief?

Image result for hurricane winds

Why now God? I had been doing so well hadn’t I? I could feel you with me. I could feel your presence just a short time ago. I called upon you and you were there. Everytime I would feel you I would feel like my heart was going to bounce out of my chest. I honestly would have tears in my eyes. Then, like that, you were gone and you haven’t been back. I feel like I am falling down a bottomless pit. I keep reaching up but I can’t find your hand. Where are you God?

To top it all off it is the start of the holiday season. Just when everyone else is getting in the spirit, I am falling apart. I am thankful for this. I am thankful for that. Blah blah blah. I don’t want to be harsh God but what do I have to be thankful for? I am at an all-time low. The winds are tossing and tumbling me about. I have been fighting, but God I am tired. I am tired of fighting. How can I fight an endless barrage of turmoil? How can I fight the insults? How can I fight the gossip? You know I have a hard time trusting people and now that wall is coming back up. We fought so hard to knock it down and we were doing a wonderful job but the more people I meet and the more I get out of my comfort zone, the more bricks are being put on the wall. Why do I do this? Why can’t I just trust people? Why can’t I just trust You? Why do I keep trying to do things my way?

Why am I so frustrated? With everything. Why can’t I appreciate what I have? Why can’t I be thankful?

Relocate. I need to relocate. Relocate my thoughts. If the hurricane is in my mind, I need to relocate my thoughts. Okay God, let’s give this a shot.

I am frustrated at my running injuries. It is getting me down. It has been two years since I have been able to run full speed. I am able to run but it is so much slower than I used to run. I am thankful I can run at all. It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t run because of the pain. Now I am starting all over again. I am not as fast as I used to be. Heck, I weigh twenty pounds more than I did then. God, help me to slowly lose the weight and slowly get faster and have more endurance.

I am depressed because this is a bad time of year for me. When the impossible became possible a few years ago. I am thankful our marriage is still together. I am thankful our family is still together. I am thankful that you ,God, were here in the midst of all of the pain and the rebuilding.

I am angry at certain people in my life. People that keep trying to throw me under the bus. People that believe the lies they are being told. They know the person I am and that I would never do those things but yet… I am thankful I have people in my life that believe in me. People that know who I am and that I don’t have to prove myself to them.

Well now that I read this over God, I don’t have much to complain about. A lot of people have it worse than me. I am sorry. Help them first. I will wait.

God, even though I have doubts about what you are doing in my life, I am thankful that you are in my life. Even though I wonder where you are, I am thankful that I can see you all around me. I am thankful I have eyes to see the beauty of the world you made around me. I am thankful I have ears to hear the beautiful sounds. I am thankful I have arms and legs. I am thankful I have a mind, even though it can be delusional. I am thankful I have a wife, a family, a home, food to eat, and a job to go to.

God, I want to tell you I am most thankful for you. Thank you for listening. I was a little upset earlier but just talking to you has helped. I should’ve done that a long time ago instead of letting all this fester inside me.

God, take me where you want me to go. I pray that I will follow and be thankful for where we end up. God, give me words to speak . I pray that I will use them wisely and that they will help others in this world. God, give me heart of gratitude. Give me an appreciation of thankfulness for what I have. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me.

I will try to remember all the good you have done for me when I am in times of trouble. I will try to remember that these times will make me stronger. I will be thankful that you are there through all of it. Thank you God for forgiving me when I doubt, for loving me when I hate, and for all the wrong I do when I am just me. I want to be more like you. Thank you God for giving me that chance.

Hurricane by Natalie Grant – 

Hurricane by Lifehouse – 

Hurricanes by 7eventh Time Down – 

Hurricane by Samestate – 

Hurricane by Emerson Hart – 

Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot – 

Hurricane by Jimmy Needham – 

Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns – 

Hurricane by Shonlock – 

Butteflies and Hurricanes by The Muse –