Tuesday, July 25, 2006

He is Lord

And again, God is faithful. It took several hours; it took prayer; it took what was for quite a while a very unpleasant situation; but nevertheless there was a breakthrough. Whether the situation as a whole will resolve the way it needs to is yet to be seen, but there has been one major breakthrough, and I trust the Lord with the rest, just as I trusted Him with this. I'm grateful that He used me, even with my weaknesses and my flaws in the midst of this, to help accomplish the work He needs to. As Godly counsel is pursued, His wisdom will become clear - and now the ears are opened to hear it. I pray now for strength to follow through if (when) they hear what they don't want to.

Thank you all for praying, as always. Grace and peace be with you in Him.

- Chris

Monday, July 24, 2006

Things get worse, and better.

You know, it's funny... I've been ready to do another update for a couple days, explain where God has brought me to. Maybe I'll do that tonight, though I have some calls I'll be making - so maybe not. But it's funny because I thought the worst of the situation had passed. It hadn't. It's gotten worse. The situation has deteriorated even farther. There's a difference, though - I'm in a different place; my heart has a different place in the midst of this. I'm not going to underplay the difficulty of this, but I also refuse to underplay what God has said and what He's going to do. Period. He's told me to forgive. I am, and I will. He's told me to "love those who persecute you." So I will. It's that simple. Not that easy, but that simple. And He doesn't let us suffer things that are too great for us, but He always gives us the strength to bear them (that's the official Chris Krycho paraphrase of 1 Cor. 10:13, if anyone was wondering). So I'm able to do this. Honestly, at this point, my reaction is more concern for the one friend and anger at the other for putting her in this situation, one that she's not yet prepared to handle. As much as I'm hurt, I'm far more concerned. I will continue to pray for both of them. Thank you all for praying for me and supporting me - I have needed it. Know this: in the midst of everything, God is. And really... that's all that matters. It's not that my pain or the situation are insignificant. But He's bigger.

His peace be with you all. God bless.

- Chris

Friday, July 21, 2006


Peace like a river flows...

My soul is comforted. My emotions rage, but my heart knows in whom it trusts. That's what God did today. He gave me peace. The emotions are there, still strong, still pounding away. But they're no longer in charge. He is. And that's enough. And I've been granted a little wisdom - though little is, perhaps, the wrong word. It is enough, exactly what I need, because it's what He's given. I will stand on this rock: that He is immovable, unchanging, eternal God. All else will fail and He will remain.

- Chris

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One more thing for today.

And one more post. I'm going to go for a drive, to get out, away from all of this. Just going to take a good bit of the day to just be in the Word and in prayer somewhere out and away from everything. Deal with this someplace besides my house. I can't do it here. I don't know why. I just need to get out and away. Someplace empty, where it'll just be me and God, no distractions. I know He has the best for me. I'm just lost right now. I don't know anything at all at this point; I don't know up from down. God is faithful, and He'll gives wisdom liberally to those who ask for it. I continue to thank you for your prayers.

- Chris


Some thoughts on the tail end of what I wrote last night in that edit:

I'm just going to keep walking and trust that the Lord's going to be Lord. I'll deal with the things I need to, but I can let go of the anger that is not the kind of response that God wants from me, so that I can deal with things in a holy and righteous way. Again, thank you to those of you who are supporting me in prayer.

- Chris

Another night.

There are only two words that describes what I'm feeling right now.



The first one is not a righteous reaction. The second one is neither here nor there. I'm trying not to go to sleep on the first one. The second one I don't even know what to do with.

I didn't think it could hurt worse than it did Monday. I was wrong. Pray for me. Please. I need it.

EDIT: what did God teach this week through my pastor? Forgiveness. "Yet 70 times 7 times you shall forgive..." is what Jesus told us. Thanks to the Holy Spirit for His guidance and His conviction. I still need your prayers.

- Chris

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Continuing from my previous post, some more thoughts on the issues I'm facing... some wisdom brought by continued prayer, and by some time I spent meeting with my best friend.

The first thing is realizing that the things I'm dealing with are not trivial. They're not inconsequential. They aren't meaningless. And the right way for me to deal with them is not for me to just kind of ignore them and try to keep going. God is a God of healing. He wants to heal our wounds. He loves us so much that He died to heal those wounds. But if we ignore them, hide them away in a box somewhere and try to just forget about them and keep going about our lives, He can't heal them. And no matter how much we try to ignore them, those wounds don't go away. It doesn't matter how thoroughly you cover up a physical wound and try to ignore it, because from the moment you get it, it will begin to sap your physical strength and endurance, and the longer you just live with it instead of getting it healed, the more it drains you and weakens you, until eventually it comes to dominate your physical existence. Trust me, I know... I'm dealing with that process with a nasty muscle pull in my back right now. The thing is, it's easy for us to recognize that process in our physical bodies. It's often harder to realize that the exact same thing happens with every kind of wound we take - it's just as real a process with emotional and spiritual wounds, except that those tear us up inside, where it's easier to pretend they don't exist to the rest of the world (and even ourselves), and it's easier to think they'll just go away if we ignore them.

But they don't. Just like a physical wound, they drain us and eventually consume us. Which is part of the difficulty I've had over the last several months. I'll be totally honest: I've taken some pretty deep wounds from what's happened. As I noted in my last post, it hurts. The difference is that my response before was simply trying to ignore the pain. It doesn't work. Which I also noted in my last post. Eventually there comes a point when the wound just tears you apart. It doesn't help with the wound gets torn open and has lemon juice sprayed liberally over it every week or so. Which has also been the case this summer, because I simply hadn't dealt with the wound itself. If a wound actually gets healed, not just "fixed," the area in question is actually stronger after the fact - broken bones are actually stronger when they heal normally than they were before the break. But if you try to ignore the injury, it doesn't go away, and what "healing" that does occur is so messed up that it leaves the area susceptible to more injury, to repeating the same injury. And sometimes it just flat doesn't heal, if you don't give it a chance to.

Until the last day and a half, I hadn't. I didn't even realize I needed to, because the only message I was hearing from anyone around me was basically, "Ignore it and keep going." It wasn't that they were intentionally trivializing it - in fact, to be fair, that wasn't necessarily all they were saying, though it was a major component of it, but it definitely was all I was hearing - but the result was a trivialization in my mind of the issues I've been dealing with. They're not that big of a deal; what's my problem, anyway? Why do I keep being hurt by this? Why do I keep having this pain; shouldn't I be able to move on by now? How much am I failing God by not just getting past this the way He wants me to? And so forth and so on.

So: realization - I've taken very real hurts, very deep wounds this summer (and actually, going back several months, but it really hit home with that "I don't want to be close friends anymore" statement I mentioned last time). Those wounds need healing.

Even more important realization: God cares about those wounds. They're not small to Him; they're not trivial or insignificant. They matter. Just thinking about that brings me close to tears - again. That the things I'm dealing with on an emotional level matter to Him when there are world-shaking events going on right now is beyond belief. But it opens the door to so much freedom; it lets me open my heart and trust Him with it because He cares! He cares! I could repeat it a million times in million ways and not capture how much that means. My words simply can't contain what that means. No words can. It's too big.

Final realization: this is far from the only wound I've taken but left undealt with. High school had plenty and then some. Deep, aching wounds that I've just ignored, set aside, tried to pretend (especially to myself) that they don't exist, that I'm okay with them and have moved on. From family. From friends. A general sense that who I am - not in the sense of the areas of sin which God has tried to change, but in the areas in which I have passion, the areas I love, the things I delight in - is simply not right. I need to change. I need to be different. All those things I have to put aside in a little box. I can read about them, but not talk about them. I can think about them, but never let them spill out, gush forth in the way I want. I can't even speak or write the way I love to do. Don't get me wrong; there were very real, very big issues in my heart throughout high school, especially in terms of my pride and arrogance, things that God had to - and did - change over the years, and continues to change. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the things God made in me that are good, that He wants there, that He's given me for specific reasons. Those things have gotten stifled, along with the bad. And that, too, hurts. It wounded. It ached. And, just as I've tried to do this summer, I buried it, hid it away, and tried to move on, smarting every time something probed too close to those areas. Why do I tend to be so defensive about certain things? Two reasons - (1) the same reason all humans are: in my fallen condition, I resist God-driven change in areas; (2) because I have taken deep, painful wounds in those areas, and I don't want anybody going near them. Both of these have to be dealt with; defensiveness is never the Godly response. It has been my response, much too often. Issue #1 is something God is going to continue working out in my heart. Issue #2 requires me to allow Him to heal those wounds, just as I have to allow Him to heal the wounds I've taken this summer.

I took a huge step in that on Monday night. I believe, totally and completely, that God has removed the shackles that bound my heart so tight. I believe that He's reached down and touched those wounds. He is restoring.

So what does that mean? Instant stopping of the pain? Instant ability to simply be who He wants me to be, free of all the things that have bound me from my past? No. It means that a process has started. A process of wounds being healed - the poison in my heart slowly drawn out and the wounds salved, bandaged, given time to mend. A slow but steady learning to walk in who He says I am, not who anyone else (and that includes me) thinks I ought to be. Unlearning and relearning take time. Healing takes time. It's a process, not a change of a moment (in most cases). I saw the firstfruits of that healing yesterday. I also saw that it is a process, and it's going to take time. The pain's not going to vanish in an instant; I'm not going to be able to walk in the fullness of His calling for me immediately.

I know this, though, now more than ever: God loves us. He delights in us. He cares for us. He wants the very best for us. He wants to heal us and make us whole. He wants to wipe away our tears and break our every chain, setting us free and filling us with joy. He wants our days to be filled with dancing, even in the midst of sorrow. And He's made the way for the fulfillment of all His perfect desires for us.

- Chris

Monday, July 17, 2006

My pain, His plan

Note, before I begin:this is a ridiculously self-centered post. I needed somewhere to get it off my chest. And hopefully the end, at least, will be of worth.

I am so sick of emotional pain. I'm tired of all my efforst coming to naught, of every ounce of blood and sweat I pour out being for nothing. No results. No change. Just the same indifference and lack of even so much as caring how difficult it is for me. No response. Saying, "I don't want to be that close of friends at this point; I don't really want to hang out one-on-one" - and then turning around and becoming very close friends and spending inordinate amounts of time hanging out with my best friend.

You know what? That hurts. A lot. And I'm kind of sick of it. I'm tired of being an emotional punching bag for people; I'm tired of this person just not giving the time of day to me. Yesterday, I barely got hello, and didn't get goodbye. Saturday, they went hiking, just the two of them - didn't even think to invite me, which of course made me feel quite wanted when I found out. It's not that their hanging out one-on-one bothers me... it's that they're doing so more than she and I were when we were dating, and yet I'm supposed to not feel any kind of hurt in spite of the flat our rejection on a purely friendship level. It hurts.

And I don't know what to do about it anymore, because I just want the hurt to go away. I'm sick of putting forth effort and getting no results. I'm so incredibly frustrated it's not even funny. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do.

I'm trying to find God's wisdom in the midst of this, struggling because I just can't seem to get it right, to be in His will. Am I supposed to just be content with how things are, stop working for something better? That hardly seems right. Am I supposed to just somehow stop being hurt by the way things are? I've tried... it never seems to work. Nothing does. Nothing seems to dull the stab in my heart every time something like this happens. It's not like it's a single event, it's the cumulative effect of a summer adding up, making me scream out to God, "WHY?" I'm left asking what I've done to deserve this, what she sees in him that isn't there in me, what it is that makes me worthy of this kind of rudeness and inconsiderateness. I know these are questions that probably have no rational answer, that have no answer other than the vagaries of the human heart. I'm full aware of all the difficulty caused by our past. But I can work to get past that; indeed, I have been for a long time. Why can't she? Why is it that every time I try to talk to her or hang out with her she tenses up and goes all distant? Does the effort I've spent over the last 8 months working to slowly but steadily repair the damage from the past count for nothing? Is it simply irrelevant? And if so, why should I continue trying, when there is simply no fruit?

I do it at this point just because God says to, but it makes me angry at Him in ways that I can hardly describe. I know that He keeps HIs promises, and He doesn't require things of us needlessly. I know those things in my head, and sometimes I know them in my heart. Right now, I just want to yell at Him, though, because I'm so frustrated with the way things are. This isn't what it was supposed to look like. I'm left saying, "God, where are You and why aren't You fixing this?" I know it's a foolish question; I know His plans for me are good - far better than mine - but right now I'm having a hard time grasping onto the reality of that, because I can't see it. Things are getting harder and worse, not better. Every time we take one step forward, we take another two back, it seems. Am I simply destined not to have any better friendship with her? What is the point of the anguish that God has taken me through regarding her in the last 8 months?

And all of this simply feeds the sense of absolute inadequacy I struggle with in general - the general feel that I can never measure up to people's expectations of me, much less God's, that I can never be enough, especially for the young women around me, because all I see is time and again them seeing me as "just a friend," and falling for some other guy; all I see is my own inability to be anything besides just a brother. Why did God give me these desires only to have them so frustrated all the time? The only time I've ever had a relationship, it fell apart and led to the above mess. Why? I know all the reasons, in my head, but it doesn't keep the heartache away. I just want the answer to that question.

My humanity is so frail, so unable. I can't do this on my own. And I'm having a hard time trusting God with it, because it seems like the more I let go of it into His hands, the more screwed up it gets. I know that's not true. I know Jeremiah 29:11. I'm just failing to walk it out. I don't need the answers to the questions. I just need to keep trusting God, and believe that His promises are true. I need to stop being so caught up in myself and take joy in others' gain, even when - perhaps especially when - that gain comes at my loss. That's the servant's heart that God is calling me to. That's the place where I'll be at peace: when my trust and my hope are fully in Him, not in what I see and understand. Because, as I've noted many times before, what we see and what actually is are often two very different things. They are sometimes related, but they are different. God knows what He's doing in my life. I don't. I don't know the purpose or the reason behind His plan. But it really is His plan. My pain is nothing compared to the greatness of His love; it's the palest reflection of the ache in His heart when we reject Him. The simple reality is that reality is what matters. Not what we see. But what is.

Your prayers would be appreciated.

- Chris

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Strangers in a Strange Land

Things didn't go how I expected today. At all. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It was just... strange. Literally nothing went how I expected. I'm really not sure why, even now. It's okay. I was supposed to work a little today, putting up signs for our company - but that didn't happen. I was supposed to have lunch (or coffee, or something) with Melanie - but that didn't happen either. I got together with Jamin, and it was good, just... not exactly what I expected. I don't know. It was just kind of strange.

Have you ever had one of those days? Where the world just feels a little off-balance? Where the trees aren't quite the right color, and neither is the sky? Where you're somehow aware that everything we see is just a pale reflection of the true beauty? It was one of those days. I've had them before. It just came out in events today, rather than in observations of the physical world. It's hard to describe, except as a sense that this really isn't home. I'm not talking about one specific place; I'm meaning here, this world in general. It isn't home. We're sojourners here, travellers in a distant land, passing through on the way to our true home.

That's a comfort when the world seems off somehow.

In far more important news - continue to be in prayer for our leaders' response to the escalating war in the Middle East. Things are rapidly coming to a head such that we may well see outright war between Israel and Iran in a very short time. With Russia and China backing Iran and the US, Australia, and our various allies backing Israel, that could make things get ugly in a hurry. Prayer is essential; this is, at its root, not a physical conflict but a spiritual one, and if the president and other leaders don't realize that, they're likely to make some very large mistakes.

So pray without ceasing. Like we're supposed to be doing anyway.

- Chris

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Conviction, as always.

So this is another post about my job, but from a slightly different angle. I'm not going to be working for the next seven to ten days, with the exception of a little time putting out flyers tomorrow and taking care of signs on Friday and Monday. That is both a relief and a source of frustration. Both of those responses are not the best.

I was talking with my mom today, and she pointed out - quite accurately, and to my sorrow - that I have displayed very little gratitude for this job. My attitude from the getgo has been one of grumbling and complaining. It is irrelevant, to be honest, whether the complaints are well- or ill-founded. They have, in my opinion, largely been in the former category, but that does not change the fact that I have blown it. To be more blunt, I've sinned, and in so doing have robbed God of an opportunity for His testimony to be more clearly established in my life. I've also probably robbed my coworker Justin of an opportunity to see a Godly attitude and heart toward work - even work that is not enjoyed.

God has blessed me immensely with this job. It practically fell into my lap; I hardly had to work for it. The pay has been excellent - at $8 an hour, I shouldn't be complaining. My boss has worked with me from the getgo about having to leave early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for church functions (some people in this business probably wouldn't have even hired me with those constraints). I've had the opportunity to gain physical strength and get in shape that I would likely not have had in any other job I would have had this summer. I've been able to learn how to do things that I would not have known how to do otherwise - sprinkler systems, rock, sod, edging, patios, general tool use in ways that I was not used to... so many things.

And instead of being grateful to God for the blessings and the opportunities, I've chosen instead to find everything possible to complain about - the hours, my manager, you name it. It's an incredibly selfish attitude, and one that I'm ashamed to see in myself. I've known since I was a little kid that I need to "do all things without grumbling and complaining" and likewise to "do everything as unto the Lord." Have I been worshipping God in this job? Hardly. I've been worshipping myself and my own desires. For that, I apologize to any of you... for putting on you something that may have been a hindrance.

It is humbling to see just how far I have to go. It is all too easy for us to become fixated on the spiritual successes we have seen in our lives - and just as easy for us to become convinced of our own role in the process, of our own strength's contribution. In reality, it is only by the grace of God that we achieve anything, and only with His strength. That I should be so foolish as to believe otherwise after all this time is a testimony to the corruption of the flesh, to the truth of Scriptures assertion that "The heart is deceitful and wicked - who can know it?"

Thank you for your prayers, and above all, praise be to God who is so faithful to bring conviction.

- Chris

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


This is simply a blogspot parallel to my xanga site. I'll post the same updates on both.

- Chris