Deep Dark Secret Club, Roommates, and More

I apologize for the delayed update to my last post. Thank you so much to all that prayed for me over this past week in response to my post; I appreciate it very much. The short answer to the question I left hanging is no, the Deep Dark Secret Club did not grow at all.

Let’s look at Part 1: The Club

The conversation went well….or as well as could be expected. The couple arrived at our house at 9pm, chatted with us for a little bit, played with the dog, and admired our home. They had never been to our place before, so we gave them the grand tour. We all grabbed drinks, sat down around the table, prayed, and dove in.

We talked till 3am.

It was long, it was painful, but it was worth it. It was encouraging to hear both of them confirm many of the decisions that I’ve made over the past few months and the things that I have pushed for in our house. Throughout the course of the conversation, Greg was filled in on many things that Mr. Experience, Number Four, and I have talked through over the past couple weeks. Many of the things the four of us have talked through in arguments and “discussions” were rehashed for this couple, including everything that happened over summer. For the first time, I told Greg how much it meant to me that he apologized about a couple weeks back for the things that happened 6 months ago. For only the second time in my life, I saw him cry.

Number Four got the conversation going for our group, and then he didn’t say a whole lot through the rest of the night. The things that he did say were well thought through and things that I needed to hear; he has a way of bringing up the baseline reasoning for why people do things, and it was interesting to be pushed to think through my actions in ways I hadn’t before.

To be honest, most of the conversation happened between Mr. E and I. Through the 6 hours that we talked, presenting our sides of the story and listening to the couple talk us through ways that each of us were wrong, I think, for the first time, I realized just how incredibly different the two of us are.

And we’re the only two remaining in the house after May.

Somewhere around 2:40am, we began to wind down. Each of us had presented our points, explained ourselves and the actions we took. I felt that there was finally completely clear air between Greg and I, and that Number Four and I could see our differing opinions and agree to respect each other in spite of those. Mr. E, to me, seemed pissed at the direction the conversation had gone. The couple had a lot of good stuff to say, pointing out flaws in each of us that had been magnified by the combination of the four of us. In me, they said it boiled down to the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to say what I thought in many cases. Because of this SSA crap that I deal with, I have built so many walls around myself, I’ve become Fort Knox in a sense. I am so scared to expose myself in any area of my life because someone may see this area on accident. So many times during the conversation, one of the other roommates looked at me and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that before.”

Which was hard. But good.

We ended the conversation as friends, still excited to go through the next four months as roommates in the Bachelor Pad. I left that table with mixed emotions, thankful for the fact that I felt I had said everything that needed to be said, but still aware of the fact that Mr. E and I were going to need to wrap up some loose ends at some point.

Which brings us to Part 2: Roommates

Mr. E and I sat down a couple nights ago at my request to talk through next year. I told him I was working on talking more and expressing what I was thinking through, and so I needed to be open with him. We’ve been discussing different options for two new roommates over the past few weeks, and I’ve been hesitant about all of them. I finally told him the reason I’ve been hesitant: it had nothing to do with the two replacements; it had everything to do with him.

I had sounded out Number Four a couple days prior, and he agreed: Mr. E and I living in the same house would be like putting a match to a gunpowder factory. The combination we have now works because I’m close friends with Greg, Mr. E is close friends with Number Four, Number Four and Greg get along perfectly, and Mr. E and I have learned to tolerate one another. Remove the two middlemen, and you have an explosion waiting to happen.

The truth is, I don’t want to live with him next year.

That night, the two of us talked for an hour or so, both of us staying civil (which was somewhat unusual), and discussing the reality of what next year would look like. He confirmed that he too had been hesitant about living with me, but he didn’t want to say anything to rock the boat. We both agreed that us together in a house without Greg and Number Four, regardless of who the other two replacements are, would probably not be a good idea. And, I told him, I honestly think we would be better friends if we didn’t live together.

We laughed at the end, talking about how this seemed to be the most amicable divorce in the history of divorces. Each of us offered the other the house, making arguments on why they should seek other roommates. Its a beautiful house, and I will be sorry to lose it, but it was a way to keep the peace. He’s now looking for roommates for next year, and I’m beginning to look for another place to live.

So the short of it is: come May I’ll most likely be finding a new place to live.

Which brings us to Part 3: May

I’m dreading it.

So much.

It’s like the iceburg looming ahead of the Titanic, unavoidable and capable of sinking the entire luxury liner. This year has started off rough, but it holds so much promise. And yet, the reality of May clouds everything, brooding over this year like some dark cloud.

I was brought to tears last night at the thought of saying that final goodbye to Greg. For five years now, he’s been the constant friend in my life, the guy who I’ve done everything with. Yes, we’ve had our rough patches, but what friendship hasn’t? Yes, we’ve had to work through tough issues and forgiveness, but that’s what deepens a friendship. For five years, we’ve gone to see movies, produced Theater productions together, lived together, hung out together, sung together, and just been friends together.

And, come May, that all comes to an end.

He’s moving away.

And getting married.

As graduation approaches, my smiles become more forced and the happiness more an act. My heart aches with the knowledge that, within a few short months, I will have to hug him at the door of our house, say goodbye, and watch him drive away to the other side of the country. Such a thought paralyzes me with sorrow, wrenching my gut until I must force myself to think on something else. I know that God provides friends for a season, but never before have I dreaded a coming goodbye so much.

The hurt has begun to grow inside, and the next four months will be an act of self-control, learning to have joy in spite of sorrow, learning to find my joy only in Christ rather than others.

Oh, but my brothers, it hurts.

For now, I have the joy of the next four months with him and the other two guys. We have hashed out our differences, made peace with one another, and now seem to have reached a place where we can live with one another in harmony.

But all good things seem to come to an end.

And I only have four months.

Or, I suppose, since it’s the end of January, I have three.

Lord help me.

T

Pray For Me, I Beg

Once again, my brothers, I’m asking for your urgent prayer. Things at the Bachelor Pad have deteriorated so quickly over the last week or so that we have decided to ask a married couple that we all respect to sit down and talk with the four of us.

And sadly, I am at the center of that deterioration.

Number Four and Mr. E have both come to me saying they see an issue in my life that must be addressed. The rule, the agreement about having a dry house has, to them, become a symptom of a deeper spiritual issue. To them, through living with me and seeing how I have handled this and other issues, they have seen that I am unreasonable, that I show a blatant stubbornness in my life, and that I exhibit an unwillingness to compromise on issues that are important to me.

And I have run out of words to say.

I have done my best to seek council throughout the 8 months we have lived together. In the moments when I have been at a loss for how to handle a situation, I have gone to my parents or to the very couple we will now meet with for advice. I have spent hours in prayer and in scripture seeking the wisest and most prudent way to deal with the issues the four of us have worked through. And at the end of all the hours of conversation, the hours of my brain sifting through thousands and thousands of conversations, decisions, directions, and discussions, the hours spent crying by myself and (embarrassingly) in Number Four’s car, and the hours of working to serve them, it seems I have done it wrong.

I am discouraged. I am beaten and tired, so incredibly worn out from fighting. The four of us have agreed to meet with the couple tonight, which is much sooner than I thought it would be. I have already talked to Number Four, who I respect most out of the house, and told him the honest truth: tonight, I will have no walls. There will be no defenses guarding parts of my life deemed to sensitive to talk about, no parts of my testimony held back in order to serve others. My justification before God for my actions over the past 8 months is being called into question, and I have no reason to hide anymore. I will tell the story of our house, the story of the decisions and issues that we have worked through these past months, and then I will sit and answer any question given me. I will not lie. I will not sugar coat the truth. And I will not refuse to answer any question given to me.

Brothers, I am terrified. I have hidden behind walls of protection for so long that the idea of dropping those walls before five people threatens to choke me. What if the conversation turns there? What if they ask what the missing piece is in the puzzle that is me? In a room with Mr. E, a man who often does not guard his tongue, a married couple that includes one of the Theater directors I work with each semester, and Greg, my closest friend and roommate, it is possible I may be called to reveal that which is most painful to me:

I struggle with homosexuality.

Number Four and I talked by phone for several long minutes only moments ago. Of the five people in that room with me tonight, he will be the only one that knows, the only one that has seen everything about me. I asked him if he thought what I proposed was wise. His comments encouraged me:

“I cannot see this going bad, T. In that room, with five people who’s sole purpose for being there is to see you grow in Christ-likeness, there is no safer place to let down your guard. And, like with [the girl over summer], it’s possible that once the other guys know everything about you, they will better understand how you work, how you think, and what is important to you.”

I praise God for providing such a wise counselor to our house. Who would have thought that the 21-year-old, the youngest of us all, would prove to be the wisest of the house, the most filled with encouragement, and the one most likely to speak truth into difficult situations?

Brothers, I stand upon the brink. It’s possible that, by the end of the night, my Deep Dark Secret Club will have grown by four members. That thought both terrifies and encourages me.

I fear most for Greg. This is the side of me that I never wanted him to see, the dark, sinful past that daily threatens every relationship I have with other guys. He has to sleep across the room from me, shower in the same bathroom as me separated only by a clear glass partition. I have so much hope, and so much overwhelming fear.

I end with an excerpt from a post I wrote back in March 2013, less than a month after I first started this blog:

I picture my heart as this glowing ball of the purest, brightest light, half swallowed by a swirling darkness that threatens to overwhelm me. The battle is constantly in play, a roiling mass of shadows and rays, twisting beneath my Defenses as if wanting to escape. The light is my relationship with Christ, the heart of who I am as a Christian.

The dark is my struggle with homosexuality, the center of my struggle with the flesh.

The problem I often run into is this: how can I let someone see the “relationship with Christ” side of my heart without letting them see the SSA part? How can I open up to a brother (or sister) in Christ if I can’t share my deepest struggle with them?

Spiritual conversation becomes a constant knife’s edge. To let someone see my heart for God, I have to relax my Defenses and let them see into my heart. But what happens if, one time, I open those defenses to show them the light, and they see the darkness instead? What if they reject me? What if a brother in Christ decides to abandon our friendship because of what he sees?

I don’t think I could take that.

But, what if he didn’t?

What if he saw, understood, and accepted? What if he reached forwards, closed up my defenses back around my Heart and said, “It’s ok, I love you anyways.”

Yeah.

I think I could live with that.

To have Greg see my heart, my darkness, after five years of friendship, and still accept me? I would ask for nothing else. It would be the greatest joy, the most freeing experience I have ever had. Because I would be known. And, despite my sin, I would be loved by my closest brother in Christ.

Brothers, I crave your prayers. After work, I plan to call my parents and let them know where I stand. I beg for you to pray that I present a fair account of my actions to those closest to me. Pray that if there is a massive shift that needs to happen in my life, I would be humble enough to see it. Pray that my testimony tonight through the scrutiny of my actions, words, and decisions over the past 8 months would not reflect poorly on Christ.

Pray for me, I beg.

T

2014: You Sucked. Oh, And Stuff About Love

Well, here we are, poised to head down the steep drop of the roller-coaster now christened “2015”. Because the future is uncertain, we can’t see the rest of the track, we have no idea what’s up ahead, and we will be completely surprised when we hit the twists and turns that suddenly appear in front of us. We’re not the driver of this ride, we have no control over where we’re going when we hit those pesky forks in the track, but we have complete confidence in the One who directs our fragile little car of “life”.

It’s gonna be a fun ride.

Have you ever been to an amusement park and jumped from one ride to the next ride to the next ride to the next without a break in-between? I have. You quickly begin to feel sick and nauseous, your steps waver as you run to the next boarding platform, and you start to wish the end was in sight. The ride spread before you promises to be a doozy, and the ride you just left was perhaps the most gut wrenching coaster you’ve ever been on.

Ah, 2014.

My nightmare.

Let’s break it down:

I had sex.

Obviously, the failure that hits my conscience the hardest each morning. It is something I will live with the rest of my life, something I will have to explain to my future (assumed) spouse, and work through within the confines of marriage. It is a constant reminder of my utter sinfulness and depravity before a holy God, and it has caused more emotional grief and despair than any other decision in my life.

There are times when I wish desperately that I could take it back. And there are other times when, if presented with the choice, I would chose to leave my mistake as is. Why? Because through my sinfulness, through my failure, I was blinded by the incredible beauty of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy, something I would not have seen without hitting such a sinful low. In the light of my failures, I can most clearly see the wonder of His abundant grace.

And that makes it bearable.

I had sex with a guy.

Don’t think this really needs any more explanation.

My best friend lied to me.

A single sentence cannot come close to summing up the incredible hurt and disappointment I worked through this summer. Having trust broken in such a stark and bitter way was an enormous weight to carry for weeks in our house. The Bachelor Pad tested my patience, my forgiveness, and my anger management in a way it has never been pushed to before.

But again, if it were not for such a devastating low, I would not have experienced the refreshment that forgiving someone can bring. Though forgiving someone who has not asked for forgiveness was perhaps one of the hardest things I have ever done, it was so freeing to live life without the weight of a grudge or resentment.

And GET THIS: Greg apologized. Something I never thought I’d hear from him, something I had worked through living without, and the Lord allowed him to apologize (something I forgot to mention in the last post). I doubt he’ll ever understand what an enormous blessing that was to me.

Alcohol has dominated the Bachelor Pad.

When I moved into the house, and I’ve touched on this before, my one condition was that it be completely dry. No alcohol. Period. I foresaw that issue causing dissension between us as roommates, and I approached both Greg and Mr. Experience about the issue beforehand, asking that if we did this, it would not be an issue.

They agreed.

And it has never ceased to be an issue.

Christmas was spent thinking through the why’s and how’s of the request, consequences of yet another “discussion” between Mr. Experienced and I on the issue. The hours I have spent defending something that should have been so simple have soured my time with these guys. I’m fine with alcohol; I drink occasionally, and I find no basis in scripture for saying alcohol is wrong. Getting drunk? Totally different story. But I work at a college; students are over at our house all the time. Of the four of us roommates, three of us have horrible track records when it comes to the stuff. I wanted it to be the one issue that we never had to think about.

And Mr. E has not allowed me to not think about it.

This past 24 hours have brought it to a head, where I despair of our continued living together once Greg and Number Four are married. And I dread sitting down and telling him that. Because I know that, once again, we will fight.

And I’m so incredibly tired of fighting.

So it’s been perhaps the worst year of my life. There have been spots of joy along the way, like the fact that I’ve spent the past 8 months living with my best friend, or the fact that over summer I was able to be a part of another good friend’s wedding. But the issues above have overshadowed much of the good that sprinkled this year.

Speaking of Greg……

Long ago, in some forgotten blog post that I don’t have time to dig up right now, I blogged about “love”, that most dreaded four-letter word. About the fact that I love Greg. About how that realization nearly caused me to lose my dinner the first time I thought it. About how every single day since then, I have started each morning with the commitment that this curse I struggle with of SSA would never affect my relationship with him. About how every single moment of living with my best friend has been a search for how I can show Christlike love to him and serve him.

It’s been hard. The world that surrounds us, that inundates us every waking moment of the day, has a very different definition of love. And a very different way of expressing love.

Sex.

That’s not an option. And never will be.

So I have worked, hard, every day, purposefully, to learn how to love in a way that honors God. That has meant giving of myself at times to serve him.

Because of love.

Back in February, I defined love as: “Love is a risk. It’s a conscious choice, and it’s a willingness to sacrifice for another person regardless of the cost. The greatest expression of love you can give is to love someone without expecting anything in return.”

I still stand by that definition. It’s what it means to love “unconditionally.”

But it’s not easy.

I just read an article from Facebook that popped into my newsfeed. It was titled “11 Ridiculous Signs That Might Mean You’re In Love.”

1. He/She frustrates the living hell out o you, and yet you still tolerate him/her. Check.

2. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying, it just matters that you get to talk to each other. Check.

3. You’ll make your life harder for him/her. Check – I’ve learned to sacrifice for others, and much of that learning has happened through my friendship with Greg.

4. You’re willing to run errands with him/her. Check – I mean, we’re roommates….

5. You can talk about your bodily functions around him/her. Weird, but check.

6. Even just two minutes is worth it. Check……yeah, definitely true.

7. He/She makes you want to yell a lot. Yes…Check.

8. The time you waste with him/her doesn’t feel wasted. Check – some of my favorite times have been the days where neither of us have anything going on through the day, and we just veg playing video games for an entire day.

9. You have a lot of questions for him/her. Check.

10. Everything makes you think of him/her. Sadly, yes. Check.

11. He/She scares the shit out of you. Check – love is terrifying, and in those moments when he has opened up, expressed his heart, shown what the Lord is doing in his life, I have been so proud and honored to call him a friend. But those emotions, everything that is tied to SSA rise up like bile and threaten to choke the joy out of those moments, and that scares the crap out of me.

So yes, I love my roommate. Every single day, every single night is a purposeful decision to not allow my personal demons and temptations to ruin this friendship. It means a constant life of “on guard.” But it’s worth it. Because in refusing to just accept the world’s definition of love, I have learned so much about what it means to love someone as Christ loved us.

It’s not easy, but it’s so incredibly worth it.

So, with all that said, here’s to 2015. The track before us may twist and turn in ways that make us want to hurl, the ups and downs may prove to be the best and worst moments of our lives, but we’re gonna ride this effing coaster for all it’s worth. Why? Because we trust in our wonderful, perfect Savior, Jesus Christ.

And He designed the coaster.

Love you guys!

T

‘Tis The Season (plus) BIG NEWS!!!

Christmastime is here!!!!! OH MY WORD, I am SO excited!!!

I spent Thanksgiving Day with my family, stuffing my face with turkey, cranberry sauce, yams, and broccoli casserole, and having a high old time with them. My mom often asks us, “Did you miss us?” when she sees any of the siblings that have moved out of the house. I always feel a little awkward answering because the truth is, I don’t really miss them all the time. When you move away from your family, life becomes different. You fill your time with other things to take the place of the time you once spent with your immediate family. For parents, I suppose it makes more sense to miss your kids all the time: they’re your offspring, the people you’ve raised and poured yourself into for the past 18-or-so years. For us kids, yes, I miss them, but mostly when I’m reminded how much of a blessing it is to be with them.

That night, I got back to the Bachelor Pad around 11:30pm and walked in on Mr. E lying on the couch watching a documentary.

The first question out of my mouth: “CAN WE DECORATE NOW?!?!”

Seriously, I LOVE Christmas! I know it’s the typical “gay” thing to be all “Oh my gosh, that looks FABulous” or “DARling, I’m just SO excited to acCESorize!”, and though I struggle with homosexuality, I’ve never been in that camp. I just honestly love to make things look clean and nice. And I frickin’ LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

Nothing wrong with that, right?

All that said, somewhere around 3:30am the next morning, the two of us stood silently in the living room, surveying our work. The Christmas tree stood proudly in the corner, bedecked with gleaming ornaments, tinsel, and lights. Strings of lights wrapped around the entire ceiling, fading slowly between a soft white and muted colors. A santa-red Christmas blanket graced the couch, next to the shelves touched with the extra ornaments and garland. Lights ran up the stairs, interspersed with green garland and pine needles, curving around the banister up to the landing where gold tinsel wrapped around the TV and printer.

And all was right with the world.

Christmas has arrived.

Greg and I had a long heart-to-heart a few days after my last post. For the first time, I think I learned that, in some cases, the right thing to say is….nothing. I often default to chiming in to agree with a point or share my own experience with something that closely mirrors a story just shared. Many times, I think that I have something to share that could enhance the conversation or make it better.

I learned that night that sometimes, the best thing to do is simply to listen. I’ve never heard him talk so much, because, honestly, I think I finally let him talk. And didn’t squash him with noise. And I felt like I learned more about him in those 45 minutes than I had in the last five years. Some of the things he shared sucked to hear, things about how I come across to him and to others around me. Things about how he feels about the house and having the three of us as roommates.

But they were good things to hear. Because now they’re out in the open, and I can work on them. Because friendship takes work.

So that was a blessing.

OH! HOW COULD I FORGET?!?!?!

NUMBER FOUR GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!!

Oh my word, seriously, I was SO excited for him. I think I’ve said it before on this blog, but I often feel that he’s the most mature person that lives in the house. Even over me in many areas.

And now he’s engaged!!!!!!!

His wedding is slated for the end of May. Greg is getting hitched the beginning of June. Then Mr. E and I get to decide what we’re going to do moving forwards. We’ve mentioned “that box” to each other a few times. The box that sits in some avoided corner of our minds labeled “future roommates”.

I don’t want to open that box. I want our current situation to last forever. I love my roommate, I have grown to love my housemates, and I dread the day that the four of us part ways.

But, obviously, it can’t last forever. Someday in the near future, Mr. E and I will have to take that box down from it’s high shelf and begin the long process of going through it’s contents.

But for now, for this brief season of my life, I will enjoy the fact that I room with my best friend, I share a house with two more of my closest friends, and our house is DECKED out for Christmas.

Life doesn’t get much better than this!

T

The Rusted Edge of Comfortable

My, my, it’s been a while.

Hello from slowly-cooling-down Southern California! I’ve crested the wave of Production Week, dealt with the depression doldrums that follow, and picked up the pace as the College gears up for Thanksgiving and *gasp* CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Yes, it’s almost here.

Production Week went so incredibly well; the cast and crew of this show were one of the best groups we’ve had in several years. If I had to describe them in one word, I’d use “sweet.”

A great bunch of really sweet students.

The theater production itself went off beautifully. Several of the students were able to talk with audience members afterwards in depth about why we do what we do, what exactly is different about doing theater as a Christian. Multiple attendees (a large portion of which were first-timers) mentioned noticing something tangibly different about our group from other productions they had seen. In two cases, members of our cast and crew were able to share the gospel in depth with someone who had come to see a play and began asking questions afterwards.

It was such an encouragement.

We tore down the entire set Saturday night, officially wrapping the show sometime around 2am Sunday morning. Yes, there were many tears and final hugs before we all drifted off to our respective abodes, but the overwhelming feeling was a thankfulness for what the Lord had accomplished through our humble efforts in the show. Greg and I got home around 3am, neither of us wanting to leave the Hall until everybody else was gone.

Ah yes, Greg. Things are good between us. I’ve thought much over the past few nights about this new balance we seem to have struck.

We’re comfortable.

Tension is gone, awkwardness is gone. We are able to have conversations without dancing around issues or skirting anything meaningful. We’re friends, and it’s good to be friends. I mean, it’s a small thing, but we have conversations in the bathroom, one of us butt-naked in the transparent glass shower and the other brushing his teeth or something a few feet away.

Really……never thought I’d be that comfortable a few months back.

But there is an edge, a slightly rusted underbelly to that marvelous comfort.

A few nights back, right before closing weekend of the show, Mr. Experience and Greg had a tiff in the house……ok fine, let’s not sugar-coat it: Mr. E completely lost it and blew up at Greg. It was over something small and trivial, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and uncovered the rest of the iceberg floating just below the surface. Mr. E instantly regretted it, and said so to Four and I, but it wasn’t until this afternoon as I write this that he and Greg finally addressed it through apology and forgiveness.

That night, the three of us roommates (Mr. E, Four, and myself) had a conversation about Greg. It centered on an issue we had all individually noticed in his life – not a sin issue, but something that had grown to the point of deserving a warning from his brothers in Christ – and none of us knew how to handle it. It was at this point, discussing the issue and trying to decide how best to come alongside our brother that Mr. E sighed and glanced at Four.

“Should we tell him the rest of it?”

Four shrugged, then nodded.

“We should go for a drive.”

The three of us left the house and talked till 2am that night. They opened up to me about things they had noticed over the past few months, things they had talked through between the two of them and debated telling me and asking my opinion.

Basically, they had begun to question Greg’s salvation.

Once more, standing on the very basketball court where I had come out to Four, I felt the weight of friendship bear down on my head. Another deep conversation suddenly loomed on the horizon, and the realization that friendship continues to take work once again settled on my shoulders. In return to their questions and thoughts, I opened up and laid out for them the course of my friendship with Greg. The ups and downs. The conversations we had talked through. The failures I had witnessed. The triumphs I had rejoiced in. His conversion near the end of last year. My letter to him over the summer. My best defense of the salvation I saw evidence of in his life.

I gave them the testimony of the life I had seen over the past five years, giving what proofs I could of his conversion. At the end of our time, I had gained a new respect for both Mr. E and Four, and they had come to better understand the point of life at which Greg now stood. I say this not to build myself up or praise my own loyalty, but to encourage you, my readers, that sometimes your words and the defense you give on behalf of a friend can bring encouragement to those who listen. The three of us left that court and returned home, committing to each other to be intentional in our relationship with Greg. To be clear, in no way do we regard him as a “project friendship” or the lowliest of the four of us. Rather, we have seen that, in this time, we have an opportunity to push him towards Christ, just as we would expect of him if we were in a similar situation.

I have been encouraged and blessed through the last two weeks of the Theater production. I have been stretched and reminded through this situation with Greg that just because one area of life comes to a close, spiritual growth and ministry as a whole are lifelong commitments. Sanctification is complete when we die; until that point, we are required to strive after Christ and push those around us towards Him as well.

I hope to have more time over the next few days to delve a bit deeper into a few areas I’ve been thinking through, but we shall see what the Lord brings about.

Keep pressing on!

T

PRODUCTION WEEK HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!

IT’S HERE!!!!!!! My favorite week of the entire semester! Production week has arrived, along with all the sleepless nights, constant coffee, and side-splitting laughter! I love being able to be involved in a program like this one, where we are able to push students to greater Christlikeness through something as simple as a theater production.

What?! Seriously, who gets to do that?!?!

Pray for me: I’m on coffee cup #3 for the day, and rehearsal hasn’t even started haha

Love you guys!

Brief Thoughts

Man, I used to post a lot more regularly. I suppose that’s a good sign in some ways; life is a little less dramatic at the current moment.

Ah yes, where were we? The dinner.

Four’s friend came over and did end up spending the night at the Bachelor Pad. Several times throughout the course of her stay with us, each of us tried to nudge her to deeper conversation about her family or current life, but she successfully kept things very surface-y. So, we loved her in other practical ways: giving her food, cooking her dinner, letting her use our shower. When someone resists words, sometimes actions will say what they refuse to hear.

She left, and we haven’t heard anything about her from Four since.

The house is quiet. Greg and Number Four are in full swing with classes and college life. Mr. Experienced and I are both getting hammered at our respective jobs; it’s just that ridiculously busy time of year, I suppose. Our theater production is about to enter crunch time with Production Week only two weeks away. Opening night is coming, and with it, the emotional roller-coaster I willingly ride every year.

As in past years, the cast continues to share their testimonies each night. Greg is scheduled for sometime next week, and there’s a small part of me that dreads hearing what the Lord has accomplished in his life over the past few years.

Mostly I dread not even getting mentioned.

Which is pretty prideful.

Please pray that I would be humble, that I would recognize that nothing I have ever, or will ever do accomplishes anything for the cause of Christ in-and-of itself. Christ Himself may chose to use me to do His will, but that is never worth being prideful over or hurt when it is not recognized. And to assume that I have had some sort of lasting impact on someone is the height of pride. I am simply called to live in a way that reflects Christ; if that can be an encouragement to others, so be it.

Satan seems to have given me a brief respite from temptation: pray that I would use it to the best of my ability. There are many defenses I must rebuild over the coming months, many bad habits to break, and many good habits to form.

Praise God we are never done growing or being molded into His likeness!

 

T