Monday, July 12, 2010

Icarus on the rocks

Across the desk, he sits, fingers steepled in contemplation as I squirm under the weight of this decision.

"Is it supposed to feel this way? Excited and scared mushed all together?", I wear my doubt on my sleeve, though I am sure of this step.

"Yeah, I think you got it right.", his smile is a balm to my twisted stomach.

"Alright, when do we get started."

This was my leap of faith.

Life had been relatively easy the last several years. Rising out of the abject poverty of our first couple years of marriage, I found success in the corporate world. In seven years, I moved though the ranks, quadrupling my income, creating a comfortably padded life. Then came the call, awakening in me the desire to give my life to something more.

Some would say it was crazy with a wife and two kids to take a $70,000 pay cut, just to pursue this pull on my life. The prodigal son, that had left the church at sixteen, returning to work in the church. Yes, there was irony, but we took the leap and for five years we never lacked, soaring on wings like eagles.
~~~~~
Across the coffee shop table, he sits, fingers wrapped comfortably around his mug, as I writhe in angst, at the circumstances.

"Is it supposed to feel this way? Empty and desolate mushed all together?", i wear my doubt on my sleeve, unsure of the next step.

"No, I don't think it is.", his knowing smile is a balm to my twisted stomach.

"I don't know what to do."

This was my fall from grace.

Life had been relatively easy the last several years. Ministry had been fruitful, seeing eyes opened to something larger than themselves and though my salary was meager, we wanted for little. Then the call came, awakening a desire for something more.

Some would say it was crazy, making a move like this in an economy that was struggling, but my pride answered and I followed. For months, I lived apart from my family, working for my faith, as the wax that held my wings together slowly melted in the sun, until I plummeted to the rocks below.
~~~~~
Coming home was one of the hardest things I ever did, and one of the easiest. My heart swooned at being with my family again, while at the same time breaking for all I had lost. Questions twisted around my mind...was it all a dream? why was it all taken away? Anger, pain, doubt, they swirled like a maelstrom, at the loss of my identity, threatening to take my dwindling faith with it.

It has been sixteen months, each day another step in the journey of re-finding myself, and while the step into ministry may seem like the greatest leap, discovering myself afterward and learning to fly again has taken so much more.

"Is it supposed to feel this way?"

"I don't know. I have never been here before."

"Then I guess we will see, as we round the next bend in the road, together."

This is my life.

83 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i dont spend a whole lot of time in my writing dwelling on this part of my life. long time readers probably remember most of it...Kat RN had asked about the greatest eap in our life...but this is me and where i came from...

Paul C said...

It takes courage to reflect so honestly about your central yearnings. Powerful title. I think most of us have been there with you, hopes and dreams in disarray.

TechnoBabe said...

I for one would be the first person to applaud someone for making a change and trying something different or something that is a challenge. I have done that all the time, many changes and certainly that brought more challenges. Look how much you have learned and stored up my friend!!

Just Be Real said...

Great post Brian! Wow! Stepping out in faith is what it is all about. Scary, the uncertainty, yes. But, in the end the great reward. Your inner spirit had a stirring. You knew you had to move on and venture out under God's care. Amen!

CM said...

So moving, yet intriguing. You never fail to share your heart with us.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Leap of faith, fall from grace ... and, until all is said and done, whom is to know which is which? -J

Kat_RN said...

Wow! Thank you for joining us. I knew yours would be good. Sometimes things have to feel that way, they just do.
Kat

Pat said...

This is raw with emotion, honest, gut wrenching. Thanks for sharing a part of you.

Bonnie said...

The knowing ... the not knowing ... in retrospect this is the richness of a life lived consciously and responded to with love.

Sometimes we can again take another great leap from 'the rocks' ... as you clearly have.

The Bug said...

This is a very powerful example of what it feels like to make that leap. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Daniel said...

I think I knew this story already, but it was good to read again. I think you understand the whys now better than ever. Personally I am thankful that I got to know you on one of the legs of your journey. Blessings.

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing, Brian. I felt all of your angst as I read it. You have a beautiful soul, and it shines brightly in your writing.

TALON said...

To follow your heart takes real guts. It doesn't mean things will always be smooth or easy, but at the end of the day you can look inside yourself and know you're being true to who you are. The neat thing about life is that who we are is always changing and evolving. And the lesson of being brave enough to change is such a great gift to your children.

Austin said...

Very nice my friend

Tina said...

Thanks for sharing your story and your struggles with us. Leaps of faith are all those things you described, but I think necessary for making our way through the world. Some uncertainty keeps us closer to God, asking Him to help us along the journey. If we were always sure of the outcome, faith wouldn't be necessary. And it is. As you say...smiles.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Thanks for sharing...

Lorenzo said...

Very powerful, Brian. To keep taking leaps of faith even when your faith in leaps is floundering badly proves that you are more Phoenix than Icarus.

Mrsupole said...

Has it been this long? Sometimes it has seemed shorter and other times longer, since you took that leap and yes you are right some of us have been with you throughout this journey and you have always made us feel like we were a part of it. I have said many prayers for you and your family and I will probably say many more but you are worth it. I think we have also felt a lot of the apprehension, joy, and sadness with you and I have to say that this has been a journey that I have always felt blessed and thankful that you have taken us along with you.

I have also been thankful for when you have seemed a lot happier having gone through some of the worse and I wanted to say that you always seem to come back stronger and I am so thankful for that. You have a great and wonderfully loving spirit that shines through with so much hope, happiness for life and we are blessed that you have shared so much of you with us. For this I would like to say, "Thank you".

God bless.

Steven Anthony said...

Wow...did you know I grew up a PK? Then worked as an assistant Pastor in two seperate churches over a span of 13yrs, giving it up 2yrs ago after mums death, finding myself now, after ministry has been the hardest journey of my life...and it still continues on.

Thanx for sharing this one, it spoke to my soul.

adeeyoyo said...

I believe our faith is tested throughout our lives in different ways in order to strengthen our relationship with God. Thank you for this post, Brian.

drybottomgirl said...

I had to read this twice. I'm sure I'm missing something, pieces of the puzzle whatever...a leap of faith. That's just it, we are all so scaared to look into the unknown and loosen the grip that we have on the present. Your growth has been huge, it could be no other, when we freely give to God he does his will, and that's the rub, his not ours. Awesome post! Thanks for this glimpse and remember Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Brian Miller said...

mrsu...you made me cry...smiles.

thanks for the love everyone...it is a journey...there are many times in the back side of this i wonder what is next...and i honestly dont know but it will come...thanks for walking along with me...

Magpie said...

Brian, there is so much emotion here, its hard to take it all in. Your life's journey has been one of difficult choices well-made. Thank you for sharing so we can all learn something from your path.

LadyFi said...

Life consists of leaps of faith, failures and successes. We don't all have your courage though.

ModernMom said...

I enjoyed reading this post Brian! It really does give us an inside peek.

...sometimes it is really hard to follow your heart

AmyLK said...

that is one huge leap of faith!

Claudia said...

So touched by what you write!
We had our leaps of faith as well -and fell hard sometimes...and there are times I just can't understand what God is doing and there are days I just shout and would love to batter him if I would meet him on the street...but still...where else should I go...he has words of eternal life...

Vicki Lane said...

Sometimes it's a long path to travel a short way properly. You seem to have found the path.

Syd said...

A great share Brian. Taking chances and following our heart's desire takes a lot of courage. I am glad that you found your way back home.

The Empress said...

I should have known, based on your writings, I should have known.

Thank you. That was so very real.

JeffScape said...

Not sure if it's intentional, but your title adds quite a bit of irony and contradiction to the piece. Whether it is intentional or not, it adds a flair of brilliance (and always claim accidental brilliance as your own... so reveal nothing!).

Editing note... there's a rather disparaging error regarding dialog format... and one that can get a piece chucked into a trash can. Email me for the fix.

Susan Deborah said...

As Empress remarked: "I should have known, I should have known."

It can be only you who employs a Greek analogy to talk about something unrelated to the remotest of it: Faith and Ministry. How happy I am to know this. My heart leaps and skips. Your testimony (if I can call it that) is a wonderful uplifting in the spirits for people like us.

Joy and courage always,
Susan

Subby said...

That's one heck of a leap...

Still hard to get that image out of my mind, even after all these years...

Courage man!

Nancy said...

Taking a leap of faith is one of the hardest things we are called on to do - and sometimes one of the best. I hope all is well with your decision.

Me said...

Brian, you are the bravest man I (almost) know.

Thanks for this window into your world.
-C

buffalodick said...

I quit a good job, because I burned out doing it after for 35 years, in an economy that no longer needed people like me.. not to be needed is a rotten feeling..

william said...

this was very moving brian, a great story thanks for sharing :)

G-Man said...

Son....
I like you more and more everyday!
You My friend are very unique.
And creative.
And talented.
And caring...
Don't give in to those bastard...

(The evil bastards of DOUBT!!!!)

PattiKen said...

With a heart as strong as yours, Brian, how could you not follow it? And with every new place it led you, you took another step toward becoming the you who has so much to share. thank you for sharing another part of yourself with us!

Maggie said...

It's amazing where life can take us and all the obstacles we have to go through. Life is full of challenges and obstacles that may leave us feeling blue and hopeless at times.

After 18 years of living in the states I never once thought I would be living here in Mexico or becoming a teacher. I though I had fallen through a hole I would not come out off, but somehow I managed to get myself through it all and faith stood by me and here I am.

You are an amazing person Brian! Never forget that and keep on hoping.

Luisa Doraz said...

A stury told by one who believes in himself. :) Have a fun week. :)

Matty said...

When you follow a "calling", He has everything else worked out for you so it will work out for you. And guess what? It's working out.
God bless you friend.

Fragrant Liar said...

Change is so often scary, and for good reason -- the unknown can be dangerous. But following your heart (or your calling) is so worth it. Why else are we even here otherwise?

I admire your guts to go for it. When what we try doesn't work, there's no shame in just doing something else. In fact, it's the way of things. It's how we learn and grow into the best person we can be.

Hugs.
Kimber

Hilary said...

Ah, yes.....leap of faith. It is a good thing...all good.

heartspell said...

We just have to keep repairing and dusting off our wings... and enjoy our journey. Heartpsell

blueviolet said...

I get the feeling there's still a lot yet to be written.

finallygettingtoeven.com said...

Feeling the fear and then doing it anyway. Thank you for sharing your raw emotions with us all.

Dianne said...

having only known you 8 months, I had no idea. That explains your intuitive connection with the human condition and with people on a personal level. a talent and a gift.
do you know how much you have to give??? I feel cheap and poor next to you!!!
keep writing, sensai.
Dianne

Emmanuel Ibok said...

I feel you on this one...Cheers Bro!

Titanium said...

You shared a powerful measure of the chapters from your lifebook, today. The insight, the wisdom, the understanding all comes at a price. You've come a long ways, traveller, to the best place of all: home. Thanks for writing this, for giving a piece of that hard-earned wisdom...

The Retired One said...

I admire your trying, so much. And for recognizing it wasn't for you...that may have been the best discovery of all.Because if you had not followed it, you would always wonder, always long for it and it would ruin your "now".
I took some strong turns in my career and ended up back where I left...luckily my employer wanted me back and asked me back in a similar but better role than before...and I ended up retiring from there about 6 years after returning...feeling like I had gone "full circle".

Ocean Girl said...

His smile is a balm to my twisted stomach. I can feel it.

But were you really away from your family? I just couldn't imagine that.

Eva Gallant said...

fascinating to learn so much about you. I haven't been following that long, but I so admire you're writing.

Pastor Sharon said...

There is something so incredible that happens when we bear our souls and secrets to others. People get to see what can really happen if they would just hop out of the comfort zone, spread their wings and fly.
Brian, this is so amazing the way you shared your story here. I know about some of it already. However, seeing it again, written like this opens up a place inside of my own self, to prepare to soar again!
Thank you!

ds said...

It's the willingness to make that leap that is the true source of strength. Thank you for sharing this. It cannot have been easy.

The Urban Cowboy said...

This really resonates with some of the decisions I have made in my professional career, it's kinda strange.

Cloudia said...

a privilege to walk a ways with you...








Aloha from Hawaii, friend :)

Comfort Spiral

Baino said...

I admire your faith, really I do. I don't share it but if it gives you joy and even moreso if it gives you a vocation to help others in the way you do, it's admirable. Just quietly, I'd rather read a declaration of faith than a treatise on athiesm. Proving something does not exist I find depressing, belief that it might can be refreshing.

Christina said...

Life is a journey. We grow a little from the leaps we make. Sitting, wondering, and dreaming about the road not taken will only leaves us questioning the unknown. Life is what we make of it. I look forward to hearing what is around the next bend for you.

Bernie said...

Each post of yours I read I enjoy so much....this was a bit different and I loved its honesty....Hugs

Pauline said...

From corporate to minister to? Besides writing splendidly, what is it you do for work?

It's phrases like this - "fingers steepled in contemplation" - that make your writing so fresh and fun to read

Valerie said...

The various stages of your life have made you who you are. So many of us benefit from that.

Birdie said...

Brian! some of your posts have touched me deeply and I would think about them days after I read them. This is one of these posts ... I find your story so beautiful and so very inspiring! I wish you that no matter what the twists and turns in your life, that you may always walk your path in honesty, love and peace and that you may always shine your Light the same way you already do. and thank you so much for sharing!

Birdie said...

and I forgot to add that you do have an amazing wife who supported you when the call came ... very touching as well ...

Lorraine said...

I don't know quite what to say...Life...you amaze me, but I don't know quite what to say

Tony Single said...

Wow... what can I say that hasn't already been said by the fine folks above me? Wading out into uncharted waters is not an easy thing to do by any means. The fear of going under can be a strong thing...

Fireblossom said...

Wow. To begin with, I love the title. It's perfect. And the repetition, with the changing responses, works so well. It's moving.

I doubt you need a 67th comment, but here it is anyway. Thanks for sharing this.

Nessa said...

Very interesting. You are a very brave man. And very lucky to have a brave family.

Grand Pooba said...

Dang, that takes balls. Excuse my expression but it's true. Not just anybody can do that, I know I couldn't!

dustus said...

Great writing as usual, particularly enjoyed how you played off of the allusion in this one.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

many times only by falling from grace does one find it.

best to ya

thanks for sharing.

AngelMay said...

To follow your heart takes courage. The trick is knowing where it wants to take you. :)

otin said...

You have to be happy with what you do in life. It is tough to balance what you love with what puts food on the table. I enjoy writing, but the odds of me supporting myself as a writer are a million to one. No one makes it big off of short stories and poetry, so I dig for a living!

Unknown Mami said...

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

Cheryl said...

Absolutely nothing is worse than not following that inner pull. We get one life. A life spent working at what our hearts yearn for is more rewarding than anything imaginable.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I sometimes wish I could write so openly. I think one of these days I'm going to have do one of the writing carnivals you participate in. :)

Mighty M said...

I too am grateful you shared and gave us this look into your life....wow.

Kat_RN said...

The verdict is in Brian, you won the challenge. Please email me.
Kat

laurenmichelleotheim said...

I can completely relate to the uncertainty and how each step feels as if it can alter your life with such magnitude. Thank you for sharing.

Goofball said...

I admire your faith in your decisions and the guts to make big changes when you belief in them. I'm not sure if I'd be able to leap into uncertainty...I'm not good in big changes anyway, only in slow evolution in my life.

Thanks for sharing. I wish you and your family all the best in your next steps!

Okie said...

Great narrative. I love the cyclical nature of the writing and the conflicting changes of emotions. It really brings forth the feelings that come so often through life.

Thank you for sharing.

The Muse said...

I feel you stepped out(ever so slightly) of your "norm" here...and it turned out quite nicely.
Grace is a glorious gift.

Marla said...

You know Brian, I may have not followed you for very long, and I may not know your whole story, but there are a few things I know for sure.

You touch people's lives every single day with your writing because what you write comes from one of the sincerest, bravest hearts out there.

You have ministered to me in ways that would probably surprise you. One of your responses to me once kept me from doing a very foolish thing. That, my friend, is His love in action.