It’s been a while since I’ve talked about myself. Please don’t take that as an egotistical or narcissistic observation. I’m simply pointing out that it’s been a while since I pulled the curtain back and let others see me as more than just an author, but also as a husband, father, Christ-follower, gamer, reader, and all-around geek. I’ve been blogging about The LZR Project
, Flash Fiction Fridays, and cover designs, but I haven’t really been all that personal. At least, I don’t feel like I have. And I think a big part of it is the season I am currently in.
As most of you already know, God called me and my family to the Bay Area over a year ago. The journey out here in itself is a grand story of faith, but you can read about that in my book, Of Dreams and Faith
. Once here, we were under the impression we would be participating in a church plant in the city of San Francisco. That was the major reason we thought we were being moved to the Bay Area in the first place. Things with the church plant didn’t work out (for us personally), which in turn led me to feel as if I had lost my focus, and I found myself crying out to God for direction.
This last year has been rough. I’ve been living in unfamiliar territory out here in the Bay Area. I’ve been away from friends, from family, from familiarity. I’ve had my faithful wife by my side, my son at my heel, but even after a year I still don’t feel ‘settled’ here in the Bay Area. I’ve felt more like a stranger in a strange land, a nomad for lack of a better description. To top things off, we just confirmed that God is calling us back to Arizona, although the specifics of ‘when’ are yet to be determined. This leaves us in a sort of limbo that has got me a little antsy to move forward into the next season.
The question that plagued my mind at one point was this: What has this last year been for? If the purpose of moving us here to California was to be part of a church plant we are no longer a part of, than what are we doing here? Granted, we’ve wanted to live in California for many years, but now that we’ve been here a while, we realize that this isn’t the place we’re going to settle in, at least not right now. So, could God have made a mistake by calling us out here? Did we make a mistake by not following through on the church plant? Did God blunder so badly that He made us waste all of this time, energy, and these resources to move to another state simply to exist?
See, the last year has given me a lot of time to think. A lot of time to pray. A lot of time to look into my heart and spirit and find out who I really am. A lot of time to grow. This time spent in California has given me discipline in trusting God in unfamiliar surroundings, apart from companions, apart from my comfort zone. This time has given me the ability to shut out the voices of others (good or bad), and focus on my relationship with my wife, my relationship with God, and my writing career.
With this journey, though, came a side-effect. As I focused more and more on what God tried to reveal to me, I shrank further and further away from my online persona. I’ve updated friends and family on a very rare basis, I’ve pumped out information about my writing projects – but with no real heart to the posts, and I’ve essentially become a hermit. Again, this is how I feel I’ve come off as of late.
I’ve taken to disguising myself much like the wizard from the Wizard of Oz, pulling the curtains closed while my author persona takes over for me.
It doesn’t help that I also tend to have a dual personality where sometimes I am a supreme introvert, and other times I am a supreme extrovert. Sometimes I look at being an author as merely a business, putting aside all personality to make room for business-related news. Every now and then I’ll say something funny on Twitter, and then leave my account for weeks on end without another word said aside from notifications of the latest blog post which is about my books. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with posting about my writing. This is my God-given career, and (if done right), the information about my writing projects via social media can be a great conduit to let people know what I’ve been up to.
This last season has sort of reminded me of the transformation a caterpillar takes to become a butterfly, residing within a cocoon for weeks, sometimes months, before emerging, transformed. While inside the cocoon, the caterpillar isn’t concerned with the outside world. He is simply focused on his transformation, his growth.
It’s time for my emergence. It’s time for me (and my family) to enter into the next season. I’m stronger, more focused, and more passionate about my relationship with God, my life, and my career. Keep an eye out for more from me in the coming weeks.