Wednesday, June 6, 2012


picture by wm. blake spencer
forsythe refuge in new jersey

so this i know
i was like many other people growing up
in the midst of peer pressure...

all i wanted
was to make my way
through the day without much notice.

for the most part
i lived in the background of life.
there were two exceptions:
band and church.

band and church:
my refuge
where other people knew me a bit more
where i laughed and had the opportunity to act
goofy and have fun.

outside my refuge of band and church
i blended into the background and lived as an observer...

not because i was shy,
i'm not shy.

not because i did not have opinions,
i have opinions.

not because i was not smart enough
to carry on meaningful conversations with others,
i'm smart and clever. 

not because i'm quiet,
i'm vibrant and confident and verbal.

i blended into the background
and lived as an observer
i recognized just below the surface of
my skin and bones and soul
there was something different
about me...
i couldn't quite

there were moments of clarity...
moments when i recognized
my personality and interests were different than
the other boys i hung around.

i always felt safer with girls.

the clarity about
the core of my personality and interests
never found sure footing.

any clarity i did get
was always squelched
by everything and everyone around me...
and was
also squelched by me.

i prayed more than most
(o.k. that's a judgment call on my part)
but i did pray....
please LORD take away the thoughts and the feelings
that come with those moments of clarity.

oh GOD...i prayed:
all i want is to fit in.
all i want is to succeed.
all i want is to have what others have.
all i want is for others to allow me to be a part of life.
all i want is to be loved.
all i want is to be what everyone wants me to be.

GOD answered my prayer.
and the answer resulted
in a life journey of denial...
for the only way to fit in, succeed, have what others have,
and to be allowed to be part of life and be loved and
be what everyone wanted me to be
was to

so i denied what i really knew.
i made an unconscious and at times a very deliberate CHOICE
to allow everyone around me to define who i was
rather than claim the definition
GOD so lovingly planted within me.

funny thing...
i denied GOD
i trashed the gift of my life
as GOD had so lovingly and powerfully created...
and then
had the audacity to tell GOD
that my life was not good or acceptable
because others said so.

i had the arrogance to stand with others
and point at my own being
and define it
as flawed and worthless.

and GOD loved me anyway.
GOD answered my prayers
my rejection (of myself and GOD)
despite my shame.

and i was deemed acceptable by
the church and the culture
and the people all around me.

i was acceptable
though my inner being
as GOD had so lovingly and powerfully created...
withered and cowered and shrivled and hurt...
but no
one -
including me
cared about
my withering, cowereing, shrivling soul that hurt...
and those who did care
i pushed away...

and this is the biggest BUT
of all!
GOD spoke to me.

GOD spoke
to me
and i finally heard!

so now i fully claim
my life
GOD so lovingly and powerfully created.

now i not only
recognize the amazing
gifts of people and love that have long been part of my life
expecially in those years of my denial...
i finally
recognize the
amazing life
within my

i finally love my
as deeply as
my ex-wife and children...
as deeply as
my parents and friends...
as deeply
as the new
in my life.

my refuge has expanded beyond belief
i will never
turn back
to what was!

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