Loneliness and Birthdays

I struggle a great deal with loneliness. There are some people in my life who know this, but it’s not common knowledge. I started struggling with this on a very deep level in high school. It has caused me so much pain throughout the years. There have been many sleepless nights/mornings like this one that I could not stop thinking… that I could not shake the loneliness and feelings of not belonging or being loved.

Loneliness makes us feel alone and abandoned in our endeavors and leaves us in a spiral of consuming thoughts. Loneliness tells us that we’re worth only so much — that even those that love us can only possibly love a certain amount. Loneliness can feel infinite, it can feel impossibly overwhelming, and in moments of desolation, it can feel like it’ll never leave us. – Andre Bohrer​

My birthday was five days ago (please don’t send me messages wishing me happy birthday). I hardly did anything to celebrate it. I didn’t make a big deal about it. I didn’t even respond to the “happy birthday!” posts on my Facebook wall – many of them superficial and random. I cringed inside anytime wished me a happy birthday. Why? It’s complicated to explain, but I will try.

I used to really enjoy celebrating my birthday. I used to enjoy people taking the time to plan some kind of event, receiving meaningful gifts, having a good time, and knowing (and feeling) that these people were celebrating my life because they loved me.

That changed at some point through the years.

I dread my birthday now. I can’t stand the superficial birthday wishes from people who could care less about what’s going on in my life and how I’m truly feeling. I don’t like the idea of having a whole day to celebrate my life. What is there to celebrate anyways?

This is where it gets even more personal. I read that post by Andre a long time ago where he was answering someone’s question about this same thing. I resonated so much with what he was feeling that I sent him a long message. He wrote something that day that helped me pinpoint one major reason why I don’t like celebrating my birthday.

I don’t show myself enough love, (which translates into), I don’t think I’m worth the love.

This one sentence wrecked me. The reality of this statement brought me to tears and self-reflection. Allow me to quickly expound on this. I enjoy celebrating my friends’ birthdays. I enjoy planning events for them, getting them gifts, and having a good time with them. I will go out of my way to make sure someone else knows they are loved and appreciated most of the time. I tell my close friends (probably too much) how much I truly appreciate them. I want people to know how amazing they are and that their life is truly worth celebrating!

But not mine. I don’t think people should waste their time and efforts into celebrating my life, because I don’t believe I’m worth celebrating. It’s extremely hard for me to love myself much of the time, so it is hard for me to accept other people’s love. And, most of the time, even when I do accept someone else’s love, it’s hard for me to believe it’s genuine (I’ll write on that soon enough) because of past experiences.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

This is something that is a continual work in progress. Each year it seems to be harder, but each year I learn more about myself. It’s hard to admit these things, but I can’t truly deal with them without getting it out in the open. This is the real me.


Who I Am and Why I’m Here

Good evening!

My name is Rod, and this is a blog about my journey through life.

This blog has been in existence for quite a while, but I have not been consistently active in sharing here. I am here to revive my blog yet again. I have lost inspiration over the years to share my journey with you, but I have recently been inspired to begin again. For my readers who have been with me for quite a while – thank you so much for reading and interacting with me along this journey; I hope you will continue to do so. For new readers who are just starting – welcome to my blog!

Why do I continue to write here despite quitting time after time? This quote by Anne Lamott explains exactly why I continue to write:

Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. […] Hope, as Chesterton said, is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate. Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.

This is why I share my journey; it helps me makes sense of my own life while being inspired by the journey of others that I connect with.

After all is said and done and my journey has ended, I hope that I would be known as a guy who made an impact on the lives of those I knew – one by one.

Daily Dose (1-13-14)

ADVICE FOR YOUNG PASTORS & LEADERS“Don’t neglect caring for your own soul before you care for other souls.” Young ministry leader Tyler Saldaña gives some advice to other young ministry leaders.

A ‘GOSPEL’ THAT ALMOST KILLED ME: “The white-knuckled discipline that I once devoted to the prosperity gospel, I now devote to trusting fully in the finished work of Christ and the grace that I breathe in to survive.” Sean DeMars gives an account of his live when he was devoted to the ‘prosperity gospel’ and how his eyes were opened to the true gospel.

4 WAYS TO MINISTER TO US ‘YOUNG GUNS’: “Many young guys have big hearts and legitimate ambition for the kingdom of God. The church of the future will be far better served if young men are guided and shepherded by more seasoned saints.” John Pond explains four ways older men can mentor younger men in the ministry.

REWRITING OLD HYMNS FOR A NEW GENERATION: “While the text has and will stand the test of time, the melody lost that fight long ago.” Dustin Kensrue shares some reasons and tips for rewriting hymns.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR MISSIONARIES ACTUALLY TEACH?: “Stop sending prosperity-preaching missionaries to the jungles of Peru. They’re killing the villages here. Your missionaries are spending tens of thousands of dollars, traveling across land and sea, invading and settling into new cultures, and it’s all for nothing. They’re doing more harm than good.” This is a very important post that all Christians need to read – especially if they support missionaries, are missionaries, or plan to be missionaries. Sean DeMars talks about how the American Church is exporting the prosperity gospel into places like Peru (where he serves) through missionaries. He challenges us to know what our missionaries believe before we support or send them.

Daily Dose (1-10-14)

WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH“[True worship] is both an affair of the heart and an affair of the mind.” David Mathis discusses what it means to worship in spirit and truth.

WHEN YOUR HEART ISN’T IN IT: “You might find yourself sitting in darkness and uninterested in God’s word, prayer, or worship. But do not neglect these things, for no matter how feeble your faith is at the moment, God will strengthen and enlarge it.” Joe Thorn challenges us to seek the Lord even when our heart just isn’t in it.

THE LIFE-RATTLING TRUTH THAT HAS KEPT ME IN AFRICA: “Paying mere mental assent to a doctrine is quite different than having that doctrine shape your thinking and ultimately your decisions.” Philip Hunt explains how practically experiencing the sovereignty of God has kept him in Africa for 20+ years.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF TWITTER: Kevin DeYoung shares some hilarious, but great points about what we should and shouldn’t do on Twitter.

THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE CHRISTIAN BLOGOSPHERE: “We need to be less about whatever bonehead move Celebrity Pastor X made this week and more about the gospel.” Aaron Armstrong challenges Christian bloggers with three things he would like to see change this year in the blogosphere.

Do you understand the gospel?

“When you blow it, God still celebrates His Son in you. The litmus test of whether or not you understand the gospel is what you do when  you fail. Do you run from Him and go clean yourself up a little bit before you come back into the throne room? Or do you approach the throne of grace with confidence? If you don’t approach the throne of grace with confidence, you don’t understand the gospel.”

– Matt Chandler