I Am Waiting…

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As I write this I am waiting.

I am not at the doctor’s office or hospital.
I am not waiting on a child to get through with music lessons.
I am not waiting on somebody to get ready.
I am not waiting on an appointment.

And even though you were to see me now sitting at my desk in my office pecking away at this keyboard, you would find me waiting.

I am not good at waiting. Years ago in the US Navy we would laugh with frustration at how the military often worked. It was quite common to both hear and say, hurry up and wait

I am waiting on many things in this life.
People don’t move at the speed I would like.
Things don’t happen in my timeframe.
My expectations/ desires are often not the reality of my world.

And so I wait.

I wait for fairness and justice.
I wait for understanding.
I wait for answers I know will not satisfy the longing in my heart.
I wait for answers that will not be given on this side of life.

And so I wait.

I eagerly await the day when sickness, sorrow, pain, and suffering are no longer a part of our lives.
I long for the day when death is gone forever.
I wait expectantly for the ultimate redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of this world/ creation.

At times it seems as if it will take forever.
And so I wait.

I am tired of being broken.
I am weary of struggling against my own broken nature.
I am often exhausted by by the ache and loss in my heart.
I shed tears on a regular basis for the pain and hurt my children feel but seldom express.
I am sometimes shocked by how much that which would be joyous is overshadowed by loss.

There is a tension here at my new address.
And so I wait.

Thankfully, I do not wait alone.
I wait with my wife and family—we walk this journey together.
I wait with others whose faith has been tested.
I wait with those who so identify with the man who told Jesus: I believe. Help my unbelief.

We are not joyless people out here on the margins.
We are not without hope.
In fact, ours is a hope so real we cling to it as if nothing else matters.
Because nothing else does…

May the greatest of blessings be yours this season.

Merry Christmas to all…

Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison/ Ridgeland, MS.

David Bowie Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me…

In another world, in a different time, David Bowie sang that it was time to turn and face the strange changes

Indeed.

In the same song, he also said he didn’t want to be a richer man, instead, he was just gonna have to be a different man.

Yes, indeed.

While I wouldn’t sneeze at the opportunity to be a little more financially independent, being rich materialistically is not one of my life-shaping goals.

I’m just gonna have to be a different man.

How many times can a guy say indeed in one blog post?
Apparently, at least five times…

So once again, indeed.

I am just gonna have to be a different man and I am.

Strange changes abound. Strange changes indeed.

I suspect as long as I am alive, there will occasionally be moments of anger and pain, heartache and rage–yes, joy comes in the morning, but there are plenty more nights of questions and grief to come.

And I am ok with that.

Indeed (somebody stop me…).
There’s one of those strange changes… I have learned to not be afraid of it–grief serves its purpose and while tears can be bitter, they can also be cleansing…

I am thankful for many of the changes in my life.
I am thankful for lessons learned.

My reality has changed.
I am enjoying life.
To quote the Foo Fighters, who will have their own post fairly soon (as in almost done), I am learning to walk again…

Strange Changes.

I am wrestling with a new name for my blog. Desperately Wanting to Believe Again has served it’s purpose. I never quit believing. I do believe. I still struggle with trust at times, but I trust God even if I don’t always understand.

I am done with bitterness. I may be bitter at times or for a moment, but I never want to embrace bitterness again.

I may still have hurt. Pain will raise itself once in awhile, but I never want to be that guy again whose hurt turns him into a pariah.

It’s time to move forward.
It’s time time live again.
And I am.
I am.

Ok. So I am blathering on like the crazy strange man I am.

Four more things:

1. I am going to recommit to writing here more often–giving it the good old college try (whatever that means).

2. I am going to make significant progress on my book (call the first two New Year resolutions if you want).

3. If you have an idea for a new blog name reflecting my new reality, please share it ASAP.

4. Here’s a sermon from the first Sunday of 2015 (last week)–it ends with what I call a story of redemption, restoration, and reconciliation…

God bless and Happy New Year!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

and oh yeah, one more piece of happiness…

My beautiful wife and our new house in Madison, Mississippi! (This picture was from yesterday–after we closed on the house!)

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Defiance!

I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Every day.
At night too.

If you didn’t know me or my story, you’d have no idea.
I don’t park in the handicapped spaces.
I don’t limp (at least not physically).
I am not on any medication for pain or depression.
I don’t walk around with a perpetual frown on my face.

Tears are often my companion, but not every day. At least not where others can see them.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

And yet, I have an amazingly fulfilling marriage. Becki is a wonderful life partner. We work together. We play together. We enjoy life together. (We can actually thrive while canoeing together down the Buffalo River without nary a cross word–not many can say that!)

And together? Together we have four fantastic kids all living under one roof. Each of them is a complete joy all on their own. My oldest and his beautiful wife live in Huntsville, Al and are their own special blessing.

Everything in our lives is not perfect. Not by a long shot. We have our difficulties and struggles–like every family in this country. At the same time, we know joy, laughter, and fun.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Some days I can laugh and tell stories about the ones we lost. Other days, a glance at a picture or a foray into the basement (where two footlockers of Cole’s stuff are stored) is enough to open the floodgates of indescribable pain.

Most of the time I try to tell myself it wouldn’t hurt quite so bad if it didn’t involve such a horrific story. If it wasn’t about rape and murder. If it wasn’t about betrayal. If it didn’t feel so much like the complete absence or abandonment of God… Do those things magnify the pain? Do the specifics sometimes feel like a knife twisting in my side? Absolutely!

But who am I kidding?
Only myself.

The truth is quite simple.
Pain is pain.
Loss is loss.
Grief is grief.

The circumstances may not be the same; the backdrops of our hurt may span opposite ends of the spectrum, but the truth is not complicated at all.

Pain is pain.
Loss is loss.
Grief is grief.
And there is no valid reason to compare situations as if there was some kind of reward for hurting more than someone else.

Still, I hurt.
Every day.
Not every minute of every day.
But, I hurt.

Like so many others, I live each day with a pain that is immeasurable.
Yet, we are a determined group for the most part (thank you for allowing me to speak for you). We may (and do) have moments where grief is crippling, but we are determined nonetheless.

Determined to live.
Determined to know joy.
Determined to prosper.
Determined to experience life and share it with others.

Anything less is to curl up and die.

The grim reaper has it easy enough, and because of that, we are determined to give him as little satisfaction as possible.

Although life can be hard and is often exacerbated by the attitudes and actions of those who would presume to judge, in the end, we chose life.

That is our defiant answer!

Les Ferguson, Jr.