Remembering Contentedness

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm sitting in the Great Room at Fairfax Community Church soaking in the reality that I'm actually sitting here in the Great Room at FCC. It's not so much an awe inspiring reality that I'm grappling with. Rather it's a contentedness that's found me over these past two weeks that is slowly convincing me of its realness. At the same time, I'm becoming convinced that it is easier to know when I am content than when I lack contentedness. When I'm discontent things just don't "feel right." There's always some part or parts of me that aren't healthy and that are compartmentalized (sometimes out of survival instincts). If enough time passes my sense of compassion erodes, patience is a burden, and self-preservation becomes my most coveted pursuit. Ultimately I begin struggling with my sense of identity because I've adapted into a survivor rather than a learner and a contributor.

Things are different now. I sense when I'm being selfish and I want to correct it, even apologize for it immediately. My self awareness is heightened because I feel the freedom and the encouragement to be myself. I feel I can trust those around me and be trusted by them. And I feel loved and appreciated explicitly.

It's been almost two weeks since I came on staff at FCC but it's been seven years since I've felt the way I'm feeling right now. While I didn't notice it right away, I felt trapped in seminary and I began to become something very different from who I knew myself to be. I thought after graduation that I'd been freed only to realize I went from one trap to another of a different kind. The environment and reasons were different but the result was the same. For years I've told students that you can only become who you're currently becoming. I don't like who've I've been becoming over the past seven years.

FCC has a high value on giftedness and they hire in such a way that takes the greater group dynamic into consideration while also placing their staff in a position to exercise their gifts to enhance the quality of the staff, the local congregation and whoever may fall into their sphere of influence. What I'm absolutely giddy about is that I have a much clearer picture of who I am now than I did 7 years ago. I have people around me who are intent on developing my strengths and helping manage my weaknesses well. I am excited about becoming a different person; in some respects the person I once was becoming and in other respects a different person altogether. Most of all I'm focused on being the husband and father that I want to be.

I'm content and I'm healing.