going home again

Lindsay and I spent last week with some family in Arizona. (I’m writing this just a couple hours after returning home, so I haven’t really even had a chance to process all of the things bouncing around in my head. So I’ll just start typing and see what comes out.)

First: a little bit of context— I have had a ridiculous transformation take place in my life over the past eight years or so. Anyone who knows me has heard something about my colorful past, and knows that along the way everything changed for me. I am in no way the same person I was when I was 21, and I can safely say that it has very little to do with the natural effects of maturing as you get older (hold the jokes for a sec). It was Jesus.

That’s my story. I had my heart and soul ripped out and replaced by Jesus. No other explanation makes sense. THAT explanation doesn’t even make sense, but it’s the only one I’ve got.

My story, my life and specifically my job as a pastor has become (in my mind) a huge pink elephant in the room when my family gets together. Aside from one set of cousins and their kids, nobody is on board with Jesus in my family. Nobody is hostile or rude. Everybody is polite… but sometimes it is just weird in the room. And I don’t get it…

It’s so hard to live this life, this new life, in the context of my family. Even Jesus had a hard time in this context, so I’m in good company I guess. The weird thing is that everyone has seen the change, but I have no idea what any of them think about it because nobody talks about it.

What I’m struggling with is this: It is so much easier to be a pastor with friends, students, or even with complete strangers for that matter, than it is to be one with my aunts, uncles, or cousins who have known me my whole life.

People who have known me for 5 months know me better than most of my family who has known me for 30 years.

There’s a lot more to this, but is what I’m saying making sense to anyone out there?

6 thoughts on “going home again”

  1. I feel ya, I am the same way with Robin’s side of the family. It’s so different and hard in many ways being with them, and when I share what it is I’m thankful for, or just have regular conversations for that matter, Jesus finds his way in, it’s part of who I am. But when I start talking about faith, God, true life, it gets extremely odd and uncomfortable…

  2. Really? I’m actually pretty comfortable talking to Lindsay’s family about all things faith-related. I think it is because they’ve only ever known me as Ryan the pastor. I’ve definitely had my share of “odd and uncomfortable” though, mostly early on as I brought the sledgehammer of truth to some of my conversations. I was a bulldozer with some of my family (sorry mom!)… I don’t think I’m quite as obnoxious as I was 🙂

  3. I understand- but obviously not fully. That has to be tough with family. Mine is less frequent- running into almost anybody from high school is fun! But family- that’s a bit harder.

  4. I totally get ya. There are a few members of my family that I love so much and I know they love me, but I feel so completely misunderstood. Its weird the way we talk around how much we don’t get each other. Its been bugging me since Thanksgiving. Glad to hear I’m not the only one 🙂

  5. I am feeling ya man. I am in no way, shape or form the same cat I was even 6 years ago.

    And those who knew me as that guy back then – they don’t even really know me now.

    And with family – that can be tough…

  6. It’s odd with Robin’s family because they are not believers… With her mom’s death (Robin was 11) they all became pretty angry with God and basically traded belief (somewhat Catholic) for bitterness. So when Robin got saved, that was odd, and now with her being married to a pastor… Things get a bit tense/weird. And me being in love with Jesus and all, it comes out in my talk and in general conversation. When that happens the conversation comes to an abrupt and odd halt.

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