I’m standing here, singing that if God is for us, who can be against us. I’m mouthing it because I have no voice, but I’m still trying very hard to mean it.
I’ve been a full time employee for 22 years. I took my first job when I was eleven. By the time I was 14 I had started a technology consulting business and by 17 I was working in IT in Chicago. For the past 12 years I’ve been employed by the Church. Less money, but still predictable. Predictable income. Predictable outcomes. It was a different path than the IT path, but it was a path nonetheless.
A few years ago I started feeling like something was wrong. I became bored as I looked out ahead at what was coming. And worse, I became conflicted internally. The harder I tried to justify staying on my current path, the more conflicted I felt. After a year, the nagging turned into something more like insanity. The force pushing me off the path was becoming stronger than my determination to make this path work.
So a year and a half ago I told my employer I needed to pull back to part time. I figured this might free me up to explore a new path, without giving up all income and insurance. It seemed like a responsible and smart comprise. But I’m staring to see the compromise part was bigger than the smart and responsible part.
It got worse. My resolve to make my church job work became stronger. My deep love for the church and to see it go in the right direction turned to more obsession and control than love. Meanwhile the force pushing me off the path became unstoppable. I was hearing the same message in books, in prayer time, from friends, even from random strangers: change is coming. Let go, let the current take you. I held on more tightly. I’m not a quitter. I’ve never quit a thing in my life. A few weeks ago, the path hurled me off. Without any option for resolution or even a lot of clarity as to why, I was asked to leave my position at my church. After 10 years of hard work and heartbreak and success and fighting and celebrating and laughter and tears, I’m off that path. It will go on from here, but without me.
I want to explain to everyone who wants to know what happened that I did everything I could to make it work. That I only did what I thought was right for the church in every case for all 10 years.
I want to find and jump on the next path as fast as possible. I want to get on the phone and make it happen.
I want to get down to the work of writing music and getting out in front of crowds and singing asap.
I want to confront the people I feel wronged by in this and tell them that I see what’s behind their actions and I’m not buying their facade. I want to bring truth to light.
I want to tell my wife and boys that we’re going to be ok. I want to make them confident that their dad is strong and will take care of everything.
I want to scream at God, “IF YOU WANT ME TO DO SOMETHING, ALL YOU HAVE, TO DO IS ASK! Why does it have to be all backwards and sideways like this? Why does forward motion have to be surrounded with so much loss and hurt?”
But I can’t do any of these things. The same week I was fired I lost my voice. And with it I lost my VOICE. My reputation is at stake and I can’t defend it. My livelihood is at stake. My manhood is at stake. It’s all on the altar. The knife is coming down and I’m silently mouthing the words, in a church service at a church I was just fired from, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
But what if God isn’t for us?
I’ve been mouthing these words for years.
God, if you’re there, put a voice back inside me. And put my VOICE back inside me. Put me on the path you’ve been leading me toward. Make me strong enough to exist outside of any path (in a dark room) for as long as I need to be. Show me and my family that you are for us. Help us to mean the words - to live the words. If you are for us, we will not be afraid. Are you for us?