Tag Archives: friends

A snapshot of the journey

 

Sometimes I’m grateful and happy,
Sometimes I’m sad, bitter and regretful

Sometimes I dream, hope and pray
Sometimes I contemplate, bicker and curse

When I pray I speak to “my Lord, my God,…Jesus”
But then other times I express gratitude and worship to life itself, to existence.
That’s when I feel no need to put a face or a name on “it”.

Sometimes I’m hardly grateful at all.
It’s when I give up on the future, dreams and love.

And yet there are also times, where I’m amazed that I still get out of bed with my head held high, convinced that my adventure has only just begun, and the best is yet to come.

I wish I could say I’m mostly the later guy, but to be honest I seem to spend equal amounts of time in both moods. The optimist and the pessimist.

But that’s not all bad, there have been times where I hardly had any optimism at all. In fact that was only a few years ago.

I’m going to turn 31 soon and after a very turbulent and intrusive time in my life I finally have found moments where I feel more at ease with myself and who I am.
Where there is no need to pretend for anyone or anything.

My life was going a steady course. But then slowly the”God”-thing made it’s way into my life. And that it did a lot of damage, something most church Christians give me a funny look for when I bring it up…  Don’t get me wrong, as immensely conflicting and frustrating faith can be at times, I do love God.

My faith was simple and pure. Not very complicated, adventurous,…everything you want in your movie. But then the church got involved…and it all went to hell.
I learned a lot and my world became a whole lot bigger, but there are plenty of times where I honestly can say “I wish it never happened”. And sadly that is where most church goers will never understand me. But I don’t need them to anymore either.

I am part of the demographic Church has failed to cater to, you’ve hurt us by not understanding us. And now we’re all leaving you, the institutionalized religion, behind.
And some of us are angry that you refuse to understand us, instead of admitting you’re like us you keep clinging onto empty traditions and practices, because they feel safe.
The disenfranchised have gotten the message. You don’t want to play nice with the other kids…

Luckily there is love and life after church. It took a lot of contemplating, spending time with my feelings, going over all the things that had happened. I have found a certain peace with the idea that, I don’t need to belong there. As much as the “church” wants you to believe that.

It took friends, friends that are people I genuinely want to spend time with rather then Mister “Youthpastor-Mc-go-getter”…God I can’t stand those kind of people.

It took my real parents, it took my real sister, it took my agnostic friends, my atheist friends, my satanist friends, my fellow believers who also have been pushed out of church.

It took all of them to heal bits and pieces of my heart.

It’s true, sometimes it’s hard, and I feel like giving up.
But then again, there’s also plenty of moments where I feel like I’m going to be just fine.
If you’re lucky enough like me, you might find a certain poetry in your life that makes thing bearable. And that gives you just enough hope to be a dreamer.

 

 

Come and take a swim part 5

Come and take a swim part 5

Hello dear everybody who I am gratefull to for reading my blog again!

So last time we took a  look at a heavy part of my life, that first girlfriend where things got “serious” with and then went horribly wrong. I must admit that after writing that I felt drained, because it brought up a lot of memories. But at the same time it feels fantastic having gone over that time period of my life again it gave me an opportunity to forgive and to put things in perspective. In fact I don’t resent her anymore, I’ve found gratitude for the expierience with both it’s up and downsides. As strange as it may sound I have positive feelings towards her now. I may never meet her again, in fact that would be awkward propably, but I have certain peace inside now. Thank you for beeing part of that, by just reading 🙂

So lets take a look at what followed after that. A while after things went south I decided to leave my whole clique behind. I’d sit alone somewhere in the hallways of school sulking in my bitterness (teenagers…how dramatic!).

Not long after that, I shook hands with a guy from “that other band at school that is way more metal”. He was also kind of a reject from his clique, or what exactly the case was I don’t know, he was out. And he also played guitar, we instantly started a band by getting drunk, turning the gain up and jamming out. Some really killer agressive riffs came from that, and we really had something going there. You know how every guitarist goes through that phase of listening to all the classics like Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, Sepultura and so on and so on? Well yeah we were right smack dab in the middle of that mixed with some frustrations. And we felt ready to take on the world. Things got moving fast too, a bassplayer tacked on, a drummer, and a singer. And boy did my attitude change with it, I remember acting like a jerk from time to time just to fit in. However after I don’t know how long things fell appart again. I was dropped because I asked the guys one day “are we really as good as we think we are?”. Nobody likes a spoilsport, I get that, but I was sincere about it. I wanted to take this band all the way so it was time to evaluate ourselves for the next stage.

This was around my second to last year at that school I think, I was about to graduate. I felt again, betrayed. But not as much as the first time, we sort of kept in touch half and half and it wasn’t really clear if things were gonna carry on or not.
During summer my parents sent me to a jazzcamp. I fell in love…with music. Suddenly I was challenged to play clean and something other then powerchords? A whole new spectrum opened up for me there. I met such interesting people as wel. That week threw my life into a whole diffirent direction.

After that I met up with my friends from that metal band again and it was noticeable, we sort of grew appart. So I moved on again (seems to be a theme in my life doens’t it?).

Last schoolyear, here things got shaken up a bit. Just when I though life had pushed me in a corner to be alone most of the time I end up in class with a guy I used hang with right before my musical journey had started. We both loved tabletop gaming (warhammer and the likes) and all kinds of sience fiction stuff. We parted ways over something really trivial back then but here life put us toghether again. It was physical Ed and he was my teammate against everyone else “So here we are again huh, let me help you out here”. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was music to my ears. He wasn’t verry popular in our class, but I did count him as a friend. And he has stood by me in several occasions.

Then there was the ex drummer from my first band, who just started dating my ex girlfriend. Yeah, I said some things to him I shouldn’t have during those days 😦

That year came and went as everybody started making plans for life after highschool. I was busy with my music next to graduating. In fact I didn’t even go to the prom party, I was at a metalfest.
My parents decided that, if I was going to play guitar I might as wel take it serious and go for an education. And after looking around some, I ended up at some kind of Jazz school.

And that’s a story for another time.

I know this one’s short, a little chaotic and kinda boring, but it’ll get interesting soon enough 🙂

Changing churches like underpants.

Hello everybody, it’s been a good while because of lots of stuff going on at work, also got a little sick for a while (while still working, yay). And life just has a way of keeping you busy right? Beeing single I don’t have a lot on my plate yet, but good golly, once you have a goal all of a sudden they’ll throw everything on your path to keep you from it. Anyway…

I was writing a bloggpost about music and church, I’m absolutly passionate about music, it’s a big part of who I am…wel lets just say I’m a musician. Put church into that mix and you have some really heated debates going on. And as I’m writing it I can’t quite nail it yet, it’s such a big topic. So I’ve been putting that one aside for a while.

The come and take a swim series had a really depressing one last time so I’m leaving that to rest a bit as wel (it took something out of me to write that honestly). The story is going to get exciting and pretty crazy from here on so hang in there if you’re reading that one.

Today I wanted to talk about something that I’m right in the middle of. When I popped my head into the local church scene I realised one thing after a short while, go shopping around until you find a place that feels right. And my goodness I’ve got some stories about that part of the venture (=> insert shameless plug for the come and take a swim posts coming up). The things you run into “church shopping” so to speak.

After a while I found a small group of people in someone’s living room, that felt just right. It had the hipster ex rock star pastor, plenty of interaction and room for debate. Some spirituality but not too much. And overal just a nice group of fellow believers to hang with. Fast forward a couple of years later, the pastor and his wife had a kid, our group got a bit bigger…jup we moved. And moved again, and finally again. Yeah it’s not a group of people anymore, it’s a full blown church now. With the whole sunday morning program and all kinds of activities on the side and whatnot. Which is great for them, I’m glad things are moving forward. For me personally however…I have to be honest with myself and others…it’s kind of becoming the kind of church I decided not to be part of when I got here. That and some other situations (you know how little things toghether make a big whole) have led me to stop going for a while. That little while became almost a year now.

And it’s becoming pretty clear to me, my parents, my friends, their parents,…it’s time for me to move on. As gratefull as I am for all the amazing times I’ve had there I feel the Lord is directing me elsewhere. I could stay around but it wouldn’t benefit me, or others.

What I want to share with this post, wether you’re a believer, agnostic, athiest,…or anything else for that matter. Is a little insight into the christian church culture and what goes through your mind when you end up in a situation like this.

In short, it feels liberating, dangerous, scary and depressing. It’s great to be free to be yourself again, because lets be honest some people feel right at home in the church culture…others don’t, and probably never wil. Now that doesn’t mean they’re not saved btw.

I’m one of those people, I like church and the church usually likes me a lot. But every once in a while I just gotta get out of there. To find myself again. Let me take you to something the Lord once whispered to me. I was praying (shortly as always) in the morning and I said, Jesus, lets have breakfast toghether. And I went out to buy some croisants. Now I’ll have you know Belgian croisants are usually more Belgian then croisant. If you want the real deal go more down south. So I get back, put the croisants on a plate and notice, they are slightly burnt. Not to the point where you’re wanna throw them out but just enough to take some edges off. It comes of like little shells (if you’ve had croisants you’ll know what I’m talking about). And as I’m doing this, I feel the holy spirit telling me “that’s how I want to undo you of your sin and wounds….but don’t take off too much…I need people to see who you are and where you come from”.

This was a couple of years aggo and I remember it every now and then. And it’s verry valuable because sometimes beeing part of a church leads you to do things that just aren’t you. They make sence for a lot of people, but if you’re like me then…you’ll know what I’m talking about. Somethings feel kind of forced. I’m not saying this to discount anyone’s expierience in church, that’s just me, somethings I just don’t feel with the best will of the world.

And so yes, it’s liberating to move on. But it also feels scary and dangerous. Because it’s a venture into the unknown again. It’s times like these where you actually have to put your faith to the test and see if you really trust the Lord as much as you claim you do. (after all we’re Christians right? Why wouldn’t we trust Jesus…and then you face something minor even like this…) With that in mind, be patient when you run across someone who’s looking for a new church or trying to find him or herself…you can have the best most honest intentions inviting someone to your church, but it’s not always the best for them. This is one of those things that really really takes God to put into the right place.

And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but theres this feeling of regret also. I would love for things to be diffirent again, but it just isn’t and it’s probably never going to happen. Standing on the starting line of a journey into the unknown is never as exciting to you as it is to the people in the future looking backwards.

I’ll think I’ll end with that…

PS. It’s funny as I’m writing this Journey’s Don’t stop believing starts playing in the background “Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin’ anywhere”…that’s right, whereever I go, I won’t stop believing by His grace 🙂

Come and take a swim part 3

Hello!

It’s been a while huh, I thought it would be a good time to start writing this segment again. Now Last time we focussed on me standing up for Jesus every now and then during high school. And this is where things got sort of set into place for my life to become interesting later on. Lets take a small detour from beeing a Jesus rebel here, we’ll get back on track with that later on.

I was in 4th grade and I made friends with a guy who was just a couple of years older then I was. We both passionatly loved video games and it turned out we didn’t live that far from one another either. Wel I say not that far…I bet it took nearly an hour to get there by bike. But living where I lived and beeing who I was…there weren’t many people I wanted to hang out with and this guy was definatly it. When I met this guy I was sort of in a phase of beeing in between. Didn’t have big aspirations, didn’t really plan on doing anything. Just a kid going to school. But then one day, my friend took out his cd-man…remember those? I got introduced to metallica…I heard of them before but nothing special came to mind. And we started sharing about music we liked. At that point all I knew was the “goth” music from my older sister…(not really,but I thought it was) and a few bands I borrowed from the library when I was much younger. Manowar, sepultura, slayer, obituary, …I’d tape the cd’s from the library. Anyway, back to my friends metallica cd. Shortly after he told me he plays a little guitar himself…now that struck my interest. A lot. We started hanging out playing video games, and a little guitar in between. I dusted of an old acoustic my dad inherited from a friend and I’d figure out little bit’s of chord on my own. Suddenly the guitar craze had bit me.

 

I didn’t take long for my dad to get excited about it as wel…and while it was against my mothers wil “because he will play that thing and school wil become second” I got my first electric guitar. Every single weekend I’d be playing that thing from morning till evening. I loved it. I’d be in my bedroom pretending to be James Hetfield, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai,…I had found my passion. It didn’t take long for me and my friend to start writing songs. We had such a blast, we’d stay over at eachothers house all summer. We’d have those first rehearsals where you improvise this contraption to record with a tapedeck and you’d play until you had it right. Fond, verry fond memories. I’m so glad to have them. Even as I write this I can’t help but feel immense gratitude on the edge of a tear for such beautiful and innocent memories.

We’d design bandlogo’s, after all we did artschool. We’d write lyrics and get into some singing…and it started to feel like an actual band except that it was just the two of us and there was lots of room for improvement.

Then came a time that would change everything…can you guess what it was? Two friends having a good time and then suddenly…I had a girlfriend. Oh-oh here comes trouble. Wel I did have some “girlfriends” before that, but you know holding hands and kisses on the cheeck because at that age…wel girls have the cooties and what do you know huh? But this girlfriend was a little older then me and she’d been around the block a couple of times. It was fun while it lasted but my parents confronted me with the fact that, this wasn’t a girl for me. What followed was a short depression…but my friend stuck with me through it and did his utter best from letting me fall. He had his eye on a diffirent girl but sadly he got a bit friendzoned if I recall correctly. And all was back to normal again…at this point we deserved a big applause and a round of cake…our band was still existing after the first encounter with women…in band terms that means…you guys have potential…yeah forget what they say about playing on stage…if your high school band survives a girlfriend…that’s when you really know you’re the man! It’s the high school band equivalent of taking down a grizzly bear barehanded…you’re all kinds of bad-ass!!! Finally you can sport that little speck of fluff on your chin like it was a full blown lumberjack-beard.

At this point our band started getting a slight bit of personality btw, I started wearing these celtic rings and woolen sweaters…like I was some kind of metal John Lenon…yeah teenagers are pretentious. And that’s an understatement. 

Anyway. Our friendship got stronger, but also a bit more complicated. However we did keep on rehearsing because we wanted to play at some kind of high school reuinion day or something. Single minded we pushed onward because we were determined to be a band!

And then one day, she walked into my life…(thum-dum-duuuuuuum!!!! MAJOR cliffhanger)

 

More about that soon… 😉