“Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling the secret of who you are, but more often than not of the mystery of where you have come from and are summoning you to where you should go next.” Frederick Buechner – Whistling in the Dark

As of late, I have been struck with such an intense emotion of brokenness. I have burdened this and pondered why, with little to answer. Here, I still don’t know why my heart has become so soft and broken towards those in my life and to areas of injustice. I feel so weak and inadequate. The loneliness I struggle with inside and insecurity I face, makes me feel like an imposter. I remember so many times last year as president, times where others thought I was so strong and my leadership was so resilient – if only they knew the insecurity and loneliness that abounded within. Even in Africa, when Cory and I confronted 6 thugs with machetes, they saw us as strong and the tone of my voice firm, but if they only knew how scared and frightened I was. Today, I feel so small in such a big world.

I look at those in my life and am just rushed with emotions of blessing. What did I do to deserve such good friends, such an amazing group of guys who speak into my life, a truly beautiful girlfriend who brings out the best in me and parents who offer unconditional love?

If anything my brokenness has caused me to realize how good God is. It has melted me in compassion and so willing to give and serve others. I realize now more than ever how pride is what holds us back from God more than anything. It is our pride that makes us think we don’t need him, that we are adequate, that we have what it takes. Ultimately the father heart of God, the eyes that Jesus saw this world in – that is to serve one another, to open ourselves up and love each other. Loving, it means taking a risk, but that is what this is all about. There have been friends I have loved so much and it hurt so bad when they passed away, but I never regret loving them. I need God, I need others and I don’t think that makes me any less of a man. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”Psalm 51:17

I periodically cry now days, I don’t know why, tears just come. This has never happened to me. My heart is just broken and I know the only way to answer the tears is to give of myself. Once again, I am so scared to go to Africa. It is love/hate relationship. The joy of going is met with so much pain and brokenness. It took me weeks to recover last time and I doubt if I ever really did recover. Damn it, I pray I never recover.

“I am waiting for you to hold me in your arms of love, because it is a big, big world, and I cant survive anymore. But you are so much bigger than it all” – The Folly

Pain – I have journaled about this deeply miss-understood topic so many times. But, I think it is just that relevant to the journey of life. I have never met anyone who hasn’t undergone some intense element of pain. It is what makes us know we are alive and that we have feelings. I have had some incredibly painful experiences in life. Moments where I took a risk and gave my heart to a person or to a group, in hopes it would be accepted and validated, only to be rejected. I don’t regret these risks. I never have and never will. The wound inflicted and pain endured has been healed and now leaves a solemn reminder in a scar. I am proud of my scars, for they make me who I am. This is my story, this is what I am. I can’t change the past, but simply grow from it, always knowing my scar will remind me – not to withhold my heart, but rather to continue to give it and let it be experienced.

The community I now know, the love I experience and the joy I live in – these are because I have chosen to continue to risk and give my heart.