I was born in Tennessee
Late July humidity
Doctor said I was lucky to be alive
I’ve been trouble since the day that I got here
Trouble till the day that I disappear
That’ll be the day that I finally get it right
There is hope for me yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans he’s made for me
I have to wait and see
He’s not finished with me yet
Ok, I wasn’t born in Tennessee. Or “lucky to be alive.” …I have been trouble, though. But that line “He’s not finished with me yet” kinda made me think. It made me think that maybe just because I’m over 350 miles away from anything familiar that my usefulness isn’t over yet.
Still wondering why I’m here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He’s up to something
And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something
So now’s my time to be a man
Follow my heart as far as I can
No telling where I’m ending up tonight
I never slow down or so it seems
But singing my heart it’s one of my dreams
All I gotta do is hold on tight
I’m still wondering why I’m here, too, Brandon. And by here I don’t mean on earth. I mean Huntington, Indiana. There are times when it doesn’t make sense. Why leave everything safe and familiar? Just because the phrase “Go forth from your country and your relatives to the land I will show you” is in the Bible doesn’t mean that it applies to me. And there are people back in PA that I feel need me there. And yet here I am, dropping thousands of dollars that I don’t have on an education I don’t “need.” I could get a job easy, a pretty decent job. My heart wouldn’t be in it, but I’d have my people.
I struggle to believe that there is a purpose for me being in this place. Or that it’s bigger than me. I’ve had a lot of people encourage me that this is an awesome idea, but I’m having a rough time making close friends. It’s been bumpy. I guess that takes time. I know that takes time. But I think it’d be easier if the school was more intentional about this community thing. I guess you can’t have everything.
But while I was walking tonight, I was thinking maybe I’m at this place in my life because I need to be away from everyone and everything else to force me to rely on my God. All the other things and people I put my trust in are 350 miles away. There’s no one I completely trust left that’s close enough to get a hug from. So it’s “God, show up, or else.” Or else I lose everything. Jesus is all I’ve got left.
Maybe I’m being over-dramatic. Maybe things’ll change tomorrow. And I feel like I need to keep trying to build community, but be willing to accept community as it comes. And not give up just because it doesn’t work the first time.
And there have been moments of openness and honesty and story exchanging that have really made me happy. But there have only been (now) three. Thanks, God. Stuff takes time.
We’ve been talking in my intro to Digital Media Arts class about major themes in stories. One of them is the search for home. And I’ve been thinking for quite a while about how few places I have that I really feel completely safe in. (By safe I mean free to be myself). One of them was my Uncle John and Aunt Linda’s house. The other was Jumonville.
When I grow up (yeah, I’m 24, but I still feel like a little kid sometimes) I want my kids to have that feeling that they are loved, and that they have permission to blow it. I want them to feel safe and to know that they are loved by both me and their mom (though I’m single). I want them to know that they could never do anything to make me stop loving them. I’ve only felt that way a couple times in my life.
And while I was walking and talking to God this evening, I was thinking about that whole “home” concept. In a sense, I’m pretty much a homeless guy. I can’t move back in with my parents, I live at college (does that mean i have a home?) and… it’s just hard to feel safe. It’s hard for me to trust people sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. I’m just afraid that if someone really gets to know me, they’ll think I’m a terrible person and never want to talk to me again and then I’ll have invested all that trust in them in telling them stuff and they won’t like me anyway!
It takes time to get me to take down my guard. But once I do, I have a hard time shutting up, because I know I’m allowed to do whatever, and it takes some balancing out.
But back to this whole home thing… While I was talking to God, I got this idea, like maybe home isn’t something external. Maybe it’s something you have to find for yourself in God before you can get it externally. Maybe I need to find that. Maybe that’s part of why I’m here feeling a little alone. Maybe you have to be safe in God before you can be safe anywhere else – and once you are, you can be safe LITERALLY anywhere else. Maybe. Or maybe I’ve just been up too long and I’m rambling.
David M Schell
I am a doubter and a believer. I have a Master's in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but because faith grows and changes, I don't necessarily stand by everything I've ever written, so if you see something troubling further back, please ask! Read More.
8 thoughts on ““He’s not finished with me yet” (and) the search for home”
this hit home for me.. and by 'home' i mean the deepths of my heart.
Dave, I have been in church with my family all 35 years of my life. Now, I am 25 minutes away on Sunday mornings and it feels like eternity. Sometimes we don't have to go 350 miles away to get that feeling. I always equate it to God taking Elijah away from Elisha, God removes what we trust in place of Him. Besides you know what He is doing, you are dead on. And I laugh hysterically because you told me you would never go to college!
I just looked at the chat transcripts.. because I'm a stalker that way… the conversation went this way:David Schell: you sound like someone who could be me 6 years from nowJimmy Davis: i get that sense anyway that you are fighting educationDavid Schell: me? fighting education? i worked hard to get OTJ so i would have to go to school as little as possible!and now it's back to school. You're right. It's funny. *shakes head and laughs*
Man, that is funny and I do not remember that conversation nor do I know where you found it! LOL! I remember like the first time I chatted with you on AIM, you saying, why should I go to school, I know more than the professors anyway! hahahahaNever say what you want do, I mentioned that preaching this morning, everything I say I wont do, I end up doing! Seriously, though, I believe you are in the right place and as you seek God I pray you find peace as He gets you to His Purposes!
like the country song goes, "If you wanna hear God laugh, tell Him your plans!"
David, You are relying too much on emotion. First you say God has confirmed you are to be there and then you say you don't know. Eliminate the emotion and tell me what you know for sure… today!
That's funny about the education bit about you telling Jimmy that you would never go to college. And here you are. 😉 "If you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans!" <–Good point!