Tired, lonely and …


I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or something larger.  Last year at this time I went through some very painful and tumultuous times.  I disconnected from all forms of connecting with others.   A handful of people I was closest too, ended up not being the support system I thought and had hoped for.  It was as though I wrapped myself in an old quilt and stayed wrapped up.  I passed a significant milestone in my life, it seemed as though things were beginning to change.

Life is truly never what you expect.  The highways we travel along don’t always bring us to some sun drenched golden valley.  Some roads take us to dead ends and take us on a detour.  If feels as though I have been left stranded along the roadside with no one in sight.  The journey I thought I was on has gone awry and I no longer have the internal compass I once believed I did.

I find myself standing here looking all around, holding on to memories in my mind of faces and people I once held firm to and treasured.  Reflecting back I remember feeling a sense of hope, new life being breathed into my soul as we walking and experienced life together.  Traveling down life’s terrain with a companion was much sweeter.  How happy I had become with my new companions, really beginning to feel and experience life.  They would be for me what I would be for them.    I am brought back to the reality it didn’t quite work out that way, those people and relationships left me cold, lonely and longing for more.  The memories weren’t reality; they were a bitter reminder of the reality of it.

I walk for a very long time and look up to the heaven and cry out to God. Hoping the one to whom I have run to in the past when I have been lost will speak.  The clouds will part, the sky will open up and his voice will ring so loudly it will shake my very soul. I continue to walk, feeling once again all alone.  I need him, I know I don’t follow him like I should, I forget the very truths I know.  More times than I can count I choose my own roads believing they will bring me a sense of fulfillment. Along my roads I find the sting of poison, working its way through my entire body.  Each time I venture down these roads the poison hurts less and less.

I remember feeling and being alive at one point, experiencing God in ways word fail me to describe.  That time too has long since passed and for many seasons of life I have manufactured a relationship with him based on what I was told would bring me true joy and happiness, yet has left me feeling empty and alone.   I pass a stream, seeing my reflection, but it isn’t really the man I recognize.  The face I see is dirty, tear-stained, swollen from poisons and toxins, weathered and worn.  Not the face of young boy any more, and not yet like the face of my Grandfather, worn and leathery but full of love, life and wisdom.  For that is the face I hope to see reflected back one day.

I am unsure about which path to take, the path that leads guides and directs my steps is the one northern star I have always been able to return to when I have been lost on my path. The path I long for most leads me to the one who will embrace me in his loving arms, just like my Grandfather did when I was a young boy.  His love will be like a torrential downpour that will wash away all the poison, dirty and pain and when the storm is over, breathe new life into this parched and dry soul.

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About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

18 responses to “Tired, lonely and …

  • Scott Schrier (@DiaperDads)

    Just remember that every person that enriches your life is also enriched by their contact with you. They then take that and share it with the world. Every time someone leaves your life, they are taking a small part of you with them, and then sharing that. So, in a strange way, you are touching more people’s lives than you know or can imagine.

    There is an old adage about how a single flap of a butterfly’s wing can cause a hurricane half way around the world. Sure, it’s hyperbole. But it’s an over-exaggeration to prove a point. That even the smallest actions can have huge unseen effects.

    I remember a time, not so very long ago, that a simple tweet hit someone at their lowest point and soothed them greatly. I have never met you. Yet, I freely call you friend. And even though, I am geographically farther away from you than most people you know. I’m here.

    So, here’s some simple truths. And you better remember these.

    1: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
    2: You are a good man.
    3: You are touching more lives than you know.
    4: You are stronger than you THINK.
    5: God IS using you.

    So, stop worrying so damn much and enjoy this wonderful world that God has given us!

    These are things that you have taught me.

    (How’s that for a twist?)

    Peace, brother-man.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Scott, oh man how you know just how to make a guy cry. I will remember your words of wisdom. You are RIGHT. No denying that. I am incredibly thankful that God has connected you and I and look forward to the day we meet in person. I’m adding it to my bucket list.

  • Loren

    If I didn’t know any better I would have thought my name would be at the end of this blog post….. minus the Grandfather part.

    thank you for sharing this…for being so honest and transparent.

    Rain down Lord….bring forth Renewal….let Joy invade every thought and word spoken Father ~ In Jesus Name

  • Cindy Holman

    This picture looks like something around our neighborhood in Renton – we live not far from overhead power lines and go walking down a trail by our house – this looks very similar!

    I’ve gone through similar seasons, Chris – in fact I think that’s when we truly find out who our friends and support system is. Without the testing of friendship – you might never know. It’s sad but true. I had a miserable time of it almost 3 years ago now – with a friendship gone BAD. It was the worst betrayal I’ve ever known – the kind where you just want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and fade away – it hurt so bad. So I can relate to some of what you said above. I’ve also learned that this person was NOT my friend – not when the times got tough – and I found other people there with their arms outstretched who were not afraid of a little “mess” – it didn’t scare them away. It was valuable for me to see the difference and learn how to trust again.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Cindy thank you for being so transparent and sharing that, I really appreciate it. I look forward to who God brings into my life. I am incredibly grateful for those select few who have remained true. They are priceless treasures.

  • Davida

    Truly powerful, Chris! I’m grateful that you have “reconnected”, you have so much wisdom to share and it is an honest, heartfelt wisdom that helps me and I’m sure many others!! Thank you, thank you for sharing YOU with us.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Davida,
      Oh you have no way of knowing how much I needed to hear that from you today. For all these years we’ve known each other you have always held a special place with me. Word can’t even begin to describe how much I truly value you and your family. I am so glad to have reconnected with you and can’t wait till we actually get to see each other face to face again one day. That will be a sweet day indeed.

  • Aaron Smith

    A couple of thoughts:

    1- our experience is not the whole of reality. Our experiences matter, deeply; they do not, however, give us the full boundaries of the way all things are. You may stand on a lonely highway, but you are not alone. You are in motion with a pack, a gang, a cloud of witnesses… some still walking this earth. Even when you feel the lonely road at your feet, you are feeling the experience of the every man, the humans you love and care about. You are loved and cared about and an enjoyable companion. Whatever empty roads, dessert plains, quiet nights, and lonely moments you experience, please remember: that is not the whole of the picture. There are roads you have yet to travel, and people you have still to walk with.

    2- with a north star like that, you will find all that your heart hungers for, and even more still. To quote an old song, “Love has come; and it’s given me hope to carry on.” Sometimes the empty we feel is only a way of focusing ourselves on the hope that we have. It is not in relationships, human beings, experiences, or anything short sighted. It is Jesus alone. He is our hope. Seasons of dry, empty Spirit life come, but they are still seasons of Spirit life. They pass, and come again… and pass again. Your orientation is on the only one sure thing in all of everything in all of existence… the singularity that everything good points towards, and every ache for a true home drives us towards. You are truly navigating and setting your course according to the ways of Life, the Jesus way. He is the way. With that point leading you on, no matter what days bring, you will never be lost.

    Walk hard my friend; I’ll walk beside you.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Aaron,
      Wow that is some very deep comments and it’s taken me awhile to process them. I really appreciate that, but more importantly, let me just say how much I have truly enjoyed being able to being walking through life and having you be a key person in that. Every time I have gotten together with you, I have walked away feeling so encouraged and challenged. It has been such a huge blessing getting to connect deeper with you and I really appreciate you.
      Thanks for being willing to walk through this with me. God has brought me an awesome blessing in you.

  • Tim

    Dear Chris,

    You Chris and your family have deeply touched my life irrevocably and for the good. If I were to weigh the amount of good that has come from knowing you the debt of that weight is astonishing. God placed you in my life in a special way that I am truly grateful for it. I hope to pass on what you have given to me. What have you given to me? So much, but here is just one simple example. I have no doubt that were it not for you, I would not be living in Qatar. Or let me put it positively, God chiefly used you and your family to ignite a passionate interest within my heart for Middle Eastern people. Your openness and hospitality towards me allowed me to be present when God opened your hearts towards exchanged students. This translated into the many nights in which we gathered to eat, hangout, and have fun. This in turn allowed me to befriend so many who God then used to ignite a passionate interest with Middle Eastern people. Honestly, I have had very little culture shock while being in Qatar so far because I had already experienced this culture in your house. I can not thank you enough for being open to what God was doing in you and through you and your family. Your not to the finish line yet. You still have more of a race to run. So you need to get back on that road which was previously fruitful. Re-dig those wells which previously brought water. Forgive those who you need to forgive and begin to walk again.

    Chris, I love you so much. I know you so well and I know that you are a truly beautiful person.

    Tim

    Jude 1:24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Tim,
      The years we have spent together, have been so good for me as well. I have been changed because of those years. I have watched you grow and mature into an amazing Godly man. Thank you for sharing that with me. I will continue waiting and walking down the path I know is right. I hope that God brings more people like you into my life. Thanks again and I can’t wait to see you when you come back.

  • @AnOrdinaryDad

    Chris, I’m not sure what to say. I don’t think I have any real ‘advice’ for you, or words that will instantly make you feel better. I’ll just say that I appreciate you. Not for this post, but for all the days when you say hello on Twitter (even if I don’t respond – hey I don’t have a smartphone and my wife’s usually on the computer after the kids go to bed…) But I appreciate the fact that you care and I know that from your consistent prayers for me and the other guys in the #dadcrew. I’m praying for you tonight, God knows exactly what you’re going through, and He will see you through.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Thanks, I really appreciate your words and prayers. God will see me through as he has with all the rest. Those words are very true. Just always appreciated connecting with you from the very first time I started blogging, you have always been an awesome guy to talk with and really appreciate your heart and how you live.

  • Scotty

    It’s at times like this I wish we had plenty of time to sit down together over a cup of coffee. I think it would be a great conversation! But it’s times like this where social media isn’t nearly as effective. So I won’t even try to make this comment what would come across over coffee. I will say a couple things. One of the single greatest things about you is your willingness, ability, and “want” to love others, to GIVE love. I think part of want is banging around in your heart is a desire to be loved back just a little. The full cycle of love is to love others, and be loved back. It’s a crazy thing when the cycle is more like a broken line. Yes, it is true(!) that receiving God’s love IS ADEQUATE to sustain. But we want more, because God put that desire to be loved in us. Don’t give up on it, keep pursuing it, but don’t let it damage you when it’s not working like it should.

    • Goforth's Journal

      Yeah someday I hope we can sit down and do just that. You know exactly what I am talking about. I would love to sit down and have many conversations with you. I always appreciate what you have to say, it resonates deeply within me. I don’t plan on giving up, although at times I want to, then I always remember that God has called me to be an example to others and that is when I get refreshed to some degree and keep pushing forward. God has somehow designed it that when I am missing that from my friends, my kids will fill in those gaps. Not the same, but it does help greatly. Thanks man and I look forward to the day we can actually hang out.

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