An Examined Life

Today is my first day post-Lehigh Valley Respiratory Care, and Angel’s first day of the new job at the school. Today is also a day of an avalanche of emotion and reflection. Socrates said ’the unexamined life isn’t worth living,’ and that would mean my life is totally worth living because I do almost nothing but examine. However, Socrates was quoted at a trial for piety and corrupting youth, where he was sentenced to death. So, um, I hope it turns out better for me than it did for Socrates. Anyway.
I have so many things swirling through my head and heart. I started that job when I was 26, married one year, and a boy who bears almost no resemblance to the man I am today. In those years, I bought a house, had 2 children, lost my dad, lost that house, bought a new house, lost the only church I’d ever called home, gained a new faith community, a new Bridge, and on and on – I can’t even begin to color in the lines of my life over those years. Suffice it to say, I probably wouldn’t even recognize the Chad that walked into the office in 2002.
My brother-in-law texted me on Monday, “Wonder if you’ll have feelings of guilt or being lost initially,” and no truer words have ever been spoken. I do have both of those feelings, along with so many others, in equal measures, but it was jarring to hear them spoken aloud. I had been feeling those things, but I was hesitant to give them voice. You see, most people are wildly uncomfortable with honesty. Most people want you to cheer up (or at the very least, think about them and fake it convincingly). We are not a society that deals in authenticity. His words were liberating, water for a thirsty soul. I am frightened, guilty, lost, inadequate, insecure and I am strong, excited, happy, peaceful, encouraged, adequate, secure, held, joyful. My tears are full of sadness and celebration. If I were forced to use just one word, I would choose thankful.
No matter what happens from here, I am unbelievably thankful.
I don’t know what I’ll do – I have many ideas (so many ideas). But today, I woke up at 3, worked out, ate an obscene amount of blueberries in my cereal, washed the dishes, took a shower, emptied my work bag, and now I am eating Skittles and writing this to you. I will have to get a cell phone plan today. I suppose I’ll figure it out. I can get overwhelmed with thoughts of where this is all heading, but where I am right now is that all I need is the next step. And the next step is to sit with my heart, equal parts broken and more whole than ever, and breathe, acknowledging what has happened, and breathe, in anticipation for what will. I guess the next step is really the same as the one after that, and the one 100 steps from now. You see, we’re children of the Living God, so the best we can do is to hold His hand, wherever that leads.

One comment

  1. Oh, Chad, thank you for sharing this unbelievably articulate and heartfelt message with us. I am so proud to call you friend, pastor, brother I never had. What a day of changes for your household! Blessings to all of you! Cathy

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