The Question I Have Always Struggled With

It has been always been a challenge for me to celebrate the small things in life. Big accomplishments are easy to see, and they feel good. I have never felt excited about progress. It is like the ultimate goal is still staring me in the face saying I am not good enough. That is the question that has always plagued me “Am I good enough?” If you are a male and have never read any John Eldredge books, you need to. In Wild at Heart, John says:

“Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father. Miss that moment and you’ll miss a boy’s heart forever. It’s not a question – it’s the question, the one every boy and man is longing to ask. Do I have what it takes? Am I powerful? Until a man knows he’s a man he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while at the same time shrink from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live their lives haunted by the question, or crippled by the answer they’ve been given.”

It is not a secret that I didn’t grow up with a father, so this wound in my life is real. According to John, it is the father’s role in a boy’s life to tell him that he has what it takes. To give him verbal courage as he climbs the rock wall “You can do it son” “I believe in you Clayton”. I didn’t really have that as a boy. The wound and questions still haunts me to this day. I am constantly trying to overcome the fear of failure. I am always trying to prove that I am enough. In the process of applying to jobs in my transition, it was clearly a struggle for me. I felt like I wasn’t enough because I wasn’t getting the calls I thought I would from churches. I did not feel like I had what it takes to be successful and by failing to get a job, it was just enhancing what I was telling myself “I do not have what it takes.” Even as I write and edit this blog I keep asking Hilary “is this good enough?”

This seems dark and dreary, but I promise I am making progress. I have continued to find my identity in Christ, and that is step 1. I have also learned recently that I need to celebrate small victories on my journey. Large accomplishments are great but so are the small ones along the way. It is sad to say that I recently hit my highest weight at 299. It was a terrible feeling. I made a mental decision to make some changes because I did not want to hit 300. I didn’t set out with a goal to lose it all or to run a marathon. I just said I am going to make changes. I know myself and when I set large goals the journey means nothing to me. I just see the mountain and it says I am not good enough so I give up over and over. My quitting has just reenforced what I thought about myself. I know that this will always be a struggle of mine, but since I have made changes I have lost 10 pounds! Today for the first time, I gave myself the ability to celebrate that 10 pound victory. In the past, I would have just seen the mountain. I would have felt like where I have been is nothing compared to where I need to be. This would have caused me to feel like what I did was worth nothing. Today I am able to celebrate that I am making small changes, and those changes are working.

I hope that in the world we live in you are able to see that you have what it takes. Before these past few weeks, my weight was either stable or rising. To lose weight is something to celebrate. The numbers are going in a different direction, and that is amazing. The wound I have from my childhood is still healing, but I am making progress. I can glance up at the mountain every now and then, but I want to keep my eyes focused on the small things I do each day. Take a moment and celebrate something today. It doesn’t have to be these great before and after pictures of weight loss. It doesn’t have to be a promotion. It doesn’t have to be climbing Everest. All of those things are great and should be celebrated! Don’t get upset because it is only 1 day of sobriety, celebrate that! A week of being on time to work is worth celebrating! Getting a good parking spot is something to celebrate! Find something dear friends and celebrate it.

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How an Audition Changed My Life

You really never know what small decisions will have a major impact on your life. While I was in College at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX I got a call from a guy I didn’t know asking if I wanted to play bass in a band. Justin Moore was putting together a band for a new worship service for college students called Paradigm. I love to play music so I said yes without really knowing much more than that. Thankfully I didn’t mess up the audition and Justin allowed me to join the band on Thursday nights.

I didn’t really know much about Paradigm but God used it to change my life forever!

I learned about discipleship.

I met my best friends.

I went on lots of mission trips.

I lead my first small group.

I was a part of a movement.

And the list could keep going…

When I auditioned I could not have known the things I know now. I was just a punk kid that selfishly wanted to play in another band. God used that to radically change my life. I am so thankful that Nick Cooper decided to move to Stephenville to start Paradigm.

There are not neon flashing signs that help you know what decision of yours is going to really make an impact. I think that is part of the fun of life. The mystery and unknown is exciting to me. I love adventure and exploring new areas.

I want to encourage you today. Today could be the day that will change your life forever. It won’t happen over night. It has taken many years to see how significant that call from Justin really was. Keep moving forward and don’t give up! The mystery of life should excite you. Knowing the end result would spoil the fun. Just hang on and have some fun along the way!

Today’s post is in honor of the last Paradigm of the semester at TSU. I’m praying for you guys and will always believe in the mission of making Dangerous Disciples. Invite someone to come with you because you never know what phone call can change someones life.

Paradigm

3 Reasons I Want to Start a Blog

Why blog? This is a great question! In a sea of unlimited online information and voices from much better writers than myself, it seems ridiculous for me to do this.

You don’t know enough.

You aren’t funny enough.

You don’t have an interesting life.

Why would anyone listen to you?

What good is this going to do?

Those are all fair questions and my only question back is why not blog? I have been reading blogs for years and in all that time I have only been a consumer of information. I feel like I want to create now so that I can give something back. I am not totally sure what that something is, but I want to start this journey and not just be a consumer of information but a contributor.

In this initial blog, I want to give 3 of my reasons for doing this.

Practice Creating 

I have been trying to build and create things since I was little. I have tried a lot of different creative avenues, and writing is something that always interested me. I have never been good at it, just ask my high school english teacher. I’ve heard from many wise men over the years in different arenas that creativity is a discipline. Having this blog will stretch me creatively, give me more practice to get better, and help me to cultivate that discipline.

Stay Connected to Friends and Family

I have never been great at updating social media. I check social media a lot, but sharing my life in a quick picture or phrase has never been easy. My hope is that through this blog it will help my friends and family stay connected with me since I moved across the country. Since we have moved to North Carolina, we have been talking to our friends and family more than ever. This is great, but it is also hard to keep everyone updated with what is going on in the life of the Voigt Family. If I am able to keep people more updated, then maybe I will be able to keep up with people as well.

To Inspire Someone to Pursue a Passion

Writing isn’t necessarily a passion of mine, but creating things is a passion. There is almost no greater feeling than when you finish a project and step back to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Recently I built a stand for my cell phone to help me watch videos at night before bed. It was a simple problem, but it took a lot of thought and problem solving to build the little guy. I didn’t have the saw I needed, so I improvised and made a decent cut. I think it turned out great! It serves its purpose, and I plan on staining it eventually to make it look even better. The point is that it was a simple project that didn’t take much other that what I had laying around. I hope that someone is inspired to start something today with what they have. You don’t have to be perfect or have all the answers. Just start! I am an amateur at everything I do, but if I keep at it maybe one day I can be great.

Thanks for reading my first blog. Give me grace as I learn and grow! What blogs do you guys read? Who do you think I can learn from? Please let me know!

 

Phone Holder

Iphone 6+ Stand