You know, we have gone through a rough set of months the past few. I have had so many people wonder what we went through, so many people with their own version with scattered fragments of truth and imagination. One thing I do know, is I am not the same man I was. This blog has been with me through it all. You can scroll through months and days where I have had alot of trails in my head that are documented in this blog. I guess my purpose of this post... is I am ready to close the books. The yesterdays. I used to think... "You know what I have walked through will be my testimony"... not so much. I mean yeah... it is, but it will have to be released in Gods timing. There are a lot of folks who at this point could not handle looking at our journal just yet. Even as I type this I keep hitting the backspace and deleting what I type, because some of it... is just for us. Regardless of all the questions of what or where. All of the fact less references of OUR history... I want to focus on one thing... and that is this answer... why?
To the best of my ability, all I can muster, all I can gather in a proper response is what I am about to say. The reason I can say it is through time and prayer I am beginning to see why as God pulls back layer after layer of me. So...why? I was tired. I was done. I ran out of G.A.S. meaning... I ran out of giving a crap (but with the vernacular of shipping high in transit). Yes I know. i hear my mother telling me there is no reason for that kind of talk... but its the Gods honest response. I grew empty and tired with no connection, recollection or even desire to refill. Why refill when all your gonna do is pour out and have nothing let for you at the end again anyway? No narcissism involved. No selfishness implied. I was tired of sacrificing with no return. I was tired of living unhappy. I know now... all of that... was MY fault... no one else's.
About 6 months prior to my disappearance from the persona of "Phipps" I had taken so long to build... I felt it. I felt it day after day before I actually shut down. The warning. The inner voice saying "buddy your gonna fizzle". The conviction of what I had left to salvage in me, trying so hard. I could literally feel the Holy Spirit hold it's hands against my chest keeping me at bay. The bottom line? I had already singed my sense of concern. I had already silently grown bitter at ministry and it became the step dad that tried to convince me it loved me... but I held that inner feeling a disconnection of losing the connection of a real Father. You know the original sense of passion I had for ministry to begin with. Why couldnt I just pray for strength again? Why couldnt I just hold on for one more day? Why couldnt I deny myself and... Why? I just didnt care anymore. So I shut down. I grew bitter. I learned the hard way bitterness is the key that gives access to hatred. I didn't get caught in something, I didn't have a nervous breakdown. And besides the fact that even some reading this feel me avoid the obvious, but thats the very thing. It wasnt obvious. I heard how so many said "Thats just not him". I didn't know who "him" was anymore. Bitterness attracts company and bitterness x2= a momentum for madness which causes vow amnesia. I just simply powered down and left.
So many Masters kids with wide eyed wonder asked "how could he do this to us"... that made me angry. Why? My insides screamed "This has nothing to do with you...for once!!" I used to carry a fear in me that if those who had built me at a level, seeing me in my superman suit... if they really knew what Clark Kent had allowed himself to become... I was scared that my fears of no one really caring about ME... not what I do or how I performed or preached. Not what kind of car I drove, who I worked for or what brand my watch was... but me... they would write me off. A lot of those fears came true when it all came down. No one really knew the real Greg Phipps was screaming on the inside, no one really knew how numb I had become. Again... this isn't all true... this is what was being branded into my soul from my non stop thoughts mind. I know now my wife knew the whole time. I know now she talked to me several times, begging me to talk... but I was already gone.
Some details will be in my book but not too many. I have hurt too many people in my process of grace and I wont hurt them anymore but I need to let go of yesterday. even the real yesterday. This last year has been far from perfect. I have been far from perfect.. but who I am compared to who I was before... is limitless. Where my family is now? We could take on the best of yall. My relationship with my wife? ... that will be in her book :) It is unreal. She is and has been simply amazing. Our love for eachother grows more and more everyday.
I guess the hard part for me is forgiving me. I know that sounds ironic coming from a "pastor", but when u are loved unconditionally yet you know the conditions that could be justified... it can tend to haunt you. The other is the relationships that still have bruises in my life. The distance or the gap between myself and those who loved me and I love them. I posted this statement on my Facebook and I'll say it again. I fell, and for those who were using that as an excuse to fall yourself? I got back up. Where are you? I have determined to let those go. I love them, but I am no longer going to beat myself up. I have learned the value of letting people you trust and love really know you. Letting them see the blueprints of you...why? Because if you ever forget who you are, they can remind you. IF you ever get broken? They can help put you back together.
You never understand the depth of Grace until it is needed. I cant wait to write my book because I havent even explained the facts of if I hated ministry so much, why am I back. My journey home was amazing and is still being written. I know there are so many out there who feel that to be in Ministry your not allowed to be happy. Also the facts of the easiest place to get lost is at home. Or have shut down or are about to and need to know there not alone. I eliminated the performance based acceptance I was stuck in... and just live life every day... happy.
Bye Yesterday... Tomorrow has my attention now.