Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Word 2011

OK, so I am 7 ½ months late on the whole One Word 2011 phenomenon but when I discovered Alece’s blog and her One Word challenge, I knew exactly what my One Word was.  Turns out that I have been focusing on my One Word since the middle of March without even knowing it; I wasn’t necessarily focusing on the word itself but rather on the steps I need to take to live out the word in my life.

Honestly, if I had known about One Word in January, I would have certainly picked a different word than the One Word that I have chosen . . .

To be completely honest, I would have likely laughed at the concept of choosing one word to focus on for the entire year.  It would have been so foreign to me since my spiritual walk had ventured so far from where God intended.  I would have likely made a joke of it and picked a silly word like beer.  After all, at that point in time that was all that mattered to me.

Yep, beer, that would have been my word.  It seems like that was all I focused on:
When could I have my next beer?
What event could I attend where they serve beer?
What restaurant could I take my family to where they have a good selection of beer?
Where is the closest store that has beer?
Georgia doesn't have alcohol sales on Sunday so on Saturday I would be concerned about running out of beer.

But now, I am a different person, God has dealt with me and exposed many wonderful things to me through one very devastating situation.

So to my One Word . . .

My One Word is............................................SELFLESS

Sadly, I became fully aware of how damn selfish I’ve been over the last several years on March 13, 2011, when my wife, Toni, of almost nine years sat me down and explained to me, for the first real time, that she was unhappy.  Unfortunately, when Toni finally got the nerve to tell me, she was already done.  There was no changing her mind, there was no option for counseling, there was no chance to save our marriage.  I later came to realize that there were other outside circumstances at play but it doesn’t change the fact that I was a “selfish ass”.  If I had been less selfish and more selfless, I would not have pushed her away. 

I missed all of the silent clues because I was so self-absorbed.  Everything was about me.

I had turned so far from God, that I didn’t realize that I was causing so much pain to the one (earthly) person that I swore to love above all others.  I pushed my wife away, slowly, painfully, I pushed her away.  I wore her down.  I broke her.

I knew that Toni was one to keep things internalized and not vocalize; I knew that she felt every selfish choice that I made first hand.  Yet I chose selfishness above love for my wife, while she chose to absorb it all so that I could have all the things that I wanted; the things that superficially made me happy.

I am truly heartbroken that my marriage is over.

I am even more heartbroken that I destroyed Toni's spirit.

I was not only selfish in my marriage but I was selfish to everyone that I encountered.  I became rude and ugly, I became mean spirited and I lost my ability to govern my speech.  I spoke ugly toward people and thought it was OK because I was being honest, brutally honest unfortunately.  I valued myself and my agenda over all others and I would never give in without a fight.  I wore Toni down and I negatively affected everyone around me.

I was in such a deep cloud of sin that when God finally let something bad happen to me, I couldn’t see Him through the deep dark sin cloud that I created.  I knew where to turn but the cloud blotted God out completely.

Only now, four months later, am I starting to really see all the good things that God has in store for me.  I still pray and hope for reconciliation of my marriage but I am preparing for Plan B, knowing that Plan B may be something that I am totally not fully prepared for.  But . . . I also know that God can provide and that He can answer even the biggest of prayers.  Plan B very well may be a restored marriage where I am the husband that Toni deserves.  If not, that’s OK too; I will continually love her for the wonderful years that we spent together, the years that she put up with this Selfish Prick.  And I will always love her for our beautiful daughter, Stella.

Bottom line is . . . I NOW am eagerly searching out God’s blessings every day.  I am becoming the person that He has called for me to be.  I am not running anymore and above all other things I am becoming a less selfish person and becoming the selfless person that Jesus would be proud of.

My One Word:
I will boldly and wholeheartedly focus on my One Word.

"Let it shape you, guide your decisions, and help you grow. And you’ll discover the big impact one word can make."

Thank you Alece for your challenge and for opening up to us all!  You are great!

Romans 15
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.2 We should all please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.3 For even Christ did not please himself . . .

I will follow up in the next few days/weeks with my full story.


  1. wow, chris. there is so much packed into this post... and i am left with goosebumps and not many words. i admire your broken and contrite spirit... thank you for sharing honestly and candidly...

  2. Chris, I hope you won't take this as some lecture from on high and see the heart I intend this with because the footsteps on the road in front of you are very likely mine.

    You are not a selfish prick. What you are is a human being who took your eyes off Christ and woke up to realize you'd drifted a hell of a lot farther away than you ever imagined...and you're finding out what a hard road it is to get back to the narrow path.

    You may have been a selfish prick...but you're not any longer. A selfish prick would never admit it like you've done here. A selfish prick wouldn't be heartbroken that you wounded Toni so deeply.

    If anything, "wounded and healing" is a good title for where you are because that's exactly where you're at today. And you will heal. And wounds will be bound up. It will happen. I know because it happened to me.

    Throw off that label while never forgetting that you once wore it. In that, you can start to step into what God is going to do next.