Posted by: John Adams | November 16, 2007

The State of My Soul

One of the great things about stress is that you get to see your own deficiencies in a very clear light. Putting pressure on something makes what is hidden come oozing out, like pushing a scab down to draw out the pus.

Living with three other guys is helping me see that I turn inwards by default. I tend to feel like an outsider in the midst of any group, and I will frequently push away community out of a desire not to get hurt. I get neurotically frustrated about small things. I get proud and have a hard time receiving love from others. I have a hard time letting go of offenses. And I tend to retreat into myself when I don’t know to handle things.

One of the reasons I stayed out here after graduating was that I knew I needed to become a better person. I had a sense that living with these guys would shape me in some ways that school couldn’t. It’s working. I’m changing — slowly but surely — but along with this change has come a sense of regret. I really wish I had been able to deal with dysfunction in my life earlier.

When I first moved to Portland, I had a girl writing me a letter a week. Two summers ago, I had the distinct sadness of sitting alone on a North Carolina beach on her wedding day. I hadn’t been invited. Often, I find myself longing for a different end to that story. I wonder if I would have gotten it if I would have taken my walls down sooner.

That being said, I am grateful more often than I long for the past. I do not deserve to live with these guys in this city. I do not deserve to be happy. I do not deserve the grace of God as I am currently experiencing it. And yet I do, and I am, and still it flows, like the wine that Jesus once served a wedding party in Cana. May it be said now of me, as it was then of the wine, that he has saved the best for last.



  1. I like you.

  2. i like you more! john, you’re one of the bestest friends i have ever had! and you’re bloody 10 years younger than me. Bloh’ee ‘ell!!

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