11/12/2018 - I’m the primary care-giver for my precious bride. Before now, I have not shared many of the personal issues related to our family journey. Particularly the specific funny and awkward things that happen inside the walls of our house, during therapy, or in hospitals.
All of my reasons for not sharing previously are legitimate still. But the time is right for us to tell more of our story.
There are three reasons I didn’t want to share more before now. A family reason. A leadership reason. And a church reason.
The family reason:
I want my precious bride to keep her dignity. As her strength declines – as challenges increase – as some memories fade – I don’t want her to be embarrassed by me or other family members telling her stories to the world.
But we’re all ready to share more. My devotion for her is so intense, there’s no way I would share something in a way that would bring her shame. Besides, who are we to think there would be a broad audience for our stories anyway? Even if no one else gets value from this blog, I hope my kids, grandkids and the next generations of Team Earp will look back and learn from our experiences.
The leadership reason:
I’ve mostly invested my adult years leading. Businesses and ministries. Casting vision. Gathering a team. Laying out plans. Developing people. In these roles, I always lead by serving others.
As a leader, authenticity is important. But oversharing can be damaging. So I try to share enough of my challenges to point people to Jesus, but not so much that everyone simply feels sorry for us. We want our sharing to be purposeful.
The church reason:
I pastor Elevate Church in Moore, Oklahoma. I’m always honest in my preaching. I talk minimally about my life as a care-giver. I share some of the laughter and tears, joy and sadness, and especially the personal growth I gain from our struggles.
But most of the funniest and most difficult challenges are just not suitable for discussing in church where people can’t escape from the message! (Who wants to hear about changing adult diapers on a Sunday morning?!)
I want my sharing here to encourage and challenge you. But more than that, I pray that I can give you hope.
Hope - the knowledge that even in the darkness, there can be much joy and celebration.
Hope - the realization that life can be hard, but you’re never alone.
Hope - the developing of emotional and spiritual tools for dealing with disappointments.
And most of all -
Hope - the understanding that the challenges in this life are all temporary.
So in this blog, I’ll share about:
Living a fulfilling life when pain and brokenness doesn’t go away.
· Pain and Suffering
What do problems and pain do to your faith? Your heart? Your emotions?
· Finding strength in adversity
Being strong and tender simultaneously.
Maybe this blog will serve you on your journey through difficult times. Or maybe this space will largely be for my own family and future generations. Either way, it’s worth it to me right now.
Thanks for reading this.
Many blessings to you and yours,
PS - Here are a few more things I’m interested in but I don’t write about here…
Business and entrepreneurship.
Pastoring, church planting, and disciple making.
Social media - With my time at home, I’ve focused, obsessed, and grown our social media following to more than 4 million followers. I love thinking about business development and how to reach people digitally.