My private journal – Day 1

I woke up this morning, did my usual daily ESV Bible reading and then asked myself what was next. I remembered that yesterday I posted that I felt like I was just re-writing Psalms (book of the Bible that I view as mostly David’s annoyances with God). Ironically, God sees David as a man after His own heart.

So I decided to do just that. I’ve said most of this stuff to God, in one way or another, multiple times over the last few months. So I decided to write them out in my private notes on YouVersion.com. Then my wife asked what was up with me this morning, so I told her what I just did. She asked if she could read it, then crazily suggested that I post them online. Why not? She’s written enough transparent books that let you know just how flawed we are, so why can’t I take one for the team (or as this blog title suggests, maybe more are to come). Here is Day 1 of my private (now public) thoughts and prayers. ENJOY!

WHERE AM I GOING?
I feel lost, God. I feel like my body isn’t ready for another day. I know for certain that designing websites is not what you want me to do for the rest of my life. So I wake up each morning, looking at another long day that requires me to feel like I don’t want to feel and do what I don’t want to do.

Is this how you love me? I know you can’t love me more than sending your Son to the cross, but I’m ready to feel loved through today as much as eternity. My family has to watch me cry and not be who I thought you want me to be for them. Medical bills and debt are piling up around my feet, and I feel like such a failure for not providing for them.

You have always provided for us, but you’re scaring the hell out of me right now. As much as I long to live to give a life to my daughters, sometimes I get the sense that life would be better for them if I ceased to exist.

If there is a tomorrow, I believe you have full control over what it looks like. Much more control than I do. What hurts me most is that today was a tomorrow and this is what you wanted it to look like. Why would you want this? If I’m the evil person that doesn’t deserve a good day, why not get rid of me and at least give my family something to live for. They don’t deserve this, even though for some reason I might.

People tell me that there are bigger and better things ahead. How can they know that, and I sit in bed, crying, and asking you what you have planned? You’ve made yourself obvious for so many people before, and I’ve seen you at work in our lives in the past. I don’t doubt that you will come through for me, but almost every day recently I wake up thinking you’re going to drag me through more trash. Does it have to get worse before it gets better?

I’m sick of crying, and I’m writing this to let you know that I want our relationship to grow. You’re bigger than I am, and I know you really could flip my tomorrow upside down. I’m willing to do whatever you want me to, I just don’t know what that is. Show me. Please?

  1. greg smith

    Gabe….I love reading the heart if a man. I know we are not the closest and i don’t know everything happening in your world but…. I have and do relate. I have gone through many challeging and difficult topics in the last year. I sit in my car waiting for my next meeting and wanted to write you. I have so much more I could share but wont. This blog post is your diary. Love You Brother.

  2. Gabe,

    Thank you so much for sharing this and for your transparency. I have less life experience than you and no real words of wisdom or comfort to throw at you, but I thank you for your honesty. I look up to you and Marla and the fights you have had to fight these past few months.

  3. Justin Wolf

    Gabe – thank you for sharing this. I don’t know if this is funny or weird or what, but I have been asking myself and God these exact questions for the past several years. I feel as though I get subtle nudges here and there back onto the path He wants me to be on, but I often get frustrated and anxious that His timeline does not match mine.

  4. Lisa Basner

    Gabe,
    I have never net you, but I know you through Marla. Please know that I am praying for you, and I appreciate your transparency. I would recommend a book that my husband read as he was dealing with cancer that gave him some real insight. It’s called “God on Mute” by Peter Greig. I have not read it yet, but someday I hope to, so I can gain a deeper understanding into his mind that I miss so much. God bless you and your family!

  5. julie

    I so relate! Life has been very difficult these past few years — especially the last 7. I sometimes feel like an agnostic: someone who believes there is a God, but He’s not involved in our lives anymore. He created us, but is not involved any longer.

    But…I have to remember that God is intimately acquainted w/ me…so much so that He knows the number of hairs on my head. That number changes every day, even from one hour to the next. Yet He knows that number at any given moment. His thoughts are always on me!

    Thank you for sharing and being transparent about your struggles with God. May you walk away from this season with a limp as Jacob did when he wrestled with an angel. The limp will not hinder you but will he a reminder to you that you were in that dark valley, but you have also emerged a new man.

  6. I applaud you for being vulnerable by posting this, I know as a guy it takes a lot of pride swallowing to do that.

    And I have to admit I am sitting at work in my cube on lunch break with tears in my eyes from reading that. (I’m hoping nobody walks by at the moment 🙂 )

    I am and will be praying for you! You may have 100 or 500 invites to chat & pray with someone but consider this one more.

    HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR I am not throwing out “feel good Christian crap” I am totally serious about being available if you need an ear.

  7. So thankful for your candor. Life stinks sometimes and so often I feel like I am a bad person because life stinks. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one. Praying for you!!

  8. What I appreciate about you, Gabe, is that you haven’t thrown in the towel. You are wrestling with God, crying out to Him, but you haven’t let go. I wonder if I would be as humble. I wonder if my pride would fool me into thinking this is all nonsense and I’m better off without Him.

    Not you, Gabe. Amidst your suffering, God’s grace is evident. Thank you for sharing your soul.

    I love your family very much. Hugs and many many prayers.

  9. Thanks for sharing your lament. Many of us are moved to deeper levels of faith and are challenged to reorder our lives when we consider God’s call and mission for living. Surely weeping endures for a season but joy and springtime do follow. As Henri Nouwen poignantly writes, the cup of sorrow and the cup of joy co-mingle in the same cup of Life. Press on.

  10. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
    When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
    Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
    His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

    – Annie J. Flint

  11. Gabe… thanks so much for posting this. The kind of relationships that blogs create are so strange. After a couple of years of following your blog, and probably a dozen or so months of following Marla’s blog, the concept that you two can have more social impact on me down here in Australia (and help draw me closer to God) than a lot of those around me is the strangest feeling. Then I remember that to you two, I’m barely a name!

    So many people are asking similar questions to what you are today… Statistics say that long-distance relationships aren’t viable, while some of them say they’re simply more challenging. Either way, people caught in them go through stages. Sometimes things are easy, happy, simple. Other times things seem almost impossible. Personally I think our relationship with God is in part a very long-distance relationship. Mark Lowry explained it really well (http://youtu.be/S801KPX-PgE), he said it’s like being stuck in a lightening storm without any power… for a split moment everything lights up fantastically, but then we’re left in the dark having to try and remember what we saw in the light.

    I feel as though my relationship with God is like that, sometimes he comes through so clearly I just know without a shadow of a doubt that he cares for me, loves me unconditionally, and that the hairs on my head are most definitely numbered in his sight. Then I’m left with seemingly nothing. Left in a deep dark valley wondering ‘where are you’, feeling as though there’s simply no way out. The most difficult (yet arguably most important) thing one can do is remember and dwell on the ‘Moment of Truth’, the times when God came through. Believing that if he came through then, he can most certainly do it now as well.

    Gabe. You’re most certainly a blessing to SO many of us… thank you for being so open! There are no doubt people all around the world who have been blessed by you and what your Taviano’s are doing. I, for one, have been (and will be) offering up prayers from Down Under for you. ‘Don’t let the fire die’, Okay? 😀

  12. Tug Taviano

    I am tearing up as I read this, and wish that I could take this away from you! The pain in this is knowing that this is not you, and the fact that you desire to be happy everyday and yet this is where God has you.

    I pray for you every day, and I get angry at God as well….but one thing I am sooooo thankful for are the times that I get to see you, the days I can talk to you, and the fact that when I got the call that you had a heart attack….that you are still here!

    I am going to stand in between this fight and demand that Satan gets the hell away from you! he does not need to be giving you these thoughts and trapping you in them.

    I still think back to the anxiety that I had and I still remember alot of it! IT is worst than anything anyone will ever experience and i only know a portion of what you are going through…

    Gabe … I am going to get a team praying for you, and praying that tonight….it is over… that tonight you will be able to rest and tomorrow will be full of joy!

    I pray that God will allow you to take all of these thoughts captive and that you will be set free from what is holding you down!

    I love you and am thinking about you every day!!!

  13. Been there a bunch. Hurts like hell. But it does get better. No, really, it does.

  14. Christal

    So I got this website from your brother Tug and for some reason I was drawn to it… I now know why.. I’ve been going through the same thing.. I did not have a heart attack but 3 yrs ago I had my last son and during my pregnancy I developed anxiety more then I can ever imagine… Since then its gotten worse and I have much of the same thoughts as u..I just want u to know u aren’t alone that there are people out there going through some of the same things… I have not been perfect and haven’t always had the best relationship with God but one thing I’ve realized is that God is there for us even when we don’t think he is.. Sometimes I like to think he is getting us ready to take on the world and this is a road bump for more greater things to come.. Always remember God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and if we can touch just one person with our story or life then God is doing something right… You have touched me in knowing I’m not alone with this anxiety and I’m looking forward to continue reading ur post.. My prayers are with u and I know the Lord is putting his arms around u letting u know everything’s going to be alright..

  15. right there with you bro. keep pressing on, agreeing with your psalm for God to show up and lead. blessings my man.

  16. Nathan

    Gabe, God GIVETH, and GIVETH, and GIVETH again, Again and AGAIN.
    Love You MAN!!! 🙂

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