Some family members agreed to meet with me and offered their kindness and grace. They gave one wish for me, that I could make something good come out of this in my life. The congregation I was pastoring gave me time off to heal. God was with me in that dark time in a way I've never experienced before. A few months later, I wrote a lament of my thoughts.
"My Lament" by John Troyer
I can’t get any lower and I’m yelling for you God.
Are you listening?
I know you’re listening, because you’ve shown yourself to me before.
All I can do is cry help.
I’m in so deep, and I don’t see any way out of this one.
There’s nothing I can do, no where I can go.
How can I trust you when you don’t fix things up?
You can fix it up, but why don’t you?
But what choice do I have, where else can I run?
Bitterness and anger, they’ll swallow me up.
Taking it out on you will only ruin me.
No, the only choice is to turn to you.
So I’m waiting, waiting, waiting
I ache with waiting, my head hurts...
I’ve learned one thing.
God’s the only place to go, there’s nowhere else.
I have had many moments of grace since that time, and also continuing sadness. I continue to pray for those who have had to bear the cost of what I've done.
I also have had to look in a new way at what it means to be pro-life. Too many times we think in hypotheticals about what we would do if we had to defend ourselves. Would we take someone's life? I would simply say it's never worth it. Eternity is too clear, Jesus' witness is too strong, the choices of the early Anabaptists speak to loudly. Whether it's abortion or war, as a follower of Jesus I cannot actively participate in and support intentionally taking the life of another human being. I have instead chosen to build life and support life. If we want to advocate for the innocent, the most powerful response is to speak loudly but do no harm.
-John M Troyer