Tuesday, November 24, 2015

You Know Nothing Joel Vogt - Part 1

It has been over a year since I have posted on this Blog.  I have many excuses, but it all comes down to my lack of direction in my writing.  My initial reason to start this blog was lost.  I forgot my purpose... my direction.

I am starting a series today.  This will be primarily about my journey to finding God.  If things of this nature typically offend you because you feel that they are preachy or talk down to people I Strongly encourage you to read this anyway.  I was just like you a few months ago.

 I am not sure how many parts there will be.  I will be sharing many things with you that I have mostly kept to myself.

If you are Christian that is not 100% grounded in your faith I must strongly recommend that you do not look up several things that I will write about during this series unfolding.  I will Highlight specifics that I think are dangerous in red. Many things in this series may surprise you, or change your opinion of me.  You may  learn things that you do not know about me yet.  You may be surprised, or upset, or angry at me if you love me.   You may not feel any of these things at all and I may just be assuming things.  I am trusting that God is with me while I write this, and I am praying that the message comes though very safely and clearly.  Let's get right into it shall we?

This next paragraph is how this story was relayed to me throughout my life.  Sorry Mom and Dad for any inaccuracies or continuity issues.

My mother and father met in high school.  My father was very active in the Catholic church and my mother became so after they got together.  When they were both 18 they found out that they were going to have a child together.  They got married before the birth and they began teaching CCD classes. (For my protestant friends it is best related to Sunday school, or religion classes).
March 7th, 1986 was a Friday.  At 5 pm on this Friday My mother gave birth to me after many many hours in labor.  Upon my exit I broke her tail bone.  This does not seem like an important event in my life, but it is.  I harmed my mother coming into this world.  I did not do it on purpose, but I did it nonetheless.  I did not want to come out, and I had to be pulled out with forceps. I had to be dragged into this world kicking and screaming, and in doing so the person I had been closest to in my life got hurt.

Being raised by two CCD teachers is an interesting life.  I knew the priests at our church.  I knew many people from the people who worked at the church or the CCD office.  I attended the Catholic School. Everyone that I met there knew me even if I didn't know them.  My life revolved around church, and everything I was taught involved God.  I was allowed to play Street Fighter and Donkey Kong and Mario, and I was allowed to watch Power Rangers, but I was not allowed to watch Ninja Turtles because they were too violent.
.  I remember something  that happened when I was 4 or 5.   I had a dream about Jesus.  I don't remember the actual dream, but I do remember telling my Granny that I had the dream.  I also remember lying to her about it later and telling her details that I knew weren't true.  This is the first lie that I remember telling.  I told her that it was baby Jesus that came to me, and I told her things that he said...

I had been raised to believe that the Devil was the worst thing that you should be afraid of.  I was terrified that the Devil was going to come take me away if I did something bad... even though that is likely not what I was taught.  I remember laying in bed and dreaming of him.  I DO remember this one.  I couldn't have been in bed for more than 20 minutes.  I Saw 3 wrinkled up balloons on the ground.  As I moved closer to inspect them they started to inflate.  Each balloon was morphing into a strange shape... it was a face.. and ANGRY face.  It was the face of a wrinkled up old angry man with ears that resembled Yoda's Ears.  I sprang out of bed crying.  I ran into the Living room where my mommy and daddy were and my daddy grabbed me up, and he asked me what was wrong.  When I told him he prayed with me for a good long time and he held me as I cried.    I felt safe because he told me that I was safe.  I knew that my guardian angel was there to protect me.  I knew that God was there to save me.  Mommy and Daddy were like superheroes, and I always trusted them.

Life continued in that way until my parents divorced when I was 7.

Divorce in itself can be difficult on a child, but this was something tougher for me to deal with than just a divorce.  We stopped attending church.  It wasn't right away, but it did happen.  I still attended CCD classes, but I did not attend church very often if at all.  My mommy stopped enforcing her rules about me only listening to Christian radio.  My daddy slowly became More and more angry about little things.  They both remarried and neither couple went to church weekly.  I stopped praying every night.  I was still a strong believer but I had no direction. I just believed what people told me and I did not have an age appropriate Children's Bible.  I slowly lost my core.  I lost what was the basis of my life.  This left a hole that needed filling, and Video games were the right shape and size to make me whole again.  They were challenging, and kept my mind off of the chaos that had become my life.  Video games slowly became my life.

When I needed to escape I could always find my escape in Zelda and Final Fantasy.  It was just challenging enough to keep my attention, but not so hard that it made me want to give up.  Just thinking about it now makes me want to go play.... but I won't.  Don't worry.  This is much more important to finish.  

I knew the ending, but I had to be the hero and save everyone.  I had to be the guy who defeated the evil.  I had to be the superhero.  I didn't realize it at the time, but what I was really feeling was that I had to be like Jesus... and Zelda and Final Fantasy helped me feel like I was accomplishing that.

That's all for part one.  I hope it was a relatively easy read.  I will start right where I left off for Part two.