Chill Out, Child

Hi, friends!

Today’s interview is with someone who I look up to and have the utmost respect for. Justin is someone who has been there for me through some of the most craziest and difficult times… And is still there for me, regardless of how hard I try to push him away. He is one of my role models, someone who I know will tell me the things I don’t want to hear, but need to hear. He is someone who has a way with words and takes care of those around him. He is… Extra, to say the least. LOL. But I love this guy in all his extra-ness.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m like that piece of clothing in the store that you think is really nice, but when you take a second look at it you notice there are a few qualities about it that makes it completely horrible…but then you look a third time and realize it’s on sale so you buy it anyway and think, “maybe I can wear this as a joke one day.”
I’m very that…

If you could be best friends with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?

Besides anyone I already consider my best friend (*cough cough* MY WIFE *cough*), there’s this dude I see all the time at my gym who is my actual physical fitness goals and I want him to train me and I feel like being his best friend would make that a reality. I know nothing of his personality but he asked me to spot him once and he seemed cool.
Yes…I’m very creepy.

What is your favorite three word sentence?

“Take food home.”

What are your five most prized possessions?

My wedding ring, my wife’s written vows to me, a cartoon drawing of my wife and me that we got on our wedding day (are you sensing a pattern?), a decorative sword I got when I first took over our church’s youth group, and Pop-Tarts.

Where do you find peace?

In the moments as I’m falling asleep as my wife is resting her head on my chest.
In moments where I am truly worshipping God without distraction or pretense and feel enveloped in His presence.
Any time I am not excessively hungry or hot.

Do you take people’s advice?

It always depends on who the advice is coming from and weighing that advice against God’s word. I’ve often found that the best advice is usually the thing you didn’t want to hear, but deep down you know you probably need to hear it. True advice isn’t always revelatory, it’s just reminding you of truth you’ve probably forgotten or tried to ignore.

What piece(s) of advice would you give to your younger self? (18 or younger)

Before you react in anger, take about ten seconds and ask yourself how big of a deal this situation actually is. It’s not even about calming yourself down, it’s just logically concluding that this thing you’re about to explode over most likely doesn’t even freaking matter. Be careful, because so much can be destroyed in your anger.
Stop doing at-home highlights.

What in life do you look forward to most?

Daily? Coming home to my wife.
Down the line? Being at that elderly age where I can do whatever I want and pretend I’m just an old man who is no longer self-aware.
Actual answer? Spending eternity with Jesus.

Are you more worried about doing things right or doing the right things?

The latter makes me sound like a better person but the former is my current truth. I hate making mistakes; I hate feeling stupid; I hate failing. However, I’m trying to live out my conviction that there is no devastating failure when you are doing the right things (what God has called and commanded you to do).

Who is someone you look up to and why?

There was a woman who used to attend our church before she moved; every time you talked to her, she would always talk about what God was doing in her life and how great He is. Almost every time she talked about Jesus, she would become very overwhelmed and begin to well up with tears. I want to be at that place of humility where the overwhelming presence of God is always extremely evident in my life.

What do you most regret never telling someone?

I’m grieved every time I don’t share the love of Christ with someone who doesn’t know or have a genuine relationship with Him. My heart should stir and break for anyone who has not been born-again, but I am often silent in my witness to others.

What makes a meaningful life?

A life that is marked by the pursuit of Christ and His love and marked by the process of how God is changing us from glory to glory. Life here on earth isn’t about “arriving,” it’s about the constant pursuit of all who God is and all that He has for you. Meaning is not quantified by any measure we have invented ourselves.

With your answer to the previous question, are YOU living a meaningful life?

I believe I am. I get it wrong constantly, though. My life of pursuit is a constant dichotomy of how I know I should be living and the life I want to selfishly live. That really is the beautiful struggle of being human. At the end of every day, you come to this realization that there is no way I could have gotten through what’s behind me, nor can I even face what is ahead of me without Christ. The more I am faced with my humanity, the more I can’t deny that I need Jesus.

What was the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?

Completely rely on Jesus Christ. I try to do so many things by my own strength and I either end up failing or get puffed up with pride because I’m convinced I can do it on my own. Only in my reliance on Christ can I do anything of eternal significance and keep a heart of humility and gratitude.

What was the best advice you’ve been given?

“Chill out, Child.”
I’m dramatic (surprise). I’m extremely dramatic and sometimes take things way too seriously or way over the top. I waste so much energy worrying and freaking out. I just need to chill out sometimes.

What are you uncertain about?

I’m always uncertain of my ability to be a good husband to my wife. I want to lead her well, take care of her, and love her as Christ loves His bride (the Church). I’m uncertain that I will be able to lay my life down for her and even for our future children the way that Christ loves us and sacrificed Himself for us. The more I reflect, the more I realize how much I need Jesus in all of this.

How do you stay motivated and/or inspired?

By taking risks. If I am too afraid to do something, it means I am too afraid of the possibility of success as well as failure.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made? What makes it the best?

Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Beyond the gift of eternal life with God, He has given me abundant life here on earth. I’ve found purpose, joy, love, and community. I legitimately don’t know where I would be right now without Jesus, and it’s honestly something I don’t even want to think about.

Find yourself a bossman like this one. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry (in the most Christ-loving way possible), and he inspires me.

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