My Story (Part 2)

February 9, 2015

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(Hey, friend. This is the second part of My Story. You can read the first part here.)

As I write this, I’m in the latter half of my 50th year on Earth. As anyone my age or older will tell you, by the time you get here you’ve already been many different people and lived many different lives. There isn’t time here to recount them all. So let me tell you instead a little about the man I’ve become now, and why I’m so passionate about the work I do.

One effect of the abuse that still lingers with me today is that I have never married. I used to tell people that if I had been born Catholic, I would most certainly have become a monk ~ most likely a Jesuit. And while this is true, and that would have been a noble life, I think it would be a mistake even at this stage of my life to give up hope that I may yet find love and marry. I have no guarantee of it, nor do I hold it as a demand before the throne of God. But wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to end the story?

As to who I’ve become now…how do you tell someone who you are? There’s an entire universe behind every pair of eyes. But what the heck. Let me give it a shot. 🙂

I love adventure, especially in the wilds. I generally go on several adventures every year. Though I’m a leader, and often find myself speaking in front of groups, I’m actually a strong introvert, and would very often rather sit alone on a mountain top than go to a party with 100 of my closest friends. That said, when it comes to friendship, I have somehow managed to become the wealthiest person I know. I’m surrounded by people who love me, and I am filled with gratitude for that fact every single day. I’m passionate about writing, and about transformation. I spend a lot of my time studying the art and science of each of these disciplines, and while I never expect to learn it all, I am continually working toward mastery in both. On the Myers-Briggs, I’m an INFJ (proudly so, I might add). On the Enneagram scale, I’m a 4 with a 5 wing (a little less proud of that, which is of course a very “4” thing to say), and my top five Strengthfinder strengths are Strategic, Relator, Futuristic, Individualization, and Input.

All that said, here’s the thing: I believe in Jesus. Truth is I’m in love with him. That’s really the most important thing anyone needs to know about me. Where other loves in my life have often felt like they were denied me, my love affair with God has always been wildly available and has for many decades now been the center of my life and the core motivation for all I do. That said, much of the work of my inner life over these years has been about separating out the real Jesus and his actual gospel from all the religious dogma that has so entangled and obscured the power of his life and message that hardly anyone anymore thinks of the Church as a place you go to get set free.

That’s why I’m so passionate about the coaching work I do. I want to reclaim transformation as the domain of those who follow God, who are committed to love, and who share God’s passion to see the world set free. I work with people and teams who share my passion and hope for the world, and partner with them to see their lives and work fully unleashed to impact the world for good in the ways only they can.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I haven’t got it all figured out. But you don’t come out of a situation like mine without learning a lesson or two about what it means to fight, not just for your survival, but for the life you were meant to have ~ the incredible, beautiful, God-inspired life I believe is available to anyone who has the audacity to believe it exists, and the courage to fight for it.

As I wrote in the dedication of my first novel, Gideon’s Dawn:

To all of us sojourners
who have lost heart
on the way to our dreams…

Have hope. It’s never too late to become
who you might have been.

Michael Warden

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