The life balance chart – Adding spiritual was harder than I thought

Real Estate Agent with Realty Pro Oregon, LLC 200311024

I don't like to talk about religion or politics in my posts in general I'm still not going to in this post, this is more about over coming fear. But, my coach and mentor had me fill out a life balance chart and he said something was missing. I had family, I had work, I had me time, but what I didn't have was the spiritual section. As he put it "My life was out of balance"

My coach told me that I needed to get back in to spiritual balance in order for my career to soar to the next level and this is where chills went down my spine. You see my wife and I have been married 15 years now and she goes to church every Sunday, but me, I had been maybe 15 times in those 15 years. I only went when my kids were singing, I don't miss any of my kids events no matter what or where.

I've always lived my life by treating people that way I would like to be treated. I've had two wine coolers in my life and have never even drunk a beer or smoked a cigarette in my life. Now this wasn't because of religious reasons, it was just because I was a running in Jr. High and High School and thought putting chemicals in my body was just stupid and a waste of my money. But, even after I stopped doing sports, I didn't start drinking, just didn't like the taste.

So, now if I was going to do what my coach wanted me to, I needed to get over my fears. I know I'm a guy, no fear, just do it! But, I had a fear of church and I wasn't about to force myself in to the situation of going every week, heck I was a Realtor®, I have to hold open houses on Sunday, it is the law isn't it? This gave me the perfect excuse not to have to go to church on Sunday. "Sorry honey, I have to get ready for the open house" or "I have to be at the open house in 15 minutes, maybe next week"

Clearly she knew this wasn't going to change and my kids even knew it wasn't going to either. But, they would still ask every Sunday if dad is going to church with them, since he is dressed up in church like cloths. But, my answer was always "No, gotta go make money to pay the bills. Sorry kids"

But eight weeks ago, I told myself that I had to go, I had to get my life in balance if I wanted to take my career to the next level. I know, how could anyone have a fear of church?

Like I told you before I was a good kid and even the people I chose to be around were good people. Well, while in college, I had a good friend that I met who I had met through a friend of a friend and we hit it off immediately. Well, his dad was a pastor or minister or something, I honestly can't remember it was 20 years ago and I really wanted to forget it.

You see 19 years ago while I was going to college in a new city, I only really now knew these two people that had something in common with me, they didn't drink and they enjoyed bowling and just hanging out. So, when my new friend invited me to his church to meet others like myself I of course jumped at the chance and said yes! Of course he also showed me pictures of the youth group leader (She was gorgeous and single) and that was even a better reason to go.

So after weeks of going to this church, there was a new kid that showed up, don't know why or where he came from, but he was different, to be honest I disliked him very much. He did everything he could to start arguments and I was always one to walk away from a fight if I could and that is what I chose to do this time also. But, this time the fight followed me! This kid asked if I wanted to fight and I said "No, I am just going to leave" That is when he pulled a gun on me and if you have never looked down the barrel of a gun, let me tell you it changes your life forever!

I proceeded to walk backwards very slowly to my car and get in all the time with a gun pointed at me and just saying "All I want to do is leave." So, I got in my car and left, still shaking and not knowing this city good enough to know what street this church was on, just how to drive there. I drove to a busy street a few streets over and got my car to about 80 in a 40 hoping to get a cops attention. (Which it did) I told them what had happened and why I was speeding to get their attention and to follow me back to the church, I don't know the address, but I can get you there. (By the way I didn't get a ticket)

Once we got back to the church, I actually had time to reflect on what had happened in the last 15 minutes and I broke down. I was shaking, crying and had feelings I had never felt before. But, I knew at that moment in time, I wasn't going to be going back to church, this wasn't for me. I couldn't even go back in the church to identify the kid, they had to bring him out to the police car and I identified him there.

That was 19 years ago and I still get a lump in my throat and sweat a little when I go to church with my family. But, if this is what I have to do to make a better life for me and my family and get even closer to my family than I can do this. I have to admit, I have had to leave church a couple times just because of feelings of uneasiness. But, I catch my breath, walk back in and sit down next to my family.

I think the most special thing for me was last week when my daughter asked "Is dad going to church with us again?" My wife said "Yep" and my daughter yelled "Yeah and gave me a hug" I think at that moment in time, I realized why my coach wanted me to do what he wanted me to do. I was still missing out on family time, I just didn't realize it.

By the way, I think this is the first time I've really talked
about that day since it happened and I didn't realize how
hard overcoming that fear would be.

Posted by

Todd Clark (Broker/Owner)
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro, Oregon LLC
Phone: (503)524-9494
Fax: (503)746-9573





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 I am a licensed Realtor who specializes in Washington County, Oregon and also work in both Clackamas and Multnomah Counties including the cities of Aloha, Beaverton, Canby, Clackamas, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Sherwood and Tigard. All information contained in these posts are copyrighted and cannot be used without prior written approval authorization from the author me Todd Clark. If you are looking for an outstanding agent please give me a call I would love to help you with all your real estate needs.


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Gary McNinch
Better Properties Real Estate - Renton, WA
Broker, Renton WA Real Estate


As far as the barrel of the gun, you were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.  PTSD counselors would tell you that your feelings were (and still are) normal. Just having gotten it out will help. Call me if you want to talk.

Nice to hear you finally heard what God was saying to you through your family and your coach. Change your mindset to "enjoy church" and you will be opened up to hearing what you need.    Nice post.

List and Sell (all clients (blessings) come from God)    Gary @ RentonHomeFinder


Aug 26, 2008 08:54 AM #12
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

This is one of the hugest blessings ever.  The smartest ingredient is the spiritual.  Once that's injected into your wheel...the wheel of life moves perfectly. 

Aug 26, 2008 09:43 AM #13
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Jason - I'm not sure I've completely overcome the fear, but I've began to try.

Sonja - I could deal with 40 million a year and not work Sundays. You are right, I know my wife appreciates me going to church also.

Aug 26, 2008 12:59 PM #14
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Todd, you and I must have the same coach!  But you know, it isn't about going to church.  I mean, that might really work for you so do it.  I was raised by parents who were devout Catholics, and I never really understood any of it until a favorite old boyfriend gave me a copy of Conversations With God.  It's a series of four books (there might be more by now) and I freaked out over some of what it said.  But at the end of the day, I loved these books.

Aug 26, 2008 01:18 PM #15
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Erik - Thank you, that means a lot and I hope it becomes easier also. I really do enjoy spending time with my family.

Vickie - I think I am already seeing signs of it paying off as in the past 4 weeks, I've been able to include a date night every Tuesday with my wife. Something we really never had since having kids.

Aug 26, 2008 04:25 PM #16
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Bryant - I think I had a harder time knowing that I was going for myself rather than to see my kids. Before I had something to focus on other than where I was. But, yes recalling the story was difficult.

Kim -  It doesn't feel liberating yet as I still hold my breath walking through the doors every Sunday. But, I hope you are right and it does bring change for me and my family.

Aug 26, 2008 06:01 PM #17
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Lori - Thanks for being my friend!

Sara - The main reason I wrote this is because it made me more accountable for continuing to go. I started my accountability group knowing that if I wrote something down I would be more likely to do it. So I knew if I posted this, I would be less likely to stop going.

Aug 27, 2008 01:47 AM #18
Jon Michael
DeGeorge Realty LLC - Long Branch, NJ

Its great to see that you have overcome your fear and are going back to church...especially for your children.  It seems like they enjoy church, and all the more so if you are there with them.  God answered your fear with acceptance, and you took the call...Great job.

Aug 27, 2008 04:40 AM #19
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Todd........... I am featuring this post in, "Christianity and Real Estate" because it looks like you need more prayer about those feelings you have when you are in church.

I am ALSO featuring this because of the GREAT example you are showing to your kids and to your wife in the face of those feelings you are having!!

May your relationship with the Lord strengthen as you work through this situation...... and may HE bless you in your efforts to overcome in it!!


Aug 27, 2008 07:45 AM #20
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Jane - Thank you.

Gary - I hear that wheels go around a lot better when they are not flat.

Aug 27, 2008 11:50 AM #21
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Thanks Todd for the humble and honest post -- I'm blown away.  I was thinking about how I've neglected by Bible study and thought this blog was about setting our priorities or something like that -- wow -- what a reflection!  I'm praying you are truly blessed as you attend church with your family and that your spiritual journey is fulfilling.  I believe its the only journey that really matters!  Blessings to you from Salem.  (You must have a very happy wife!)

Aug 27, 2008 03:19 PM #22
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Gary - Thanks for the offer! Thank you for your kind words and I really am trying, I promise.

Larry - That is what my coach says, but it is really hard to get that wheel moving right now.

Aug 28, 2008 04:04 AM #23
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Patricia - I may have to check out those books!

Jon - I wish I was over the fear completely, but that would be lying to myself.

Alexander - Thank you, that means a lot to me and I hope this does change my life as well as my families.

Margaret - Thank you Margaret, no, no preaching here, just something I felt I should try to get off my chest and hoping taking it public would make me more accountable and keep me from trying to skip out even when I really want to.

Aug 28, 2008 10:01 AM #24
Terry Rasner-Yacenda
Broker,Owner - Dreams Realty - Reno, NV
"Dreams Realty"

Hi Todd -- awesome job with a tough subject: our own vulnerabilities.  God has told us we are overcomers, and you are providing more proof of it.  I have looked down the barrels of a few guns in my life.  I was once a trained cop (a gaming control agent).  The memories are rich, as was/is yours.  God bless you and your family!

Aug 28, 2008 11:11 AM #25
Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner
Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners - Orlando, FL
Chris Brown 407.367.2974

what a beautiful little girl!



Aug 28, 2008 10:22 PM #26
Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

Wow - you were young and impressionable when this GOD-less person did that to you and the

association of linking bad with church is certainly understandable.

But How GOD loved you so and never gave up on you Todd pursuing you over many years to have a relationship with him by

sending wonderful people to surrond you - your faithful wife, your hopeful children, your wise counselor!

My Mom ( bless her soul), made us go even when we didn't want to!  She said the one hour a week was NOT about US !

It was about thanking and praising Him for the gifts and blessings of the entire 7 days prior:)

how could you argue with that wisdom LOL

God Bless you & Your Family

and I'm sure God said on Sunday:

WELCOME HOME TODD - I've missed you!




Aug 29, 2008 07:54 AM #27
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Terry - One was enough for me, I don't know how you did it more than once! I don't think I could have gone out again.

Chris - Thanks, that is why I do what I do!

Grace - Thank you for you kind words, I just wish it was easier than it has been.

Aug 30, 2008 01:53 AM #28
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

Todd, You may not realize it now, but you have taken a huge step toward healing that memory.  God will use it and you to help others.  It's not always easy.  Continue to focus on Him.  Blessings to you and your family. 

Aug 30, 2008 03:36 PM #29
The Friendly Home Team
Realty Pro Oregon, LLC - Beaverton, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Doreen - Yesterday was week nine and actually stayed the full hour without leaving to take a walk. Did a lot of hand rubbing and leg bouncing, but I stayed.

Sep 01, 2008 02:49 AM #30
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Todd- What an amazing story and how you are overcoming the fear and the feelings that you have deep within you from this experience. Just keep going to church and pray for God's help to let it go. The spiritual part of your balance chart is very important. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 30, 2008 05:07 PM #31
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