Processing Disappointment #8

Emotionally grieving “life with the wrong currency” will be a long process.  As I shared with the Algonquin process, in addition to the dedicated time spent in deliberately looking at the story line, life casually bumps the bruise randomly.  I drove back to the office this afternoon after a short errand and was reminded of how much I have poured into relationships in the complex where we are, only to be roundly spurned.  Whatever the currency is that works there, I don’t seem to have any of it in my wallet.

Sadness.  Anger.  Frustration.  No denial at all.  Powerlessness.  Sadness.  Stay there for a while and actually feel it.

I am a long way from processing the emotions of a life time of “wrong currency” but Prophet was getting restless, wanting to be unleashed to go hunting for the culprit.  Our mantra is, “Every effect has a cause.”  Someone, somewhere, did something, and it has resulted in THIS.

Being a new effect to me, I had no clue where to look for the cause – and no assurance I would recognize it if I looked straight at it.

I started with the generational question, as usual.

Looked at Mom first.

OUCH!  On a scale of one to ten, Mom was and is a 9.7 in terms of having the right currency at the right time for a wide variety of situations.  Astounding.  So this sure wasn’t any of her junk!!!

Dad didn’t score so high.  I gave him an eight, but noted that he carefully controlled his playing field.  He was like the kids who will never play a game unless they were sure they could win.  Dad edited his environment to be sure his currency worked.  I made a mental note to look at whether I have made a series of really bad choices over time, but it didn’t feel compelling.

Still, you note the possible culprits, because if you run out of good ideas, you circle back around and revisit the lame ones!

But for now, I exonerated my family line and assumed it was my stuff.

So I explored my childhood bit by bit.  To my surprise, there were some really good patches of my currency matching the circumstances.  There were other patches where things were pretty baseline.  Nothing positive or negative in terms of social currencies.  But with the exception of that one school year, nothing was significantly negative.

It would be easy to write off the school year (as I had for years) as just a culturally expected dynamic.  A missionary kid who has been home schooled and isolated from US culture is dropped into the senior class two years younger than his peers.  Of course there would be a lot of disconnects.  Utterly non-surprising.

That is how I have viewed that year all this time.  Highly painful.  Not a mystery.

Life throws you a curve ball now and then.

So I moved on down the timeline, looking for where this pesky thing came in and stayed.

Eventually, I found a smoking gun.

In my early adult years, I made a decision that was socially unpopular.  Lots of people tried to talk me out of it before I did it.  I stubbornly insisted I could pull it off, even though I admitted it was, on the surface, a long shot.  They were very clear I did not have the moxie (i.e. needed currencies) to pull it off.  I admitted it looked that way, but assured them I could grow into it if they would give me the chance.

In the end, I made my choice, bucked the world, engaged in an immense endeavor and was hugely proved wrong.  I didn’t have what it took.  I fell short with miserable consequences for a long time to come.

The boo birds piled on with their “I told you so” commentary.  To this day, there are still people around who remember that episode and still frame me today as the person I was then, and clearly articulate the message that my judgment cannot be trusted on much of anything, as proven by that debacle.

So . . . A smoking gun.  Is it THE smoking gun?  That incident didn’t happen on any of the 15.5 multiples.  Just randomly in between the first and the second.  Could that have triggered the subsequent issues, or am I looking at it all wrong?

Furthermore, how could those judgments made against me have stuck like a tar baby for so long?  I certainly have gone back and revisited that event many times, with and without professional help.  One would not think the boo birds should have been able to define the rest of my life.

Nonetheless, the correlation on my timeline was hugely obvious.  From that time on, my currencies always seemed to be a little or a lot off.

It didn’t seem like a compelling conclusion, but certainly one that needed to be revisited again.  Surely there is a way to get the tar off from a decades-old decision.

There was another thread to follow and that was the Exhorter gift.  The school was an Exhorter school, I think.  I know the church and the ministry were Exhorter gift.  I don’t think Algonquin as a whole is Exhorter, but it is certainly possible that the lake and portage that took me down might have been.

Seems as though there is something there.  I don’t immediately see it.  I think I will take a day to scroll through the Exhorters in the Bible and the ones I know to see if there is a clue there.  Do any of them have a pattern of having the wrong currency, or is there something about the twisted Exhorter that causes those around them to not have the right currency?

Need to look at that long and hard.  Goodness knows, there is a lot of data.  I should be able to come up with an answer.

Copyright August 2016 by Arthur Burk

From home


  1. Chris says

    Living life with the wrong currency really lands for me, especially the mention of TAR. You wrote, “Furthermore, how could those judgments made against me have stuck like a TAR baby for so long?” Some time ago, while reading God Keeps The Night Watches (BLESSING YOUR SPIRIT, Day 31), my spirit sadly commented, “At night there was ‘hell to pay’. Researching this clue, ‘hell to pay’, I found the following: In the days of sailing ships “hell” was the term for the bottom of the boat; the hottest, dankest, smelliest area. To “pay” described mopping TAR in “hell” to help keep the ship sea-worthy. It was also the worst job to have handed to you. Thus the saying, You’ll have “hell to pay” came to mean, You’ll be sorry if you don’t do as I say … or, There’ll be serious problems as a result of an action. Arthur, I’m so thankful to you for sharing your journey, for giving me language, and for the number of times you’ve mopped TAR to keep us all afloat.


  2. says

    Super interested in where this is going. I identify hugely with not having the right currency (have felt like I was in the wrong place ever since transferring into a new school in 7th grade). Particularly so since transferring into a new church, which I suspect is strongly Exhorter. So when you asked “is there something about the twisted Exhorter that causes those around them to not have the right currency?” my ears perked up.

    Signed, a Tired Prophet (or, possibly, a jilted and hiding Exhorter)


    • says

      I had a long drive today to a family reunion and had some time to think. I have moved the ball a little bit. When I have time to write the next blog, it will be interesting to see what correlates with your life.


  3. says

    Arthur, I so appreciate your willingness to move towards pain instead of shying away from it. You keep digging into the mire, looking for answers, regardless of what stuff gets dredged up in the process. Not only are you examining your own life in the public eye, you are also articulating topics that are sore spots for people everywhere. Having the wrong currency is a tough one. You are giving us a huge treasure by modeling your process.


    • Nina says

      Thanks for putting words to that Megan. I feel permitted, Liberated and challenged to feel my emotions/pain. I’ve often avoided this process by focusing on other people’s emotions. It feels wrong somehow to embrace and announce negative emotions. It’s much more comfortable to ignore or stuff them. I wonder if this makes ME a twisted exhorter?


  4. Janis Leal says

    Reading yesterday’s and today’s posts together (#7 & #8) just now, I have to say that your best has never been worthless, as nothing from God is worthless, and you certainly don’t have the wrong currency for me. You’ll find it as you feel it. Joining you in spirit and prayer.


  5. nita7932014 says

    I find that I also have gone looking for the ‘why’s’ in my past, going back as far and as wide as possible.
    Your comment on ‘abandonment’ in your other study, and how each gifting responds to the results of abandonment in their lives was a huge eye opener. As I studied the settings for each abandonment event and the response that correlated to each person and compared it to those I have in my circle of life I have a better explanation for their actions and mine as well. I found it a goldmine for prayer as well. People do make choices for their lives from a huge variety of experiences in their base, including experiences so buried in their foundation that even they do not grasp how those series of happenings came to be such an influence on the present.
    I am not saying that you have had an ‘abandonment’ issue. Your willingness to walk through these painful events in your life has been encouraging to my life’s journey. Thank you for continuing to teach us and encourage us to ‘feed the Sheep as well as the Little Lambs’. Jesus told the first disciples, as they were learning to cast out demons and take authority in prayer for each other and the many who needed deliverance and healing, that some cases required more intense focus on prayer in order to set the captives free and to give sight to the blind.
    Thanks again. My prayer for you included a time of tears as well as asking the Lord to embrace you in His presence and affirmation of His love and care. Well done my servant are His words for you.


    • says

      Yep. When abandonment happens in the womb, it impacts all the rest of the choices that follow without any soul memory of the abandonment, because it landed in the spirit. And often our wrong responses to abandonment trigger a second wave of abandonment and the cycle continues.


      • Soo Fee says

        Back in 1985, John and Paula Sanford was already teaching about abandonment or rejection in the womb. They were trying in vain to minister to people who are producing bad fruits on the trees of their lives. Eventually God nudged them to go deeper into the roots of the people’s lives until they found themselves looking at the little baby in the womb.

        God revealed to them that if the spirit of the baby in the womb made a wrong response (e.g. judging/unforgiving ….) to the rejection they experienced (e.g. thoughts of abortion from the mother); the seed of rejection would have taken root in the spirit of that little and later on crowd out his/her whole perception of life. As adults, these individuals tended to interpret each succeeding experience of their life, from the very beginning, in the light of what they already interpreted life to be. Their spiritual eyes are bad and they couldn’t really see the present reality because their understanding are already crowded by the judgment that their spirit had made back in the womb.
        Matthew 6:22 & 23
        “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

        Even if it is a choice they made clear back in the womb, they are not set free until they said “Lord; forgive me for making whatever kind of a choice I made to react”.
        in Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.


  6. says

    Hello Arthur,

    I appreciate your transparency with this. Are the ones you speak of friends, family, business associates or just neighbors? Many of them turned out seemingly to be a waste of time, yet God uses the time wasters to grow us.

    Most people will never say why they walk away. A few comments I managed to solicit lately were that I make others nervous or uncomfortable even when I’m not speaking. Women said I need to project more self confidence and men said I appear too strong and unapproachable.

    I learned from your previous writings on jealousy and the mesmerizing spirit that I tend to ignore the red flags early on. The red flags that tell me the person really isn’t on board, or isn’t appropriate. I might be so excited with having them on board that I don’t evaluate new information, or make course corrections to determine the level of access they should have to my inner circle.

    I heard that God hardens and isolates the prophet through rejection so he won’t tailor the prophetic word to flatter the hearer. If everyone in the prophet’s life has rejected him or is running away, who is he going to prophesy to? Thank God for the internet.

    May God Bless You and Your Work,


  7. says

    Hi Arthur,

    For some reason I’m almost connecting to your emotional process in this and I just wanted to extend heavenly comfort and peace along this journey to you in an “outreached arm” stance, from here in Cape Town. Just praying that you feel so much love from Dad.


  8. says

    I am so sorry about all the pain you have had and have. It is amazing to me how you always move the ball and going forward and deeper. Thank you for sharing with us the process.

    I care.


  9. Annica Engström says

    There may be something about ” twisted Exhorter that causes those around them to not have the right currency”, when I read it I just realesed that’s also a clue in my recent father-filtred event in life, it’ happend to me on my last workplace in another city up north, at a Exhorter university. The job as a leader only lasted for six month and then I had to leave in a BIG hurry with a lot of pain, stress… and dissapointment – high above any mountain-top. Looking closer I found that the same thing (had to leave a good position as a leader in a hurry because the leadership above me ate the life and energy out of me) happend exactly one year before that… So looking futher in to it I found a terribel curse over me and my twinsister and one of it’s parts was supposed to strike at age 45 and leave us in only sickness, lonliness, poverty and misery speding up every coming year, ending up with the only option that in every fact “share” only one life – no one of us could have one hole life. So very hurtful events the last years revealed a horribel curse on twins in our generation, twins could only share ONE life. I saw it in our hole life-story: if one of us had a boyfriend the other could’nt, same with friends, family, children, education, health, good job, economy and so on… So together we had it all but individual the half of a life… sence birth. At age of 45 for female twins, at age of 60 for male twins another part of the curse stroke hard “making the clock go backwards”, causing the twins to end up with only them together in ordinary daily life for survival, for the rest of their lifes. It’s hard that it robbed my sister and me from so much in our lifes but without this clues the curses would still be under the radar, distroing us bit by bit, and now, after 45, in a terribel high afficiant speed. So if and when the Lord calls me to be a leader again I will go on to the battel-field knowing he fixed some really big stuff in order to make us more dangerous and more capabel of bringing His kingdom closer.

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