Nothing to Say—

Do you ever have so much to say that you don’t say anything? Can’t say anything? Would rather shut up than say what you’d like to?

Are the thoughts so vivid & alarming that you shock yourself…or you think that no one would really understand? And you wonder if God is preparing you for yet one more thing while crying because you think that your last weekends memories were just that…preparing you for what happened yesterday?

Since I really have “nothing” to say….at least not here anyway (I just need some deep conversations with God right now)…I’ll give you some verses that I’ve been thinking on.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another –and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult & persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (Hebrews 10:32-35)

This is the hope I hold onto. This is something I know to be true & evident in my life and in those around me. Let’s encourage one another, though we suffer….let us remember Who Christ is…that is our hope.

TEAR5

This weekend was very trying on me. Saturday evening I took part in a Novembering service at Church of the Open Door. It was beautiful, every part…we lit candles, sang beautiful songs, remembered those who we have lost & grieved with each other as we sat & wept. Maybe not everyone wept, but I sure did. I slept deep that night & woke up crying. Not a hard cry, but just a solemn finality of life cry. Sunday morning I listened as my dad preached on suffering & hope. I did not want to hear about hope…don’t get me wrong, that’s the ONLY thing getting me through each day, but I didn’t want to hear it. I cried the ENTIRE service…from the first songs through the last prayer & beyond. I just would not hold myself back, which I know I should not do, but wow did I hurt. Now, as I write this, my eyes are refilling themselves with tears.

There are many reasons why I write to you my thoughts, emotions, feelings & frustrations. I want to be honest. I desire to share, yet am sometimes unwilling to vocalize. I yearn to heal. I need encouragement. I remind myself that “yes, there are things to hope for & people who care.” I pray that through my honesty & openness that you are able to be encouraged.

This morning, I was encouraged. An email I received referenced a verse I have never read (or at least didn’t remember). While the truth is something I hold onto with white knuckles, sometimes I forget. The verse was Malachi 3:6a, “I the LORD do not change.” Such confidence I can have here, and so can you…. It is interesting. The title “lord” means (in my terms) ruler over my life and death. And so I see that amidst the changes of both life and death, our LORD does not change. He is the same yesterday, today & forever.

My prayer for you & for me, is that together, while we seek out what our futures look like, and how our pasts influence how we grow into our future, that we would bind together as friends, brothers, sisters, encouragers, rejoicers & mourners….that we would come along side each other in prayer & support as we approach God in our weakness. In our brokenness, that we would share with each other realizing our inability as humans to recover from this alone. To see that God has given us each other to lean on while we are walking this earth together.

Here’s a song that touched me this weekend. It’s called “I will Rise” by Chris Tomlin.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yvfso4Q8xg

A Love-Hate Relationship

So again, I’m still pondering the big things that happen in our lives, why they happen & when the heck it will stop! I’ve had a great week….truly, honestly it was a hard week, but I can also say that it has brought me some peace & clarity to my other days that weren’t so great. I’m sure you’re wondering now too, what is this love-hate relationship that this post is titled after…well, it’s a love-hate relationship I have with death & dying. Odd eh? I know….you’ll come to accept me as I am. On one hand, death really sucks. It does! For those of us who have to endure the after effects of someone close dying, it’s something you don’t want to face, let alone feel. Jesus felt the pain of friends dying, listen to this: “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept.” (John 11:32-35) I know he knows our pain, our tears & the heartache one feels when someone leaves us here… Also, on the same thought, death is so uncertain. “Isaac said, ‘I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death.'” (Genesis 27:2) Part of me likes to think that God knows I’m having a hard time, and wouldn’t take my Grandma away right now, because it would basically kill me. But really, is that how death works? Can we control it? Can we find a “good time” for someone to die? Isaac knew this wasn’t true, and even Solomon did when he writes…”In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) We cannot know what God’s plan for us is…when we’ll die or how. Alright, onto the Love part…so this is why I love death: That is when we will be joined together with our Heavenly Father, to eternally praise & worship together as a family of Christ. We will walk alongside the river of life & bask in the light of God’s glory. We will taste the fruits that were unknown to us & rejoice in the blessings God had poured on us during this earthly life. We will experience something not known to man, something so beautiful it is beyond our comprehension! My Grandpa is there, my friend Julie is there, the siblings I’ve never met are there, I believe my other friends & family too shall be there. In a sick & rather twisted way, I know that my Grandma would like to be finished with this torment, the pain and agony of each day passing without holding onto my Grandpa’s hand…I do not want to be selfish & pray for her to stay here for me, because I know she’s in pain….and wants to go. So…it’s a love-hate relationship….while I hate the effects of death here on earth, I know that for those who have put their whole faith & trust in Christ Jesus as their Savior will rejoice the second they have departed us. For that, I say bring it on. (But Christ, I’m trusting in you to be there when it comes….for I will need you.)

Frustrations & Faith

I can’t speak, so I will let the thoughts in my head come out through the only truth I can grasp at this point. “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say.”–Job 23 (excerpts)I’m doing this today….feeling like “God, what is going on here?” You know me, and you know I’m a fixer, a thinker, an analyzing maniac …..what am I supposed to be learning through this? There is hope, I know that…I don’t feel it right now, but I know there is….but where? What am I supposed to think, feel, grasp, say, etc.? “Lord, you have searched me and you know me….you perceive my thoughts from afar….you hem me in–behind and before; Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”–Psalm 139:1-10 (excerpts) This gives me hope in knowing that no matter how frustrating or far I feel that I’ve gone, how deep my despair, He is still with me…..if I don’t have words or emotions to express the way I feel or the things I’m thinking, He knows them & it’s okay. When I don’t even comprehend the thoughts & feelings flooding my eyes, He sees clearer than I ever will & understands.”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” –Romans 12:21Remembering the goodness of Christ, the grace He has given, gives me hope for tomorrow and peace for today. Despite the storms that rage against me, He alone is my rock & my salvation. With Him, what can come against me? Though I may stumble & fall, He will lift me up with his righteous right hand & guide me in the paths of righteousness. He will provide for me & comfort me. Say what you need to say