But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles …
Some of us trudge through life with our half-empty glasses and believe we’re going to lose what we have.
Some of us just maneuver around the obstacles trying to keep our half-full glasses from spilling over.
The latter is more fun.
It’s not the kind of positive thinking that requires I-think-I-can-I-think-I can.
It’s choosing to be optimistic and hopeful.
Remember. Tomorrow’s another day!
“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
C. S. Lewis; A Grief Observed
Sometimes it feels like God is playing some kind of sick game with us.
Or we think he is testing us.
Or punishing us.
All of the above are normal feelings.
But the Bible says God’s ways are not like ours; his thoughts are not like ours.
That’s difficult for us. We only see in 3 dimensions.
God is not confined. That’s where faith comes in. You either trust and believe or you do not.
He teaches us about ourselves and how much we need Him, and beneath us are his everlasting arms.
Even in death, which seems like the absolute end, He is there.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
survive: continue to live or exist; especially in spite of danger or hardship.
After the attack on 9-11, a severely damaged tree was found under the rubble.
Replanted to another location, it was nurtured to health, and brought back to the World Trade Center Memorial.
A symbol of hope.
To all the families who have lost family and friends in the 9-11 attack, may you feel God’s comfort today and always.
New York City Parks & Recreation
There are wonderful things in life that make us pause and think.
This is one of them.
I rarely write about my oldest son’s death.
It’s not because I feel shame over his suicide (as one church leader suggested to which I kindly corrected him). It’s because I do not want to build a platform as an author or directly profit monetarily through writing about suicide. I would have to say more than I care to. The circumstances surrounding it was very personal and I want to protect my son.
However, I do feel free to write about how I have felt as a mother. I know there are so many mothers (and fathers, siblings, friends) who have their story. I know mine. And I know I share similar feelings with other moms.
I think the number 1 problem surrounding suicide is how people deal with you and your loved one after they’re gone. Every mother is proud of her child. As I write, I’m listening to an interview with the mother of Aaron Carson Vaughan, a SEAL Team Six soldier who died in a Chinook chopper accident in Afghanistan.
The mother is grieving. Yet, she has one thing I don’t have.
Her son is regarded as a hero.
My son is not.
People who die from fatal accidents or terminal illnesses, well, it wasn’t their fault.
People who take their own life, well, it was there fault.
I’ve been told, “Well, people don’t know what to say”.
“Oh, you poor person who doesn’t know what to say to me. Well, excuse me while I go mop up the blood seeping out of my heart so I can help you feel better.”
Insane, isn’t it? But this is a common response.
You can’t slap a forgiveness scripture on this kind of thing. Responding to suicide requires you to reach deeply within yourself and go the extra mile.
If it sounds like I’m bitter, I’m not (please.. don’t add that to my repertoire, too). The thoughts that have accumulated need to be said. Not just for me, but as a mouthpiece for so many hurting mothers who write blogs about their experiences.
I have spent 9 years processing and I have experienced strength, hope, and joy as God has led me through this valley of the shadow of death. The people who have made this worse for me are not my enemies. There are things that have been said and done that should never have happened. There have been good things said and done, too. The pain of suicide is tender to the touch. We know how to be gentle with a person who is paralyzed. But we don’t seem to know how to be gentle with someone with a paralyzed heart. We don’t expect the paralyzed person to get up and walk. But we expect the paralyzed heart to quickly recover because “Jesus heals”.
My son, Christopher, is a hero. Not in that he took his life. But because of the life he led. He loved God with all his heart, soul, and strength.
He embraced what he was taught and was fearless. God is big enough, loving enough, good enough, to understand – when others do not.