Archive | July 2018

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – After the Death of a Child: Trying to figure out how keep on living

A blogger friend of mine posted this today. So much resonated with my own personal experience. I wasn’t alone. You are not alone. Just knowing others have similar feelings is half the battle.

Additionally, may God open the eyes of Christians to go the extra mile.

Grief: One Woman's Perspective

3ba6f4816f1b8a7144239926911e1bc9I recently got a text from a friend whose co-worker’s daughter committed suicide. When I told my husband about it, he said, “I don’t understand why anyone would commit suicide. Why would someone not want to live? Why would they want to die?” Joe is a very black and white person, while I have always been a person who sees both sides of a coin. When Joe was a young boy, his grandfather (the person for whom Joe was named) committed suicide. Suicide has never been something that he could get his head around.

After sitting there for just a moment, I told him that I could understand why someone wouldn’t want to live any more. Sometimes the pain is so great that it reaches a point where it seems no longer bearable. I told him that, right after Jason died, there were a few times when I just wanted to drive…

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anticipation.

God created us to look ahead, to anticipate, and to hope.

We make plans and look forward to an event, a completion of a project, a vacation, retirement – even the end of the day when we can rest.

It takes more effort to take a step back and think about life beyond death, but it is attainable.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God put it in our heart to think about eternity. Even though we cannot possibly grasp all that God has done since the beginning of time – or the beginning of our lives for that matter – doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

When we are hurting and life is difficult and confusing, God wants us to remember eternity.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Perhaps, never before has life been so full of “seen” things that distract us. Our lives are full and overflowing with temporary comfort and satisfaction.

When something goes wrong, those things are reduced and God gets our full attention.

Whether your body is hurting physically, emotionally, or mentally, it is possible to be renewed within (peace, hope, joy). How? Seeing beyond and anticipating eternity where God promises us he will make it right.

Remember, countless numbers of people throughout the centuries who have endured. You can, too.

Earth is our temporary home. Live it, enjoy it.

But always live with a view of eternity and the culmination of perfection yet to come!

 Sunset with mountains and clouds

photo: foter.com

heaven.

On June 23, 2018, my father died. He was 89 years old.

I helped care for him the month of June in between working at a nearby school. June came and went – hard to believe.

The days seemed long but looking back, everything happened so quickly.

And now, reality sets in. He’s gone.

From here.

This prompted me to re-read a book I read 13 years ago, Imagine Heaven.

The reason I chose this book is because the author, John Burke, spent over 30 years researching the topic of near-death experiences from all kinds of people and all kinds of religions along with what the Bible has to say about Heaven.

It got me thinking about how little I have heard about Heaven. I’ve been in church for over 30 years and I do not recall a sermon or teaching. Is it because the Bible has little to say about it? Maybe. But since it is our forever home, I would think God would want us to know something about it.

Because to live well here, don’t we have to know something about life there?

One common thread with those Burke read about and interviewed, was the intensity of love the departed individual experienced. With their life displayed in a kind of panoramic view, the good, bad, and ugly – the love was still intense – no matter what. No shame, no guilt, no condemnation. Just love.

Granted, this is difficult for us to grasp but so is the enormity of the universe. Yet, we believe.

*Side note: all to often in Christian circles, morality seems to have replaced the love of God. Usually, Christians lean to one or the other. God does not condone sin, but his way of drawing us is with chords of love.” Holding morality, Christian values, and/or character up as the standard is missing the point. Time and time again, God has chosen men and women in the Bible who would not meet the criteria in conservative, traditional, Christian thought. Are we holding the Law up to the world of morality? Or are we holding up the Light of the world?

Each day, I watched my father dying. Death is ugly. And if God is good, and if Newton’s 3rd law is true, then there has to be something far greater in power than death.

We have all seen the beauty around us. It is only a foretaste of what is waiting for us.

Have you lost a loved one? Are you hurting? Suffering? Live with the hope and confidence of Heaven.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21

 Tree in meadow under dramatic sky

Photo on foter.com