life interrupted.

life interrupted.

I’m not going to say we will get through this together. Although we will.

I’m not going to say just trust God. Although we should.

I’m not going to give you tips, memes, or anything else to distract you from the truth.

Truth is a principle. In other words, whether you believe in a certain truth about a certain something, it doesn’t change the fact that it is true.

Truth is as sure as the law of gravity. Try to defy it, and maybe you can, but ultimately, like the law of gravity, truth will prevail.

Truth sets us free from wrong or misdirected thinking.

The reason we often get either angry at God or become completely disillusioned is because we are not accepting the truth.

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

Our lives are interrupted by the pandemic of Covid-19.

We are all affected. Some worse than others.

The truth is: it hurts.

It is not enough to be positive.

It is not enough to be optimistic.

That may suffice for a day or two. But then you are back to square 1 of feeling the pain.

Whatever emotions you are experiencing, there is only one way to anchor yourself.

Think of a tree. In fact, Psalm 1 uses a tree as an example in terms of those who trust God:

 …but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither and
    whatever they do prospers.

Some Christians would define “prosper” as monetary. That a miracle is waiting for you.

That happens sometimes.

Yet, I have discovered the times I was waiting for something tangible to get me out of the problem and make me feel better, make me “prosper” the way I wanted, God was developing something unseen inside of me that would prosper me.

I had to  accept it.

I had to trust him.

Or not.

Just like the roots of a tree which are unseen, we can become anchored to something unseen. No matter the wind, the blight, the drought, or any storm, you can stand strong.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to feel the effects of the wind, the blight, the drought, or the storm.

It just won’t consume you. That is prospering.

God doesn’t always remedy a situation the way we want.

Difficult situations often do not turn out the way we thought, planned, or prayed.

For every person who receives an answer to prayer, perhaps there are 50+ people who do not.

But he will give us peace, comfort, and strength to manage.

Truth exists from a source beyond our human capabilities.

Truth, and where we find it, is what will sustain us.

nature forest trees park
Photo by veeterzy on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

no feeling is final.

no feeling is final.

“Let everything happen to you

Beauty and terror

Just keep going

No feeling is final”

-Rilke

No feeling is final.

Our lives are filled with beauty and terror, joy and sorrow.

Some of us have more joy. Some of us have more sorrow.

Yet, those feelings are not final.

We can be sure that when we breathe our last breath, there is more.

Christianity gives us the promise of eternity with God. God created eternity. God put it in our hearts.

He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

We have emotions. Those feelings can overtake us and hide the truth from us. When you are ready, when you are able, step away from feelings, even for just a moment, and the truth will be illuminated.

Truth is what holds us up. It is the foundation of all things.

Jesus had emotions. He felt what we feel.

Joy at pleasing his Father.

Exhaustion through ministering to people.

Anger at the prideful, religious leaders and the money changers and merchants selling livestock and doves in the temple.

Peace through accepting God’s will.

Love for the rich, young ruler, his disciples, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and the whole world.

Sorrow, grief, and agony of the impending suffering he would experience on the cross.

Yet, the Bible says He endured the cross because of the joy waiting for Him: the promise of what is true, the promise of eternity, and the promise of making a way for eternity to be ours, too.

Truth says, the last feeling is this: everlasting joy. The joy Jesus felt when he accepted beauty and terror.

The joy Jesus felt because He knew – no feeling here on earth is final.

path

 

the truth sets you free.

the truth sets you free.

I’ve been writing here consistently for almost 4 years, 3 times a week.

My purpose was to help myself through choosing Philippians 4:8 (which really works to keep your mind peaceful), to help others (there is hope and God writes the final chapter of our lives), and to develop a platform in pursuing a career in writing.

Those things are still important to me. I have been busy with other responsibilities over the last couple of months I have not taken the time to write here.

I will pick up writing consistently again at some point. But for now, it will be sporadic. If you read here, please know my priority is to be a real-life example of God sustaining me through the loss of my son and how that continues in every area of my life, even if I don’t post the personal particulars.

That said, my real reason for writing today is to write about how I seem to be navigating through turning 60.

It’s just a number but there are some real changes in thinking when a new decade rolls around. Life seems to bring about those changes, not because one implements them.

My faith is my bedrock. It is grounded in truth and I know this to be true. Just like measurements are used for a successful result, the truth found in the Bible is a measurement for a successful result – even if that means you make it through something difficult or tragic.

Since losing Christopher, there is a filter on my life. I see through a different lens. It is not unfocused. It is not cloudy. It is not dirty. If this sounds familiar, some will elude to the fact that you are not the same, therefore you are not seeing things correctly.

Not sure if it’s you they are really concerned about as much as it is their issue.

Life after losing a child is no different than having an injury resulting in life long, chronic pain. You manage. You live differently.

But only God can give you peace.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Hearts and minds. How wonderful. Because a confused mind and a broken heart need peace.

It’s not like you will never have bad moments or days. But the peace will always kick in.

Because God loves you.

Back to turning 60.

We can go a life time thinking and doing things a certain way. It’s our normal.

But then we discover it is okay to stop doing something we’ve always done.

Like “put the face on” in order to make everyone else feel better.

It’s a daughter thing. It’s a wife thing. It’s a mom thing.

And depending on your particular situation and what is available to you, for the very first time in your life, you may have to think of yourself first.

And it might mean STOP.

As I have gotten older, I’ve seen the limitations at times, causing me to re-think my normal response. I used to be johnny-on-the-spot. No pondering. Just action.

I can’t do that so much anymore. Let’s just say I think it through first. Since losing Chris, my emotional capacity is limited. Just like a person’s physical range of motion may be limited.

Thing is, when you lose a child (I am certain it’s true of other losses, but it is readily acknowledged the loss of a child is the worst), people do not see the limitations.

But you see them.

I am now at a place in life where I have at least accepted the fact that I can no longer keep pleasing others in exchange for my own well being. If they don’t get it or if they won’t get it – then so be it.

If you’ve lost a child, maybe this resonates with you. Because mothers, in particular, already put everyone else first. And we continue to want to make sure everyone else is okay without at least identifying the times when we are not.

Often, we seek out the validation of others in order to allow ourselves to be who we are.

Often, people will not understand. How can they? Don’t spiral down into hopelessness.

God says, I will never leave you or forsake you.

You don’t really know this until you are alone.

I am on my way for the very first time in my life, being confident in who I am despite what others think I should be.

The truth sets you free.

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there will be an answer.

there will be an answer.

I hadn’t felt this blue in quite some time.

I felt so unsettled.

Even a wave of torment came out of nowhere.

I had a couple of hours of driving ahead of me. The sky was clear and the air was cool.

I searched the radio to find a station, hoping to hear the same voice I had heard weeks ago giving a sermon. He was very calming and thoughtful with his words. But instead, the scan paused and I heard the familiar melody: there will be an answer, let it be.

Immediately I felt calm.

There will be an answer. Yes, I reminded myself. Let the tears come. But let truth have the final say.

This is for me.

This is for you, too.

Because God let’s us know he is not very far from us, even when it feels like it.

khalid almasoud / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
khalid almasoud / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
emotions.

emotions.

God created us with emotions.

Even God has emotions. Keep in mind, however, his emotions are not defined in human terms. Because we cannot fully comprehend him, we are prone to think of him humanly. For example, his anger is sourced in a divine response to evil.

In the article, God Without Mood Swings, Phillip R. Johnson states:

God is [not] literally subject to fits and temper tantrums. His wrath against sin is surely something more than just a bad mood. 

The Bible shows us some of God’s emotions:

love

grief

anger

joy

jealousy

compassionate

suffering

God relates to human emotions. In turn, we relate to him.

Don’t we turn to people who understand us?

Emotions can be wonderful. They make us feel alive! But, we cannot be led by our emotions. We need something solid to anchor our lives to. The wind carries a sailboat but it has to be steered and anchored to its destination.

Truth is our anchor.

Just like we live with physical laws (e.g., gravity), truth is an unseen law that has a way of settling things. The truth is often difficult (thus, “the truth hurts”), but if we embrace it for what it is, despite how we feel, our emotions will line up.

If you have found yourself in a muddled mess of emotions, truth will help settle you. The truth can be that there are no immediate solutions or answers to your situation and you have to endure it.

If you know God has emotions, you know he understands your emotions.

And because he understands your emotions, he will give you comfort, strength, and guidance.

 rexquisite / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
elisabeth elliot.

elisabeth elliot.

Our faith can get complicated. That’s because we complicate things. And often it is because we are not willing to face the truth, accept it, and be honest with ourselves.

But this woman, Elisabeth Elliot, always made it simple to understand.

Without apology, she spoke the truth found in the scriptures.  The truth really does have the power to set us free when we accept it.

One timeless phrase Elisabeth used in this stressful, busy world is, “do the next thing”. Our minds race some days, don’t they? Yet those 4 words had the power to settle me.

After my oldest son died, her books gave me comfort. That’s because she never ran from this truth: there is suffering in our lives. Face it. And then know that God will help us through.

Elisabeth died on Sunday, June 14th.

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