The In Between

It’s Holy Saturday, the day between grief and glory. I woke up thinking about the disciples and followers of Jesus. They had just seen Him suffer a horrible death after which some witnessed His burial in a tomb with a huge stone rolled in front of the entrance.

Having lost many loved ones to death, I liken this to the time between their passing and the funeral service where we feel exhausted, grief-stricken, and sad, although I know the comparison is sadly lacking. I say that because He was to them their lives. Their Messiah, Israel’s long-awaited promise. The Miracle Baby of Mary. Those who followed Him literally left their lives to follow Jesus and sit at the feet of the Supreme Teacher.

How devastated they must have been. I imagine some were gathering their strength and the few possessions they had to go back to their lives they had so willingly left behind. I’m sure some were convinced that it was over. He had tried to tell them many times this was going to happen but sorrow had robbed their memory. They were captives of grief.

Have you ever been there? Have you been in that place of stiffling grief, not knowing what to do next and really not wanting to do anything? That’s what I call the in-between place.

Our only weapon during those moments and days is to encourage ourselves. Those are the times which we must choose faith. We choose to believe the promises laid out for us in the Bible and as best we can, we choose to “LET not” our hearts be troubled.

Something inside us gives us the strength to go on and climb out of that bed one more time. Pick up that Bible one more time. Smile, one-more-time. We choose to get busy living and go from here rather than choose to die.

That’s Spirit power because our flesh may want to give up, I believe. The ‘greater in me’ becomes greater in me and I rise. In that place of in-between the work of the power in me that created the stars takes over my weary flesh and I go on. You go forward regardless of how you feel.

Friends if you’re in that devastating place now just hang on. A better time is coming. You will survive this. It’s okay to be there…just don’t stay there. God has everything you need and He will strengthen you. If you’re not in the in-between place right now the next time you are remember Jesus and what happened the next day, Sunday. He conquered death and changed the world. What those sad broken hearts saw as the end was only the beginning, and my goodness! What a beginning it was!

So come on. Let’s walk with our heads held high and the willingness to believe a grand tomorrow is coming. This isn’t all there is!

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Good Love

Good love. You got it? The ultimate love: unconditional, everlasting, never failing, unending and regardless love is that love of Jesus Christ. We can only give an imperfect love but we decide…and hopefully desire to give our best. When we do with pure hearts and then we’re used, abused then thrown away it does something to us. We’re wounded and leery of trying it again. This encompasses all relationships right? I’ve been “killed” by some people…and I’ve “killed” some people. I’ve rejected and hurt those who really cared for me. I’ve been used and abused when I gave my best. We all have been. I just need to say that if you’re reading this and you’ve thrown me to the side/manipulated/hurt me…you missed the chance for good love. I’m God’s girl. I have in me the vreal kind of love; a good love. It’s your loss. I refuse to live under that mark of pain and rejection you left on me. I am not a reject. I am loved with an everlasting, real love of Christ. I’m on the mend, and He heals me second by second because I’m letting Him. I still have good love because I choose to. I choose to show it and not let all the pain alter this love I’ve been given. Will you?

No Good Normal

I lost my glasses about three months ao and have looked everywhere for them. I mean, I’ve moved furniture (including appliances), cleaned every drawer, and ransacked cars. I’ve scanned my yard, I’ve looked everywhere. No glasses.

To make matters worse, I had just paid lots of money for new ones less than two months before I lost them so no way could I just go get some more.

I have really bad eyesight and really long days so I decided not to wear my contacts while at home and made the necessary adjustments and I’ve adapted well. It’s been uncomfortable but I’ve adapted to my new normal…I can’t see well at all but I can see enough to get by. I am surviving nicely. It’s all good…enough.

While rearranging my office to make more room for the puppies (another story) I found my glasses in (really IN) some papers this past weekend. I thanked the Lord for letting me find them and put them on. I saw things I hadn’t missed seeing! Dust, places I had missed cleaning. I saw that my new normal wasn’t nearly as kosher as I thought it was!

Having my glasses back for two days now, I was trying to see something on TV this morning when I remembered that I had found my glasses…yet I didn’t put them on when I got up! I had become so adjusted to not seeing clearly that I had been up for hours before I realized that…I couldn’t see but I could if I wanted to, I had to put my glasses on!

Life is like that more than I care to admit. We adjust and readjust all the time…and stay in an uncomfortable place sometimes because it’s normal and familiar and frankly too much effort is required to change. So it becomes okay with us, safe and acceptable when if we would just provide a little effort it could be so much better.

I got up and got my glasses after realizing I could make myself feel better and more comfortable if I would just go get them. Change requires action. Even when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances we can change our attitude. The effort to do what we can requires just that: effort.

Don’t settle for anything less than the best. Your best. Do what you can and trust God for the rest. And if you can’t see…go get your glasses!

I Don’t Trust Me

Over and over for the past two weeks Proverbs 3:5 has come to me in many different ways.

So much that happens doesn’t make any sense. Such as: All that’s happened in my family. Why I’m alive and pretty much everyone dear to my heart isn’t. Why good people, “God people” suffer such horrible things…why life is so hard for us and mean people who intentionally inflict pain, lie and manipulate seem to breeze right through…the list is long.

In order for me to keep walking forward and not just fall in a pile and give up; if I’m to really trust God and believe His Word I can not lean on “my own understanding”. I must love the Lord with all my heart and that means I have to put me, my opinions and my feelings behind Him in my life. I have to lean on Him and not my own understanding. I must acknowledge Him: believe Him and that He’s  working in all this (good, bad, struggles and the ugly) for my good, He’s in control and He’s supremely over it all.

A tall order. I have to choose with every situation…the good ones and the hellish ones…to trust Him. Friends this is not a one time decision…it’s a constant one. Trust/acknowledge are verbs…action words. I have to trust Him, not me. Don’t let your feelings or emotions dictate your faith. We can be swayed. God can’t be.

Trust is much larger than faith, a step beyond. Believing and ACTING on belief are very far apart at times. Look. More often than not, things are way more intricate then they appear. There’s a physical thing going on but rest assured there’s also a spiritual thing going on. Don’t trust you…trust HIM!

The Dead Place

Part of my choosing to live requires me to let go of things, even some things that mean a lot to me. One of those things is creating flower arrangements and placing them on my sister’s grave…though not for the reason you may think.

My father’s wife won’t allow his daughter (me) to put flowers on his grave so since Thanksgiving last year, I’ve been placing two arrangements on her grave, one for her and one for Dad.

Anyone who knows me knows how very much this means to me. It’s therapeutic and makes me feel that I’m still doing something for them. This includes Dad’s wife but she’s extremely mean and vindictive. She’s ruined the peaceful atmosphere at the cemetery, threatened to shoot me if I step foot on the land that he loved (as did I) and has thrown my flowers away twice.

You see, it’s my nature to keep fighting for what’s right. It’s “right” for a woman to be able to place flowers on her father’s grave as well as her sister’s. It’s my right to do that…but is it worth it?

They’re not there anyway! They’re with me in my heart. I can celebrate them and who they are (and always will be) to me in many different ways. I even have a “memory garden” where I live where I can place flowers anytime I want! Why keep going back to the place of the dead when I can honor them in living places?

I hate to lose what’s right! It’s so….wrong! But I see that breaking all ties, even the right things and rightful ties would be better in this instance.

Doing right things…and things that are my right…when it causes me pain isn’t such a good idea. This torment and all that goes with it has been life long. I don’t wish to hurt anymore. I’ll be creative and honor them in any way I choose that she can’t hurt me with.

If you revisit a “dead place” which constantly causes pain you may want to think about some of the things I’ve said. Sometimes we simply have to let everything…and I mean EVERYTHING go. Yes it’s not fair and yes it hurts…but maybe this pain of letting go is the first stage of healing.

Keeping The Faith

Have you ever noticed all the action words in the Bible? We have a responsibility in this faith walk. “Do not let your hearts be troubled…” just one example that’s snatched my attention of late and it’s huge! We’ve all suffered unfairness, hurt, and some have endured worse things than I can even comprehend. I hear about horrible things and wonder how they survived; I’m not sure I could.

I’m learning it’s not so much what life does to us but what we do with what’s happened. I believe we have a choice when bad things happen. We can allow it to consume us by constantly focusing on it or we can pray about it and every time it crosses our mind (and I mean EVERY TIME) we can purposefully take the thought and pain and tell God “I don’t get it. Yes it’s ugly and unfair but for some reason You allowed it and I trust You. I believe Your word that says ALL things work for the good for those who love You. Father that’s me, so help me fight the urge to retaliate, to be bitter or walk wounded. Heal me and let me see You through it”.

I believe that’s at least some of the working out of our salvation…ultimate trust that He knows what He’s doing and that if nothing else through whatever comes, I’ll have the privilege of growing closer to Him because I’m getting to know Him in a way I haven’t before.

What about you. Are you keeping your faith?