Monday, December 21, 2009

for the life of you

I can’t let this year end and not say it. It’s been a hell of a year.
Is this going to be a depressing post? I hope not. Hear me out.

It started with… death.
Death of a friend’s father.
Then a 2nd friend’s father.
Then a 3rd friend’s father.
Then a tragic loss of a another friend’s family.
Then one of my long-time friends after a long illness.
Then another friend’s father.
Then another.

Why do I bring this up? Because when I think of this past year, it has been defined by these losses. You know how at the end of every year you see those celebrity lists of famous people who have passed on? I saw one of those today and it annoyed me. None of our real-life friends and families are on those TV lists. And it’s ok to be mad about it. It’s ok to grieve our loss. It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be ticked at the world for not stopping to take notice.
When I first experienced great loss, I hated the world & I hated God. I was SO SO SO MAD at Him. I thought He didn’t care. I thought He was a liar. I thought He was deaf & dumb. I didn’t think I could ever trust Him or love Him ever again.
I was young and it messed with me for a long time. I hated God & lost interest in life.
I had so many questions. And so, so many regrets. I thought: If only I had spent more time with them. I never told them. If I could just have 5 minutes more. Did I tell them that I loved them? Did I hug them enough? What was the last thing I said to them? Did they know I loved them? I’m forgetting the sound of their voice!!! NO! God! Please don’t let me forget their voice!

Psalm 30:11
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy…

It took a long, long time for me to heal. A long time for me to come back to God and recognize & feel His love. It’s one thing to lose someone to old age… it’s another to lose a loved one by tragedy or illness unexpectedly. It hurts more. It takes longer to heal & the scar is much worse. When you have a deep cut, the nerves get damaged. You lose feeling for a long time… sometimes years… and that's what it’s like when you experience great loss. But slowly, your feeling starts to come back & those nerves begin to heal. And the scars fade… with time. Not that you stop missing your loved ones… even when the healing comes, you still miss them. That never changes.
Do you have physical scars that hurt sometimes? I know I do. When I see a lot of blood or see someone else get injured… my scar starts to ache. Seeing all my friends go through their losses this year… has been like that. Experiencing losses of my own this year, has made that old scar hurt again. Those questions replay in my mind & heart. It’s hard to understand & hard to move on.
The love of friends helped bring me out of my depression & grief all those many years ago. You have to allow yourself to be around people and be loved… and love again.
It is through love that we are repaired & heal.
I realize now that God was using others to heal my broken heart and reach out to me. Give it a try… and let Him bear your chains. It was for life that God sacrificed His only Son. It was for life and love. It was for your life and your love. I know, it’s hard to believe right now. It may take years, but I assure you, He’ll prove Himself to you again. Your wailing will be turned into dancing.

Isaiah 26:19
But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy.
Your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.

We will see our loved ones again. We will be reunited. No more lonely holidays, no more tears of sadness… we will shout for joy and rejoice in the everlasting life of the Lord Jesus together. We will shout & jump & DANCE.

So what am I praying for 2010?? I’m praying for this next year to be a year of LIFE. I pray that for each of you reading this. I pray your wounds begin to heal. Let me know if you have anything you want me to specifically be praying for you about… otherwise I pray you have a Merry Christmas & feel God’s love surrounding you.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to this earth to bear my chains & walk to Calvary for the life of me. For the eternal life of us all.

Bring on 2010. Let’s do it.