Sunday, May 25, 2014

Turmoil and Surrender...

I usually have an idea for the point I am trying to make with my posts when I write a new one.  This one I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I should probably say I am coming from a place of some inner turmoil right now.  I just felt the prompting to write tonight, so I'm not entirely sure where this one is going.  Hopefully it will make sense in the end.

It's interesting how life can come at us and turn things upside down with no warning whatsoever, or so it seems.  In our family's case we lost Jack and Hayes with no warning or sign that it was coming.  It was a case of one moment they were here, and the next they were gone.  There was no preparation for what was coming or the way life was forever changed. 

I remember giving Jack one last kiss and telling him I loved him as Jess jumped in the car with him to take him to the hospital totally expecting that he was going to be just fine.  After all he was awake and talking, and it seemed like it was more of a precaution than anything.  That was the last time I would see him alive and have the opportunity to kiss my little boy and tell him I loved him on this side of eternity.

Hayes I also remember kissing and telling him I loved him as I dropped him off at our sitters for the day.  I fully expected to see him that afternoon when I went to pick him up like I would every time.  Again, that was the last time I ever got to kiss my little boy and tell him I loved him on this side of eternity. 

I am so grateful that I have those memories because I am able to hold on to the fact that my last words to Jack and Hayes were "I love you" before they got to meet Jesus face to face.  I feel like I did this before we lost the boys, but now I always try to make a point to tell Jess, Noah, and Drew that I love them whenever I leave, or they leave.  There is just no way to know what life may hold from moment to moment.

I think we all have experiences in this life where we get blindsided with things that we did not see coming.  It may be the death of a child or loved one, it could be a diagnosis of cancer, it could be the loss of a job, or any significant event we didn't see coming.  There is a big part of me now that feels like when things are seemingly going good I should prepare because something invariably always seems to end up coming and hitting me like a ton of bricks to change all of that.    

The question is what do we do when life blindsides us?  I think it really depends on where you place your trust.  I have seen some who react in anger when these kinds of things happen.  Not that anger is wrong because I believe it is an emotion that God gave us, but when we allow ourselves to stay in that place that is when it becomes a problem. 

There are those that dwell in their grief and depression over the events that have happened.  Again, grief and depression is a perfectly normal and a realistic reaction to horrible events.  I have walked through grief for the last three years, and struggle with it at different times.  It is when a person allows themselves to stay in these places and never walk through them that it becomes an issue. 

There are those that turn to "things" to help, but they do not actually do anything to help and instead make things even worse.  Some of these things could be drugs, alcohol, relationships, food, sex, porn, television, video games, and the list could go on.  Some of these things are obviously bad, and many others aren't at all in and of themselves.  I think the best way I have ever heard it put is by Pastor Mark Driscoll when he has said it's a problem "when a good thing becomes a god thing".  Anything we put on a pedestal in our life that isn't God and or his will it becomes an idol, and does nothing help us deal with these things that happen in life. 

I could obviously go on, but I guess what I am trying to get at through this post tonight is that to truly deal with the crap that life throws at us is to allow God to come in and lead us through it.  I know that I never in a million years could deal with the loss of our boys through any other way than through the grace, peace, and comfort that is only found in Jesus. 

Every time in the moments that life throws at us we have a choice to make.  Do we turn to and dwell in negative emotions, feelings, and reactions to everything else from there on out?  Do we mask these moments with "things"?  These reactions are so easy to do, and I know I have been guilty in many ways of some of them myself.  There is really only one thing that we should be doing, and I pray that anyone who reads my blog will do it.

You have to turn to the creator of all things and allow him to come and take the hurt, pain, frustration, anger, depression, grief and replace it with his love, peace, joy, and comfort.  That is only done through Jesus.  Even when we find ourselves in a place that is of our own doing the only answer is found in Christ. 

I'll close with this, the initial step of surrendering to Christ is easy when it comes down to it because all you have to do is ask for his forgiveness and grace!  My prayer is always the same whenever I post on this blog, and that is each and every person who reads it will make that decision. 

When that decision is made to follow Christ it doesn't mean that the road ahead is easy.  When we find ourselves blindsided with life through none of our own doing, or completely because we made the mess on our own, there is going to be work ahead.  No matter the struggle it's a matter of making the decision every day to surrender, and to do the things we know we have to do.  I honestly don't know if this post will help anyone or even make sense, but I know that God laid it on my heart to put out there. 

There are things I know I have to do to move forward on the path God has called me to.  The question is what has God called you to do to move forward from where you find yourself?  If you don't know the answer to that question, first surrender your life to Christ and ask for wisdom.  I guarantee if you are truly seeking you will find the answers you are looking for in Christ.  If you find yourself in a place where you are stuck because life has blindsided you, stop and surrender yourself to God right now.  That is where you will find the answers you are looking for. 

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[g] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Matthew 16:24-27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

John 14:27-28