9/22/2011 7:15 AM
"It was the best of times....it was the worst of times."
I find myself thinking about that Charles Dickens' quote as I search for words to describe what my life has been like in the last few months.
Rick Warren is right, life isn't full of just mountains and valleys, it really is more like a railroad track. There are always two tracks running through our lives. One track represents all the blessings and good in our lives (much of what we often take for granted). And the other track represents the problems, sorrows and challenges running through our lives.
My recent sorrow is that my Mom died a little over a month ago. I have no idea why but I felt 'shocked' when it happened. It doesn't seem rational that I would feel shocked given her age and the health problems she's had in the last few years. I guess there is a big part of us that is in constant denial (of some type) of of the harsher realities of this life. We're never really prepared to have someone we love die, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise.
Her death is one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. About a week after her death, I went through three straight days where I felt like I couldn't stop crying. The only time I've ever had an experience like that was when my lifelong, best friend died. I'm not much of a crier, in fact, I very rarely cry. Yes, my eyes may swell with tears in compassion for others or in response to the Holy Spirit but that doesn't feel like crying per say.
Grief is strange. I don't like it but I'm also wise enough to know that we must walk through it at times. We can't stuff it or push it away. It's just not healthy. Even Jesus grieved and shed tears. Sometimes we must allow ourselves to feel the sadness of this life and grief is definitely a sorrow we must embrace at times. I thank God abundantly for my faith, especially is such a difficult time as this has been. Because of it, I'm doing extremely well now and once again, feel the joy and peace of the Lord. But I can't help but think, if I didn't have the faith I do, how in the world could I have endured the sorrow?
My heart goes out to people without faith! Without faith in God, life makes no sense at all. Without faith, the losses in life must feel permanent! If I didn't believe all that I do about God and life, I think my heart would be totally shattered by now! I have sooo much compassion and grief for people who have no faith! And that is a huge motivator to me to do all that I do. I am sooo incredibly grateful for all that God has given me through faith in Christ and I can't help but want desperately to give back some of what I've been given. If anything, this recent difficult experience has made me more passionate than ever (if that's possible) to want to reach out to lost souls and help them discover the Kingdom of God!
I am so grateful! And I am so grateful to be grateful! :-) Gratitude is a great motivator. Jesus said it first" "Those who have been forgiven much, love much." (Paraphrased from Luke 7:47). I have always identified greatly with that scripture.
And as i said earlier, there are two rails in life. My other rail is very full of good and wonderful blessings. In just a few short months, our granddaughter will make her grand entrance into the world and into our hearts and lives in ways I'm sure we can't even quite imagine yet.
And the other great blessing in our lives is that God is moving in great and awesome ways in our church. Last Sunday I handed out 17 baptism certificate and over 25 new member certificates! BHCC is growing exponentially! We are sending out 15,000 mailers this week and our Fall Open house begins in October! I can feel the momentum and it's amazing! I feel like I've waited (and prayed) for a long time to see the church at the point it's at now and it is incredibly SATISFYING! Thanks be to God and to Him be all the GLORY forever and ever! Amen!