Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not the end.

       If there is one thing I don't like it is good-byes. Yet, who does? The ones you enjoy are called "good riddances" (is that even a word??). While I have had a few of those come knocking on my door, those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I am talking about good-byes, farewells, etc. Good bye is a part of life. It marks the end of something.  It comes in many forms and starts from childhood. We say goodbye to a special pet when it dies. It could be as innocent as losing our favorite blanket. That sense of loss comes many times in our lives and will come even more often as we grow older. The goodbyes become more difficult as they are often eternal as we grow. We grow and watch our friends pass on, family pass on, and people we looked up to pass on. Death is viewed as the final farewell. Yet, is it really?

              I was speaking with a friend a few nights ago, someone I admire and love, who is suffering many serious health issues. We reminisced about years gone by for a few hours. Recalling all the people that have passed through our lives, and where they are now. We also talked about how simple the love of Christ is but how horribly complex it is made in the hands of men. We laughed about old pranks and cried about old friends. God brings people together in Christ in an extraordinary way.

             There have been people at Bible camp, who I have worked along side with for a whole week. Eating together, sleeping in the same room, praying together, singing together, bonding in fellowship. The very next week they died in a tragic accident. I had no idea that when I said goodbye that Friday night at camp, it would be forever.

             After talking to my friend that night, I was home in the quiet, darkness, when I decided something. I'm done with good-byes. I even said it aloud, as if I was telling everyone.  I don't know if my friend will be on this Earth next year or not. When he does leave, I will not bid him farewell. I will whisper in my heart, "I will see you later."  Goodbyes mark the end of something, and he will be only touching the beginning.  He told me to read psalm 126, as it was close to his heart. I read it. I hope when you read it, and meditate on it, it will bring you peace.

           I have realized this; for my family in Christ there are no goodbyes. I will, however, see them later. When the clouds roll back and Christ calls us home, I'll see them. When will that be? Later. Could be 5 seconds, could be 5 centuries, but it will be later. In that moment all the petty things people argue about, and fret over, will be gone. Politics gone. Pride gone. Selfishness gone. Lies will be swept away and truth will be revealed. Our hearts will rejoice and it will be the best family reunion ever.

  Let us all decide to live our lives so that we don't ever have to say another good-bye.

I'll see you later,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Out of the dark

A still, small voice. That's how God rolls. Sometimes he needs to smack us in the face. Other times he calls us to be still. Still in ways I've never been still, until now. 
      Letting go of the past. Not living my life based on what others think. Seeking God above all else. Raw, passionate pursuit. Being at a point when you really are ready to let God take control...because you have nothing left in you. 
        My heart and soul ached with longing to shed my pain and despair. I lost my passion in Gods work. People around me seemed to have no joy in God. The kind of joy the world can't understand or take away. I wanted joy in God. 
          I started withdrawing from people. I wanted and needed time to focus on God. I needed to spend time not worrying about keeping up appearances or maintaining shallow relationships. I had no fight left in me. I felt as though my heart had burst and it's pieces scattered to the four winds, and there was no hope of getting them back.  

       I swallowed the jagged pill of pride and had to admit that I had been living my life the way I thought everyone else wanted me to. Following family traditions in faith and life. I knew it was time to step back and evaluate my faith and core beliefs. This, I will tell you, is not for the faint of heart. 

           For so many years I've felt focused on the do's and don'ts of Christian life. You know, rules. What makes me right and all else wrong. Ah, the grand delusions. Though I've spoken of grace and mercy, and of Gods love, I'd never really felt it. Not like I wanted to. No matter how hard I tried, I felt as though heavens gates would never let me enter.  I had no real relationship with God. I was too afraid of Him. Afraid of the rejection I was sure I would recieve. One discovery I've made in my soul searching, is God's grace really is sufficient. Really. Once I began to believe this, I started letting Him closer. Fear has been swallowed by adoration and love. I am not saying I don't have a healthy fear of God, I'm saying that I've stopped being afraid of Him. I'm letting go of my hypocrisy and letting God pour out his love, grace and mercy. 
            In this time of searching, I've started to find joy in God. It is beyond the vocabulary of humans to try and describe it. I wish it upon all of you. 

            I tell you all of this to tell you something else. The past few months, while I've questioned the very things I believe, I have not felt as though I should write. I wanted to find my way out of the darkness so I could tell you what I found in the light, and what I felt in the dark. In the past 3days I've had a few people ask about my blog. I believe that in those questions was the still small voice telling me that it's time. It's time to start sharing you're struggles and victories once more. 

          So, here's to the God of the impossible. The God of the great and terrible storms, and gentle nudges. I'm back.