What a difference a few weeks can make. How one minute I am publishing a blog on the stages of grief and how far I have come; to a few weeks later, waking up after 15.5 hours of sleep, and not remembering anything.
I didn’t expect my grief to return with so much force. I didn’t expect to literally not be able to wrap a single gift without breaking down. I never anticipated not caring if I celebrated Christmas at all. I also didn’t plan to come home one day and give up…and take too much of my anxiety meds; because I had become so tired of fighting through the struggles and pain.
Last night, I looked at my husband and asked him why I continued to struggle. I have prayed incessantly, begging God to remove this pain from me. I have cried out that I am just too weak and that I have no fight left in me. Why hasn’t He answered? Why am I not fixed? Jason told me that He is very much still with me. I laughed, and then asked the one question that so many people ask, “If God exists, and is such a loving God, why is all of this still happening?”
If God exists, and is such a loving God, why is all of this still happening?
This morning, I shocked myself. I actually got ready and went to church. My family was going to light the advent candle this morning and give a reading. I went to bed last night, and didn’t care one way or the other. Jason and the boys could do it without me…but I woke up and felt like I could go. I don’t know if my pastor gave the sermon he originally intended; but I do know that he gave the one I needed to hear.
First the advent reading and lighting of the advent candle, love. As I read the assigned scripture, I felt a stirring inside my heart,
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. -Luke 1: 46-48
“He has looked with favor”… this is Mary, the one chosen to be the mother of the world’s Savior. My pastor’s sermon spoke on how the punishment during that time, to be an unwed mother, was death. That Joseph was probably criticised and ridiculed by his peers for staying with Mary, be he defended her and loved her. That sounds alot like my story…I have a husband who has stood by my side, despite the ridicule of those who just don’t understand how he could.
Then the mic drop moment happened, as I sat there in the pew trying to keep it together. Pastor talked about Emmanuel, which means God is with us. My mind went back to last night and how I had laughed at the thought. The reminder of this specific name, was a moment of light in the darkness that I had been living in again.
He then asked the very question I asked Jason the night before, “If God is so loving, why does He let bad things happen?” He shared a story and began talking about the gifts we are each given by God, and maybe it was time to stop giving in to peer pressure, or what others think, and just be us. That is really all I remember of his sermon, because I began writing right there. Maybe my prayers had already been answered, He had already equipped me with what I needed. Writing is my gift from God. Writing is the avenue He has given me to work through and process my pain.
Maybe my prayers had already been answered, and He had already equipped me with what I needed. Writing is my gift from God. Writing is the avenue He has given me to work through and process my pain.
I would like to share with you what I heard spoken to me during that moment. It didn’t come from my pastor… it came from that inner voice, that I believe is the Holy Spirit, and left me with questions that I think we all should ponder,
Maybe it is not a loving God that allows bad things to happen; but a fallen world. A world where people are failing to extend God’s love to those who are broken. Are we doing our part? Are you showing the love of Christ to your Muslim neighbor? What about our President who you may not agree with, are you extending grace and praying over him? How about your neighbor, the single mom with five kids who needs government assistance? Or, the family who is hanging on by a thread?
What is your response? Who can you choose to show love to today? We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. He has equipped each of us with certain gifts…
Maybe it is time to starting using those gifts, in all of their forms, to help heal, comfort, and lessen the burdens we all carry.
By His grace,