Thursday, February 14, 2013

Life isn't always romantic: sometimes it is broken



Disclaimer:
I know it is a "HAPPY" day of celebration focused on love. This post is for my dearly loved friends who are struggling to find a reason to celebrate today.


How sweet life can be. Pure, unadulterated joy experienced for...well a few days anyway, right?. It can be so full of fun and laughter. Days also pass by that seem to have no substance in particular. Seasons where all we can muster is to barely go through the motions. One day goes into another day...and so on...and so on.  Then- there are the days we feel as if we are being swallowed up whole. Something has been silently lurking behind us, trailing, just waiting to seize us. Leaving us disoriented and in complete shock. 


Lately I have been witnessing these shocking moments happen in many lives around me. People I love dearly seem to have a big target on their backs with painful life situations hitting them spot on, time and time again. Wha??? What is going on? This is crazy. My phone rings and I nearly drop to the floor with the shocking news from a loved one. You've got mail - another message from a friend, again I am numbed by the news. Run into a friend..."You are kidding me - spouse is leaving you? " I am almost beside myself now. FB: How are you doing...  WOW - did you just post that on your wall? Wait  - what??? Family member just died? As I write this I am still in disbelief. It has me feeling like I am spinning because these stories just cannot be reality. They are topics for those crazy blockbuster movies or sappy novels. They are the tragic life stories speakers talk about. These are not topics for everyday conversations with friends, who I LOVE! This just can't be our daily life. And...yet it is.

No matter how hard we try to set our lives up for the sweep you off your feet romance, happy ever after ending. It just won't be that. At least not that alone and by itself. It simply can't be left at just that. In reality let's  face the facts, there is an enemy prowling around and he is in for the kill. He seeks to wound - he seeks to destroy. He knows where our weak spots are and he is a good aim. So how likely is it we can manage a life full of happy, go lucky, times without experiencing pain now and then? The scale is tipped unfavorably against us. Or is it? 

I think part of the real joy in life happens when we face desperate times. There is something beautiful about the raw emotion of pain. It opens up our desperation for a true loving God to ride in on his white horse and rescue us. It allows us to need the strength and support of our friends prayers holding us up. It erases all forms of pride and leaves us in a place of humility. Transparency is all that is left to offer because the energy to put up a front is not within our ability. We are what we are - and that is beautiful. 

I am not saying I find joy in seeing people hurt, I certainly don't. It honestly hurts my heart deeply to see my friends feeling broken and wounded.  I am saying I find joy in seeing people seek a brutally honest relationship with Christ - and frequently that honest of a relationship only comes in the midst of brokenness. (At least this is true for me) Through that broken situation being taken to Christ the process of redemption begins. The story of hope is woven throughout the broken pieces and draws them back together into a beautiful new creation. Something BEAUTIFUL can be born out of brokenness. That is hopeful. That I love! 

The problem is, it comes easy to become consumed by pain. Pain has a way of hitting us so furiously that we are left in complete shock: blindsided and numb. After the initial hit it can take us some time to be able to identify what it was that even hit us. Often, there are cuts and bruises that need some tending. Depending on the situation it may be necessary for us to equip ourselves with some protective gear to avoid a repeat attack. In every single one of these steps we need to seek wise counsel. Our natural responses will often find us spinning in place.

I know when I  find myself in one of these challenging phases almost everyone I know wants to help and has really sweet words to bring comfort, along with ideas of how I should move forward. We must be careful though - not all advice is meant for us to follow. It is important we seek God and ask him to show us his plan. The Bible is our best source of encouragement and truth. If you can't seem to get a clear vision of where to start, if  the ground doesn't seem to be moving under you... get yourself to someone who can help you take baby steps, A Christian Counselor.

Whatever you do, don't let pain debilitate you to a place of further destruction. Rather then having it knock you down to stay - let it be the starting ground for new growth. Brokenness that is redeemed to something beautiful is attractive to others. Before you know it you will be sharing your story. What once seemed to have you bound, knocked down, will be the very thing that God used to show you his AMAZING process of Redeeming Love. Trust me - you won't want to miss it!



ROMANS

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

-Simply Sublime



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