Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wisdom in Suffering

Listened to the sermon on "Wisdom in Suffering" again this morning - have been listening to that series on Job again this week as we were faced with the sudden tragic passing of Katelyn. To have wisdom in suffering, we need scary level, unconditional trust in God's love, is what Dr. Keller says. And that does not come easily most of the time, as Dr. Keller also admits.

The grief/share email today talks about how in our society we tend to gloss over grief, everything has to be so tidy and nice. "But life is not tidy and nice and pretending it is will hinder your healing process and make it even longer. "

"Realizing this, draw close to Him and listen to His wisdom. His perspective on your grief is the one you need to seek. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8-9).

"Holy God, teach me to grieve wisely, knowing that You truly understand my hurts and my needs and knowing that Your way for me is far better than society's expectations of me. Amen."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pain and Peace

Hi Renee, How was your day? I guess you don't really have days there in heaven. I have been thinking a lot about you as I do everyday. Today we were thinking a lot about heaven as we were at the memorial service for Katelyn. It was so beautiful to watch all the balloons going up and up and up. (The picture is from your memorial service - wish I had a better picture and I want to add a picture of Kateyn's balloons.) It was such a gorgeous summer day, unlike the terribly bitter cold day when we laid your body to rest, to wait for the resurrection.

The searing pain we experienced only five months ago when we realized that your life on earth was over was all too fresh in our memory still, as we got the tragic news of our friends losing their daughter and Kara losing a friend. I imagine you and Katelyn dancing and having a blast together. Don't forget us down here, who have to continue with the struggles and battles.

I listened to the entire Mindy Smith album this evening as I went for a walk. I wish so much I had asked you about Mindy. There are so many other things I wished we had talked about and just wish we could have had one moment more, as Mindy sings. Why did you get leukemia? Why did you get that lung infection? Why? why? why? so many whys.

I have been thinking again a lot about the song that gave me courage throughout the winter, "Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord." I don't want to give up, but want to "keep on believing" even when things get so hard - also from Mindy - that is such a beautiful album. Renee, I can never thank you enough for putting all that music on my iPod.
More next time. Renee, I love you so much. Can't wait to see you again.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Saturday Night Special

I like to listen to Jonathan Helser - The Awakening album on my iPod on Saturday nights to prepare me for worship on Sunday. (Thank you, thank you Renee for putting this album on my iPod - as well as all the others. I now realize my mistake - it is Helser and not Hesler as I said in a previous blog. I am so embarrassed by this mistake.) The songs about the incredible love God has for us, about heaven and being more like Jesus. I need to learn to pray about everything and trust God's love one hundred percent. I know He loves me one hundred percent - his love is unchanging - to just receive more of his love - to live as one who knows that I am loved outrageously - to be set free from despair and all those fears - to be set free from myself.
Perfect love casts out fear. Oh God, how can I ever thank you enough for all the beautiful gifts you have given me. Even although I have experienced such horrible, terrible losses that are more than I can bear, I love you, Jesus and want to live for you. (I needed to get some tissues and now I will quickly post this and see if I can get some sleep.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Silent Helper

The devotional from Our Daily Bread today was a good reminder that our list of praises should be longer than our list of petitions. Just like our white blood cells quietly do their work, yet receive little recognition if all goes well, our Lord often gets blamed when things go wrong, but seldom gets credit for all the things that go right. No one knows how many times God has protected us from harm.

One of the things that kept me going last winter was to journal at the end of every day, at least three things that I was thankful for. That helped me throughout the day to think of positive things, instead of dwelling on the negatives.
I have started doing that again, but am not quite as faithful now as my days are not quite as structured as they were in NYC.
Today I am thankful for flowers, friends and our family - the three wonderful children that are with us and the three that are with Jesus. I am thankful for friends that have been an encouragement and have been willing and able to listen to various degrees.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Growing Wings

Saturday afternoon I had the overwhelming desire to grow wings to fly away and never come back. That reminded me of the verses that we find in Psalm 55 where David says, "Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly away to the quiet wilderness. How quickly I would escape - far away from this wild storm of hatred."
This morning the song came to my mind that we sang as we said good-bye to Renee, "I'll fly away, Oh glory, I'll fly away " as we watched the balloons sail off into the bitterly cold winter sky with the sun setting behind us.
All the stress of trying to get the computers working, as a result of having the business so brutally split apart, and trying to find a shop or location to build a new one on top of trying to deal with the grief of losing Renee is sometimes just overwhelming. They say God will never give us more than we can handle, but I'm not sure if I agree with that. But if we ask Him to carry the load, I think we should be able to survive.
I have been reminded of Bugs Bunny who was repeated runover and completely flattened out. That is how we have been feeling, except unlike Bugs Bunny it is taking us longer to recover from this being run over process.
Saturday we did a little 2 hour trip. That was a nice relaxing change, meeting with some very good friends. Yesterday we had a quiet day, with a walk in Bird's Hill Park in the evening and I did find Ladies Slippers - pink and yellow ones.
This morning we listened to the first message from the new series on the Seven Letters to the Churches from the Book of Revelation from Redeemer - the Last and the First - God wants to be our Alpha and Omega.