Category Archives: Eyedrops & Q-Tips

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matt. 13:15-16

Dirty Underwear. Filthy Socks. Muddy Jeans. Stained T-Shirts. What To Do With Dirty Laundry?

Last month, I read Mark Lee’s encouraging blog post about journaling and being self-disciplined  so decided I was going to get on the stick with my blog. Unfortunately, right at that time, our family was thrown into a whirlwind of spiritual attach via another family that left me, um, speechless! I didn’t allow myself to blog because I didn’t want to be tempted to, you know, SIN, and since we were in the midst, I felt it would be lying to journal and act as if none of it was going on. And, honestly, I don’t know how I could have written anything without writing about that.   Hopefully, the worst is behind us but I still can’t seem to write without addressing it.  It’s a part of our story, now, and it certainly isn’t my favorite part.  It was a brief (again, I hope) trial, rather bizarre and we learned a lot.  Aspects of this part of our life would certainly qualify as dirty laundry so, therefore, I don’t plan on hanging it out there. But…I also am not going to ignore this part of our lives as it has made such an impact on us.

Some of what I have learned from our experience doesn’t necessarily sound positive. For example,  I won’t be so trusting of people from here on out. Just because they are a  Christian, homeschooling family doesn’t mean they are like-minded, or even stable, for that matter.  There are folks who give a pretty convincing performance but God has a way of revealing who a person really is behind the masquerade. I sensed something was awry at the onset of this trial. While some may chastise my distrust of people, God calls it discernment and if we’re walking with Him, His Spirit gives us “nudges” that let us know something isn’t right. I was nudged. A lot. I/He was right. Every hunch I had was right. BUT, I trusted that good, Christian people only have the best intentions. Turns out I was wrong.

I have also learned that real friends who really love you can really be trusted to stand up for you.  It was SO tempting to try to set the record straight, to defend our family, to retaliate.  We chose to hold our tongues. We knew that “the accuser” was being given reign to attack our family through some folks and that we should not “answer  fools according to their folly, or we would be like them.” Proverbs 26:4   It was also just easier to be quiet. The amount of emotional energy that is required for psychodrama is just not worth it! Meanwhile, friends…real friends stood up for us and tried to speak truth on our behalf. Unfortunately, those friends who were willing to stick their necks out were also abused verbally.  We were also encouraged by those who told us that our actions in response to the outlash showed integrity, dignity, etc.  Here I thought I was just being lazy. Seriously, though, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Proverbs 17:28 We could have rebutted, but as it was, if these folks were truly brothers and sisters in Christ, they would have been following Matthew 18 and coming to us to discuss “their version” of the situation.   I struggled for a bit with whether we should follow Matthew 18 and go to them but when my DH pointed out that they were using Facebook (and you thought it was just for social networking) to lambaste our family and would not listen to anyone who tried to discourage their behavior, he deduced that they would not be people to recon with and that we should NOT treat them as siblings in Christ. So we are praying for them and regarding them as deceived people who really do have problems – problems God can use if they will choose to follow Him.

I need not go into detail but I did learn that when we raise our children by teaching them God’s Word, by doing our best to set an example worth following, discuss life issues on a regular basis, and have their hearts, I can trust they will choose to do what’s right. They will  make mistakes. They will fall. That’s been a hard lesson to learn, too. As a mom, I want to keep them safe and guide them to do what’s right. But when they grow into young adults, the only direction I can give them is the direction I have earned the right to give. It’s at this point my children look for direction when they think they need it. If I’ve done my job right, they will look to God, come to their father or I, and seek wise counsel. We all screw up, though!  I need to remember that, though I think my children are awesome, they aren’t flawless and will make mistakes, will break my heart, will disappoint me and themselves! My goal is to be ready with open arms to accept my children with all the dirt and scrapes, clean them up and patch up any wounds IF they want it OR show them how to do it themselves. I’ve also learned that my children will shine their light brightest through a trial, that they want to do what’s right, will take a bad situation and do their best to turn it around, and will do like I’m doing here, learn from the situation.

As if the lessons weren’t aplenty, I know that I have a husband who will stand up for his family, will confront head-on those who would seek to do us harm, and will speak wisdom into your life whether you want him to or not. (Here’s hoping seeds were planted!)

I can honestly say I have been blessed through this ordeal due to our family coming together to carry each other’s loads, our friends’ wonderful support, and seeing how individual yoots handled themselves. I am so proud of my kids!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19,20

You’re causing me to stumble!

Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Sometimes I wonder why God blessed me with children because my mouth isn’t always a blessing to them. I’m focusing on memorizing verses that focus on the tongue so I will have those handy reminders stuck in my head and heart so they will nudge me whenever I open my big fat mouth. We’ve memorized these verses together as a family but the problem with being the one holding the verse card is I’m not memorizing or reviewing; I’m making sure everyone else has “got it.” So, I’m working on these on my own and will start sharing the responsibility with my olders so we can all learn together. That being said, I struggle with thinking before speaking sometimes! God knew I needed work in this area so, for this and a plethora of other reasons, He, in His Wisdom, gave me children. For those of you with small children and are thinking, “Oh, I feel your pain,” I’d like to say…you have no idea. Yes, it’s hard when they’re small. But when you have a young adult i.e. a thirteen-year-old boy with a built-in argument mechanism or a rebellious daughter who can get your blood a’boilin’…on purpose, there is a whole, different dynamic! Of course, there’s something to be said for child training when they’re young. That’s another blog post. But the self-control that must develop when you live with adolescence can only be accomplished with exercise and supernaturally! There is NO way anyone can withstand the temptation to verbally retaliate against their mouthy yoot without God. I’m convinced of it. It’s hard enough when God’s got your back. Compound that with today’s trend to raise brats (through lack of training) rather than responsible, contributing adults, and you have a formula for disaster.

SO, as I’ve been trying to focus on replacing a bad habit of being reckless with the good habit of being wise, I’ve asked my kids to be patient with me and to forgive me when I mess up (another good habit to teach your kids via example). There are times when I’m worn out from all of the exercising the self-control muscle and just want it to be “easy.” You know, so I can be lazy. :oP I know…endurance, perseverance and all that. That’s how the supernatural exercise works. But I’ve decided some of the “responsibility” does fall on my brood. I’ve starting reminding them that they are not being “wise” with their mouths by telling them….”Hey! You’re being a stumbling block! You’re tempting me to sin. Knock it off!” He he. Okay, it doesn’t sound very deep but it does bring a chuckle. They say laughter is healing, right?

Moments that are not shared are lost,
MF

Farewell Aunt Corky

My Aunt Coralie died yesterday. Due to the fact that she hadn’t been to church in years and didn’t have friends, it was decided there will be no funeral. I have mixed feelings about my aunt and her passing away. She babysat me, came to the hospital when I had my first baby and brought a large, pink bunny due to Easter being the following week…I think she may have visited with at least one other birth. She was tickled each time I had a baby and just thought it wonderful we had so many. Somewhere along the line, she was introduced to alcohol and started drinking herself to death. When her health started to decline and she became near blind and housebound, unable to go out to get her booze, she replaced that addiction with food. She was already overweight but her drinking and dietary habits sent her body to the point of no return. I think she was 55. That’s pretty young, IMO. I was angry with her for awhile as her health became a burden on my mom. My mom took care of my bedridden Grandma and Grandpa for years and she found herself trying to take care of a bitter, miserable, sick alcoholic who was ungrateful and witchy to my mom all of the time. Yes, she had been sweet and still could be but alcohol ruins people. Though I would get angry at her I kept finding myself just feeling sorry for her and praying for her. I prayed she would remember the seeds planted when she had sought after God, was baptized and attended a church. I am heartbroken that a person can go through life only to come to the end friendless and feeling so miserable you’re willing to drown your sorrows in booze until it takes your life. I pray I live in such a way that friends and family will want a service of some kind to say goodbye not because I want to be popular, but because I want to be a blessing to others. This is not to say my aunt wasn’t a blessing. Obviously, I was blessed by her being my aunt or I wouldn’t feel grief. I just wish she had found herself by looking outside of herself and looking to God.

1 Peter 2:12
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

God’s Family Get-Together

Last night, a small group gathered to hear the amazing teaching of Beresford Job from the U.K. who is travelling around the States this fall with his wife, Belinda, and daughter, Bethany. It’s always a treat to have the privilege to hear someone who has so thoroughly scrutinized the Word of God, looking only at Scripture, its origins, it’s language, structure, context and Divine inspiration without the influence of man’s interpretation (or misinterpretation, as the case may be). That being said, what follows are from my notes from last night’s teaching and I am just passing along these truths that have been misunderstood for way too long.

First of all, if we can know one thing about a church in the New Testament, we can, typically, know what is true of all the churches. i.e. scriptures addressing or referring to “all the churches,” “As in all the congregations of the saints” -1 Cor. 14:33b, etc. We also know that the apostles taught the same thing about everything. They didn’t each have their own version of how things should be done. There was consistency. In the NT, the test of if a church was truly a church was they were conforming to all the other churches.

So, 4 things in Scripture that characterizes the church of the New Testament:

  1. Leadership – For any institution to function, some form of “government” is needed. Even in marriage, there is a form of “government” necessary. In the Bible, the church leaders are referred to elders, bishops/overseers, pastors/shepherds. These terms are synonymous for the same people. Beresford told us to underline this: Scripture knows nothing of the pastor/minister of a church. Especially one brought in from the outside.Church government and decision-making was by consensus. Elders were part of the decision-making process but were not the decision-makers. Also, the church leaders were raised up from within the church, not brought in from elsewhere. There’s no “power pyramid” in Scripture. There are many little men, not a few “big” men and certainly no “expert” in charge of it all.
  2. Whenever a church is located in Scripture, it’s located in the home, without exception. The church, by its purpose and Biblical example, is meant to be numerically small, which will shock most Christians as today’s church believes the bigger, the better. The design is small as opposed to big because of its purpose. Beresford offered the parallel of the purpose of an airplane. Its purpose is to fly people from one place to another therefore; it is designed to do so. If you remove the wings of the plane while it’s over the ocean, it becomes a rather ineffective submarine. If you change the design, you compromise its function. The function of the church: it’s an extended family of God’s people – “the household of God” (Eph. 2:19, 1 Tim. 3:15). If you’re a believer, you are literally my brother or sister; God is literally our Father. What is the church? A family. Again, another underline, Scripture has no knowledge of a church building. No church met elsewhere other that the home. Also, when joining the small church, you are delivered from two evils: a. churches in competition with each other and b. “Ego” leaders from the outside will go looking for other fish to fry.

    3 & 4 address what happened when the church was gathered:

  3. There was a time of worship, prayer, teaching, sharing, ministering of the Spirit, et al. Many as possible would make small contributions to the gathering time as opposed to a few or one making a large contribution. Scripture has no knowledge of a church service. The church service was created in the 2nd century by church leaders and is not merely different from the original design, it is the opposite.
  4. They ate a meal together. The Lord’s Supper, the bridal supper, the love feast…it was a MEAL! The loaf and the cup were a part of the meal and stood in for the physical presence of Jesus. God’s Word says He’s there with us but until He eats with us in person, we remember His presence through the breaking of bread and drinking of the “cup” and we share a feast that looks forward to the wedding feast to come.

These four things define the New Testament church. Again, form follows function. The church’s function – God’s family. What do families do? They hang out, catch up, help each other, relate to one another, eat together, play together – this takes time! A church gathering is a family get-together. Picture a family get-together with Granddad at the front of the room in front of rows of chairs and he offers a pep talk to the family. A couple of others give a few comments, announcements, and then everyone goes home. Ironically, some family members will meet at a restaurant or home for lunch. (I think we know instinctively inside this is how it’s suppose to be). Unfortunately, in institutional church, many “family members” are excluded from the cliques gathering for the Sunday lunch. That’s because the family has become dysfunctional. Dysfunctional family = unbiblical church (remember – you change the form, you compromise the function). Today’s church is the real church, it’s just dysfunctional. Try having fellowship with 500 of your closest friends.

In the Bible, there is no salary for ministering. There are scriptures used to justify this; “a worker is worth his hire,” etc. but these are NOT referring to the function of the church gathering. We need to get back to making the Scripture the final authority on church life. We’ve bought into the idea that the Bible is the final authority on everything but church life.

“What about digging into deep doctrines?” Daily study and teaching doesn’t belong in the Lord’s Day gathering. Teaching happened! But not on Sunday. There was sharing, testimony, singing, praying. Some make the argument that the New Testament church gathered in homes because they were underground. That’s simply not true. Some were, but the persecution was spasmodic and had not become widespread until later. Not all churches were persecuted. There is no instance of the church gathering in a building. Some will say “but the church building is a lighthouse to the community.” Um, that’s not what Jesus said. We’re to “live such good lives among the pagans that they see your good works and praise our Father in heaven.” Paul would rent a hall for teaching. Peter would evangelize. Interestingly enough, every religion at the time worshiped in a building. Christians were considered atheists since they didn’t meet in a building. They were asked, “Where does your God live?” They could have but didn’t. And yet, there was no time the church spread more. Relying on a building is a mistake. They met in houses because that’s what the apostles taught them. There were no denominations.

How can small churches “cough up” all of the ministries needed? “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:11-13 Word got out about Paul without a building. Churches in Greece got finances together to help the Jerusalem during famine. Ministry is NEVER hierarchal. We’ve made the mistake of relying on ministries to do the works of service rather than people…families working together as God’s family.

A little history – in 95 A.D., Clement of Rome said, “Let’s have a priesthood.” Your relationship with God depended on your relationship with a bishop. In 150 A.D., the priesthood decided if you were a Christian or not. These are the roots of today’s institutional church. No wonder it doesn’t look like a family.

Beresford noted that whatever the current move of God is, it’s considered bizarre, weird, off the wall, and peculiar. That’s been the case throughout history. Home church, or house church, is considered the “lunatic fringe” right now, except in China where it’s been growing at an unstoppable rate. And, wouldn’t you know, China has more Christians than America, now. Hmmmm. Coincidence?

There’s also something to be said for the house church’s sustainability – “Divorce isn’t’ an option.” You won’t have fewer problems you will have more but you’ll have the problems that sanctify you.

Evangelism isn’t the job of the church; it’s the job of Christians. The job of the church is the same as family – to nurture, love and support its members. Church growth should not be a measuring stick. Healthy church is measured by the Gospel going out through its relationships.

TODAY’S PRAYER FOR OUR CHILDREN: Father God, I pray our children will read Your Word with open eyes and open heart. I pray they are teachable and will love You and Your Word so much, they will earnestly seek Your Truth as they grow in wisdom and discernment. In Jesus, amen.

Ron Pearson – Worship

Angels Watching Out for Me

We left the chiropractor at about 3:10 and our 15-passenger “Big Blue” was at capacity – most everyone had had appointments today so we had to take the whole crew. Heading west on I-70, we noticed a bunch of rubber-neckers pass us on the left which we are completely accustomed to. Folks tend to try to count the heads bouncing around in our van whenever we are out and about. Now, in hindsight, we realize they were probably freaking out over the sparks that must have been flying out from under the van. Little did we know. They waved at us as they passed then changed to the right lane in front of us and wave at us again. I asked my olders, “Who do we know that drives a vehicle like that?” No one knew so I said, “Well, I guess that means we need to catch up and see who’s waving at us!” So I gradually gained on said vehicle and as I did, we realized we were looking at Colorado plates. Hmmm. I quickly figured they knew something that we didn’t because odds were…we didn’t know these folks. (Either that or guys flirting with my girls – wouldn’t be the first time). It’s at this point of the story you need to pay attention to the fact that I’m driving a really big vehicle at about 70 MPH and changing lanes. I CHANGED LANES and came up to the “wavers” and told Lenae, who was in the passenger seat, to roll down her window. As I drove up, we could see this blonde, snowboard-type dude with dreadlocks lowering his shades as he looked in his side mirror at us. Definitely did not know him. We pulled up beside him and he rolled down his window and yelled that we had something dragging from our axel while pointing toward the front! We yelled thanks, gave him thumbs up, slowed down enough to CHANGE LANES again and pull into the right lane behind him. Then, I immediately PULLED OVER to the shoulder and came to a SMOOTH, GRADUAL stop. I had not felt any thumps or bangs. We had only experienced the usual turbulence that comes from driving a Big Bertha vehicle.

Lenae got out first to look under the front of the van while I waited for a break in the traffic. We saw her jaw drop and she came back to her door to announce, “THAT can’t be good.” I finally got out, went around front, looked under, my jaw dropped and Lenae and I discussed how THAT looked like a REALLY important part. Ben joined us, got down on the ground to look then informed us that it definitely looked like something necessary for steering. We decided we were hot enough and climbed back into the A/C. I called Craig to let him know our predicament then AAA. Triple A said they would contact the towing company but could not provide transportation for the 11 kiddos so I had to take care of that. Turned out our “big van” friends were out of town but my mom came to the rescue. Craig called me back to let me know that he had left work and was heading home to get the minivan to come help out. I figured the plan would be for my mom to take the kids in 2 trips to the gas station/Subway at the next exit then Craig could meet up with them there to get everybody home. Craig improved the plan a bit by coming to switch with me so he would be the one to ride in the tow truck to the auto repair and I would hook up with everybody at Subway. Well, before anyone arrived, our air conditioning was quickly turning to simply warm air blowing in and I prayed my children would not dehydrate before help arrived. I could see the next exit from where I sat but didn’t want to chance walking with that many little ones in that heat! Turns out it was around 101° today. BUT, my mom showed up with her minivan and hauled the kids to the Subway in 2 trips. I then found myself thinking I probably should have kept Ben or one of the older girls with me as I was now on the side of the highway by myself. No sooner had that realization popped in my head then a state trooper pulled up and basically kept me company until the tow truck arrived. That is, after I told him our car problems and he thought I meant we were just dragging something we had picked up on the road. He looked under, shock hit his face and he asked I had had trouble steering. I said, “No,” and he was surprised again. He said we should have. He asked about our kids after finding out how many had just shipped off, asked me if we had twins. I told him that was cheating then he told me he had TWO SETS of twins! LOL! I told him he cheated. SO, we talked about chaos management through child training, etc.

So, after God sent this friendly security, the tow truck arrived with a very friendly gent who took one look at the van and said, “Wow! How did you manage to get it off the road? Is everybody okay? Your axel tie rod is broken!” (I think that’s what it’s called – the rod that attaches to the steering shaft and steers the front left wheel). The driver and the officer then exchanged thoughts of amazement that I didn’t have a ridiculous amount of trouble steering it off the road. I said it drove like normal. They had both used the word “lucky” but none of us could deny it – the officer said, among other things, “Someone was looking out for you. You should say a prayer of thanks tonight.” (I told I had already started that prayer!) The driver said, “You’re lucky. No, blessed. You’re very blessed. This should have been bad. Real bad.”

The trooper headed off as Craig arrived. I took off with the “Cream Puff,” our white minivan, and Craig climbed in the tow truck. Craig told me later that the guy at the repair place made many of the same comments and when Craig told him I just steered it off the highway and parked on the shoulder, the man said, “No she didn’t. SOMEONE steered it but there’s no way it was her driving that big vehicle full of kids going that fast. Remember all the lane changes? I had been dragging that rod for awhile as evidenced by the hippy angels waving at us.

I have had a stressful year. No, an ongoing stressful 10 years and have occasionally wondered if God had abandoned me (I know, for shame, we’re not suppose to think that but if we’re honest, we sometimes do), or if He was just letting us deal because we needed these “growth opportunities.” Or maybe I’m just not important enough. Today, God has reminded me that, “See! I will not forget you… I have carved you on the palm of my hand…” Isaiah 49:15

And if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t believe in God, you need to look under the front of my van.

Play with your food,
Michelle

P.S. I Love You


My older daughters and I watched that movie last night and boo-hooed all over ourselves. It was one of those movies I should have previewed first – when will I learn?- and I wish we had had Guardian installed on our DVD Player – the language really was overkill, as usual in movies. BUT, the movie was otherwise, very well done in that it really tugged at the heartstrings and caused one to hate death the way we should. It was especially touching as a family in our area recently suffered the tragic loss of the husband and father after he fell from a ladder landing on his head. This father of eight died three days later. Yep, death sucks.

Sorry if that word offends but I chose it because “death stinks” isn’t heavy enough or exemplify the disgust I’m feeling so, death sucks. One thing that frustrates me about movies is when they ignore God in situations where even atheists would be forced to at least consider the possibility that God exists whether by pleading for help or yelling in anger to him. (Like Castaway! Any normal person stuck by themselves that long would at some point say, “God, if you’re there…”) P.S. I Love You did not pretend that God doesn’t exist and the main character, Holly, does ask, “Why did God kill my husband?” A valid question and I’m happy they included it among other questions of “Why?” And “why” do people have to die? Sin. Sin sucks, too. I’m sorry I’m not being very ladylike but I’m feeling ticked that MY sin is the reason people die, why I’ll have to die (should the Lord tarry) and why Christ had to die.

I’m also ticked that people choose sin instead of Jesus then whine about how God has been unjust. In a way, they’re right; it was unfair that Jesus had to die when He wasn’t guilty. It was unjust that he was tortured. It was unjust that He had to leave His Heavenly throne at all. But instead of being grateful, most folks are still hurling insults at Him and declaring “there’s more than one way to heaven!” If that were true, Jesus wouldn’t have had to come to die…duh. Many people say, “Why would God condemn the pigmies in Africa just because they didn’t get to hear about Jesus?” It’s not hearing about Jesus that condemns us – it’s our sin. Again, duh. If it was about knowing Christ, He could have stayed in heaven and saved us, and Himself, a lot of headache. IOW, if it was about knowing about Him that condemns us, His coming is what condemned us, not our sin. But, sorry, it’s our sin that does us in! Jesus has given us the way out. Without that, our “Why God?” remains unanswered. But with Jesus, the “Why God?” turns into “I understand….thank You. And, because of Christ, we can see our loved ones again.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”
1 Timothy 2:5, 6

P.S. He loves you.

Don’t Take Them For Granted

Craig and I met with friends one night last week and enjoyed some intense fellowship as we shared some pretty hearty laughs but also divulged deep hurt and loss that led to tears at one point. We’re not close friends with these folks but it’s impossible to not feel drawn closer to someone when you, and they, have become vulnerable enough to cry in front of each other and reveal a part of your heart that has been wounded by loss. Our friends’ loss is more recent – about 2 years ago, a young lady who may as well have been their daughter was tragically killed in a car accident (riding in a vehicle one mile to pick up drinks for a party. One mile. No, no alcohol was involved.) Their son and this girl had been friends since they were born fighting and playing like brother and sister into their teen years.


  My heart breaks for this young man as I experienced this pain 22 years ago when my brother died at the age of 16.


After we went home from the visit with our friends, I went to bed thinking about the heartrending loss of their young friend and as I drifted off to sleep, it hit me. All of my adult life I have longed for THAT friend. That kindred spirit that loves my kids as my own and I love theirs. That friend that I would take special trips with, buy gifts for, hang out with, argue with and not fear loss of their friendship, and call at least every 3 days. Some of you enjoy this kind of friendship. Thank God and don’t take them for granted. What hit me was that I haven’t been longing for a friend that I have yet to meet; I long for the friend I had and will never have again, my brother, Scott. Every time I’ve had a baby (reminder – 11 times), I have felt SO very sad that Scott wasn’t there to see his newest niece or nephew. Then I revisit those emotions I struggled with when Scott died like: “He was so young!” “We’ve only been close friends for a couple of years; why couldn’t you have waited, Lord?” Then there are new hurts: “Our kids would have been best friends.” “He would have been SO much fun to spend time with.” “Scott might have kept Todd, our younger brother, from becoming estranged from his family.” “Scott would’ve homeschooled, too.”

When you lose someone, many people offer, or try to offer, encouragement by telling you “time heals all wounds.” I know this won’t be a huge newsflash for those of you who have lost someone close to them, but wounds like that don’t really heal. That’s how it should be. If you don’t hurt and long to see them again, then you weren’t really close. The scars remind you how deep the love is and the loss is. You learn to “deal” with this kind of loss but the hurt doesn’t go away. In fact, as I noted in the previous paragraph, new dimensions are added to the pain that can cause the ache to go even deeper. New “what ifs” make their appearance and there’s not a thing you can do about it. I give it to God and trust that He knows what to do with it but sometimes, I go through bouts of that helplessness. Then you find pictures, as I did today, and you lose them all over again…and again…and again. BUT, I have hope. I don’t know how anyone make’s it through without Christ. To lose my brother is bad enough but to not have the hope that I WILL see him again, I don’t know that I could function. I love him more than when he was here and I believe that’s because I am looking forward to seeing him again! Wow.

Loss also helps us tie heartstrings with others when they experience loss and it’s looking to the needs of others that keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Our new-found friends’ suffering is still fresh and Craig and I have discussed our intent to reach out and encourage them. In the meantime, hug your friends. Tell your spouse you love them. Smile at and hug your children. I know it’s cliché but it’s so very true – you don’t know how much longer you have them.

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:12-18

  Scott would have loved this:  Minister at a funeral service, “Friends, let us say goodbye to our beloved, departed friend. Let us remember that here lies only the shell – the nut has gone!”
Be blessed and hugs in Him!

Scott loved purple. His fave places to shop were the GAP and the Merry-Go-Round. This is the shirt and tie he was buried in.

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle