Making peace with the “Re” in our lives that does not happen!

March 10, 2015

The paramedics tried to Re-suscitate Mike ,they could not.

I wanted to Re-count to a family of 5, we are 4

Can I not Re-turn to having a son, I have 2 daughters

The “Re” is the desire to go back to a previous state. We use words like rebuild, restore, redeem, return and renew to articulate that desire. But what happens when the “re” does not happen? How do I move forward in a healthy way? How to I transition from where I was,  accepting the loss and now finding I am at a new place, more often than not, not by my choosing?

Oh and then we say have faith, pray more! Well the divorce went through, the business collapsed, the cancer continued, the redundancy went through. The Re was absent! I don’t have an answer here, sorry. All I can do is cry with you and walk with you as you look at the new landscape after the storm has wash away what was norm.

My story with regard to Mike is a little different. I can honestly say that today, I do not want to return to that place. How an earth can I say that? Well it has to do with my faith and hope in the Redemptive Story. I believe the words of Paul in the Holy Scriptures that says

 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. “ 2 Cor 5

Mike has been Re-stored, Re-united and Re-turned in completeness. He is with His Heavenly Father. Whilst I am missing him, I know he is in the best place I could want for him. If he were to have been Re-suscitated he would only have to die later anyway! So within the Redemptive Story I can say 5 ½ years on “I do not want to re-turn” to having a son present, I do have a son, its just he went on ahead!


My Daily Confession

February 11, 2014

Some years ago, I met someone who had battled with deep depression that had destroyed his life for several years. He had come through and had found some aids along the way. He gave me a copy of his “My daily Confession”. For a year after I kept a printed copy in my wallet and would read daily, but then I lost it and I stopped. I found a copy again on my laptop and realised I need to re-launch the practice. It sooths my soul and encourages me daily to remind me who I am in Christ Jesus, why I am here and what is my purpose.

My Daily Confession

“My cup of life overflows and because of your great Love for me I am blessed in the morning. I am blessed in the evening and I am blessed at night. Lord you have plans for me until I walk through the final valley you will keep me able to serve, counsel me, guide my steps and make my way flourish like a well watered tree. You will daily feed me on good things from your Word and make provisions for my needs. I will be a witness to the goodness of the Lord and I will tell others of my salvation by faith in Christ alone not having my own righteousness. Out of this relationship He creates a life of good works of Grace to be done through me. I am Father God’s child, born anew of the Holy Spirit and part of the Kingdom of Christ; though I may fall I will not be cast down. His refreshing tender mercies are renewed to me every morning. My new creation life that comes from above will bare the fruit of the Holy Spirit and I will do well in my anointed and appointed gifting. With my old life hidden in Christ I have strength and peace. This makes me more than a conqueror over Satan, sin, self and death and because I walk in the light, love and life of Christ nothing touches me that has not passed through Father God’s hands.”

We walk in obedience not understanding

December 12, 2013

There are times when our emotion says to do the opposite or different from wisdom of others built upon experience. Its in these times that we need the discipline to go with the conventional wisdom, use our heads and not our hearts. So much of the military training is to teach best practice so when a soldier finds themselves in a certain situation they fall back on their training not to be lead by the immediate emotion.

There is much I do not understand when it comes to the faith journey of being a follower of Jesus. After spending much time reading the scriptures I come to a simple summary phrase for myself “lifestyle obedience”. Now I don’t always practice that but I strive for it!

There is much confusion these days with regard to healing and whether God will heal, should heal, how to pray for healing, how not to pray, whether there was sufficient faith and on and on. I am left perplexed by God in this area. So I fall back on the scriptures, not on emotion or experience. In obedience to what the teachings tell me, we pray for healing for someone. We are told to pray without ceasing, to call upon the name of the LORD, to bring all our requests to Him. We know He can, we know His loving nature and His desire for relationship with us. We also know that He is in control of the meta-narrative and we have to trust Him with the sub-plots of individuals.

What do I consider treasure and what do I do with my treasure?

October 22, 2013

What do I consider treasure? Is this just in the physical or can it also be in the abstract? I realised that “Mike was my treasure and he has gone on ahead”. Over the past couple of years I have contemplated about life events that are “mile stones” and I ask myself the question whether they define me or ruin me, whether I can use them for a greater purpose or whether they paralyze me. Whether I see them as “bags of gold” and use them to invest or do I just bury them and neither see multiplication or addition.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

As a family we have decided to give our story, our pain, our weakness, our ordinary to Father God and ask Him to use it for His Kingdom. I wonder at times how God can use a simple ordinary family who live in a simple ordinary house in a simple ordinary road. But we have story after story how God has taken our little treasure and given us opportunity for multiplication and addition.

I want to encourage others with their stories and treasures to not be paralyzed by grief and pain but with tears and confusion see what Father God can do when we come to Him and ask Him to use our treasure for His Kingdom.  What gives me such a buzz is to see the way God uses what I consider treasure and use it to help others. What I consider gold, others consider to be worthless, I have seen God take the worthless and make it priceless! Go on get that treasure out!

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Healing from the outside in.

February 13, 2013

When will the passion return? When will meaning in the ordinary come back? When will excitement for next steps be evident? Kathy and I wondered the other day whether or not we should have a chat with some sort of counsellor. On the one hand, I have read much, have a pretty good understanding of my personality type and on the other often say “we do not know what we do not know”! I am also a little guarded about chatting to someone who has read much but experienced little!

I’m enjoying a book of speeches written by a gentleman in 1870. He used a phrase that struck out to me; “healing from the inside out”. I remembered a girl on one of our ships who developed lots of boils. The doctor lanced them and kept a piece of gauze in them so that they did not heal from the outside, thus forming a block to let the puss out. The boils had to heal from the inside out.

On the surface and externally, Kathy, Akila, Laura and I are doing well. On the other hand we are very aware of “transition”. We aren’t who were or where we want to be. We havent a clue where we are going or how to get there. I’m very relaxed about it and have seen this “desert” or “quiet place” to be good in our lives. Although we have wondered if by now we should not of already arrived at the next place. It’s now 3 1/2 years since Mike died.

When the air is allowed to come in contact with an external wound, it speeds up the repairing of the skin process. There is no external damage to the emotion of grief. Healing is a slow and unseen process. It’s more than the ingredient of time. It’s a journey of obstacles to face, the confrontation of unwanted intrusions that bring emotions to the surface, the transition of holding on to letting go, looking back and allowing a tear and a smile, focusing on what we have not what we lost, decoding what is important from the stuff of life, engaging in the process not denying it and I suppose importantly excepting not fighting the healing process and thats where time comes in. These processes take time to do their work. If it takes a baby 9 months from conception to delivery then there is no point fighting that time line.

Prayer for Healing

December 22, 2012

Do I want to be healed! What a funny question, of course I do. I have shared about my lump with a few people and their reaction is to say they are praying and they are praying for healing. I soooo appreciate that. BUT

Actually if I am honest, what I would appreciate more is prayer to hold fast to Him. I am not convinced about healing……and now we open up a can of worms and controversy! Do I believe in healing? YES. Can God heal? YES. Does God heal……..not all the time, in fact most of the time He does not. Why do I read stories of people who prayed for a parking spot and God  seems to miraculously provide one but when I read of people who need healing, it does not come? I also read of some people who are healed. Many times when it is a terminal illness, they have a slow down in the process or healing for a few years. There is the one side who pray with such zeal and passion for healing, using lots of loud prayer, lots of positive thoughts and quoting lots of scripture. On the other there are those who don’t pray at all. I think I am in the middle! Why is physical healing so important to us? Why do we not put the same wieght on emotional healing or in fact, spiritual healing. The bottom line is we are in a process and in one sense from the day we are born we are dying. Mike has total healing.

In my own heart, what I am struggling with is my passion and walk with God. What I want more than healing is that I would “walk with God, obey what he requires of me and to hold fast to Him whilst I am on planet earth”. I want to trust Him with areas that I cannot control but think my involvement is important. God is God and I am not.

The bizarre part of all this is that I have at this stage no knowledge of what this lump is but its that lack of knowledge that is the killer!

I did not think to visit you on your birthday!

January 21, 2012

Our behaviour demonstrates values, emotions, goals, our view on life…..I am very surprised, not saddened, that I did not think to visit Mike at the grave yard two days ago on his 21st birthday. What does that say about where I am at with the loss of my buddy?

I have read extensively over the past 2 1/2 years on loss, grief and shattered dreams. Some writing I found helpful and could relate and other I either disagreed or did not experience the same emotions or perspective of the writer. Two people I particular warm to is Bob Sorge and Larry Crab. Both these men have had life changing dramatic events that has taken the faith they had, the so called “happiness” they experienced, smashed the dreams and aspirations they pursued and caused them to sit in the chair like me and struggle to find a compass that is not spinning.

BUT like me, they have experienced something we never knew we could have, we did not know what we did not know. God has taken our “happiness” and used sadness and loss to give us “Joy”. Now this is the mystery and I struggle to explain myself. As I read Bob Sorge’s writings, I sat there saying “Yes, Yes, Yes, that is exactly it, I know precisely what you are saying”. Why did I not think to visit Mike? I woke that morning, sat in Mike’s room and enjoyed reading about the life of Moses and the Children of Israel and then headed into the park to walk , think and  listening to a song by Darlene Zschech “Love You So Much” There are times when the emotional and spiritual connect in such a way that I experience a joy what defies the logic of my circumstances. As I sung along to this song, expressing the words as a prayer of heart desire and thankfulness to God, that Mike was celebrating his 21st in the presence of God. I enjoyed surmising and having some lateral thinking that he was as proficient as anyone could be at playing the guitar and with his friends was so enjoying the freedom that comes from seeing the Father’s face that not only was he doing the most amazing praise jamming possible with his guitar but he was also making uninhibited dancing with his mates who were laughing at his extravagant joy! Mean while, back on earth in the park, I watched the sun’s rays shoot up from behind a cloud and with much joy worshipping God in the full knowledge that like Mike, one day I too will no longer see dimly, no longer will His face be behind the cloud, but I will see Him face to face, I will know Him in full as I am known in full. Through the pain and the loss, I have discovered a treasure. God has revealed Himself to me in a way I had not previously experienced. Today I do not walk on cloud 9, I experience all the normal human emotions, I am not the same person I was 2 1/2 years ago, the dreams and aspirations I had have been replaced, I have experienced God in a way that will change the way I live for the rest of my days on earth. Mike’s birthday was more about God than it was about Mike. As Kathy said, “It was an ordinary day”, I would agree on the physical, but on the spiritual, I cherish my little secret!

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