Thursday, May 1, 2014

It all matters

I have questions without answers
I have known sorrow, I have known pain
But there's one thing that I cling to

You are faithful
Jesus You're true

When hope is lost, I'll call You Savior
When pain surrounds, I'll call You Healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song within my heart

And I will praise You
Jesus Praise You...

All the moments of the last month and a half keep flashing. They matter. I need to write them down. I need to see them later through this lens. God give me grace now...

I shared in my last post about the insanity of moving and the gut wrenching fact our adoption is still hanging in the balance (please continue to pray?). 

The Friday after we moved in, the unthinkable happened to one of my most precious friends. She lost her husband. Her precious husband that we had together prayed in. Her precious wedding still fresh in my mind. A new, beautiful Joy growing inside her. Grief heavy on me because of the weight I knew it was on her. Is

Intercession is a gift. Something God gave me when I asked for it (the ability/desire/gift to BE an intercessor) but it is a labor and when you are called into the place of intercession, God allows you to carry others' burdens. There has been a heaviness in me that I am grateful for, but a heaviness nonetheless.

Then the following week, I was informed that my parents had decided after many years of very, very challenging, deep, gut wrenching hurt and unresolved issues, to divorce. I don't say this lightly. I have held this in out of the desire to be loving toward them, but I need to also share my story and this is part of my story. I have spent my life as far back as I can recall being the mediator between my parents. Trying to be the peace maker that God most certainly made me to be. I have prayed. I have warred for them. I have begged God for their marriage and brought others alongside me to do so. I have offered help and a shoulder and the best Biblical counsel a girl could offer. A child of her parents. We are all broken. Me included. But it has been harder than I really have words for. And I'm not a messy griever. At least not on the front end. I like things to be neat and tidy and I'm no good at forcing the issue. For me grief has always come after I have packed it away and stacked many unstable other things on top of that grief and I continue to push down and push down until it all just topples over. And then it's the kind of messy I was trying to avoid. I hit that messy this past weekend. Grief has come. All the years of trying to clean up messes I didn't make bubbling out to the surface. Seeping really. I sobbed all weekend. My brain has been fuzzy. Coping skills are weak. Just emotionally overloaded. But thank God it is all coming out now. I am truly grateful for that.
(And can I just say that I love my daddy and mama so much. So. Much. No matter the hurt or the years, they are my parents and I refuse to ever be bitter. Ever. I desperately want peace and wholeness and God's glory and I believe with all that is within me that He. Will. Be. Glorified. Thank You Abba.)

Sunday night, after a weekend of deep reflection and grief, my sweet big girl had a dance performance at our church's main campus in Maumelle. We knew we were not going to stay for the entire performance because we had all five children with us. So we left the church at about 7. I'm not sure of the exact time, but I know we have a receipt from Wendy's from 7:16. Here's the reason this is significant:

For those of you who live elsewhere, we were expecting bad weather Sunday. I don't know why but I felt in my gut like it was going to happen. I've lived in Arkansas nearly all my life and after The Flood I do not take storms lightly. I was a little leery of going to Alaya's dance performance, but decided that maybe letting the idea of a storm keep me from allowing her to perform was silly. So we went. We decided that after the performance we would go to North Little Rock to visit my mom in the hospital (who had surgery the previous Friday and had some minor complications that were keeping her there). So we left the church and drove to Wendy's on Mccain to grab something to eat. I feel like this is so significant now. I had fleeting thoughts of telling mom I didn't feel good about coming to visit when we live in Conway and we knew bad weather was coming. But at 7:16, instead of being on I-40 at Mayflower, we were sitting in a Wendy's eating dinner. Instead of watching 18 wheelers flipping and crunching in front of us, we were safe. Instead. Instead. Instead. My gut is dropping just thinking about it. We watched the sky from a distance. We saw on our phones what was happening. Then we got a phone call at the hospital: the interstate is shut down. Our only routes home completely blocked. In our minds we just thought maybe there were a few accidents due to the storm, so we decided to head home anyway. We waited in completely stopped traffic for 45 minutes before we reached where the tornado had crossed the interstate. There are no words to accurately explain what a mile wide tornado looks like after it has left it's path. No words to explain that a place you had just traveled a few hours before, was now completely broken. Gaping. Bleeding. Dear Jesus the lives that have been affected...

So my heart is hurting again. Heavy. And yet it wasn't me. It wasn't me. I hurt so much for friends that it was though. Friends who had their homes torn down to the foundation. Nothing left. Friends who live in Vilonia and had their pictures swept up into the sky and deposited 75 miles away in another city. I can't even understand that. People I know only through Facebook images who have lost children, parents. By swirling, destructive, massive wind. My brain hurts.

So what's the point of all this hurt? I can't really fully answer that right now, except to say this:

It all matters.

None of it is lost on me. None of it is unredeemable. It is significant. It has value. There will be joy from it. Darkness can not prevail.

Because God's word says so!

Each of these moments that I see. The flashes and pictures in my mind, they matter. And one thing builds upon the next and I see God's hand and where it all crashes together: the selling, the packing, the crazy, the moving, the death, the destruction, the life, the redemption--it's all connected. Satan has little ground to stand on friends. Death was beaten when Jesus was resurrected. Of that I am sure. Satan still has play, but the war is already won. And oh the day--OH THE DAY--that we get to stand before King Jesus and look back on all this suffering and say "We fought for You King Jesus! We fought so the world would see that You are King. That You are Good! That You love us!"
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

These words are trustworthy and true. They are my hope. I have no hope but Jesus. I will cling to Him. He is good. He is near.

(These have blessed me tremendously this week)

About a family who lost two precious little boys in the tornado

About a family who lost the father and two beautiful daughters

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