Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another leg of the journey

It has been a crazy summer filled with hard and good things.  God has taken care of us so well; providing before we even knew what we needed.  And now, I am certain, He is going to do it again.  Our summer has been filled with family and friends and lots of distractions.  I'm going to trust that we needed this to get through the shock of our journey.  We needed the outpouring of love and comfort of people to fill the unexpected hole we have found ourselves with.  A house full of teens and relatives have kept us busy and right in the center of watching God change lives.  Exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.  But people are leaving and preparing to go back to school and I have this sense that the next part of the journey is going to bring peace, but also a time of tears and deep processing.  

Ryan was afraid of heights.  Yet he filled his life
doing the thing he feared most.  He didn't let his fears
stop him.
I'm ready for the peace, but not really looking forward to the time of introspection that I know is going to require feeling pain and loss.  Perhaps just recognizing what is ahead will help make it more bearable as it creates opportunity to make choices that will allow for the processing of pain.  But,  "I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I have set my ways on your laws."  Psalm 119:30.  So I am going to trust Him for this next leg of the journey.

I've already started to think and feel things I haven't felt before.  Some good, some, not so pleasant and kind.  I found myself thinking the other day, "Why did you have to take my son Lord?  Why couldn't you have taken a young man who wasn't living with passion and zeal and made little impact on the world?  There are plenty of them out there!"  Yikes, that was ugly.  However, I can't say I felt guilty over that thought because what mom wouldn't want their son to be the one to live.  But I did immediately know the answer to my questions.  I felt the Lord say, "Because Ryan died for those young men that they might wake up and live the way I created them to live!"   I wonder if Mary, Jesus' mother, ever had those thoughts?  I bet she did as she was human and just as filled with humanity as I am.  Being reminded of the bigger picture I, once again, set my mind on how God is making it worth the pain.  

I was reading Psalm 119 yesterday and was amazed at how David spoke my heart.  David, a man all those years ago who cried out to the Lord, yet trusted the Lord.  He was brought to such great depths of pain and yet experienced God's strength in powerful ways.  These are my words, through David:

"I will be blessed if I seek God will all my heart.  I will seek Him with all of my heart.  I will treasure God's word in my heart to keep me on the right path.  With my lips I will tell of His strength.  Open my eyes so that I can see that Ryan's death has been worth the pain.  When my soul cleaves to the pain, revive me with your word.  When my soul weeps in grief, revive me with our word.  I have chosen faithfulness.  I cleave to your promises.  Give me understanding.  Teach me so that I may follow and obey you to the end.  Show me your unfailing love so that I can answer all of life with your strength.  I have put my hope in you!  I will speak of your strength and not be ashamed of the strength I find in you.  I reach out to you.  The comfort I find in my suffering comes from knowing your promises preserve my life.  I get mad and annoyed with those who have forsaken you when you are all you have promised. In the night I remember you Lord and choose to keep your law.  This is my life practice.  You are all I really need Lord and I continue to choose to seek you with all of my heart.  I have considered my options and have chosen YOU!  Continue to teach me knowledge and good judgement for I completely trust your ways.  Before pain came I didn't really know what it was to trust you completely, but now I fully do.  I choose to say, you are good and what you do is good.  It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn to trust your faithfulness.  Your hands made me and formed me and I will trust your plan.  May those who fear you rejoice them they see your strength in me for I have chosen to put my hope in your word.  I know that in your faithfulness you have afflicted me.  Fill me with your compassion that I might live fully through this.  My soul faints, my eyes fail but I will choose to stand on your word.  All your words are trustworthy and eternal and continue through all generations.  If your word and promises had not proved faithful, I would have perished in my affliction.  I will never forget your precepts (guidelines for life) for by them you have preserved my life.  Oh how I love them and meditate on them day and night.  Your commands are always with me and make me wiser and give me unbelievable insight.  Your word is my lamp in the darkness.  I have suffered much, but you have preserved me.  Accept my praise Lord.  You are my hope and my shield.  Do not let my hopes be dashed.  Turn to me and have mercy on me as you always do to those who love you.  My zeal wears me out.  I hate falsehood but I love your law.  May my cries give me understanding, may my lips be overflowing with praise."

So be it!

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