Tuesday, November 4, 2014

not exempt

Another day has come and gone.  Another Monday of 4 pm has come and go.  It's been three weeks since the worst day of our lives.  Starting around noon yesterday I began to struggle through the day. Tears were escaping my eyes, and I could feel a deep heaviness in my heart, as the minutes kept ticking away.

Around 3:30 pm my teens and I were hanging out in our living room, and conversation turned to what happened on Monday October 13, 2014 otherwise known as the day where we would learn one of life's greatest lessons and that is we are not exempt from suffering.

For the next hour and half we shared the events of that fateful day as the tragedy unfolded in our minds.  Tears fell, and deep sorrow and anguish were upon us.  Through our tears we shared what it was like to scream, fall down, beg, plead, the numbness that was felt.  The confusion of the truth being withheld from each of them, only to have their parents come home, NOT say anything, and just fall apart into our families loving arms.  Without words we taught our children, just as HE has taught us, HIS children, we are not exempt from suffering.

Earlier yesterday afternoon my brother called me.  We were talking about what I say when people ask if we know what happened.  I told him what I tell them, and he began to tell me what he says to people who ask him the same question.  The conversation quickly flowed to this idea that GOD didn't spare HIS OWN SON, therefore, HE wouldn't spare mine either.  That everything absolutely everything that HE does is for HIS glory.  My brother went on to say what a gift it is for D and I to know this, and to be able to stand firm in our FAITH, as we boldly  live out our FAITH that we are not exempt from suffering. NOT even realizing that this very conversation would be HIM showing me that HE is in the details in preparing me to hear HIS word, through HIS Daily Teachings today.

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God;but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us.  Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen,cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command:Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." 1 John 4:9-21

This morning as I began to pour my heart into my journal, I PRAISED HIM and I thanked HIM for HIS relentless pursuit of showing me each and everyday just how much HE loves me.  As I wrote, I poured my heart out to HIM of the confusion that I have felt since that day that has changed our families lives forever.  One being that it was only 3 am yet I felt completely rested.  Another being how I can be calm, and within the next breath crying the hardest I have ever cried, living out, the deepest most painful anguish I have ever experienced.   The most confusing thing being in the next breath is the sweetest, most calming peace I have ever known.

HIS Daily Teachings today is teaching me that while I am surely not exempt from suffering, I am eligible to receive HIS sweet peace, anytime, and every single time I, HIS Daughter, need it.  HE is telling me that HE knew how much it would hurt me to lose my son, but HE also knew that I would understand WHY, as HE began to teach me, and show me exactly where HIS hand has been in all of this.  I am so incredibly thankful that HE loves me so much that HE made sure that I not only knew, but understood, and could see where HE is in the details, as I, Heather HIS FAITHFUL and HUMBLE SERVANT learn through the most painful way that I am not exempt from suffering.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

HE is telling me that it is even written in HIS word that I am not exempt.  Today HE is taking me straight into HIS word, and showing me where it is written, and how I am to be living, and that is through HIS greatest Commandment for me, of loving HIM with all my heart.  

" Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38

Now I'm not going to lie, when I first learned that we are called to suffer, that we are not exempt from suffering I couldn't and didn't want to believe that.  However after reading it as it has been written in HIS word, I am thankful that HE loves me so much that HE made sure that I would read it in HIS word, Study HIS word, soak in HIS word, meditate on HIS word, so that I would be able to speak HIS word, and ultimately live out HIS word with boldness, bravery, and courage.  

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 
2 Timothy 3:12

" Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also." John 15:20

HE is telling me that I have been called, that my family has been called by HIM to live out our FAITH even in the midst of the deepest, greatest most painful sorrow, and anguish we have ever known.  HE is telling me that HE has built me this strong so that I wouldn't just lay down and be depressed on top of being sad.  HE is wanting me to know that this is the reason WHY HE has instilled in me this tenacity, that I, Heather will get up and out of bed every single morning.  That NOT only will I get up, but I will face the day, as I know HE's got my back, and everything is done for me because of HIS great and amazing love for me.

This is NOT to say that I don't still hurt.  That my tears automatically stop, in fact that couldn't be further from the truth.  You see I am learning that even through my tears, in my anguish, what I am experiencing is everything is just as HE has always intended it to be for my life.  I am learning that this pain, this sorrow that I am living right now in my journey is for HIS greater purpose.  HE is teaching me that one day HE will use my pain for HIS glory, and then slowly one day HE will bring me back to my feet, and I will be stronger, more stable, and ready to fight the good fight, as I, Heather will know that HE loves me, HE cares deeply for me, enough to go ahead of me and pave the way in which HE has called me to walk filled with HIS small victories, which will lead me straight to HIS loving arms when HE calls me home.  I, Heather, am choosing to BELIEVE in that day, as I know that it is coming, because HE has said it to be so, and it is written in HIS word.

"For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4

Today I am being reminded of a song that is one of my favorites, and HE is telling me that is HIS promise to me, that will happen in my life, as long as I choose to live my life according to HIS will.

"In this life I would stand, through my joy and my pain.  Knowing there’s a greater day.

There's a hope that never fades.  Where Your name is lifted high, and forever praises rise.
For the glory of Your name.   I'm believing for the day" Hillsong United "You Hold Me Now"

HE is wanting me to know that the enemy would like nothing more than for me to be mad that HE is making me suffer, however because I know HIS love for me is relentless I know that HE didn't spare HIS own son, therefore I am not exempt from suffering.  HE is wanting me to trust HIM, completely that through my suffering is where HE is rebuilding me as HIS warrior to fight the good fight.  HE is reminding of each and every time in my life where I have already suffered, as I have learned in the most painful ways that I am not exempt from suffering and pain.  I can honestly say that I am extremely grateful for the sufferings I have endured in my past, as it has all brought me closer to HIM.  Today I am deeply comforted in knowing, that I am truly living out HIS word that in my sufferings HIS glory is being made known, as I am choosing to PRAISE HIM, NOT curse HIM, and to TRUST HIM, NOT run away from HIM with all that I am, and all that I have.  

" Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4

Today I can honestly say that I am so incredibly thankful that HE has taken so much time to prepare me for this portion of my journey with HIM.  I am thankful for each of HIS hard lessons which I have learned that no matter how badly I have suffered or endured in my life, HE was there, HE is there, and HE will always be there.  In knowing this, I know that I have nothing to fear.  I have learned that you can live through, and survive your worst nightmare as a parent.  All because I know that HE has been there the entire time, teaching, leading, and guiding me through all of my unbearable sorrow and anguish.  

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,  I pray that if you don't already know by now how much HE loves you that you choose to boldly approach HIS throne, and ask HIM to show you.  I pray that you will have the courage to look beyond what the world tells you is fair, and see that everything HE does is for good, and that even in the midst of the storms of your life, HE is there, already working and orchestrating everything turn out good on your behalf.  I pray today that if you are hurting you will go to HIM, seek HIS face, and ask HIM to heal you.  I pray for the same sweet peace that is being poured over my life to be poured over yours.  I pray today that you will let go of what the world is telling you about suffering, and where was GOD, that you will be able to say with HIS true confidence, that HE suffered for us, to bring us to HIM, so that we may have eternal life with HIM and HIS FATHER in HEAVEN, and through each and every test, trial, and storm in our lives full of suffering, you will be able to say with HIS true confidence that you know that HE loves you, and because of that you are willing to suffer for HIM, just as HE suffered for you.

" For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Much love, prayers, understanding, and compassion, 

praying for gentle peace for each of you today,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

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