Monday, December 25, 2017

This Christmas I just want Rewind

Grief overwhelms. Sadness overtakes. There is a loss hanging in the air that I just cannot shake. A void that only the Father can fill. 
I wanted a different thought to run through my head this morning on Christmas, but 3 little men and a mom were on my heart. I wanted thrills of Christmas instead of ache and heaviness and Lord knows so did they. I had questions God alone can answer. Prayers keep going up that don’t seem big enough. They keep coming like waves. Waves of grief. Waves of questions. Waves of laughter. Waves of why. Like the song, Wave after wave. Washes over me, washes over me. I’m not alone in this. From the magnitude of posts, I'm one of many.  School makes you family. Wayland makes you family.

Scrolling through facebook today just left me hurting and helpless to overcome it on my own. I found myself having to stop the cooking and cleaning, scrambling to get ready for our bunch to come gather at our house tonight. I literally just stopped because I couldn't keep going over this. ~There’s a comfort I’ve come to know. Though this heart and flesh may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul.~  When I know nothing else, Jesus is enough. When my head can no longer wrap around this world, my head can rest to know Jesus came. He lived, he died and rose again. And he is coming back. There’s not a single thing that makes sense the last few days except the realness of Jesus. There’s no question I can’t ask Him. He will answer me. When my thoughts become a storm, He is faithful to respond back before I’m done with His Words and thoughts. There’s not a thought He doesn’t see roll through my mind. He gets our struggle because he became flesh and lived among us. His Spirit is here with us and can handle whatever we ask. His Spirit can handle, if only we take them all to Him. 

Here’s what I know when lately it seems like I know nothing. There is nothing that God cannot handle. Our mind is safest with him. For the Lord orders our steps. We make plans, but He alone has charge over them. When I’m clinging tightly to plans I feel the grip release to Him, knowing that He knows what is best. He sees the whole picture. It may not be mine, but He knows how it all works out. Jesus understood grief. He wept over Lazarus. I picture this as a beautiful ugly cry. Much like a cry I felt coming out Friday when I didn’t know it would be there. It was ugly in dark of the theatre as I blinked at my phone. Furiously texting to friends over a clip and post. What?! How could this ever be? I shook sitting in the seat, thankful that it reclined. I balled up and squeezed my eyes tight. No no no!  If we could just go back to 7:40 this morning. None of this would ever be. My sweet Jody just held my hand and asked if we needed to leave. He read the news in disbelief and knew my thoughts. Nope. I doubt I could make the descent from the top through the tears without having a fun trip down. I’m better off here. God will quite my tears. But oh the boys. I just shook. We both ached for the people in Landon’s life. There’s no way. This isn’t real. Please make the headline go away. Please rewind.

(I woke at 7:50 that morning from a hard sleep. Odd because I was off work that I couldn't sleep in more. Ok Lord, why I am awake. I wanted to sleep. I found myself praying for him and the boys. I hadn't seen a post in a while, but for some reason God put him on my heart in that moment. Random but very, very real. I had an odd fear that I couldn't shake. Only the Holy Spirit can give us that thought to pray for someone AND tell us the right thing to do with it when it feel out of place AND not be distracted and overwhelmed by fear. I prayed and prayed and couldn't shake it. I rolled over at 8:08 and scrolled through Facebook feeds from everyone. I stopped on Landon's goofy picture of him in his sweater ready for the boys Christmas party. Oh goodness that's a shirt! I laughed it off, prayed some more for them and set my phone down for what would be the morning until the theatre.)

I was there that sweet day that he and Michelle wed. There was never a guy with a bigger grin. That grin didn’t fade, but only grew with each birth of the boys. They were the whole world. I can’t shake that their world is shattered and one of their greatest figures is lost. The thought keeps me coming back and doing the one thing I know that God will keep on my heart. Praying and praying still. For Michelle and for the boys. For his family and friends. Heaviness for the heart was never a light load. But it was not our heaviness to carry alone.  There’s a saying in therapy that goes something like this. “No organ (heart, liver, lung, etc) was ever meant to be the bearer or receptacle for emotions. If we house them, they will end up somewhere and imbalance and disease starts. The mind is the only place that can process emotions.” I’ll add to that. Created in God’s image….God is the only one that can possibly help us process through emotions like grief, anger, helplessness, regret, and the unknown. He helps us in our stuck-ness and immovable nature when he has to. So as we grieve the loss, let us process all of these feelings at the foot of the cross, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to process through it ALL. Knowing we cannot handle all the answers, but God’s word will be sufficient. Hidden in our hearts, squeezed under pressure, now it bubbles to the top. Let us not perseverate (process to an unhealthy degree, fixing on one thing, and getting hung up on something, finding no resolve, but rather finding yourself stuck).

LET US FIX our eyes (heart and minds/thoughts) on Jesus. Author and PERFECTOR of our FAITH. It is going to take faith for his family and boys to keep going. Let us PRAY as a body of believers that we are. Pray like the body I grew up with at Wayland. God scattered us when our time there collective was done. But as a body we join together, hammering heaven with our prayers. God hears us.  God help us work through these emotions. Let us not become subjects of our emotions, but rather VESSELS to hear and be used by you alone God.

Pray for Landon’s family, friends, his crew. He would want that from us, not for him, but for his boys!

TO Caden, Colton, and Cannon:
I don’t know if you’ll ever read this but if you do…. Feel the prayers being prayed over you. Feel the Lord wrap His loving arms around you. Take your sadness to Jesus. He hears you and has never ever left you. Your dad would want you to remember that Jesus is the MOST precious, perfect decision that you will ever make. Caden, remember your mom and dad prayed this prayer with you to accept Jesus. (Your mom was so excited and shared this with her friends.) You have to lead now but lead your brothers with Jesus as your guide. He will help you and keep you on the right path. Remember that you are never alone. Remember the things your dad taught you. Remember the lessons he gave you in baseball. Do not store up hatred and anger. Get rid of it. None of it is worth holding and it won’t make it easier. Swing it away. Swing hard. Fight the good fight of FAITH. Keeping playing ball because that would make your dad so proud and you know it. He will be your biggest fan and has the best view. Keep your eyes open—you have the biggest angel in the outfield now! Colton and Cannon—keep smiling that big smile that your dad always had on his face. Keep believing, following Jesus, worshipping Jesus when you don't know what else to do, and one day you will see your dad again. 

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