Raw

For those of you who read my blog, you know that I am extremely inconsistent with posting. I think it is because I want to have all the right pictures, grammar, themes, etc. etc.  I still may write some of those posts, that require time and research, however, almost daily there are things I need to say, but don’t, because of the above mentioned obstacles. Therefore, please forgive posts, like this one, that are not completely thought out, or proofed multiple times, or are void of pictures and research.  Forgive my use or misuse of theology.  Today’s post and perhaps future posts are just raw emotion and raw revelations in the hope that my struggles and thoughts may help someone who is, or will be, struggling as I am now.

My Dad and I are experiencing the sad, hearwrenching journey of watching my Mom decline with Frontal Lobe Dementia.  It has been about three years since she was diagnosed and although we read about what to expect, I was still unprepared and in denial.  We are struggling and looking for answers.  We are frustrated and searching for resources as well as praying for wisdom. Each day brings new hurdles, be it deep depression with uncontrollable crying, anger, agitation, confusion, failure to eat or drink – this has to be one of the saddest diseases.  I have read that it has been called the Long Goodbye. The moods change on a dime and sometimes there are even short periods of extreme joy. (Thank you Lord for those sweet times!)

Over the last few weeks as the disease has begun to progress very rapidly, I have struggled (sorry I’m using that word so many times) with sadness over watching my Mom change and slip through my fingers, as well as watch my Dad love her in every way imaginable with his heart breaking.  For those of you who don’t know my Dad, he is the most amazing, strong, patient, and loving men I have ever known.  Being an only child, I have always felt that their happiness is my responsibility and this is killing me.

The past few weeks have also been hard because Rick has been sick resulting in stress over his health and finances.  Mattie and Cody and my precious 2 month old grandson have also moved six hours away.  Needless to say, especially for those of you who know me, I am a wreck.  On top of this we have failed to find a church home since moving to this area two years ago.  In the past, our church home has played such a supporting role during Kristi’s passing and Rick’s cancer, that to be without that community leaves us in a very difficult state as we walk this journey.  *****Please know that I am not seeking sympathy or pity, I am just sharing raw emotion truthfully in the hopes that someone can benefit from my path of suffering and comfort.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”  2 Corinthians 1:3 – 7 ESV

It is in light of the above circumstances that I found myself in that difficult state of questioning God’s love and the cruelty of this earth.  Last night my prayer was one of forgiveness for my doubts and one of begging God to hold me close and never let me go.  This morning three truths, simple yet profound, came to light that I know, beyond a doubt, were directly from God:

  1. Jesus also suffered cruel acts by his accusers and even his friends.  The cruelest of all however was when he not only died on a cross but took all of our sin onto himself in an act of love so that we might have eternal life, receive forgiveness, and have direct access to our Father. My pain watching my parents experience a cruel disease, (I won’t even try to go into the theology of suffering here) is nothing compared to the cruelty that Jesus endured by his accusers, however, it was all totally necessary to complete God’s perfect plan for humanity.
  2.  My struggles and trials are not in vain.  It is my belief that all trials happen for a reason.  I believed this when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, when Rick fought stage 3 Cancer, and most of all when we lost Kristi. I believed this but it wasn’t until I ran across a passage one day years ago that this belief was set in stone in my heart:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3 – 9 ESV emphasis mine

3.  As I was drinking my coffee this morning while Rick made breakfast (what a guy right!!?), I started thinking about Kristi (click here if you are unfamiliar with my story).  I began to google her, like I often do when my heart is hurting, and ran across a blog post written in 2012 by a friend who walked that journey with us.  Please read his post here.  Randy expressed the impact that Kristi had on his life and the impact of a song that I requested to be sung by the praise band at Kristi’s memorial service called Lifesong by Casting Crowns.  This song seemed to represent the life that Kristi sought and one that I hoped to attain to as well, thank God for grace when I get completely off track.  Here are the lyrics:

Empty hands held high, Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight
May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I wanna sign Your name
To the end of this day
Knowin’ that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

Hallelujah hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You
Hallelujah hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You
Hallelujah hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You
CCLI Song # 4578839

Mark Hall © 2005 My Refuge Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (Admin. by Sony/ATV Songs LLC)

Randy’s insightful and truthful post reminded me that our lives are lived for more than this present age.  His post, along with the reminder of this song, gave me courage to strive to endure this season and to look past my current pain to the desire of my heart – to give my life as a living sacrifice.

  What an awesome, loving God we have!  What a Savior!  What a Holy Spirit – who brings things to mind uncovers things at just the right time!

Dear friends, I know life is hard and I know that many others have harder struggles than I do.  My hope and prayer in sharing this raw-ness (yeah, definitely not a word) is that you or someone you know will benefit from what I have shared.  I would love to visit with you if you are struggling.  I don’t have the answers and I continue to limp along and expect harder days to come before this season is over, but I will listen and share what the Lord is doing in my life as a result of these trials.

So today, with all of you as my witnesses, I rededicate my lifesong to the Lord and thank Him for reminding me that this present life is only a vapor and that eternal life, where every tear will be wiped away, is the answer to my questions.

I leave you with one more song that has never left my mind during these last few weeks:

Your Hands by JJ Heller

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

I would love for you to share your comments, ask for prayer, or share how God has/is walking with you through your own trials.      –Meschill

2 thoughts on “Raw

  1. I know god walks with me but still to this day I feel the struggle of what I could have done differently in my sons life, my divorce, my parents poor health, my sister dying, my nephew who was murdered, my uncles long pain and death of cancer. I don’t know the answers I still live one day at a time! I will pray for you in this trying time as well. Heaven must be a beautiful place, we will see soon enough. Hugs

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    • Kim thank you. You have had more than your share of sadness and trauma. We all look back and wish we had done things differently but I’m sure that others look at you and see strength and faith. Sometimes I think that those of us who have experienced such pain can see the world for what it is, a broken place and it’s easier for us to long for heaven instead of getting caught up in loving this world. Yes I know that heaven will be beyond words and I so look forward to a great reunion. I love you cousin and I keep you in my prayers.

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