Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why did I begin all this? Grief #1

Sometimes I find myself contemplating, what am I doing?

I mean, really, what on earth am I doing?!

This season when these thoughts came to me once again, I began to think of the act of grieving

What it is, what is it like, what does it look like, and how can I actually explain it?


When you begin to think about the act of grieving you must begin to articulate in your mind what makes you, yourself grieve and all that goes with it.

Life is tough enough without bringing all these feelings out in the open.   

So I decided it will become a process for me to write about grief, mainly, because I have no time to sit and write it all out at one time.  Also, It certainly seems too huge an emotional roller coaster for me, so I will write more than once on this subject.

For me:  

Less stressful and less taxing.

I began Blogging sometime after the Watchman's Bagpipes began. There were two reasons: 

The first reason was to help my husband by the further interaction with the women who had their apologetic questions answered by him, but they still desired to communicate.

The second reason was that I have always felt the "church" body - sometimes - doesn't know how to come alongside each other in life's traumas.  Somehow we have forgotten how to do this, or perhaps, it has always been this way.  I am a "nobody", but I have lived in agony with the LORD's strength, and so I began to write to encourage other sisters in Christ.

In general, I have lived a wonderful life.  I have had sorrows, and I have had great joys. I have also experienced such great joys, even through the tears, and amid the worst of agonies.  

How do I explain to a sister in Christ (or a "wanna be*") how I have done this?  How do I explain how you can live, continue in life, and then even more than survive with just trusting the LORD among the chaos?

It seems impossible. 

It can even sound "callous" to a sister living in agony.

How can they ever understand His peace which He freely gives us, unless they have actually experienced His peace?

I know that for me, before my great agony way over a decade ago, I didn't understand it.  I loved the LORD with all my heart, but I didn't understand His peace.  I now know that I had never actually given my troubles to Him.  I suppose I always "held" them tightly to myself as if I could handle it.  I had never truly felt His marvelous peace in life's troubles.

Praise God! 

I am thankful the LORD wove into my life two separate, precious women who were going through their own great agonies almost 2 decades ago.  I lived and prayed for them in their situations.  I "watched from the outside" as they would be completely frantic for prayers in the morning, and hours later they would be as calm as could be even though nothing had changed in their situations.

At the time I thought, that their behavior was so strange. The LORD was teaching me, but I didn't understand.

This was my first experience at seeing a sister in Christ living in His marvelous peace among their life's chaos, but I still did not understand until that one day when I had "nothing" in my agonies, and this is when I realized it was only the LORD who could help.

So when I am counseling a sister, I begin by saying, 

"you may not understand this until you truly give your agony over to the LORD, and then continue to give it to Him over and over. This is when you will begin to experience the LORD's precious peace which passes all understanding amid your agonies."  

At this time I know that they are most probably thinking, "what??"

Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always; 
again I will say, rejoice! 
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. 
The Lord is near. 
Be anxious for nothing, 
but in everything by prayer and supplication 
with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all comprehension, 
will guard your hearts 
and your minds in Christ Jesus."

This scripture was the first one I clung to as I first really, truly gave my agonies to the LORD God Almighty, in 2001. :o) 

I would say it, and I would explain it verse by verse to myself as I would say it.  

I would walk around our little town's outskirts saying this for the hour it took to walk all the way home. 

I would then say it in my own words and explain to myself 

why I will rejoice

how I could let my gentle spirit be known

why I knew the LORD was near 

and what that really meant to me! 

I would tell myself 

not to be anxious

even though chaos reigned in my situation.

I would tell myself how to do this by trusting Him, 

talking with Him, 

and thanking Him for never ever leaving me!

I spent this time preaching to myself and realizing that this precious peace of God which I had never relied on, I had never counted on, I had never known I could have, was now mine.  It was a beautiful new beginning of loving the LORD more and more!

My testimony continues to be "written" as time marches on, but I always end it with: 

"This has been the worst 'more-than-a-decade' of my life, but it has been the best 'more-than-a-decade' because I have drawn closer and closer to the LORD than I ever have been before, and isn't this what we desire most of all?" 

My agonies have only become worse, but the LORD has held me tight.  I have only drawn closer and closer to Him all these years now, trusting Him more and more.

You can have this, too.  The LORD freely gives!  

* A "wanna be Christian" is a person who is curious about our faith in Jesus our Savior, but they just don't really get it yet.  They see it in you, they desire it for themselves, but they don't understand at that point yet.  So I call them "wanna bees" and pray for them. :o)


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful testimony of your start in the desperately needed ministry to the grieving. Christ has come to bind the brokenhearted. Isa 61:1

And a testimony of why the church needs to value its elder women... (and men). The YEARS of truly knowing the reality of the mercies of God in the midst of soul crushing agony are a treasure that the youth do not possess, no matter how godly they may be.

Comfort and compassion from someone who has "been there" is priceless. Scriptural counsel from an unscathed "ivory tower" is cold comfort, indeed.


The Piper's Wife said...

Thank you, Carolyn. So poignantly said.