Suffering. That is the topic I didn't get to write about, yesterday.
We've all suffered, haven't we? If you've been a reader of Life with Lynnie (LwL) you'll know that I have suffered and still do suffer in some ways.
Grieving the loss of my husband hasn't been easy. It dragged me down from the upbeat, positive person I was, into someone I hardly recognized. Would this be considered abnormal? I don't think so. From everything I've read on the subject of grief, what would be abnormal would be to not grieve, especially if you loved the person, as I loved Gordon. With all my heart, soul and being.
God and His Word helped me through this, every step of the way. No, I don't believe I am finished grieving, but I believe I have reached a place where I am not devastated every minute of every day, as I was in the beginning. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!
It actually is comforting to know that others suffer. Not that I want anyone else to suffer, for I truly don't. But, look at the Apostle Paul; he suffered. Paul pleaded that the thorn in the flesh would depart from him, just as I have pleaded that this grief would depart from me. It shows that for Christians, suffering is normal.
God spoke to Paul, just as he has spoken to me and you, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Through the course of grief, I was surprised, sort of the same way I was surprised after my first marriage ended, years ago. Those that I thought would never support me, or those who I barely knew, did support me. Some that I thought for sure would support me, didn't.
Just as I had been heartbroken years ago, I found myself heartbroken, again. After all, we as humans tend to think our friends will stand by us; at least we hope this. It didn't happen that way years ago, and it didn't happen that way, after Gordon died.
Instead of receiving support from some, I received condemnation. Not just because I was grieving and some people thought I shouldn't grieve, because I am Christian. But, some people didn't like what I had to say at times, in both LwL and Facebook (FB). As you know, if you've been reading, some people, actually de-friended me. Not just on FB, either. In real life.
I pity them, for they know not what they do. God tells us to love each other. They obviously didn't get the message.
Then, there were others who were so very supportive of me. Like-minded people who understood me, my grief, my sorrow, and most importantly, where I was coming from, with my walk with Christ. I praise God for these people.
Over the past few weeks, especially during the time when I was delivering gifts and visiting people, I found myself feeling rather sad, missing Gordon, missing life. I sort of felt like I had died; after all, part of me did die.
It seemed everywhere I drove, I passed by somewhere that brought memory flashbacks to me. To make matters worse, I began wondering if indeed I was wrong about speaking truth for God. This reflection made me wonder if I was truly screwed up, in my thinking and Christian belief.
I asked God to stop this constant torment, but like Paul, this thorn in my flesh just wouldn't leave.
Almost daily, I was arriving home, in tears. Wondering when God intended to heal me. Not once did I ask for support from others. Some may have recognized through my writings and postings that I was feeling sad; or maybe, they were just sensitive to how I was feeling. I really can't say for sure.
This I do know, for sure: I began getting messages from people. The following is only a few of the words of encouragement I received:
* Recently, a friend on FB commented to another friend (not me), "gee, it looks lke u must doing too much to minister 2 the lost. 2 me i always know i'm doing somethng right when satan wants to discourage me." Our mutual friend replied, "And ys old hairy legs satan is sticking his nose in coz of the work I do is glorifying to GOD."
I can relate this that! It seems satan is alive and well, trying as he might, to do what he does best. Rob, kill and destroy.
See! I'm not alone! The above comments are proof-positive, that all who are obedient and do the work for God that He has called them to, experience these problems. When this happens to us, we are to consider it JOY, God tells us!
Notice that I didn't say we should be happy. Happiness is not JOY. Certainly not JOY in our Lord. Happiness is a human condition that is temporary. JOY, true joy...is far superior and cannot even be compared, for it is truly a spiritual condition that never fails. It's with a believer, trusting in Jesus, always; whether times are good or not so good.
In the past, I've commented from time to time about how hurt I've been regarding friends and family, who are more like strangers. People, who don't accept me, for the person I am. People, who would like to hurt me, or erase me, as someone they know. Like I never existed.
My friend Dave Roberts of Partake Ministries has written and done a podcast called: Standing Alone, which is what we do, when we are not accepted. Here's a link:
There had been times when this truly upset me. But, in God's wisdom, I know He used these circumstances to answer a prayer I've had since Gordon died. My prayer was that He would reveal to me the truth about relationships in my life.
While I haven't always been happy about finding out the truth. I must admit, God has been faithful to me and has answered my prayer. For this, I will be eternally grateful.
Not too long ago, I was having a rather 'low' day. Although I never really spoke of it, God put it on the hearts of a few friends, to lift me up. Weird! It was weird. Truly strange that this would happen, but it did.
Absolutely unsolicited, were these comments, made to me on Facebook (FB), by fellow Christian friends:
* A recently added 'new' friend commented, "You bring insirational writings to fb. Dont stop or even slow down. The Lord is blessing people in your input. God bless you Lynn."
* From a friend (in England) who is a minister who heads up a ministry that I assist as an administrator commented, "Thanks for prayers and cheerleading for XXXXXXX! Sharing by you is much appreciated!"
Then, out of the clear blue, I received an e-mail message from another minister friend here in Windsor, "Lynn, I don't understand where you get the things you send me ...but keep sending. I don't understand why a pastor would break ties with you... because you truely do bless...convict...challenge and motivate us all to be more Christ like. Again, thanks for your part in the Christmas dinner."
This love and support from fellow Bible-believing, Bible-preaching fellow Christians, was a true blessing to me. I needed to hear this; God knew it. He provided for me, just as He provides always for me. And, for you too, if you'll let Him.
One thing I know for sure though, is that I need to make changes in my life. More about this, tomorrow.
By the way, since it is New Year's Eve, I wish each of you a very Happy New Year!
Until next time...
If you would like to comment, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org