Sunday, December 11, 2011

Letter to Me...

This is to everyone who ever had one of those days. A little more than just one of those days.  To anyone who has felt the frustration of feeling powerless to help or change anything. The days when that powerlessness has you on your face without the strength to beg for help... and maybe you're at the point where you look around and can't see through the excruciating fog surrounding you to the people that want to help you, love you... Who want to seek to truly understand you and your situation and extend a hand to help you up. Worse yet, maybe they're just nowhere to be found. You're in a place where it's too hard. Too much. The fog has closed in to the point where there is no seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. No hope in sight. Just blackness. Your pain... your child's pain... your loved one's pain... rings in your ears and permeates your soul in such an all-encompassing way that you can't imagine living another day of this, much less a happy one.

Do it.

You heard me.

Get up. Take a deep breath. Do something.  Just keep going.  Keep going, doing, and being.  Even if all you can muster is the energy to do the dishes or pick up some toys.

If you've never done so, or haven't in a long time, or maybe just even haven't thought of it this way, ask God for help... to bless your effort.  Ask Him for mercy, for grace, for a clean slate.  All you have to do is accept the grace and mercy of a clean slate once you've asked for it.


Believe that there will be another good day.  Another good feeling.  Another laugh.  Your heart will not hurt forever.  There are plenty of good reasons to go on.  Never, EVER make an irreversible decision based on that vacuous feeling in your gut.  Believe that those plans and promises apply to your sweet children as well.


Trust that God has good plans for you.  That He hasn't left you for one moment.  That He sees and hears your tears and sobs, has felt your anger and your pain.  Trust that His words are true, that they are His.  Turn to Psalm 51, Psalm 71, or just start at the beginning.  Read them out loud.  Wail them out loud.  Write your own.  


Remember that God sent His Son... not so that He could show off and make Dad look good, but so that we might never be separated from Him forever.  Like we tell the kids, He took your time out for every bad thing you ever did.  He also came so that we might have the Holy Spirit to guide us and intercede for us when we can't put our pain (or even our joy) into words.  Remember also the times He's brought you through.  He walked this earth and experienced it all so that He could understand how hard today is.  How hard yesterday was.

I'm not promising that you will never feel this way again.  I wish I could, but I can't.  As awful as you feel right now, there is someone... at least one, likely more... who needs you.  Just to see your face and hear your voice every day.  Who, without you, would feel lost.  Incomplete.  Destroyed.

There is no quick fix to this.  No amount of food, alcohol, stuff, or people will make this okay.  So what does that leave?

Place your trust in the Lord, our God.  Believe that He is still on the throne.  Believe that whatever it is does not surprise Him.  Trust in... rest in... the sovereignty of God, and remember His love for you.  It absolutely cannot be bought.  Not with money, impressive status in the community, in the church, in volunteer work, not with education or any amount of "good-ness" we think we've achieved.  He loves us the same reason we love our children.  He sees our efforts.  He knows our hearts.  Where others misunderstand or twist our words, He sees straight to the soul.  You need only stretch your hand out and trust.

Why believe?  Why trust?  So many folks say, even in the blogs and chatboards of the autism community, that your faith is ridiculous.  They make light, even make fun of the things I've reminded you of.  Why bother?  After all, it is easier to just be angry.  

It's worked before.  He hasn't let you down yet.  You're still alive.

So get up.  Purposefully place your trust in Him.  Remember that He has your honor, your well-being, your everything in His hands, and can see more than you can.  Though words, looks, omissions, and downright thoughtlessness is horribly painful, you are not destroyed!

Hear what God has to say through Paul, someone who knew persecution, frustration, hurt, and unfairness.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We areafflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
 13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, 14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesuswill raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
 16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[c] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  ~2 Corinthians 4:7-18

You are more loved than you know.  You are hurt, but not left for dead.  This will last for a time, but the sun will rise tomorrow, and you with it!  May the joy of the Lord be with you... not just happiness, but JOY.  The deep-end of happy.  The Job kind of joy and gratitude that transcends feelings and loss... that joy that comes from out of nowhere to make you smile before you realize you're doing it, or even though the walls crash down around you!

Thanks be to God!

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