February 19, 2011

An Honest Look at My Personal Grief


I have been hesitant to share with you just how I am doing. Why? Well, I don't personally know everyone that visits my little place on the computer, but mainly because I really want you to think that I am okay.

And I am okay, but I still grieve for the sweet young man that God chose to take home just four short months ago. So, it is the middle of the night here - 4am to be exact - and I am wide awake again with thoughts of David running through my head. There are still tears, but now there are smiles, too and I wanted to share some of this process with you.


This picture is still hard to look at...for nearly 35 years we have been a family of 5, now we are a family of 4 - and the fact that we buried the baby first has been a hard thing to come to terms with for me. I don't care that we were never promised as long with David as we got, I still wanted more. However, in my grief, God has met me with the promise that He knew how long we would have David - Psalm 39:4 NIV
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life."


I remember while growing up in Christian school, we would laugh at friends that said they had memorized John 11:35 but during these last few months, I have not laughed at that verse, it has brought tremendous comfort to my aching heart and soul. It simply says, "Jesus wept." It is the passage talking about Jesus friend, Lazarus, that passed away. I believe Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead but He showed compassion and humanity for Lazarus family and friends in His tears. Then of course, the verse in Psalms 56 -Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll-- are they not in your record? My tears have been noticed by the God of the universe...and I rest in that promise!

I smile through the tears tonight as I think of the beautiful melody that David 'sang' when he would go to sleep and when he would stir in the middle of the night. I miss that music! I think of the belly laugh that he had, that literally shook the whole house. I'm thankful for the times that my children got to be part of that...like here:

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I was doing so much better. We have a friend who is having a baby and I decided to do some candlewicking for her baby gift. Only problem, it has been nearly 20 yrs since I've had my pattern book out and I really didn't know where to find it. I tore up the house looking for that book, and in the process came across a picture of me, David, CD and Mom on the Batman ride at Six Flags over Texas.


After finding that picture, in which I am holding David's hand, I sat and cried for hours! Those are the times when I am reminded that God is in the midst of my grief, in fact, His glory is greater than my grief. I have that on my cell phone, by the way. It looks like this: His Glory > my grief! I can say that because I truly believe Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I am blessed to have been David's big sister! I can see that through the tears and a smile right now. God has met me in my place of grief, and I have seen His Glory! I have the promise that one day, I will be reunited with David, in the presence of our great God! How awesome is that??? Philippians 3:20 NIV But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

I'm still human, I'm still gonna cry, I still miss my baby brother. But I'm okay.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow....

God's healing girl,

Pamela

February 4, 2011

Fasting by Scot McKnight - a book review


This book is part of "The Ancient Practices Series"

Fasting has always been such an odd Christian discipline for me to understand. I have previously approached fasting with the end goal of receiving something for my hard work - even though at the end of my fasting, I would not see that goal come to fruition. I have spent years absolutely STUCK on Isaiah 58, the Biblical chapter that talks about a fast acceptable to the Lord. STUCK!!

When I saw this book available, I got excited because Isaiah 58 has been in the forefront of my studies lately, and I really desired to see a viewpoint that was different than my own....I desire to see God's viewpoint on this subject.

Mr. McKnight defines fasting this way: "Fasting is a response to a sacred moment, not an instrument designed to get desired results."

Okay, so he just blew my thinking totally out of the water!

Mr. McKnight uses many references in the book, many from Isaiah 58 and other Biblical references. He has also done tremendous research on the subject, going back to writings of monks and early church leaders, i.e. St. Augustine, to contemporary authors as John Piper and Dallas Willard.

This is not just a sit down and read book - it is very educational and invites the readers to examine why we feel the way we do and to see how that lines up with God's Word.

I could sit here and type quote after quote that tugged at my spirit but I want you to read the book - not just take my experience for yourself. Mr. McKnight shows the benefits and dangers of fasting, not just the spiritual side. However, he always emphasizes that our body and spirit come together in a sacred moment to naturally fast.

I want to end with a quote that sums up the book, for Mr. McKnight and for me (since my heart and mind has changed through reading this), "Communication with God is, in my opinion, the intent of fasting."

I desire to seek God with my whole heart(Jeremiah 29:13), and sometimes that includes pulling my body into the seeking by fasting. I pray that I do it according to God's ways and not my own!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow...

God's girl,

Pamela

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”