11/17/15 Morning Musing: The Only Way Forward is Through.

In the last week, people were killed just because they existed…their lives were such an affront to some terrorists that they felt they deserved to die. This week, I went to a religious women’s conference (that I will not name) and ended up in tears because I was so frustrated by the mis-information that I was being handed there…and I knew that people were totally buying in to it (including the speakers.) In the past week, I’ve learned of several friends having loved ones diagnosed with horrible diseases that will brutally ravage their bodies until their souls are forced to find alternative homes. For the past several weeks, I have endured horrible cluster headaches that have consumed so much of me when they are occurring, that I am unable to think or function.I am not telling you all this to bum you out…but this is the reality of the past week(s) for me and it feels heavy. I’m grieving.  
I’m grieving the senseless loss of lives…those who were victims of the attacks as well as those terribly confused and lost people who perpetrated them. God wanted better for them.  
I’m grieving over the lost opportunities for the women who were fed false information at that conference…and they probably don’t even know it…which makes me grieve even more. God wants better for them than this.  
I’m grieving the upcoming loss of loved ones that my friends will be facing…grieving their loss of health, their fading sharpness of minds, and eventually just their ability to be physically present with loved ones. God wants better for them than this.  
I’m grieving my own loss of health and energy in recent weeks…it makes me fearful that I could relapse into the poor health that I’ve endured over the last decade. God wants better for me than this.
I’m frustrated and I’m grieving because I know the character of my God…and because I know him, I also know that he wants better for us all. I know he values life because, as the Creator, he spoke it into existence. I know he values health because he is the Great Healer. I know he values truth, because he took on truth as part of WHO he is. (“I am the way, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.”) For that matter, I know he loves the lost and confused ones because he wants to be the WAY for them. (His statement would hold no value if we weren’t in need of it…we are lost, buying into lies, and dying…which is why his offer of the way, the truth, and the life is such a beautiful gift.)
But here’s the kicker: We were never designed to experience this stuff…it wasn’t part of God’s plan. He did not intend for us to ever experience death and illness. We weren’t supposed to ever feel lost or lonely. Relationships were not expected to ever be broken and humans were certainly not designed to endure suffering. So, it is no wonder that I am grieving (and I assume that you are as well…if you are allowing yourself the space to experience it.) God did not intend for us to experience this brokenness and pain and that is why we grieve…that is why we feel robbed of shalom…that is why we are offended all the way down deep in our very essence when we are confronted with the stark contrast between what we were meant to experience and what is our reality. And it is important that we do the messy work of experiencing this and feeling all of the nasty feels that go along with it…because if we don’t feel it…if it doesn’t make us grieve…then the contrast becomes a little less obvious each time these types of ruptures happen…and with less contrast, truth becomes less clear…becomes a little bit fuzzier…blurred…and then we will not only forget who our God is, we will forget who we are…because that God that we might forget…is the same one who gives us our identity.  
If you are like me, you don’t like to feel the messy stuff…it doesn’t feel good to grieve…but it is necessary because if I skip this part, I will miss the opportunity to learn more about my Creator…and instead of growing from this experience, I will be forced to experience it again and again due to stuffing all the feels down deep inside. See, it is like having a glass of water: You can keep putting a bit more water in…and that water will go deep down inside…but when the glass gets full and overflows, you can’t expect it to overflow with wine because that isn’t what was put into the glass. If you don’t allow yourself to grieve and properly process things, then understanding and holiness can not flow out of you…and this broken world could really use more people with understanding and holiness couldn’t it?
So, how are you doing with this? Are you allowing yourself the space and the freedom to grieve the things that break your heart? Or are you stuffing? Are you feeling all the feels (even the uncomfortable ones?) Are you allowing those that you love to grieve when their hearts get broken or are you trying to force them out of the grieving process so that you can feel better about things? Are you attempting to make everything in life fit into a nice, neat package with bow on it or are you allowing the messy things to be messy?
My prayer today is that we will grieve the things that grieve the Lord. I’m praying that we will allow our hearts to break and be softened so that we can be strong and whole in the end. I’m praying for health, protection, understanding, and wisdom for us all as together we learn to link arms and do the messy business of living. Much love friends,
**Please excuse any errors in typing or thinking…I took two benadryl before working on this.**

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