My Beautiful Story

"Emerging from the ashes to embrace the beauty..."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

86,400 Seconds...

 Time can be a funny thing. Some days we don't even realize how quickly the time passes. What about the old adage, "Where did the time go?" or "Time flies so quickly." As we grow older and add children into our mix, time can escape us without us even knowing until we look in the mirror and see a gray hair staring us in the face! Or perhaps we realize 20 years have passed when we get an invitation to our high school reunion. Or maybe we realize time flew by and life is short when we attend a funeral for someone our age! What if that someone is your spouse? What if at the end of their life, you realize 20 something years went by like the blink of an eye...
 Once you are staring death in the face up close and personal, you see just how precious every moment is; every second really does count. And you think to yourself, "Where did the time go? What would we have done differently if only we knew today would be your last?". The thing about life is, you can't rewind the hands of time to change one thing. All we really have is today!
24 hours
1,440 minutes
86,400 seconds
That is it. That is all we have. We are not promised tomorrow. We are not promised the next moment. All we have is RIGHT NOW! I wonder if we really grasp that. Can our human minds truly comprehend this truth? I am not sure we really can begin to understand it until death is at our front door. Even then, we sometimes allow time to slip through our hands, unnoticed and without purpose.
 So what would you change about the way you live if you knew that today was your last 86,400 seconds? How would you spend each one? Would  you spend them worrying about money? Or fighting with a loved one? Or complaining about this or that or so and so or such and such? Would you spend them carelessly, believing that you don't need to worry about the end of your life because it is so far away? Would you spend them recklessly by texting and driving or experimenting with drugs? Would you spend them hurting someone else? Perhaps you might spend those last moments reaching out to a friend in need? Maybe you will spend them at the homeless shelter serving food? What if you spent them in the arms of the one you love most?
 If you are reading this post: YOU ARE ALIVE! YOU HAVE BREATH!
Make each one count!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Time Reveals...Not Heals...

 It has been said so many times by so many people, "Time heals", especially when someone loses a loved one. Today I got to really thinking about that very simple statement. Since it has been some time since my beloved husband passed away, I find there is no truth in that statement. In fact it is not a true statement at all, but a very empty promise. You see, it has been 757 days since that tragic day that Erik died, and I can tell you that in that time, I have not healed. Hear me out please! This is the definition of heal: "to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; freedom from ailment. To bring to an end or conclusion." When you see the word heal in its true meaning you can begin to see why that statement is incorrect. Grief is a journey that has no end. I will never be free from the pain I feel from the loss of Erik. I will never be restored to the way I was prior to his death. 
 I have found though that instead, "Time reveals". The definition of reveal is this: "To make known through divine inspiration." Wow! And that is just what I want to share with you. It is through His divine inspiration that He has revealed to me His grace, mercy, and love through my suffering. He has begun to reveal to me my purpose here on earth. It took a great tragedy and a broken heart for this to happen. God uses the sufferings we go through to reveal His glory in us. This is what the Scriptures say, " For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18. I can read that with a confidence and a comfort, knowing that my sufferings have a greater purpose. 
 Time has revealed so many things about myself; who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming. Time revealed to me the ugliness of my sin that once gripped me and made me a person that today, I am ashamed of. Time revealed to me the true character of Jesus Christ and what it means to be a follower of Him. God has used this time to allow me to minister to others who are gripped with the pain of losing someone they love deeply. Time has revealed to me the bigger picture of this life and just how short and precious it really is. We can tend to take life for granted. We can even take our loved ones for granted. We can be so caught up in our happiness that we don't realize how that can all change in just a blink of time. 
 God has not promised a life free from sufferings. In fact He says just the opposite of that. We find throughout the Bible that God tells us that we will suffer just as Christ suffered. We will have trials and afflictions. But according to the New Living Translation Bible notes, " Our suffering can make us more sensitive servants of God. People who have known pain are able to reach out with compassion to others who hurt. If you have suffered, ask God how your experience can be used to help others." Isn't that so cool? Perhaps if we can grasp this truth and allow God to reveal this perspective to us, we can better walk through our journey of grief. 
 I will never be completely healed from my pain caused by Erik's death. That pain will only end when I die and go to Heaven. But I can continue to allow God to reveal great things to me so that my journey is a little easier to bear. If you have recently experienced a loss, I encourage you not to hold onto the empty statement that " time heals". Don't allow that to cause you to stumble or remain frozen in your grief. You must move forward and allow time to reveal things to you. And as you have these revelations, allow God to use you to help someone else who is also going through sufferings. If you are reading this and you know someone who is currently on a grief journey, I implore you not to say this empty statement to them. In fact, I implore you to say nothing at all. Just be there for them. Just sit and listen to them grieve. Reach out and embrace them. Hearing this statement can frustrate those who are grieving. Pray for them that God would reveal great things to them on their journey. That is the best gift you can give them. 
 It is truly my prayer that God would use my sufferings to encourage others. I want my life to have purpose; His purpose. 
 Time has not healed me, but time has revealed to me that with His help I can learn to live with the pain. In the weakness of my sufferings, He is made strong in me. And so, even Erik's death has a greater purpose that daily God reveals to me little pieces of that truth. In those moments of revelation, I am comforted.