To tell you that this week has been easy, that my house has been on it's luxury cruise auto pilot, that my husband and I have communicating well, well.... I would be lying. This week has been a tough one. My bed times have been early, and I'm talking 9ish when I usually stay up to around midnight. My body has just been shutting down. I haven't been watching tv, I haven't opened my computer-(except last night to look for boots, and if you are on FB you know that one), I have just closed my eyes and gone to bed around 8:30 or 9, MAYBE 9:45 at the absolute latest. I have been exhausted. I think mentally I am trying to cope with so much that my body has just said ENOUGH! So I have listened. I have put the kids to bed early or Stacey has and I have retreated. AND It is quite possibly to have prepared me for today.
Today was Women's bible class. We are studying James by Beth Moore. We are in week 2. I did my lessons this week and there was a lot of work. Worth it, but heavy. The text- James 1:4-18. There were some things in her study this week that I underlined, even starred! One that I loved was " A lifetime of snuggling up to folks with scissor-hands scars you, but those scars become a road map that leads straight to Jesus." OH how I loved that! Another place she planted for a bit this week was about God's gifts. I likes this: God's gifts are given with goals. They're perfect because they're perfecting. They don't just give today. They give toward every tomorrow." She had us break down our lives into quarters and list our good and perfect gifts God has poured into our lives. I had to intentionally not put down those things that defined the quarters of my life. INTENTIONALLY! What I did instead, was focus on the gifts, the JOY that came from each of those heart wrenching events. It was a great exercise for my mind and my heart. Then she asks this question: Are these examples stirring up thoughts toward a few more of your God given good or perfect gifts? If so, boldly list them.
That got me thinking... SO all that was this past week. TODAY at bible class what were the 2 words she camped on........ JOY and ANGUISH from John 16:20-24. I am going to jot down some things she seared on my heart today so buckle up!
ALL FROM BETH MOORE'S JAMES:
"anguish" is often used to convey the added element of MENTAL DISTRESS. (oh really! So that is where I have been the past 2 years!)
Pain + anxiety= anguish
Suffering + dread= anguish
In greek "to crush, press, compress, squeezed from a great weight. It is used to denotre grievous physical affliction, or mental and spiritual distress.
1. Anguish and joy can coexist
(A friend and I were chatting after the video- chatting, well, I was a crying mess and we were putting it all together.... a great example of this was Jenny's funeral! Don't you agree? Oh the JOY that Jenny was in heaven! That we serve a MIGHTY GOD!, but the anguish we were left here on this earth with OUT HER!! That a husband and daughter were missing their piece of the puzzle! That a mommy and daddy didn't have their first born! Oh the anguish! BUT OH the joy! It can coexist!)
2. Anguish and Joy can trade places
3. The source of anguish can morph into joy
(Your grief will turn into joy! it will convert or change)
4. Mental anguish can be like the mind in LABOR
(People, this is where it hits me. This is what she says: the Hebrew hiyl- "to turn into a circle, twist, revolce; to writhe, travail (in childbirth) bear a child... The main idea is that of writhing in pain, which suffering torment, ... experiencing anguish or distress." PEOPLE! Beth says.... HE will take your pain and turn it into a passion, that we all need a purpose. Stay with me...)
5. Anguish is meant to lead to a birth (John 16:20-22)
(SERIOUSLY! Can you see me? I mean can you really see me? Have you seen this birth take place? We aren't holding that baby yet... the labor is still in process and we aren't sure what this baby will look like but I can tell you it isn't one that I wanted! I get this process is what makes us stronger, towards maturity, to the kingdom, I get it! Perseverance. Endurance. I didn't want to walk this with David, I didn't want to walk this with Jennifer, I didn't want to walk this with Shanna, but I am. I am praying, and like Beth said, we all need a purpose. Is my purpose to walk on earth with those who are grieving? David seems to think so, and I have had another friend mention it as well, then today this lesson! I cried through the entire video. I was a mess. I kept thinking about my friend and the pain that all that loved her have gone through. Their anguish-- what JOY will come? I've heard Beverly say that she has become a grief expert, but she didn't really want to be one. Ya, think? I can't imagine anyone wishing to lose a child, so that God could use them to help others grieve. Now, God uses this anguish, this pain, and transforms us... puts us through labor, sometimes you can feel that contraction coming, other times it hits you like a ton of bricks. I embraced the song long ago- Greater things are yet to come! AND, I don't think for a minute that satan isn't ready as well. Ready to make me doubt. Put me on edge. Throw my cruise ship on a course to destruction. My head is up people. Ready to be filled with JOY and let the 2 coexist a little longer, ready for it to morph, ready for them to trade places, and ready for this labor to be OVER! Can I get an AMEN?
Then I look at the blog from last year. You know what happened this date 2 years ago? It was the marathon night. Of course it would be today, the day where until that day I had never felt the Lord's presence like I did in that hospital. Never. It was that day, I trusted. I prayed liked I had not before, even OUTLOUD and BOLD! Today, 2 years ago began my transformation, my Holy Spirit moment. I know you remember where you were 2 years ago, glued to Carepages and to Facebook!
If this even comes close to sounding like something you need to hear, please go to www.lifeway.com and spend the $5 to see the video. It is session 3. I made the last bit a live link to the website. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. It WILL bless you!!!! And might make my rambling a bit easier to understand!
In case you forgot what it was like 2 years go, here is the blog:
February 8, 2010 Monday
Around 11:00 they wanted to see if Jenny would wake up and respond to a few commands. David, Beverly, Rick, Jonathan, Josh and Kayci were with Jenny along with a nurse. We were asking Jenny to do two things: 1) lift her eyebrows, and 2) move her hands. When she moved her eyebrows we wanted to throw a party. It was like it was Christmas morning or like the Cowboys had won the Super Bowl (hey, it could happen). Then, she began to lift her left arm. We couldn't control ourselves.
This only lasted a few moments because they wanted to put her under again because she needs the rest and she needs the machines to breathe for her right now. But to interact with Jenny like this was enough to sustain us for a few hours.