Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11: Love Much, Hurt Much

Day 11

“When we love much, we hurt much.”
My kids are also learning about the cost of investment in relationships as sweet friends move across the country today.
A couple of hours after I heard about my nephew’s diagnosis we had our scheduled Thursday night bible study group. Yes, I considered canceling for about 3 seconds, but what I have learned over almost 8 years of leading this group is that we have each other FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
As we assembled together in my living room my stomach was in knots. How can I voice the anguish of what has happened? I also briefly thought how I am supposed to be the fearless, confident leader with all of the answers and here I am a puddle in the floor, unable to sit straight up under the burden on my soul. 

I have told you I am embracing my imperfect progress. Before I spoke I reminded myself that it’s not my place to be the fearless leader with all of the answers. I’m just a broken mess being created new by the hands of Jesus and asking others to gather and help each other finish this race together.
As I got out the words as best I could, a dear friend walked in who I do not get to see as often as I would like because of busy schedules. She came straight to me, sat in my mess with the other ladies assembled and we just wept together.
I know now 36 hours later that we have hope, God is providing minute by minute, and many success stories surrounding this diagnosis have come forward, but in the early moments of processing we just need a hand to hold and people who understand there is not a quota to be met on the hardships we will be dealt in life. The grief we are feeling is not out of a place of hopelessness, but out of a punch-in-the-gut reminder that this world is not our home. We need to people to help get us to the finish line where the world is whole and beautiful everyday forever. 

After a prayer straight from the heart of God was said by my friend since second grade, we decided as a group to go ahead and watch Session 4 from Beth Moore’s Children of the Day. The topic that night? The high risk of investing in relationships. Beth taught “When we love much, we hurt much” from 1 Thessalonians 3 and the desperation Paul felt toward not knowing how his loved ones in Thessalonica were doing. He did not have the "luxury" of a text message or a Facebook post to know quickly, it could take weeks or months to find out how loved ones were doing back then. She also said this luxury has made our generation MORE anxious because we do not know how to wait. 

And in the third bullet point for the night was “The Evaporating Illusion of Control.” Can I get an Amen? 

She had us repeat this aloud after her and I think we all might need to do this daily…if you are anything like me…if you need some relief.

“I am not in control.

I cannot control all my people.

I cannot control our situation. 

Even when I want what is best. 

I cannot control the outcome. 

I cannot make people behave. 

I cannot make people believe. 

I cannot make people be strong.
Because I am not God. 

He alone knows the end from the beginning.

He alone knows how this thing will turn out. 

I hereby fire myself from His job. 

And I agree to see my fight for control as what it really is. 

A screaming testament to my distrust.”

It’s worth repeating…A screaming testament to my distrust.
Involving ourselves in other people means we are signing up for a roller coaster ride. Emotions swing and fling us around, but would I have it any other way? Would I give up the bursting of love I have for Becky, Travis, Jett, Sadie and Millie soon-to-be-born so that I would not have to feel the pain? Not on your life. 
So what does that mean? It means I relinquish my illusion of control, stand on His promises that God loves this sweet little family even more that I do, and let the joy of the Lord be my strength. Is it easy to do this? Some days it is easier. Today I will have to pray and remind myself hourly. Yesterday it was minute by minute. Tomorrow? I am not going to worry about because His mercies are new every morning and that's enough for today.

IF you believe God is real…what does this mean for you today?

“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Amen and Amen.

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