Thursday, July 16, 2009

Troubled.

I had a meltdown last Saturday.

I still have bad days-they seem to just get fewer and farther between-but they still have the intensity they did when Mom died.


My dad, aunts, and I went out with Toots to celebrate her 83rd birthday. We were in the restaurant laughing at Toots and her penchant for pink sweetener all over everything on her plate to 'doctor it up' and my aunts innocently began making small talk-asking me about my life and such. I began to share about how things were going well, but....

This bit of perhaps unwarranted vulnerability-sometimes June comes bustin' out all over, and by June I mean That Girl- surprised everyone. They tried to make me feel better that things take time and sometimes we're living on dreams and spaghetti-Os wondering where our lives are gonna go, as Martina McB says. Bless their hearts, they didn't know what to do with That Girl who suddenly turned on the waterworks and began to cry. I wasn't crying about my life. It really is lovely. I am thankful for my many blessings.

Honestly, I was weeping because I had looked at the occupants of my table and realized that there was a seat with no occupant. In that moment I felt so defeated and sorrow filled my heart as I realized for the millionth time that she would never be at a special family event again. There will be a hole at K's 7th birthday party this weekend. No one to call me early in the morning and tell me she was thankful for her unexpected pregnancy @36 when I turn 24 next month. No one to light the unity candle someday or to talk me through my first baby's fever. No one to tell me that she's still my biggest fan when I mess up, cry with me when my feelings are hurt or to tell me ever so gently that the skirt makes my hips look big and wouldn't this be a better choice for my body shape?!

No more of those beautiful things.


My heart was troubled.

I think as believers we have a responsibility to ask why. Jesus instructs us to be like children, and all the children I know ask 3 billion questions, sometimes again and again if they forget the answer of why the sky is blue or the grass is green.


After my tiny yet embarrassing scene crying in front of my family, where I wandered around looking like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer because of my slightly ugly cry trying to find the bathroom, somehow I attracted the stare of every.single.patron in the whole joint who were trying to figure out who is That Girl anyway and why did she just open up the door to the supply closet?

( Can't I even have a moment of sadness gracefully here?! )


Then Dad decided to drive by the cemetery. Here comes Waterworld again.


I got out of the car and shut the door. Through my tears I stood and looked at the butterfly on her stone. I couldn't really see it that well through all the tears collected in my eyes. I looked at her birth and death dates and got mad all over again.

why?


this is really no good, in case You haven't noticed, I told Him.



Then I do what I always do, mad or not but always through teary eyes, went to the other side of the grave.

I made myself read it.

I ran my fingers along the words and tried to get the dust off off the grave, so cool to my touch in the heat of the day.



My peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27



Then it came. Not the answer I wanted, but the one I needed.

Don't be troubled.

It sounds really simple, and yet when my eyes focused in on the word troubled, I could hear my Savior's voice. Not audibly of course, but that still small voice.

In this world you will have trouble. The tricky part is not to let it trouble you.

I may have Trouble. But Trouble doesn't have me.


After typing the word trouble so many times I want to also tell you that the word looks weird to me now. My apologies.


My heart has seen difficulty. My life has been changed. The fact that I belong to Jesus has not changed, and although tragedy and heartache have come knocking on my door and I have repeatedly asked why, he has told me that sometimes the answer is not as important as the faith it takes to ask the question. I may ask why, but I won't let the lack of a full blueprint trouble my heart. I won't be troubled by the lack of answers. Instead, I will let that perfect peace rest deep in my heart and soul--the peace that even as I ask the same questions again and again, I may not get every answer just this second but I will be safe and he will provide for me, like a parent cares for a child. The peace that he loves me and that he knows how much of the answer I can handle right now, and how much needs to be saved for later.
I won't be troubled come Saturday. I'll see my mom's smile on K's face when she opens her brand new Princess Protection Program DVD (the gift that keeps on giving-shhh) and I'll know that Mom is no longer troubled by things like cancer, or chemo, or bills to pay, or even sin. He will grant me the peace of HOPE in redemption and resurrection.

I leave you with a Puritan prayer that has really encouraged me.

O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers
me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but Thou art for ever
at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they
stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, Thy goodness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are Thy victories: The Lord
God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to Thee, every sin calling for Christ's precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as
its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget Thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God.

I've been praying for you today. May the peace of Christ be with you now and forever.

19 comments:

Julie said...

Beautifully written and I am speechless!

Thank you for sharing in such an honest and open way. Its what I needed today.

Keep asking Him those questions with a child-like heart.

Sweet Blessings,

Paige said...

What a beautiful post! We should all question our Father like a child. Too many times, I think we become hard and calloused as adults because of our own troubles and we lose our child-like faith. Thank you for reminding us all to question as a child would and know that he will answer us.

Blessings!

Jekuthiel~Content-in-Christ said...

My mother wrote the following statement that is so true for Christians and those who go before us though death. My brother committed suicide 5yrs ago in August, and there will always be those unanswered questions, but we press on knowing we WILL see him again when we join him to worship our Saviour face to face!
Jessica ;-)
PS: I've also included a song we just heard and a great bible passage. ;-)

"I do not cry for ____. As much as I miss him, I would never consider taking him away from his Creator’s presence. My tears and sorrow are for me and for those he left behind as we miss him so. But, in a short while, those of us who have trusted in Christ and made Him our Lord and Savior will be reunited with _____ forever and always! We will see him again and it will be glorious as, more importantly, we will be in the presence of God Almighty!!"

No Grave - Newsboys
Lay my body down on Mercy Street / or deep beneath the darkest seas / Lay my body six feet under down in Old Noarlunga / right beneath the ghost gum trees // Doesn’t matter where / yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh / You won’t find me there / yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh // No grave / gonna hold my spirit down / Ain’t no grave hold my spirit down / Lord knows they’ll never keep me in the ground / Ain’t no grave / hold my spirit down // It’s alright mama, now don’t be sad, it’s alright, don’t cry for me / They can lock my flesh and bones up until kingdom come / but my spirit will be free // It doesn’t matter where / yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh / You won’t find me there / yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh // No grave / gonna hold my spirit down / Ain’t no grave hold my spirit down / Lord knows they’ll never keep me in the ground / Ain’t no grave / hold my spirit down // It’s a dead end search / It’s a nowhere thread / Looking for the living down among the dead / No devil in hell / No angel above / Can separate the saints / from the love of God // No grave / gonna hold my spirit down / Ain’t no grave hold my spirit down / Lord knows they’ll never keep me in the ground / Ain’t no grave / hold my spirit down

Now also we would not have you ignorant, brethren, about those who fall asleep [in death], that you may not grieve [for them] as the rest do who have no hope [beyond the grave]. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him through Jesus those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For this we declare to you by the Lord's [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death]. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 – The Amplified Bible

Terri said...

I LOVE reading your blog-you are so real, and so wise for someone so young.
I can feel the Holy Spirit pouring out from your words and know that He leads you!
Continue to be blessed, as you are blessing me, and all who read your words. May others find the answers that God has already given in His Word.
Looking forward to your continuing journey-Terri in Sparks, NV

Jen said...

This post made me cry! I was reading it on my iPhone while waiting to see my doctor and had to stop because it was making me cry and I didn't want to cry in public!! I too lost my mom about 7 years ago and I know how hard it can be! Even after 7 years I still have crying fits because I miss her so much!

I don't know if I've commented here before but I've been reading for awhile! I love your blog!

sharalyns said...

No words, but

(((((((hugs))))))

Lindsey said...

Thank you! My mom too passed away from ugly cancer....and every family gathering I tear up that she isn't there. My wedding was so hard, giving birth to my son, and now raising him. Thank you for those words. They were very encouraging!
Since my mom wasn't "there" on my wedding day I had a table at the ceremony at the foot of the stage that had a pic of her and i, a pic of her in her wedding dress, flowers and a memory candle. I also made a card that hung with ribbons from my bouqet with a pic of her and i on one side and a sticker that said "mother of the bride on the other" its in all my wedding pic and was a great memory of her there. God bless you!
Lindsey
http://arewardfromhim.blogspot.com

Brandi said...

waterworld has now entered my house!!! great post though lauren, your transparency speaks deeply to each one who reads. love you girl!

Susie said...

Thank you Lauren! I have those days too..the scripture fits perfectly thanks for sharing! You are a blessing to me and I am thankful for your mom's unexpected surprise at age 36!

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Oh, Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your heart with us (as you always do!).. I"ve been on a similar thread myself lately.. I keep thinking about John 16:33 - In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

there's something about Jesus assuring us we WILL have trouble and in spite of that, we should "take heart" because He has overcome.

Take heart, Lauren! And thank you for helping those around you do the same!

Greta said...

Awww, Sweet Lauren! What wonderful memories of your mother flooded my soul while reading your post. She was a blessing to so many. The one image of her that will remain with me is of her & your dad pulling out of the Illiana parking lot on Sunday afternoon marking the end of duties as LD. They had the speakers MAXED.OUT. on "Wonderful, Merciful Savior". Still can't get through that song without seeing her smiling face waving goodbye and singing her little heart out.

Praying for you girl!

Natasha Vaughn, Designer said...

I'm sorry for your sorrow. Your grief has touched me but not as much as our Savior's grace. God Bless You everyday but especially those that hurt your heart.

kate g said...

Love to you... All the time.

Keyly Watts said...

Lauren ~ What a beautiful post. Isn't it awesome that one day, when you see her face in Heaven, that you will have no more "whys". Jesus will answer every "why" with your mom beside you!!!
I love ya pal !!!

Chelsa said...

lauren- i love you girl! my heart hurts for you the same way it hurts for myself.

Lauren said...

Oh Lauren - I just love you! I am praying for you and your hurting heart. I know the pain will never really leave ... but I am so happy that your precious heart is open to hearing from God even in the toughest times. You are beautiful!

LC

Ashley said...

Beautiful post, dear :)

Cute little me! said...

Lauren I really needed to here, and read this especially today(the 17th). Today was three years for my sis. I keep asking why myself. I keep blaming it all on myself, and thinking I could have done something different. But thanks Lauren for typing this blog up. I so needed to read it and understand what God was trying to tell me.

Always Lynette

Kayla said...

I love you.