In Mourning……

I’m in a weird place today….it seems I run to writing when I am in pain, when I am confused, when I am pensive (don’t you just love that word!).  Heck, I just run to writing to keep breathing normally, to keep from jumping off of a tall building, to stop myself from jumping in my car and driving off into the sunset!  But today, I am experiencing something that I have never experienced before….a deep, painful mourning for a friend.  I have read about people who mourn the loss of a loved one so deeply that their hearts feel as if they are breaking.  I have read of people who fall deep into depression because of someone they love experiencing life altering circumstances.  I have read of a culture in which they rip their clothes in mourning over the death of someone they love.  Even for myself, I have cried buckets of tears when I am alone over the loss of my sweet  mother!  But this pain deep in my heart, this aching that is causing me physical discomfort today, these tears that I am trying NOT to shed while I sit at my desk at work is threatening to overwhelm me!

My friend has believed the lies of the enemy.  She has believed the lies in a way I never thought possible.  The person I once knew has been bound, gagged and sedated and in her place is an imposter!  She looks like my friend.  She laughs like my friend.  But she is not the same person.  I love this friend deeply.  But I am lamenting her decision to trade the truth for lies.  There is nothing I can say or do to change her decision.  But.  I will continue to love her.  I will continue to pray for her.

I am not alone….

Today as I drove to work lost in my thoughts, only half listening to the Christian music station playing in the background, some of the words interrupted my thoughts, “You are not alone….”. I immediately thought of the scripture I had read on Saturday as I prepared my lesson for my Bible Study class I teach on Sunday mornings. “O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know! I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.” Psalm 139:1-12. I am blown away by these verses! Aren’t you? Just think about this revelation for a moment. The God of the universe, the creator of EVERYTHING, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God is attentive to you…to me! There is no place we can go, that He is not there with us! Even into that pit I sometimes take myself, thinking I am destined to live out my life falling in and out of the darkness…NOPE!….He’s there. When I’m walking through life, and everything seems chaotic, NOPE!…He’s there! When I’m laying in my bed at night, darkness surrounding me, only the sound of my husband’s breathing can be heard and I replay the day, trying to figure out how to make ends meet….NOPE! He’s there too! When I am alone and disappointed over something or someone….NOPE!  He’s right there too! Recently I listened as someone prayed in church service asking God to reveal His presence….I was thinking, “Silly man, He’s already here!” The truth is this….we don’t acknowledge the truth that He is ALWAYS with us! We ignore His presence, run from His presence, look somewhere else for His presence, but according to these verses, His presence is already with us! We want fireworks, rushing wind or a pillar of smoke…not just His presence. He will not slap us in the back of the head and say “I’m right here stupid!” He waits for us to acknowledge He is there….I truly believe that. It’s in those moments that we stop, breathe in the truth that He is right there with us, that we “feel” His blanket-like presence wrap around us. I love that He is not chasing us around trying to get our attention like a little kid who won’t quit saying “mama”, but He’s there, always there. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He’s looking ahead, checking out our path that He has prepared for us, He knows the words that are about to come from our mouths – even when they may not be pleasing to Him or glorify Him – He still knows. The idea that He would still place His hand upon our heads in blessing is just too big to comprehend! That is unconditional love, people! He knows my thoughts. That is just frightening! I know what goes on inside my head, no one would want to be there! But He knows… He is there to lift my head when I am weary, He is there to comfort me when I am heartbroken, He is there to hold me when I am afraid, He is there to push me forward when I need encouragement to go on, He is there when I find something funny, there is absolutely no place I can hide from or be lost from Him. We just have to acknowledge He is there to benefit from being in His presence… So, today, sitting there looking at this computer screen, reading my silly blog (which I appreciate, by the way!), close your eyes for a moment, and just breathe. Acknowledge that He is with you! Allow His presence to fill you and wrap around you like a warm blanket. I promise, you will feel it and you will be overwhelmed by Him.