I'm taking a basic math class this quarter as a step in the direction of catching up to where I need to be to even consider the Physical Therapy program. One of the first nights the instructor said this is a basic math class because sometimes you have to "go back in order to go forward". Sometimes you have to go back and review the basics before you can move forward into new things. I found it interesting because our church is doing a study on being emotionally healthy and it has referred to "going back in order to go forward" as well. For the study at church it's about going back to things in your past that maybe causing a blockage in your movement forward spiritually.
Now when it comes to everything I've been dealing with at work and how I've felt over the last couple of months... I'm not sure if there is some hidden event that ties into all of this emotion but I have been reflecting a lot lately. I feel like there is a possibility that because of who I am and the times of grief and loss that maybe... some of this emotion might be pent up frustration and anger. However, I haven't gotten any specific "thing" that it's tied to. I have realized that in most of the times of loss I've had to "get through" it and maybe haven't faced things fully.
What I came to today while I was pondering on all of this is that if there isn't an "event" God wants to bring healing to then maybe I just need to go back to the basics... which are:
~ God's love towards me is unconditional, never ending and never changing. He loves me and accepts me no matter what the circumstance may say.
~ God has a plan and a purpose for my life and His plans are always good and not for evil.
~ Whenever God allows the storms to invade our lives it's because He wants to bring good out of it... for our good and for His glory. The storms of life are to draw us to Him... to help us bring our focus back to Him rather than focusing on the storm.
~ I realized maybe for the first time that Jesus was angry and wept at the death and loss of His friend Lazurus... I don't think I ever fully SAW that He was also angry. I think I always felt like anger was a sin and that the only time Jesus was angry was when the money-changers invaded the temple. Jesus felt anger on more than one occasion... anger is a part of experiencing a loss... it's a part of the grieving process. It's okay to be angry... the sin is when we hold onto that anger and let it consume us... anger then takes hold and we become bitter in the process... That's not what God desires. He desires that we bring that anger to Him and allow Him to take it and heal us in the process.
~ Loosing my friends at work was extremely difficult... harder than what I had expected. I was angry and wanted to blame anyone.... even God. I couldn't understand the reasoning behind it... I couldn't see how good could come of this when we are in tough times, neither of them have a job and they both have families.... I hear the Lord whisper to my heart... "I will take care of them. I will provide for them." I have to release my anger and grief and sadness.... but I also have to release them into His care. There is a time to embrace.... and a time to let go... now is the time to let go and let God.
~ I also have to get back to the basics of holding on to scripture through the storm... I was given Philippians 4:6-9:
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now... fix your thoughts on what is true, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me - everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you."
~ Think on good things... so many times it's easy to just focus on the bad stuff.... but that just sucks you into a vortex... because when you only focus on the bad... things just seem to get worse. However, when you focus on the good... even though it's hard at first... the more you do... the more you climb up out of the muck.... and before long... things are looking bright again.
I don't have all the answers and I still don't understand all of the "why's" but I know one of the basics to remember is that God knows and He understands everything... and that's all that really matters.
Sunday in Church the Pastor talked about the two trees in the garden. The tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.... One tree was to bring Life while the other tree brought death. God didn't intend for us to have the knowledge (or understanding) of good and evil because it leads to death. In trying to understand... in trying to gain more than what God wanted us to have... we tasted death. What I saw was the more I tried to understand the right from wrong in the situation... the more I died inside. The more I wanted to understand and focused on what I thought was good and evil... the more angry and bitter I became. When I choose Life... when I choose to trust God instead of my own understanding.... peace comes and Life begins again.
I don't want to be angry and bitter about any of the losses I've experienced in my life. I want to instead choose Life... and His peace. I turn over my anger and my own understanding to Him. He knows and understands and I trust that He has a purpose in all of this and.... I'm okay with that! I feel like peace is beginning to return and life is beginning to bloom again...
Lord, please continue to guide me in the process of letting go and letting you take care of everything. Help me to turn over to you ALL of my cares and concerns. I trust you to have my best in mind... even when I don't understand. I love you Lord and just want to trust you more. Forgive me for trying to lean on my own understanding... and help me to lean more on You.
His peace exceeds anything I can understand...