Church Wisdom, Faith, Fellowship, My One Word, My Walk

Can Fellowship Heal?

Since my father passed away, I’ve been even less social than normal. The thought of getting out of my comfy clothes, brushing my hair, and forcing a smile is almost more than I can handle most days.

Monday was particularly hard. It was also the night of our small group study. Most of the day I couldn’t hold in the tears, and everything broke my heart. The heirloom nut chopper my mom had given me shattered, and from there everything seemed to crumble around me like the ruins of an old and forgotten city.

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How was I supposed to go out, be happy, smile, and socialize with people I’m just beginning to know? I couldn’t just arrive wearing the workout pants and tank top I’d been wearing since I worked out. What kind of picture would that make? What kind of example would that be for my children?

Even though my daughter and I had already made the snack we were bringing, I couldn’t see myself actually getting out the door, into the car, and to the home where we gather.

My husband came home, and I was curled in a ball on the couch, covered in a blanket and shivering. We needed to get ready to go or we wouldn’t make it.

I had a choice to make. I could stay home and continue to feel pain, or I could go out and try to find a few moments of happiness. So, I prayed, and listened to what the LORD put in my heart.

We made it to small group, and I even managed to change my clothes before we left. I admit the tears continued to fall until I got in the car and we headed down the street, but by the time we arrived, I was feeling lighter.

I can’t say for sure that fellowship heals, but it certainly helped on Monday. God knows what He is doing, even when His will makes us do things we would rather avoid. I still would have preferred to remain in my comfy clothes, but wearing jeans was a small price to pay to move away from the hurt for a few hours.

Not to mention, there was amazing cheesecake there, and I don’t normally like cheesecake. 🙂

May God bless you throughout the week,

Sare

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Faith, Fellowship, My One Word, My Walk

Heal My Heart, LORD

On January 31, 2015, my father passed away. In the last few months he had become someone I didn’t recognize–the man with strong convictions and an analytic mind had disappeared. In his place was someone who was angry, and emotional. In all my years growing up I can count on one hand the number of times I’d seen him cry. During the months leading up to his death his tear flowed freely.

He started making decisions he never would have before. His conversations stretched to the outlandish, and his understanding of right and wrong bled together. I made one of the hardest decisions I’d ever had to make, and it broke my heart.

Reading this, one might assume my father was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

He wasn’t.

My father, the first Hero I ever knew, was being destroyed by Cancer. It began several years ago with Skin Cancer, something the doctors treated, and we assumed had cured. Then, last year the doctors diagnosed him with Prostate Cancer. Again, he went through treatment, and it seemed to be working.

Only, it wasn’t.

Somehow during the treatments the doctors missed the cancer that had spread to his brain, his lungs, and from what I understand into his heart.

None of this was discovered until after his death.

My father knew something was wrong.

I feel responsible.

Even though circumstances kept us apart the final months of his life, he made sure I knew he didn’t blame me.

I wish I didn’t blame myself.

Nothing that happened was within my control, and I know God has a plan for everyone. I don’t know what His plan is, but I know I need to trust in His will.

My father is in a better place, or at least I choose to believe that God has welcomed him home. He isn’t in pain anymore, and he can see and hear again. He can once again enjoy all the things he’d missed out on as his body broke down.

Yet, I can’t help but feel guilt. People tell me over and over that I’m not at fault, that he didn’t blame me. I just wish God would help me to believe that as well.

I need strength to get through this. I need not only understanding from those around me, but from myself as well.

LORD, I pray for strength and healing. Lift my spirit up, and bring peace to my soul. Heal me from the inside, and grant me the forgiveness I can’t seem to give myself.

Sare

My Walk

Seek His Face Always

We are all busy, and we all have important things we need to get done each day. Make time for the Lord, even if it is just a few minutes.

Recently a dear friend of mine was in town from Hawaii, and we managed to find the time for a quick lunch before her flight back to the island. Before her move to Oahu, and my subsequent move from California to the PNW, we never went longer than a few months between visits. This visit marked the first time in over a year since we’d seen each other.

Our friendship has been entirely built on distance and technology. We met in an online writer’s group several years ago, and eventually bonded over the personalities and traits of our fictional characters. We have never lived in the same place at the same time, and in the course of our relationship we’ve spoken on the phone only a handful of times. Yet, we are truly friends. Even though our friendship is unconventional, and some might think, impractical, it works for us. We often like to joke that we were one of the few ‘blind dates’ that actually worked out.

Now, once she left, it hit me how much I’d missed her while we were apart. Our lives recently have been busy (she’s planning her upcoming wedding, and I’ve been busy preparing to homeschool my daughter), and we haven’t connected as often as we used to. It amazed me how easy it was to ignore the daily pangs of separation. To push those feelings down, and focus on the day to day tasks of living.

This happens all too often in our personal lives, not just with the people we care about, but with God as well. It might start out as a busy day when we don’t have ‘time’ to open the Bible. It might happen on a night when we’re too tired to pray before we fall asleep, or in too much of a hurry to check in with the outside world in the morning to whisper a prayer of gratitude for the beginning of another day. We might think one day won’t hurt, but what happens when the next day is also busy? Eventually, we’ve pushed those important moments of connection with the Lord so far down our list of priorities we no longer feel the pangs of separation.

Just like any friendship, the relationship we have with Him takes time and commitment. We can’t expect to go on about our daily lives, forgetting Him, and expecting that eventually all those lost moments aren’t going to crash on us. The loneliness we often feel has little to do with the people physically around us, and more to do with a loss of time spent with the Lord.

We are all busy, and we all have important things we need to get done each day. Make time for the Lord, even if it is just a few minutes. A quick prayer of thanks, or a moment of scripture reading can give you the energy and the focus to get through the ups and downs of everyday.

Yes, I am new to this, and I stumble more than I’d like, but each time I turn to Him for help, things right themselves, and I find my footing is steadier.

 

“Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

Blessings in Christ,

Sare