Thursday, March 3, 2016
Of Purple Hearts and Living Water
This isn't an easy post to write.
Everything I ever knew to be true blew up in my face recently. If I'm going to be completely honest that's how it felt.
I am someone who needs to know "Why" to everything. That annoying kid always asking, why, why, but why.... In order for me to understand how to do something, I need to know why you do it. What's the purpose behind it. In life, I have many more questions than I do answers, and I guess that's the way it's meant to be. I don't go into anything without knowing the answer to my question first. Maybe that's the analytical part of me, but common sense just tells me, if you know all the answers before taking something on, the process will be a breeze...
God doesn't work that way though. I'm finding this out more and more as time moves on. You would think I'd just assume that since he punished all of the Human Race for the fact that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge when he forbid them. I assume this is why we only use a small percentage of our Brain compared to what it's capable of. Friends like to at times say they hate that I'm always right about things; I'm a "Know It All" not in the annoying sense where I have to brag about it, I just really enjoy being knowledgeable about anything and everything. This is probably why I have a background in Law, Medical, and Administration, in addition to "Street Smarts" why I know how to "McGeyver" many situations. I like to be prepared in any and all situations I may end up in.
But if I have learned anything recently, it's that I can't prepare for everything.
I've been to what feels like the ends of the Earth the last three years and for some it may bring them to a breaking point, but I just kept going. And then the world fell out from underneath me.
As long as I have lived, as long as I have known about God I have never questioned Him, the existence of Him or His word. It always made sense to me, His purpose made sense, I never had any reason to question. Once I gave my heart to him it was even more apparent. You would think, after the numerous tragedies I've endured before the time I was 16 that I'd have reason to question Him, or a reason to turn from Him, but I never did. And then my Grandpa took his own life.
Being so deeply rooted in my faith I don't take anything as seriously as I do my relationship with God and his word. How does someone who is so "devout" as some would call it, handle a situation like this? Simply put... I didn't, I closed up and shut down.
I all of a sudden had nothing but questions. I had everyone doing their best to be comforting and offer words of encouragement and love but all it did was further confuse me. I went into a deep seclusion, I needed answers, but I needed them from God. While all I could do was question Him, it was Him I knew I needed the answers from. He never left me but there were moments I felt so lost that I was afraid I couldn't hear Him, not that He left me, but just that I had fallen so deep that my capability of hearing Him was a long shot.
The day this all happened, I was talking to someone, one of the only people I felt comfortable enough to talk to about it and she said to me. "I think you're going to use this to help others, people going through the same thing." It was one of the first things I also thought about, helping those with PTSD, suicidal thoughts, the loved ones who are left behind. But honestly, at this point in my life I've been through what feels like, every known tragedy a person can possibly go through, it's not like I needed something else to add to the list. My solution is always God regardless of any situation, or tragedy so to think I needed something else to go through in order to reach people didn't seem necessary.
As I sat, I thought about everything one would, some of the thoughts cross my mind randomly while others are more persistent. Trying to make sense of something so senseless seems pointless, but I had to do it. I have to have an answer for everything, regardless if I like it or not, I at least need a firm answer. Figuring out how to deal with something that doesn't have a concrete answer just made the whole thing worse.
Dealing with the loss of the Man who saved my life, add the fact that I have to deal with how I lost him, and now my faith was in a place I never imagined it would be, to say that I was in uncharted waters was an understatement. If I'm being honest I felt like I was in one of Grandpa's stories from when he would be out on the Sea on his way to Singapore and the waves would hit 50 foot swells. I was drowning. Waves crashing over me to the point that as soon as I try to come up for air I'm pushed back under.
And then one night, I was processing all of the things everyone had said to me. The fact that the ultimate sin is denying God, Jesus, not suicide as the Catholic religion had so many believing. The fact that just four days beforehand I felt this amazing feeling of relief and realizing that God let me know that Grandpa had made his peace with Him. I was on a drive, a long drive and I could hear Him again...
We think that because he's God that He controls everything, simply because He has the power to change things. We blame him for the bad things that happen to us, we ask why... This wasn't what I questioned. I never questioned why he let this happen, I knew he didn't create that. My Grandpa made his choice, I hold him responsible for his choice. My question was how could I believe a man who never cared about God in his entire life unless it meant him winning the lottery, could make it to Heaven on top of the fact of taking his own life. I felt like everything I knew was in question, simply because of his decision.
Satan had crept in, it was like he sat and waited and watched and once he won over the thoughts of my Grandpa he moved in on me immediately. I let him, I let him take over my thoughts, ones that brought me to my own contemplation of suicide. If he can do it and he's okay then I want to be done, I want this to be over I don't want to feel this way anymore. I'm tired of being the warrior, the soldier who just continues to fight battles that I didn't ask for.
I don't think people realize just how much of a domino effect suicide can have.
In that moment, I did what I always did when I felt that depressed, when I felt in my darkest, I cried for God to take care of me, to stop the thoughts, to make Satan leave. And it was in that moment I heard Him.
I'm a person who needs all of the answers, someone who has fought battle after battle and think I'm done battling. Someone who thinks that I've been through so much that my testimony at this point could help anyone really since there wasn't anything I felt I couldn't handle, in what I've experienced.
But, how can I speak to people who feel lost, to those who question not just faith but their own if I never felt that I ever had to? How can I attest to the validity of God, and all that He is if I just always went based on my faith? While we are to believe in our faith and hold strong in it, there are some of us who need a nudge to understand how to hold strong in that faith. And then there are those of us who are called to be his faithful servant beyond all questions and believe in His plan so that we can reveal Him to others.
I didn't know what my purpose was exactly when I chose to follow Jesus. I knew it was meaningful, I could just feel that in the depths of my soul, in the bottom of my heart. I vowed to go where He leads me. I know that He loves me, and I know how much He loves all of His children.
If He believes I'm strong enough to endure the things that feel the worst in order to survive them with His grace so that I can show others his true love and power, his mercy and promises then so be it.
***This is to everyone who question, to those who feel like they're at their lowest, to those who feel like they can't carry on. Pull yourself out of the deepest pits of where darkness dwells and let His light carry you on. It's not easy, but His reward for you will be ten fold when He's ready to call your name. Do not be afraid and know that you are loved by the Almighty and that His love will shine in you onto others if you let it.
To those of you reading this who know someone either battling suicide or depression, or someone who has been left behind I encourage you to share this with them. Be open with them, let them know how much they're valued in not just life, but yours as well. Try to understand that the things you think they need to hear may not be, instead ask them what they feel like doing, talking about and let them lead the way. Sometimes just being with a person during a time like this and having no words is exactly what they need.
Don't Forget To Pray XoXo