So in case you’ve been wondering if I dropped off the face of the blogging earth, I have not. I have been crazy busy between work, church, weddings, and battling mono. Yea, I know…who gets adult mono? Contrary to popular belief (Looking at you , Mom) mono is not just “the kissing disease” you can get it other ways so get the kissing questions (again, looking at you Mom) out of your head.
Besides my diaversary post, my last posts have been about my struggle through a hard time in my life. About a month ago, I listened to a sermon from Rick Warren about surrendering your pain to God. EXCELLENT sermon. Listen to it. http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/33f39/
I’ve been trying to put into practice his sermon and wanted to share a few points with you all.
There are three things you can do when you encounter pain in your life, you can let it: destroy you, define you, or develop you. I’m going to pick option number 3 and go with development. Sounds great, I’m going to let this pain in my life develop me…who doesn’t want that? The problem arises in how I let my pain develop me. I think at the heart of development is surrender. So how to surrender…
First…Accept What Cannot be Changed
This has, by far, been one of the hardest things for me. For the longest time, I did not want to accept that my relationship was over. I did not want to accept that I would probably have to take insulin for the rest of my life and prick my finger a bajillion times a day. I wanted to live in this place of denial. When I heard this sermon, it was like a smack in the face. How can I surrender something painful if I’m living in lala land about it happening…answer…I can’t.
In 2 Samuel 12, David is dealing with the same issue. His infant son becomes ill and David begs the Lord to spare his child, but his son passes away. In verses 22 and 23, David accepts reality. “22He answered, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting?” 2 Samuel 12:22-23a (NIV).
Accepting reality sucks (sorry, not one to sugar coat). For me, it was a very painful process, BUT (and it is a big but), there is freedom in this first step. I can now honestly say I would much rather be going through the pain associated with accepting what I cannot change than continue living in denial.
Second…Remember Its Not the End of the Story
It is so easy while you’re going through the painful acceptance period to default to a bleak, dark place of thinking. In pain, I fought against hopeless feelings and its normal to feel that way. In reading the same story about David in 2 Samuel, I found David living out this step. He says, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23b (NIV). David got it. He understood that the loss of his son (the reason for his pain) was not the end of the story. He would see his son again. I know the end of my old life (aka my functioning pancreas life) and the end of my relationship is not the end of my story. One day, maybe on this earth or maybe in heaven, I’ll be healed. And I might not be in a relationship anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever be in one (I mean I might be single forever if that’s what God wants, but my momma tells me I’d make too good of a mother for God to let that happen…so we’ll go with that).
When I start to doubt that this is not the end of my story, a simple prayer…”Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”
Third…Keep on Loving, Even in Your Pain…
David kept loving in his pain. “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;” 2 Samuel 12:24 (NIV). In case you just read that and think the last step is to go shack up and get preggo (or boys, knock some girl up)…not the point. The point is that David kept loving Bathsheba and because of their love, they created Solomon. Solomon…one of the greatest kings/kingdoms in the Bible…came out of a painful experience.
Jesus knows what its like to keep loving while you’re in pain…the Cross. “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (NLT). So in response to this step…I’ve been loving the heck out of some people. I meet with a small group of high school girls every week, I’m more intentional with the time I spend with my family and friends, and I’ve joined a small group of women that go to my church. Love equals pain, but I’m not living in fear of that pain. I’m embracing it and letting it deepen my love for others.
PS…sorry this is so long. This is what happens when I go radio silent for awhile.
ALSO, I’m getting ready to re-launch my blog with a totally new design. In preparation, my… awesome/fabulous/beautiful/talented/etc…friend, Claire, took some head shots for me. Here’s a sneak peek. Here’s the link to her website as well. Stalk her. http://clairemariephoto.com/. Also, the always fabulous PinkLoulou did my hair and makeup. http://pinklouloudesignstudio.com/