Monday, December 04, 2023

Six Weeks! Some Thoughts

 Six weeks. 

My body, my soul, my spirit knows without a conscious thought. 

It's Monday. 

Six weeks since Josiah was taken from us. 

Six weeks since I last fasted for my family. 

I have big questions. I can't begin to understand with CERTAINITY the sovereignty of God (and please don't give me your pat answers). I KNOW all the book answers.  I can't fathom how God's sovereignty intersects with evil in our world and man's free will...and if you are honest, you probably aren't sure you have all the right answers either. I don't understand why some seem to have more trials in life than others (childhood abuse, miscarriages, Parkinson's, son murdered) and DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME IT'S BECAUSE HE KNOWS I'M STRONG...because I'm not. I simply have no choice but to get up and carry on. 

I feel like the disciples when Jesus asked them if they would leave to? "Master, where else would we go? You have the words of life...."  I don't have, maybe don't need, all the answers. 

This Flannel Monday, I pause to meditate on what I know to be true. 

God is good even when life stinks. 

God is the healer even when life is broken. 

God loves faithfully even when life is unfair, and others act unfaithfully. 

Joy (not happiness) from the Lord IS my strength. Joy (Chara - same root where the word grace comes from) is a lasting emotion that comes from the CHOICE to trust that God will fulfill His promises. It's the state of being content with how God cares for one. 

God walks with me even here... Jn 1:4 - 5 says His life is my light...and that light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome your darkness. It cannot overcome the life and light of Jesus...depression, grief, evil, sin, anxiety, fear...

God is the Good Shepherd and He is powerfully leading us through the valley of the shadow of death.

God is trustworthy - but I know I can't trust Him to keep my children safe 100% of the time (and don't tell me Josiah is safe with God. Yes, I know this. It brings a measure of peace, but he is not safe here now, is he?).

God WILL bring good from every situation - even evil ones. This does NOT mean my son's murder was a gift from God. What is WRONG with people? Do you think it helps to tell me this was "all part of God's plan?" Scripture tells me God is a GOOD FATHER and He gives GOOD GIFTS, and he does NOT give snakes. I do not believe evil is ever a GIFT from God. I believe He can and does bring GREAT GOOD FROM IT.  (See first comment about how it all works together).  

God walks with me, and He is full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He calls me to grace towards the defendant and his family, those who can't think beyond themselves, those who care deeply but misspeak, to my own grief...he calls me to show grace...but he also calls me to truth. 

Don't ask me to lie about how I am doing. Don't ask me to pretend all is bright lights, tinsel and Christmas jingles this year. It's not.  BUT in the pain, I DO choose to recognize Him walking with me. I'm sorry if you are more comfortable with platitudes than honest questions. In this season I wrestle with deeper questions and answers than the textbook answers. It's probably best not to ASK what I'm thinking if you aren't prepared to hear a raw answer. Hopefully gracious and truthful - both.  

And when does truth sound like a platitude? It may be in the attitude with which the words are spoken. Are you trying to "tie this up" and move on to your next engagement?  Do you get offended or hurt feelings if I question the truth you speak? Do you love me? It's quite possible to speak the right words without love and sound like a clanging cymbal (1 Cor 13:1). If you answer yes to any but the love one, your spoken truth probably sounds like a platitude. 

Are you willing to sit with me and wrestle with the questions? If so, the truth does not sound like a platitude when you speak it.  

Six weeks. 

I know a few things deeper in my spirit than ever before. I am shaken in other areas. That's o.k.

Today, I will fast. Because God led me to begin fasting for our family all those years ago. Because He hasn't told me to stop the practice. We surely have big needs. I may revisit the entry from the morning of Oct's been too painful to revisit the hopes and prayers for Josiah, Carrie and girls....but today, I may. In any event...I will continue...because the God who loves me so well calls me to continue to follow Him.  I will not fast the complete day because I made plans which involve tea and scones....but I am putting a stake down and getting back to it....

The last photo I have with all 10 kids and families.

We all know from his vantage point in heaven, Josiah would not want me to quit fasting and praying for his girls, his siblings and their families, our city, state and nation....

Six weeks. 

We are making it. 

We miss him terribly. 

We are broken. 

God is carrying us until we can function well. 

God is NOT offended by our heart-felt wrestling or questions. 

Please note I write more for myself than any other reason. Writing is therapeutic. This is where I am at THIS point in time. I totally get that there are things I do not understand, things others will teach me, or I will see in the word...but I want to remember. I want to remember well this journey the next time I am honored to sit with one on a similar journey. I don't want to forget where He is leading and teaching.  As I've often told groups of women when working through James...I want to grab every lesson possible from this trial because I do NOT want to revisit something similar in the future. 


Frances Cox said...

God bless you for your heartfelt honesty. Praying for you and your family through this journey of grief

Anonymous said...


DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Thanks for the hugs and prayers.