Wednesday, November 15, 2023

What I Learned Today

Those who know me and a bit of my story know it was a long-fought battle for this child abuse survivor to learn to trust a loving God and to forgive loving Christians who didn't want to acknowledge the abuse. I fought long and hard - when I encountered such helpful counseling techniques as imagining Jesus with me during the abuse - to quell my questions.  I finally learned Jesus was big enough for my emotions AND my questions. 

Life continued, and I learned to forgive. This broke a dam in my spiritual walk. I experienced healing. I learned to trust God with my safety and with my kids.  My anger turned into a joy that is able to trust. I still feared being on a suspension bridge in an earthquake, and I feared the thought of knowing my kids were in trouble, and I could not get to them. Many have heard how God helped me face and conquer those fears when I was on a bridge in the Great Tohoku Earthquake AND away from home without contact with my children for days afterwards. I blogged - I'm too tired to find the link. LOL 

Life continued sending plot twists, and I rested in a God who is good and worthy of trust - even when we don't understand.  

I was in a good place trust-wise.  

And then, October 23, 2023. 

Josiah is senselessly murdered. Once again, my heart screams saying God is not very trustworthy - I KNOW THE RIGHT ANSWER, I'm telling you how it feels. I've journaled around and around the issue. I know good parents allow hard things into their children's lives. I know children don't get everything they ask for. I know God is good, kind, loving, worthy of trust...but He also feels VERY unsafe. I feel He broke my trust. I know He will continue bringing good from our pain and loss. I see glimmerings of what He is doing. I'm working my way back to trust. I am. 

Carrie has shared Josiah taught Livie to live brave. That stayed with me. I observed Olivia becoming braver and more willing to take chances in the past few years. Why? How did Josiah help Liv be brave? What did he do to encourage her? 

She enjoyed a relationship with a loving father who was trustworthy. I came across these photos while prepping to blog our Sept trip to Pyrah's farm.  The presence of a father who waited patiently with arms outstretched made all the difference this day for Liv.  Livie wanted to jump but was unsure of the whole endeavor. Josiah patiently waited and encouraged her. 


When she was ready, she did the brave thing. She jumped. He caught her. He celebrated her bravery with her.  It was beautiful to observe. 

Seeing those memories and now knowing things were about to change in ways we could not begin to grasp is bittersweet for sure. As I look at the photos and blog, a few pieces slide into place. 

What Josiah did for Olivia, my heavenly Father does for me. He challenges me to trust Him in the scary times. He doesn't chide or berate; He loves; He waits; He encourages.  He lets me voice my doubts and fear and just keeps waiting until I'm ready to take the scary jump.  He catches me and celebrates with me.

Yes, He values my trust.  I believe He also values my authentic relationship with Him. He was o.k. when I told Him how very angry I was...first at Him and then realizing the anger should be at evil. He was o.k. when I feel he's untrustworthy and unsafe because it is better to address the relationship authentically than to pretend everything is fine. One path leads to an intimate relationship with Jesus; the other leads to bitterness and rejection - there is no peace with God if it is based in deception. Have you even READ Psalms? The one path leads to wholeness even in the mess. The other path, pretending all is well...leads to hypocrisy. That is a place I know my heavenly Father does not want me to go not-even-for-one-minute. Therefore, I will trust even here...

#CourageousJoy #superflycy #HEMAKESMEBRAVE #thatllpreach

Later in the day...GRACE NOTES

1. News of the arrival of Stephen JOSIAH born to Stephen and Kathleen.
2. Michael returned things to the church when I caught some bug.
3. A call from Kenzie - finding companionship on a journey no one chooses.