Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Between "You" and "Me"

I had a brief experience with Mattie this afternoon that made me think. I have not been feeling myself for the past few weeks. Just not "me" and this annoys me greatly. When I am not "me" I feel like the universe of our home is altered. Dock gets weirded out because I'm quiet (yes, that's more the exception than the rule) and my kids (who don't miss a beat) notice too and somehow react by becoming more clingy. And then it becomes the chicken or the egg debate as to who's fault it is we're all a little off balance!

So today I woke Mattie up from her nap to go get Avery from school. Mattie was VERY sleepy and as I carried her to the car she wrapped two soft little arms tight around my neck and buried her head into my shoulder. That was the most comforting moment of my day. And, in that moment I felt the most "me" I've felt in a while. I am a mommy. I like who I am as a mommy and it felt good to remember a piece of my normal "me-ness".

By now, you know I love a good application so here goes: Where can you find a piece of "you-ness" today? Maybe this is a season you wish you could bury yourself in a hole and only come out when it's done. Maybe this is an awesome season, but you're busy and all of who you are is tied up in all you do. Maybe you have no idea what I'm saying and that's ok - you probably are not alone.

That moment of feeling like myself reminded me that grieving will pass. One day it will not hurt to remember Lauren like it does now. One day saying her name will not bring tears to my eyes, and the biggest "one day" of them all...One day I'm going to see her again. The truth is, in light of setting my mind on things above (like I've been learning lately - see Col. 3:1-2) I'm really not myself anyway. Scripture says when we see Him [God] we will be like Him for we will see Him as He truly is. None of us in Christ are our true selves yet. That's to come.

If you do not believe in Jesus, trust me, I understand wondering about the reality of heaven and even at times, wondering if the whole story of the cross and the resurrection could really be true. I understand, but boy do I believe. Each time I have asked God to show me that He's real - He has been faithful, and He will be faithful to you in the best way for you, too. If you do not believe in Jesus I want to tell you something that I could not stop saying in the days after Lauren suddenly passed away: "You have to know Jesus. You just have to" - because when life gets really hard and there's stuff that happens you can't explain - all the roads you take to find the "meaning" of it or to find out who you are will just lead to nowhere and nothing. They really will, and I'd stake my life on it.

I hope you find a moment in your day to feel very "you" and that you like who you are - because God loves you for you. He staked His life on it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Crash Test Dummy

Random question: What would the life of a crash test dummy look like? I mean, would the nobility of keeping mankind safe outweigh the impending doom every time someone straps you into a moving object and directs you towards a brick wall?

Can you imagine what the union would look like for crash test dummies? The contract would negotiate only so many crashes per month, complete rebuilding coverage with low co-pay, and so many days on the warehouse shelf (a.k.a. vacation days).

Yes, I know I already admitted this was random. There is a connection, though.....wait for it, wait for it... OK, here goes. Are we not all a bit like crash test dummies sometimes? Sometimes we keep getting in the same sin pattern that just directs us flying towards a "brick" wall of destruction. And we keep getting in and getting in and crashing and getting in and crashing - you get the picture.

I'm willing to bet that all of us have thought, "I'll never overcome that struggle. I've had it as long as I can remember." That's a lie. The enemy likes it when you think like a crash test dummy and not a real, live child of the Most High God.

So what "sin" vehicle do you keep getting into that always drives you towards impending doom and disappointment and downright frustration with walking with God? And why do you keep getting in when you know what's going to happen?

Well, quite frankly, it seems easier. When sin entered the world, we became crash test dummies in our flesh, so, we often default to thinking like them. We even blame the moving vehicle (the sin) for being too present or we blame the "higher ups" who keep running us into those walls. We forget that in Christ - we are not crash test dummies, we are legitimate beings, living beings not destined for death but for life. We know how to use the brake pedal AND we know how to not get in the moving vehicle in the first place. We really do.

I need this reminder as much as any of us. Sin is not more powerful than us. The more we practice it, the harder it is to overcome, but it is still not more powerful than us. In John 16:33 Jesus says after describing his coming death, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 1 Corintians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." You are not tempted beyond what you can bear - any other thought is a lie meant to make you feel as though it's too hard for you.

I had a conversation with a teammate this weekend about that thought. She was talking with someone who mentioned that standing up for God was "hard." She reacted in her spirit with such a sadness and passion and explained later to her family that after Jesus "stood up" on the cross for all of them, it should never be "too hard" to stand up for Him against sin or the patterns of the world. I'd never thought about it like that.

So, fellow dummies (don't be offended, just saying that to make a point!), what are we going to do about this? Let's rally the union and say that we've had enough. We are NOT GETTING BACK IN THAT CAR! No more walls for us. In Christ, there's a better way, a way out and a richer life ahead. Better start polishing our resumes. We're going to need a new line of work.