Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Holy Moly a Blog on Religion

BEFORE READING THIS … Please keep in mind that I know that people grieve differently and have different sorrows. Losing the child is not the same as fighting a disease. I am writing this from the viewpoint of someone who has lost a child. More than anything, remember that you should always remember who you are speaking to. Not everyone that you will encounter is a Christian. Sometimes we have to be an example of what is to be a Christian. And, the person you are speaking with may be mad at God and you may just push them further away.
Also, please keep in mind that I am emotionally and physically exhausted. And, this happened. So, yeah, I may ramble.

I shared a blog today. By doing so, I opened a HUGE can of worms. You might want to read it before you go any further.

No, go ahead . I’ll wait.

1. I’m not Job. Never have been. Never will be. I have had sorrow and pain in heaping doses and I fight on. I have never once scolded God or got mad at him. I have had long talks asking why. I mean I know he has a reason for everything he does. And, I know that he will help me through the valleys of darkness and sorrows. But, somehow, when someone says “God never gives us more than we can handle” I felt like I was being scolded. Somehow, in my experience, people use this phrase the most immediately after whatever event occurred. This was the time in my life where I would collapse into a sobbing heap on the floor at a moment’s notice.  I quit functioning. I was hypercritical of myself. I was already finding blaming myself for Sarah’s death. If she had lived with me. If we had taken better care of her. If I had stayed with her dad. If we hadn't let her do athletics…  
 And, now people are telling me that I should be able to handle this? AND MORE?! I know I can. But, you know what. I couldn’t. Not on my own. Not without God’s love and direction. I have prayed a lot.

It took until today to realize why I don't like the statement. God allows us to have far more burden’s than we can handle alone. That is the key. ALONE. No, we can't always handle them. He is there to help ease our burdens. That is part of the gift of his grace. To ease our burdens even when we don't deserve it. That is the point of Grace after all, isn't it? I remember someone saying, “God will help you through it.” That meant far more to me. It gave me far more comfort and made me feel less alone. “God told me…”

2. Yeah, I like how he put it. Especially talking about the communication between you and God as being sacred. It reminds me of a blog I started about people throwing scripture around on Facebook.
For some reason, it bugs me when people throw scripture around on Facebook. It always has. And, I don't mean posting a verse as your status or anything like that. I am referring to using it in comments and such.
Scripture is personal. It is sacred. In my eyes, if you want to witness with someone or share scripture, it's not something you just throw out there. It is like taking an english book and throwing it to a preschooler and saying, "Here. Learn this. It will help." Being Christlike means taking the time for genuine connection.
And when sharing your testimony, which is using what you and God have discussed it is best to do it as personally as possible. In person or even in a hand written letter.

3. When you lose a love one, you hear a ton of platitudes. “I will pray for you.” Is one of them. You hear it a lot. And, you know people mean well. And, I am not saying it’s a bad thing to say. But, there are better things. “I have been praying for you.” “You are in my prayers.” My favorites are can we pray for you?” and “Can we pray for you now?” It is far more personal. And, there is something that is amazing about having a group of people praying with you right there. I felt the sensation of being bathed in prayer. When we sat at Sarah’s funeral, we could feel it. A sense of peace and relief.

The main things to take away from the lesson is to choose your words wisely. Everyone copes differently and people have differently. Just because someone doesn't believe in God or they are struggling with their faith doesn't mean you don’t pray for them. And, just because you are praying for them, does not mean you have to tell them you are.

And, one last thing, whatever you do, when having a conversation with a person you are disagreeing with, do not say “God bless you.” Or “I am praying for you.” It’s catty and it is the equivalent of a dirt look down the nose.

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