Monday, July 9, 2007

The joy thief

Once again I am going to use this space as a means of processing and sharing the deepest places of my heart and mind. As you all know a few weeks ago we experienced the death of our guard Santos. You have heard the tales of those two terribly long days that Jen and I experienced as we walked through the grieving process with his loved ones. What I haven't shared is the difficult days that have followed since. To put it quite frankly those days rocked my world. They left me feeling guilty and questioning if I could ever return to doing life as I used to. I no longer long for the American dream. I can no longer live my life with closed eyes and ears. All in all those few (but seemingly never ending) hours were enough to change me forever. Over the years the memory will begin to dim in my mind but the reverberations will be felt forever.
I've become a victim of sleepless nights and a saddened spirit. I lay in bed begging my body to get so sleep...begging my mind to shut off...begging for a bit of peace. However, night after night I am awaken by nightmares. As soon as I shut my eyes at night I can hear the screams of that sweet sweet wife and mother. I can see the faces of those little ones as they receive news that their father would indeed not be coming home that night. Maybe worse yet it is in those moments of sleeplessness that I can imagine the voices of his loved ones as they blame me for not doing more than what I did.
This post may have come as a huge surprise to some of you. For others of you we have exhausted the options of how to get past this. You offered your prayers, your advice, and your love. You’ve listened to my words and grieved in my pain. I love each of your for that. For those of you that are hearing of my struggles for the first time I know that you too will be joining in the prayers on my behalf and for that I thank you. One particular conversation that I had with a man whose heart is as big as his theories reminded me that Satan knows he can’t rob us of our salvation so instead he seeks to rob us of our joy. If he can succeed at that he can keep me from being productive in my ministries and in my world.
I’m still not completely past all of this. I probably never will be….and a large part of me hopes that I will never forget what I’ve learned from all of this. However, if I have learned anything it is this…. That even when life seems to be falling apart around us that the cross is still the cross. His sacrifice is still big enough to forgive and diminish even those things in our lives that we think we can’t overcome. When we dwell in the fear and guilt that I have lived in for the past weeks we allow the devil to win and it is almost as though we are saying that the blood Jesus shed just wasn’t enough. Saying the words now doesn’t mean that my nights have become any less sleepless or that my heart is any less heavy over the loss that was experienced. However, it does mean that I now use those sleepless hours to grab my bible and spend intimate moments with my Savior. I turn the devils attacks into triumphant moments for my King. Grief is a process and the guilt that I am feeling can be turned into a good thing if I allow it to motivate me into action instead of push me into hiding. An amazing friend of mine played this song for me the other day and it resonated with the deep places of my soul. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Sometimes it seems the world's unraveling around us
We fear it all may one day come undone
We can't forget the One who came before us
To forgive the past and bring hope for what's to come
When it all comes crashing down
The cross still stands alone
And on this our faith is built
And our courage is made strong
When the world falls apart
And you fear for your heart
There's a tower of peace
It's still the cross
So bring your sick and your poor
And your longing for more
To the place of relief
it's still the cross
There is hope for the lost
It's still the cross
Sometimes it seems that I have been forgotten
I don't know how I will make it on my own
But the One who said I will never be forsaken
He still hears my prayer and I will never be alone
Though the world may not confess
You and Your holiness
One day all will see
You in all Your majesty
And the cross will stand alone
As the place where You made known
Your love for all mankind
Till then in it we'll hide

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