Words Are Not Necessary

When praying and loving, words are not necessary. In fact, the lesson yesterday was that weeping is praying and loving at a deep level. As I wept, I wasn’t consciously praying or loving, but I felt a sweet sense of relief and love. God hears my heart more clearly when my mind and mouth are still, and nothing silences them like weeping. Words are not only not necessary when loving and praying, they often get in the way. When I offer consolation, advice, or comfort, I never know what to say. When I pray, I am the same way.

The most important lessons so far in the path to the praying life have been about words. All who know me, know I love words, but I’m getting better with silence and am very thankful for God’s patience in that regard. I have practiced prolonged silence at the reflection center, but I have difficulty with silence around others. I have a need to fill the space, but I’m learning to give up that space to God and be still. There is nothing like silence to help the spirit and heart draw near to God, and there is also nothing like silence when it comes to worshipping and loving Him. I love raising my voice in praise, and I will sing as long as I have breath in me; but silence is the sweetest worship.

I sat for a long while yesterday and watched the beautiful horizon. After a week of crying and a morning of weeping, my heart lifted in God’s presence. The sounds from above blessed my spirit and I thanked God for Mylah and Lillyann’s healing. They have a way to go before they are up and running, but they are on the mend. While they are sick, only mommy will do, so I know Gina is worn thin. I’ve thought of God as I’ve seen the girls cling and even fight over mommy’s lap. I am the same way when I’m hurting; I want God, and nothing or no one else will do. That was the message this week. The only way to survive grief here is to have God at the center of my heart and life. Only His Holy Spirit can offer hope when I am hurting. Nothing or no one else will do.

I may have a tough day today as two little girls go through mommy withdrawal. I’m hoping they are well enough to play and eat, so I can fill in for her while she’s away at school. I’m sure mommy will have Mylah and Lilly withdrawal as well because I’m ready for some little girl time myself:)

Good Grief

I didn’t expect to find myself kneeling and weeping with abandon on the altar this morning, but that’s just where I found myself. God is calling me to be part of worship in two places right now, and that’s not something I understand. I have learned not to question His ways, but sometimes He confounds me. Perhaps He knows I’ll get lost in the confounding and find Him. I love both places and know He is present and alive in both. It’s a rare blessing to find someone willing to speak the truth with love, and both Pastor John and Pastor Jeff do just that. 

The deaths this week, especially Dorothy’s, left me numb. I’ve heard five amazing messages this week, and the message this morning touched me more deeply than I was prepared to be touched. God knew it was time to weep for mama. I put off weeping four years ago. I cried and cried and cried, but I didn’t weep until today. Weeping with abandon in front of others isn’t something I would have chosen to do, and it’s far too personal and intimate to do in from of others, but God knows that weeping together is part of the grieving process. I felt a sense of release on that altar that can only come when I let go of everything and let God and others hear my heart and my hurt.

It isn’t easy to let others hear my heart, but weeping frees the spirit and opens the heart as nothing else. As I watched Pastor Jeff, a big strong man, tear up as he talked of his own journey, the way was wide open for me to do the same. Letting others see our vulnerability opens doors for ourselves and others. Jesus wept openly for Lazarus. He was a very strong man who loved his friend dearly. Perhaps He cried because He knew he was bringing his friend back into a world of pain. Perhaps he cried because he knew Lazarus had suffered and would suffer again at the hands of death. 

Christ gives me hope and is my strong center. That was the beautiful message this morning. God’s grief is good grief because He is my hope, my comfort, my rock, and my redeemer. He never moves or changes, and that is the best news of all. There will always be weeping and loss in this world, but I can walk in God’s kingdom and chose to grieve as He grieves knowing that I can grieve with Him and share my grief and His love with those in my path. I will weep until I am with God in heaven, and I learned today that weeping is a very powerful form of prayer. That changes my journey in a most beautiful way. That’s good grief, and I thank God for showing me the difference between the world’s way of grieving and His.

Healed Holes

The way to find my way is to open my eyes. The way to find God’s way is to open my heart. That means hearing and having faith when I can’t see my way. Not seeing my way is a prerequisite for seeing His:) I always take the long way around when it comes to learning, and that convoluted path gets frustrating at times; but it’s worth the extra miles when I finally get it:)

On Monday evening, the sunset was the most beautiful I have ever seen. The day was a cold, dreary, and very rainy one. I had a funeral in the afternoon, and a visitation in the evening. Around 5:30, I noticed a beautiful glow and turned to look out my kitchen window. What I saw, took my breath away. I quickly turned off the lights and stood by the window to watch God. In an hour, a dense fog descended. Visibility was terrible as I made my way to the visitation. It was a difficult two-hour ordeal that left my heart aching. I know the glimpse of God was there earlier to remind me that He was with me, and I held on to that thought throughout the evening.

On Tuesday afternoon, the funeral for my sweet former student who took his own life was a time of healing. As I heard God’s Word, I felt the ragged edges of my heart begin to come together. As I found myself surrounded by so many loved ones, I felt God”s presence in a powerful way. Immanuel! God with us. What a beautiful plan! His way became clear as I let go of my grief and let Him fill those holes with His love.

Grief opens the heart as nothing else if allowed to run God’s course. God helps me feel the hurt, absorb it, and let the holes in my heart stay open. Those healed holes, as I call them, allow love to flow more freely. It’s like having an ear pierced; the hole heals, and I can put in an earring. Without God’s help, the holes in my heart remain raw and ragged and sore.

I think holiness is having healed holes that open my heart in a wonderful way. Last night, as I listened to the sweet voices of children singing songs about Christmas, I felt whole and holy indeed. I was surrounded by little ones yesterday, and God blessed as love poured in and out of my heart as it only can when I am with children. Tears are part of healing, but so is laughter:)

Grief will always be part of my life if I plan to love, and God certainly has loving at the top of His list when it comes to living. Laughter will always be part of my life because no one has a better sense of humor than God. He designed us to love, and that means both tears and laughter.  I need both, and God is always there to cry and laugh with me.  Those who truly love me do the same.

God shares my journey and shows me His way. He knows it and me by heart:) I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a picture of the sunset, but God has another sweet former student do that for me. Here’s Stacy’s photo, and it captures just what I saw on Monday evening.

Sunset