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…no, what you mean is, “You really don’t ever want to.”  “I could never” is something we hear just about as much as anything else.  “I could never go through what you’re going through.”  Maybe you couldn’t.  However, I’d bet when push came to shove you could.

I have found more than a few people who understand where we are coming from in regards to answering or responding to this.  They are the ones who have (or are going) through some horrific traumatic times.  There is nothing inherently “special” about us.  Granted, we may have “graduated” to this level of suffering through the trials and tribulations we have experienced through life while others go from “not too bad” to “holy crap” in one fell swoop.  Now, some I have come across are in the midst of an horrific time (or have been) and they did not respond well.  They are physically torn, emotionally defeated, and in a world of hurt.  My heart is shattered for these folks (some of you included).  I don’t blame you, I don’t look down at you, I weep for you and with you (if you have any tears left).

Now, there is one group that almost entirely gets it.  That group is our most senior of citizens.  I have an aunt…great aunt actually (why aren’t they “grand” instead of “great”?) who is 90 something years old.  She is AWESOME.  She’s a classic great cooking, old school but not that old, been there done that, seen everything, warrior of life.  She has experienced so much loss in life that her face should be shriveled up and swallowed itself by now.  I told her that everyone tells me that they could never go through what we are going through.  She replied quickly and curtly, “Sure they can.  You just do.”  It was a great and intimate moment.  We are separated by 50 years of life but are walking side by side through suffering.  I felt honored for her to look at me as an equal in that regard.  Whenever I preach or speak on what we are going through, almost every time there are more than a few members of the “greatest generation” (I don’t remember voting) who are nodding their head in approval.  THEY get it.

No, it’s not that “you could never.”  What you mean is, “I never want to.”  I will totally give you that.  Clearly, I did not want this, or to be betrayed, or to have been abandoned, or to have my world turned upside down.  It turns out, I wasn’t asked.  I leave you with this…

1.  You are tougher than you could ever imagine.  You have more.

2.  There is the God of all Creation who is not, I repeat not, the author of your pain, yet who IS ready to help you through this.  He is more than worthy of you looking into who He is (not just what those who follow Him are like).  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will surround you with the love and comfort that you need.  Please watch this.

3.  Life is not about being happy.

4.  Life is not about avoiding pain.

5.  Fear is almost entirely a tool of those against you.

6.  Without God you will survive.

7.  With Him you will learn how to live…and love.

8.  Not everything is doom and gloom and the next pain around the corner.  There will be good days.  There will be mountaintops.  I have to remind myself of this.  There will be great accomplishments without great costs.  It won’t always (well, most likely won’t always) be this way.

9.  Trusting that God will meet your needs through the love and comfort of others is essential to getting through these types of times.

10.  Being open, honest, and vulnerable in your needs is a much better way to go than just keeping it in.  Scary?  Yes.  Your style?  Probably not.  Essential?  I think so.

11.  Once you have been through these times that you “could never” go through, you will be most vital in helping someone else get through there’s.  There is no greater honor.

I love you, and will walk by your side.  “You could never?”  No, you can.  “You don’t want to?” You are right about that, neither did I.  But WE will…together.

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