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The tornado touched down on the suburban Pittsburgh neighborhood, the high school and houses were damaged.  “As long as the kids are ok…” one woman said on the news.  Ok, finish that sentence mam.  What if the kids are not ok?  What if everyone did not end up safe?  What then?  Go ahead, I’ll wait.



No ultimatums in your back pocket?

Can’t take your ball and go home?  No way to flip the board game of life over and scatter the pieces?

Ok, obvious illustration over (+125 points if you mention the blog post where I used it before).  However, I feel like we say that inwardly all the time in various forms.

“That’s the last time…No one will ever…I can’t take one more…As long as…” etc.  Yet, I’ve found that, well, first of all very very little is up to us.  Yes, you can and should “take control” of your life to whatever degree possible.  Get rid of the addictions, get into shape, get out of the crappy job, take a risk, follow your dreams, poop your pants” I get it.  However, it’s the hurts from long ago that fuel our inability to accomplish many of those things and then they end up in the pile of hurts of failure that render us hiding in the “safe” zone of life.  We are worth it but at some deep deep level we don’t feel like we are.

With all that being said and perhaps in spite of it there are times when either we are feeling good enough to elect to or perhaps just forced to go beyond where “we are.”  We can say all that we want, put our foot down, cross our arms, stick our nose in the air but change is coming.  We are not going to be left where we are.  We will be stretched.  Physically?  Intellectually?  Spiritually?  I guarantee you emotionally.

My question for you is, where are you being stretched?  Are you loving? Who doesn’t get your love?  Are you forgiving?  At what point do you hold the grudge?  Are you managing a crisis?  What if another came your way?  Have you lost your last?  You haven’t you know.  Have you cried your last tear?  C’mon now, we both know that’s not true.

Truth be told you don’t stretch something to use it less.  I made a huge mistake in my mental preparation for the “next battle” of my life (after Trey would pass).  You see, I thought that it would somehow be more of a clean up, a wound patching, moving on, kind of thing.  The battle to hold the family together was the major one.  Well, it was at the time.  Now though, it has ramped up another notch.  I’m being stretched.

I mentioned in my last post that I know some of the major things that I need to do.  I have about 4 (or more) therapeutic letters to write and have comforted, we are scheduled to have an orientation at the Highmark Caring Place, and there is something in a group (family, church, friends, etc.) celebration/remembrance/story telling in our future (not sure yet).  It’s all part of my/our grief process.  If I/we don’t address our grief, attach comfort to our pain, it will only result in more anger/fear/guilt/condemnation and the negative things that flow from hurts.

Jesus spoke of this, to a degree (I find it applicable) in Mark 2 when He said,

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

We have to be stretched, we have to heal, because the inevitable truth is that there is going to be the need to do just that.  Either we do what it takes to prepare for that or it renders us torn.  It causes us to burst.  However, there is good if not great news to all of this.

Have you experienced an intimacy with the God of all creation that can only come out of a complete (as far as you can at this/or that point anyhow) resigning to His will and not yours?  There is a sweeter level.  Have you ever felt Him comfort you through another and think, “this is safe…pure” there is a greater level.  Sitting in the front pew worshiping God at Trey’s funeral was to this point the closest I have ever felt with God.  I had graduated, I had accomplished my assignment, I had been a good and faithful servant.  Oh, the cost, the stretching to get there is/was/and will be durn near unbearable and the ultimate reward is not here but there (looking upward) but it is beautiful in its moment.

Then again staying in bed has its advantages too.

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