Each of us, at some point in life, comes to a decision making precipice of life and stands there with a choice to make. For me, the choice comes after some very difficult and traumatic events, the loss of my father’s and two friends’ presence and availability to me on earth. So difficult to lose a beloved parent and two beloved friends at the same time. I have always been strong and I realized loudly I cannot control these things. And you find yourself out on a ledge, a deep choice before you. Do you stay bitter and cling to the past with a ferocity few would challenge or really understand? Or do you choose to live life as happy as possible, focusing on the good things and those who remain? Well, would love to tell you that was an easy choice but this time was very difficult because the hurt was so powerful, broke my heart truly. And a broken, feeling heart does not beat clearly right away. It hurts for a while, eyes drip and pour out tears of endless supply. Sometimes the weight is immense. And I all of a sudden today sobered up, realizing I will either be like this forever, a sloppy mess of a person and allow the enemy to win, or I would rise up and stand tall, realizing Who made me and Who never leaves me alone. God loves me. And there was the deciding factor. Looking at defeat or scootching on to victory with a positive outlook and God’s love in my lungs. I choose life. Every single time, I choose life. I am standing here choosing life, being given a new set of wings to try out my newly revived and strengthened faith. I am loved and ready to live again. I have this new wisdom, new chances, new hope in God and here we go.
Since enduring a lot of stuff in the last month or two, the deep decline in my daddy’s health, loss of a two very loved friends, homeschooling, band changes, new cleaning jobs, and other things and regular duties of taking care of our house and kids on top of all that, I have discovered something life changing about myself. I absolutely have to talk problems out, say them out loud to a trusted friend, for them to end up making any semblance of sense or improvement. I have to write or talk and it is annoying and too much for the listener but as it comes out, it formulates into organization. And as quickly as I learned this truth about myself during difficult and personally painful times, I learned something far more valuable and important. Even when all the pieces come together to give me a why and see the full story, there is not one thing I can do to change it. And here is a step further, even when. I do not have the whole picture, it is because I have the wrong perspective. I am looking around at the problem. God has a bird’s eye view, He sees it’s entirety all atonce, knows how it goes. Not only that, He knows the entire story before and after as well. So He sees in past time, present time and future time all at once. And because He also loves us, He wants to and can help us. He only wants for us to stop thinking we know so much and stop being proud long enough to ask him for help. And He also knows what part of it all we should know and be given as we go in order to not feel overwhelmed or many other emotions that might invoke a deleterious response from us. He is our HeVenly Father as well as God. Just let that sink in and soak in it a little bit. Humble prayer is the bridge between Him helping us and us struggling in our crazy. It is a choice every person makes for themselves.
When life gets really rough, it is like trees are falling all around you suddenly and without much warning. They might even fall on a part of you. This is happening more and more, dark things, messed up times. And it is so important to get really good at sharpening your ax. I mean, you have to prepare your tools for the job of forging through and making the problems smaller to dispose of them and use them to benefit you like burning them for heat or to cook with. How do we sharpen our axes? We humbly pray and read our Bible. A lot. When we pray and read our Bibles and even memorize key verses, we are allowing our axes to be sharpened. We are preparing to cut our problems down to size with the proper means. All these problems are spiritual battles, attacks from the enemy to harm us. But God is better and bigger and loves us so He can minimize problems and use them to improve us or become good now or later for us. It is amazing what God can do. We just have to do our part.
When my mind is fluctuating from calm to crazy, as is its custom of late, a much sweeter remembrance, my way of refocusing is to go back to my original home in Buchanan, Michigan. My life was not perfect but it had perfect moments I can focus on and gleen from. I had moments of singing or playing the piano on stage in church as a solo or with my choir friends, led by Judy Earnst, who always got the best out of us and I appreciate to this day for doing so. I remember riding bikes with my best friend Shawn Quick (now Shafer) and meeting her for a slushie at the 7-11 on warm days or by McCoy creek or the park across the street from her house on Moccasin Rd. I remember spending the night at her house and going down to the donut shop in the morning and splitting a long john. I remember running the fields with Sheba, our black lab, or working them to pull the rocks or weeds out as need arose. I remember mowing 14 acres of grass on the riding mower. I remember breathing in the night air while laying on my thinking rock and watching the stars. I remember homemade ice cream Daddy made and how amazing it tasted. I remember softball and my succint pleasure in hitting that ball as hard as I could and surprising everyone with how fast I could run. I remember my grandparents, both sets, and how very thankful I am that I got to know them and be related to such wise, amazing people. I remember walking through the woods in the back yard on the trails and enjoying sitting quietly enough to see deer come close by and rabbits hop about and foxes eye me up. I remember the smell of freshly cut hay and how heavy a hay bale is. I remember how beautiful downtown Buchanan was to me and loved riding by the Jordan River, that muddy murky river always on the move, always interesting to see. I remember swimming at Phil and Dale Weldy’s pool with the church or my friends and swinging on their amazing tree swing, how high that would go! I remember my amazing Aunt Rosie and long to see her and love how encouraging she has always been. There are so many beautiful treasures of memories all snugged in my mind. These are my roots I fall back on, my core, my happy place. Here is where I have needed to be of late, so many ugly things happening in the world around us, so many difficult things happening personally. So I go back. I long to take off and visit my family back home. I want to see them so badly, it has been too long, but I must content myself with fond memories of those simpler times and appreciate such a beautiful collection of happy thoughts to sort from. These moments are gifts. And even if life was rough, as mine often was, there are always those options to choose to focus on and draw from to help you remember you really grew up as God’s child. He never leaves you without some blessings. He never leaves you completely alone. He won’t now.