Monday, August 18, 2014

Birthdays, Justice, and How to LIVE

I turned 35 last week. And that's the first time I've seen that in print.  Age is strange. It's a label and an expectation. 35 years. Three and a half decades...I've learned some things. I've had some successes, some failures. I've grown. Birthdays have a way of making us think, looking back and planning ahead.

 Just this week I've learned a few amazing things, things I had forgotten or maybe I didn't really know.

Last weekend was a teary one for me. I spent time praying and crying for all the hurt that I've seen cross the screen over the last few weeks. Rockets and bombs still falling, the utter devastation and practical genocide of Iraqi Christians, the Revelations-type violence being perpetrated against people for their belief in Jesus . It's horrifying.

 I also cried for a friend, a sweet lovely woman who is an amazing example of steadfastness, a woman I met through a friend of a friend on Facebook. A women who, through social media, I've studied God's word with, learned with. A woman who was taken off of life support last Saturday evening and without a miracle the doctors expected her to die. I sat and I waited for news. I cried for her family, 2 young teens and her husband, the legacy she was leaving...Unwavering Faith. I cry and I wonder so often 'why do I get a birthday, a house where I tuck in my kids, to be here'. We were sharing the news online and then a mutual friend stopped us. She stopped the laments and the tears. She reminded us just what our lovely girl would have been doing right now, what our Father wants us doing right now. Links of this sweet women's writing were posted. Reminders of her Love for her God, of her unshakable belief popped up all over Facebook. We agreed to smile and pray and PRAISE our God for ALL of His ways.

It was a kind of revolution. The mood online and in real life had changed. The sharing and the outlooks became very different.

All because we stopped complaining and started praising.

And then the news that came was the she was breathing on her own. For on hour, then for two, then the whole night. We were ready to say goodbye and here she was (of course she was) breathing without the help of a vent. We continued to praise and sing and encourage in our hearts.

By Monday morning, she was still breathing. She had even been awake a few times.

And also on Monday morning, some sisters in this little Facebook group kept the trend going. We posted praise. We remembered our brothers and sisters suffering and dying for our God. And we didn't lament, but we encouraged. We remembered the way to Live. We again understood that the way to honor these people...persecuted believers and a sister so faithful dying of cancer, people who are using their last breaths to honor their God....was to honor the name of our God.

In all things and at all times we can LIVE what others are dying for.


Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.

Yes...The tears may come. We may mourn the losses but really we will count it all as JOY. If our God is for us then we can be against us?! Can anything separate us from His love??

Nothing can.

So as absolutely nauseating as it is to see those images and here the stories, we can still live. And living is the very best way to fight evil. Live well. Live Justice. Right where you are, in your home, at work. Show mercy in honor of those who've been shown none. Smile. Forgive. Walk with your God. Live for Him. Love for Him. Show the evil that it doesn't scare us. And we know how the story ends. 

Love wins.

So with birthdays and new seasons, and while tucking in my kids instead of worry or grief that I still get to, I'm praising. Praising for the chance to and asking that my time, my chances not be wasted.

And as I'm writing, my sweet friend is home with hospice and her family. I'm smiling as I think of her having a chance to see what we all said of her, what she inspired even on her hospital bed.

She inspired LIFE.

{Update: Just after I posted this, I got news of this sweet woman's death. She died at home with her family there. So still praising and praying for peace for her family, comfort for her husband and that her children will never forget their mother's unshakable faith}.

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