Thursday, 16 May 2013

Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it...

My eldest son in TO sent me this email a week ago saying, "thought you would want a blog seeing as words weren’t coming to you." I hadn't blogged in a couple weeks but then ended up doing a Mother's Day blog before I could post here's his better late than never :)

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

I read this verse after being pointed towards it by the “Our Daily Bread” devotional on Tuesday.  I never follow this devotional, but the man I care for was listening to it on his computer and I heard the title – “We can trust him”.  Immediately I felt the urge to ask him to forward me the link, but I went on with my day and continued downstairs – I had just gotten home from work, and it had been a tough day.  All the way down the stairs though I continued to be prompted, so I bent the knee and climbed back up the stairs and had Chris send me the link (Chris has cerebral palsy and I live with him and take care of him).  

The first thing I do when approaching a devotional or any scripture based teaching is read the scripture first, on Tuesday Matthew 10:32-38 were the verses in cue.
I started to weep as soon as I got to verse 38: 
“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Life in Toronto has not come without significant changes.  This past year has been built on a revelation of God’s will which took place in June of 2012.  He revealed that he no longer wanted to use me to build houses as much as he wanted to prepare to use me to heal hearts.  Gone were the days of swinging hammers and interpreting plans and in were the days of slinging ink and reading textbooks.  I was back in school, in a new city, living on my own doing respite care, walking to school and cooking my own meals.

The school year flew by, much faster than the daily grind of framing houses (although there were many days I wished I was back home using the other side of my brain).  I have survived almost a year of live-in respite care, and I say survive because life has not been easy here, but God is good and places people in our lives as opportunities to love un-conditionally and demonstrate drops of grace to point to the outpouring that has washed us.  I surprised myself with my grades in first semester, and second semester saw a further increase in my GPA.  I even landed a summer job without a hitch.

Now it’s summer though, and I can feel the valley that has haunted me time and time again begin to loom.

For as long as I have remembered I never liked being alone.  When I was quite young I would sneak into my sister’s room and spend the night with her, so I didn’t have to sleep alone.  At movie theatres and restaurants I immediately opt for the seats between everyone, so I don’t have to be on the outside.  I like the front seat when driving with groups of three people and the thought of living completely alone terrifies me (although I do like my own room).  This summer is the first time I have lived away from my family, and although we haven’t had the greatest of relationships in past years, the last 3 years have been amazing and I miss each one of them dearly.  Life and comfort and not-being-alone is back in Belleville for me this summer: my family, my church, and my friends - everything is there except for me, and this feeling of being alone has been growing and growing since school ended. 

As my last closest friend moved out this past weekend, the reality of my situation hit my heart.  I felt lost, I felt left out, I felt rejected, and all of this was tied neatly in a bow with the words alone scrawled on it. 

And this isn’t new for me, I faced all of this three years earlier going into my second year at Redeemer University College, and I made the decision to drop out and run back to Belleville, to the familiarity.  I’m not at all saying that was a mistake on my part.  In the past three years I have learned so much about myself, grown so much closer with my family, matured deeply in my faith and fallen in love with my saviour – life’s a process.

Tuesday was hard though.  Physically I was exhausted from no sleep due to all the pollen floating around jumpstarting my seasonal allergies; emotionally I was worn down with the pain experienced earlier in the month praying for a yes but receiving a wait (why can’t I see the glory in an answered prayer regardless?).  

These feelings of being alone prompted doubts to circle my thoughts like sharks, tearing relentlessly at anything that was God-breathed.

I began to question why I was here in Toronto, Belleville was looking like a mirage in the desert and if I could just find some comfort on this earth to guide my steps with a light I can see so I know I'm not lost.

Tuesday night God came through in his Word – story of my life in TO folks.

“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

In those desperate moments when the sharks were about to devour His will, He came down and calmed the storm with a sprinkling of grace turned to a flood of tears blotting the red letters bound.

He wrapped His arms around me and said: “I’m bringing you through this place which has desperately held you at bay to stunt you from ever reaching the potential I created you for.  Healing happens when I walk with you through the valley and carry you to a beautiful mountain top to undo the continuous stumbling that has taken place in the past.”  

It’s when we are faced with similar beginnings yet graceful outcomes when we realize that we serve a Saviour who is all about beating death and seeing daylight instead of bedrock after three days.

The doubts are flushed and my head clears and the sun rises and I realize that I’m lost in the love which clung to a cross so I could cling with assurance.

I’m lost in a mystery which can only be explained by a relentless pursuit of our hearts by their Creator.  I’ve chosen to give up the comfort and guarantee of family, church, friends, and work in Belleville for the purposes of the Kingdom.  

I’ve lost my life here in Toronto, and traded it for steadfast love.

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