Saturday, September 12, 2015

Struggles

There are times I really struggle with how to deal with people. For many years I was hesitant to do anything that might make someone dislike me. Then I became a born-again Christian and the Lord began to work on this area of my life. I always thought that this was one of the reasons why God brought Mac and I together—for Mac was always secure in his dealings with other people. He was confident in doing what was right, and he never worried if others approved of him or not. Mac was a tremendous example to me. When he was alive, I could always count on him to give me good advice; but now I feel like I’m floundering when faced with these situations.

After 40 years with Mac, and almost 10 months without Mac, I truly miss his instant help. I miss his hug. I miss his gentle guidance, and his encouragement. Now I wind up twisting in the wind alone. I feel as though I’ve stepped backwards many years to the old Kim. I find myself afraid to step out and say to someone that their words and/or actions are wrong, for fear of destroying a friendship. Friendships seem so fragile to me. Or maybe I’m so fragile. Perhaps both? I sometimes find myself joining in and saying and/or doing things I know are wrong. Joining in makes me part of something; but is it something good? No, it’s not honoring to God in any way, and so I wind up disliking myself as well.

The result is that I feel this desire to withdraw from life, and activities, and people—at least that way I won’t be hurt, and I won’t dishonor God with my words, thoughts and deeds. 

Is this the way God wants me to live? Like a lonely hermit? No, I don’t believe it is. Yet, He left me alone to deal with the parts of life that have always been a struggle for me. I sometimes shout out WHY?!? I tell God how unfair it all is. I tell Him I’m angry and hurt and struggling. I ask why He couldn’t have healed Mac, so that we could have enjoyed many more years together here on earth. His answer is always the same …

“And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”—2 Corinthians 12:9 

I’m grateful for the way God has shown me how to face issues, and I know I can turn to the Lord for help (and I do), but I still struggle. Alone. Yet, the truth is that God is always there, always has a reason, always has a hug, always has encouragement … I just need to reach out to Him.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why I can rejoice!

As I awoke this morning, my heart turned back to 9/11/01, and the fear, terror, and heartbreak of that day. I remembered how afraid I was. Mac was getting ready for work, and I was waiting for the coffeepot to finish brewing. I turned the radio on just in time to hear that there was breaking news from NY, and a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I went and flipped the TV on and was stunned at what I saw. I walked to the back of the house and told my husband what had happened.

I was watching the live footage when the second plane hit. I screamed, and my poor husband flew to the living room. We stood there in silence, knowing in our hearts that this country was under attack and wondered what was next, and were we in danger. We held each other and cried. We prayed for our country, and for those families who had just lost loved ones. As hubby went to finish dressing, I went to the closet, got our US flag out and put it up. I cried as I did it, and I was afraid.

When the Pentagon was hit, I couldn't stand up any longer. My knees were rubber and I was shaking. By the time the plane went down in Pennsylvania, I was almost frantic. I shook all day.

Early in the day I noticed that even though the freeway was just a few minutes from us, there was no sound of cars. It was like someone had closed it. At that time, we lived just 10 miles from Travis AFB, and suddenly some of their planes took a flight path over our house and the windows rattled and the floor shook. Then it was dead silent. Nothing was flying out of our local airport either (and that was before the government shut down all planes), and so it was just eerily silent all around me that day.

I called my husband at work twice that day. I needed to hear his voice. I was very glad when he arrived home. I needed to see him alive and hold him.

I remember President Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis speech and watching my mother cry. I didn't understand what was going on, but I knew it was bad. I do remember vividly where I was when President Kennedy was shot, and I can still see the images of his shooting, the funeral, etc in my mind. I remember so many other tragedies this country has faced, but nothing has struck me like this did. I knew that this country—and the world—would never again be as safe as I thought it was, nor would it ever be the same again.

So this morning as I reflected back, I wondered how I would face this type of day without Mac to hold me and support me, and tell me it would be okay. I began to cry and feel afraid. I grabbed a cup of coffee, some tissues and sat down for my morning devotions. That’s when I read:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Suddenly my heart felt light again. I was reminded that God would always be there to hold me, to support me, and to tell me it would be okay; for He is in control, my future is in His hands, and while I will suffer (and may even be afraid) while here on earth, eternity awaits. Eternity with Mac, and even better—eternity with my Lord and Savior.

I’m so thankful I belong to the God of peace who will always be with me!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”—Philippians 4:4-9