This is my monthly submission for the weekly paper in town:
You Are Never Alone
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Sometimes I just need to be reminded that it’s just not all up to me. Do you ever need that gentle reminder? You know, you’re going through life, day to day, just trying to get through the day. I tend to think that I can tackle everything on my own. That is definitely not the case.
This past week my life has been a roller coaster ride. I have lifted my arms up and screamed with joy as I hit the high peaks and have felt the lowest lows, which seem like hitting rock bottom. I think the roller coaster feeling was more intense this past week for me because of the loss of a loved one. We have all faced death and loss at different times in our lives, but when the grief hits us, it just takes over. A good friend of mine put it this way, “Grief amplifies everything. Good feels great and hard feels horrid.” The highs seem so much higher and the lows feel absolutely terrible.
Grief seems to knock us off our foundation. It swoops in, whenever it feels like it, like an unwanted houseguest. It pays no mind to you, or your day, or your schedule. It comes in and just takes over. I think grief reminds us of our humanity. As we think about the loss of a loved one, or the loss in a broken relationship, we realize how truly humble we are. There are things in this world, in this life that we just cannot handle on our own. When that is the case we turn to someone, something bigger and stronger than we are.
We turn and lean on the strength and hope found in the Lord. Only God truly knows what is in our hearts and the struggles and hardships we face. God is acting in our lives and shines through us when we are at our lowest low. The ability we have to get out of bed on those rough days is given to us by God, God wakes us, lifts us up, and gives us the strength to make it through the day.
Yet sometimes when we are so wrapped up in grief and loss it is hard to see that foundation. It is those times that we give thanks for the sister and brothers in Christ who surround us. When we are too weak to get up, they lift us. When we need a shoulder to cry on, they are there. And when things can’t seem to get any worse, when we begin to wonder about God or question our faith, those around us hold the faith for us. God surrounds us in the presence of friends, family, neighbors and strangers. When we feel weak and even question our faith, because we cannot see the bigger picture, these people believe for us.
No matter how alone you feel, God continues to walk with you and gently carries your heart in his hands. Know that whatever life changes you face, God is with you.
This afternoon I rode on paved and unpaved trails around Bloomington for over an hour & a half. The weather was beautiful and the leaves were falling...at some points I could only hear the wind whipping by my ears and the leaves crunching under the tires. It was a great ride.
I think my face is windburnt.