but is instead the result of loss.
In my case, it was the loss of my health, two careers, my church... the ways I tried to relate to and serve the Lord, my family and others. In other words, life as I had known it.
For you, it might be the loss of your mate or a child or your home or your friends.
Perhaps your loss is the result of something you've chosen that you knew was wrong... but you chose it anyway. We live in a fallen world and we are all - "fallen."
My illness does not define me.
I am not "the suicide disease." I am NOT trigeminal neuralgia.
I have so many interests and people I love... things I enjoy doing and want to do and hope to do again.
I am a child of God, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a writer, an artist, a former musician who still loves music....
Some of the writing I'll eventually share started out as a book I titled, Your Walls are Ever Before Me. I began writing it in the mid 90's and at one point it looked like I had captured the interests of a well known publisher. The chief editor read my proposal (several chapters from the book and a detailed outline for 30 more chapters) at a writer's conference and liked it and said she thought they should publish it. At her request, she took it back to her fellow editors and they kept it for nine months. Eventually it came back with a rejection letter and concerns over marketing and my inability to travel. That was years ago...1998.
A lot has happened since then and while the heart of the book I wrote back then remains relevant, today I am much less inclined to tell a suffering soul...
"God will never give you more than you can bear"
... unless there are tears in my eyes.
I would've really messed it up.
Today, if I could exchange places with any person on the planet, I would NOT do it.
That was NOT my initial response. My husband has often read, Foxes Book of Martyrs, and shared some of the stories with me. I don't think God will ever call me to martyrdom because I would be a total embarrassment to the kingdom of God. When I began to realize my life was changing so drastically, I went down kicking and screaming. I remember crying out to God one morning, "I can't believe You would leave me here in so much pain like this. I love You and I was serving You. " Yes, I would make an embarrassing martyr for sure....
My Utmost for His Highest, a book of short daily devotionals by the late Oswald Chambers frequently puts things into perspective. It is amazing how often the devotional corresponding to the date is exactly what I need.
Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." ... "I have called you friends" (John 15:13, 15).
Chambers expounds on Jesus' words:
"Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him.... It is far easier to die than to lay down (my) life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling (of God).
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pictures and text copyright Janice E. Gray 2013