Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Stay or Go?

Today I was reading on BibleGateway for my devotional and came across these verses:

1 Peter 2:22-25 (Contemporary English Version)

22 Christ did not sin

or ever tell a lie.

23 Although he was abused,

he never tried to get even.

And when he suffered,

he made no threats.

Instead, he had faith in God,

who judges fairly.

24 Christ carried the burden

of our sins.

He was nailed to the cross,

so that we would stop sinning

and start living right.

By his cuts and bruises

you are healed.

25 You had wandered away

like sheep.

Now you have returned

to the one

who is your shepherd

and protector.

It made me stop to think. Sometimes we read verses like this and assume that because Jesus didn’t sin or complain or retaliate when He was abused that He did nothing. The truth of it is that there were many times that He just walked away – like when they tried to stone Him or push Him off the cliff. He allowed them to abuse and murder Him at His death because that was the plan all along and there was value in it. He doesn’t ask us to stay in abusive situations unless He has a plan that will bring about good in our lives and to His glory.

Is God asking you to stay where you are? Or are you choosing to remain in an abusive place out of a misconception that that is how Jesus insists it be done?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There have been some things in my life lately that have left me feeling alone, isolated; but God has brought back into my life an old friend who is able to help me see things more clearly. Then last night a friend caught me on Facebook and both have helped me realize that I truly am not alone, there are others who are going through the same experiences.

What I remembered last night while chatting online with my friend is that without community we truly do stand alone. The Bible encourages us to share one another's burden (Galatians 6:2) and yet our society tells us to keep our burdens to ourselves, to not bother others with our lives or our stories. Last night as my friend and I chatted she kept apologizing for bothering me with her stories, with her pain. I do the same thing, I bury my pain deep inside me and then wonder why I feel isolated from the world and my friends.

If we do not speak up, if we do not talk to others about all the things in our lives, good and bad, then we do not have community and it is our own fault for it. If I share with you only the good I make you a fairweather friend in my head, if I am willing to be vulnerable enough to share with you the negative in my life then I give you the opportunity to help me bear burdens, as the Bible asks us all to. When I keep silent, then I deprive you of that same opportunity.

A true community shares all of life, hiding nothing from itself. When we do not stand up for each other, care for each other and bear the burdens of our neighbours we have a superficial community that will not stand up for long against the trials of the world. It will fall apart and leave us without even the semblance of a safe place.

I encourage you to step outside of your fears, be vulnerable and share some of your fears and burdens with those in your community. If you feel completely isolated, chose one or two safe people to be vulnerable with (call a hotline if you need to!) and reach out to those around you, parents, siblings, coworkers, friends. It will change your life for the better.

I am participating in Blog Carnival. Today's word to write on is: Community. If you want to take part, or to read the amazing posts from fellow bloggers, please go here and immerse yourself in the wonder and the magic of being connected to an amazing community of thoughtful folk here in cyberland.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My siblings were born 6 years and 6 days apart. In fact, my baby brother was due on our big sister's birthday but he chose to wait 6 days and hence the 6 day difference. It tends to make this week a difficult one for me the past few years.

Birthdays are big for me. They are a time to celebrate life and love and family and I can still celebrate that for them, but not with them. Instead their birthdays have become a time to grieve and to remember that time with them is lost for now. It is a choice. I have chosen a time that it is okay for me to miss them terribly, that allows one day to be a painful one of intense memory and missing. To be sure I miss them intensely on other days, days that sneak up on me and hurt just because they are not here to be with, but on their birthdays I give myself permission to think about all the times we had and miss the times we will never have.

I started this when my brother died, his birthday is Nov 12 and I connect his death with the war that we all fight against Satan. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 to "Be self-controlled and alert. (because) Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Satan stalked my brother and won, that is the naked truth of it. I am joyful that just because Satan won the battle does not necessarily mean that my brother lost the war. I look forward to a time when I can see him again. Remembrance Day for me has evolved into a day when we remember those who fought/fight these earthly wars but it also extends a day longer and is a day when I remember my brother, the sacrifices he made along the way and the lesson he left behind to help us make wiser decisions along our way.

One of the reasons I chose to remember my siblings on their birthdays is because I chose to NOT ruin the holidays with grief over missing them and wishing they were with us. My sister died just a couple days before Christmas and I refuse to allow Christmas to be ruined by the grief that comes from remembering the way she died or how much I miss her. My children and her children deserve better.

We need to set aside a time for remembering, lest we forget. We need to remember all of those who have died in the course of life, for whatever reason, to learn from their life and mistakes, to follow our own path without dying in our grief.

I chose the week surrounding Remembrance Day to also remember my sister Angela and my brother Cory because their birthdays straddle it. Cory's birthday is becoming a day to celebrate who he was and what he meant to me, I am sure that with time, so will Angela's.

What day will you choose to make sure your loved ones are not forgotten? A day you give yourself permission to grieve and remember them?