Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Now What Lord? Dealing with Devastating News

I was asked to speak at a friends church last year. The topic was Gods Plan,...How to Deal With Devastating News. I remember it took me awhile to get that speech together. I think people assume that I take bad news with a smile whenever I get it. Ummm, Nope, this is not true. What is true is I always ask myself what this bad news means in regard to God's plan for my life.

It is so hard to be told you have any illness. I know people that cringe at the thought of the flu.  My husband would be one of them. When he finds out he has the flu, he reverts to 2 years old. I just shake my head and take care of the baby. In the real world however a diagnosis can turn your life upside down. I remember when I found out about my Rheumatoid arthritis, I was relieved. I mean I had been suffering and I truly needed to know what it was that was causing it. The Scleroderma diagnosis was harder. The prognosis just wasn't good. So that day was a long one. I remember thinking,"Lord, are you serious? What did I do to deserve this?" I cried for three days. I felt abandoned spiritually I was a good servant. I was faithful. I was a believer. I was always spreading the news of God's goodness. I should never have to deal with something like this. I had a long talk with the Lord and I woke up from the immunity dream that we saved folks tend to have. I realized that the why me, should be why not me.

I was diagnosed with MS soon after and I just rolled with it(literally at times). The truth is when I was alone, I was still confused. I would ask, "Lord why do I have to have so much stuff?" "What am I suppose to do?" I was not angry. I was confused. I mean how much is one person suppose to take? I always hear people say. "Look at Job in the Bible!" I have read that over and over again but I just can not compare myself to Job. Then I started thinking of all the people that I have met and connected with and reconnected with since I started down the road to diagnosis. I thought of all the emails and text messages and cards I get from people saying they can  relate or that I inspired them. I think about how much I have grown since this all started. How in the world can I not feel blessed? I mean yes some of these illnesses are terrifying but I still have LIFE! I still have second chances! I am still gaining and elevating in my spiritual life.I feel like God had to knock me down physically to raise me up spiritually. Just think about that.

When we loose a loved one, there is no comfort for days! I know there have been times when I felt like comfort would never come. The thing is we have no idea what another's purpose is. We do not know when that purpose has been fulfilled. We just know that someone we love is no longer here and it hurts. If you close your eyes and think of the person's life and all the happiness they brought to you, you smile. That smile speaks multitudes! It means that through their life, you were blessed. There is gratefulness in that! I know it hurts, I know you are sad, I know the time was too short, I know the memories were to few. But if you have just one memory, just one thing to smile about, you have to admit they touched your life while they were here. and even though that is what hurts it is also what heals!

We have a choices to make when we are devastated. Will we let this tear us apart? Will I praise God through it even though it hurts? Will I be angry that it happened and bitter and refuse to see a rainbow over the storm? You can decide what you do with the news. I will just say this. If we never suffered, if we were never sick, if we never lost, if we never had a broken heart, what would we be happy about? What would spark appreciation, grow faith, ignite gratefulness? You will take the sun for granted if it NEVER rains.

So I imagine the answer to the question of what now Lord, is very simple. You LIVE, you love, you adapt, you grow, you share, you cry, you keep moving in the direction that God is leading you. There will be more sunny days, more days when you can stand longer, or walk further, or talk louder,or even run. It is not over, it has just changed. Take the news in and deal with it the best way you can. Then remind yourself that even tough it was painful and it may have even been life changing, you are still here. someone else will come along that will need to hear how you got over and how you pulled through.

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