Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do I live like I'm dead?

Death seems to haunt me for the last 3 years. I've had dear friends and a sister-in-law lose their sweet babies, I've lost relatives and friends who's eternity I'm unsure of...I've had to mourn the death of many dreams and wishes over the last 3 years too...not as "big" as losing a person, but letting go of a dream feels like part of yourself has died. Grieving seems to be a never-ending process, and most of the world moves on as if grief did not exist in the first place.

I'm supposed to be dead. I tried to commit suicide twice in my teenage years, and obviously was not successful either time. (Praise God!) These were desperate acts by a desperate and depressed girl. The second time I was already "saved by grace" and yet felt like I lived in hell...thus the attempt to die. And I was SO mad at God..for not letting me die. So, in my oh so rational state of mind, I made a deal with God (that many of you may have made under other circumstances): Since He wouldn't let me die, He had to do something with my life. I didn't want to live anymore, and so my life was His from now on.

So, I'm supposed to be dead, and God's supposed to be living through me. If you are a follower of Christ, this is supposed to be a deal you made with God too. Remember Galatians 2:20?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

That means that I no longer have any rights to my life. Where I live, what I do, who I love and accept...all those rights and more belong to Christ....and not to me.

But when you look at my life, does my life really reflect that I'm dead? There are areas of my life in which "my will be done" or all emotional stability is out the door! I have such a conditional relationship with God sometimes, but it used to be much worse..I used to say, "I trust you God" and in the very quiet back of my mind I'd finish that with "...but if You ever ____________ then I'd ____________"

for example..."...if You let my children die, then I'd just die too!"

And two years ago, God called me out on this. I separated from Daniel for a time when he admitted (AGAIN) that he still struggled with porn and lust. God showed me through loving confrontation that I needed healthy boundaries, so I left Daniel for awhile, for him to decide whether or not he'd really beat this sin once and for all. When I left, I knew that there was the possibility that Daniel may choose to just keep on living the way he had been. That I would not have the marriage I'd dreamed of and thought God had given and meant for me.

I felt betrayed by Daniel and my God. "I DID MY PART!" I cried. "I trusted You, and look what it got me, a husband who chooses lust over his wife and son!" "I still trust You, but if Daniel leaves me, then I WILL JUST DIE!"

And quietly, God said, "Really, you'll die?"

After awhile I had to have a comeback for this God who wouldn't let me wail and die. "Ok," I said,"maybe I won't die...but I'll just cry and cry and lay on the floor for weeks on end."

And God said, "Ok...And then what?"

"Well, I'll cry some more ...and be pathetic and my parents will have to help take care of Chaz while I barely change out of my pajamas."

"Ok, and then what?"

"What do You mean, 'then what'?!? Then I'll...well, I'll....I'll have to...I'll...."


"Then... I guess day, I'll get up off the floor, ...and I'll find a ministry job...because I do still love ministry...and You, I guess. And I'll raise Chaz -to be a person of integrity...and I'll pray for Daniel to be set free...and I...I guess life will go on."

And God said, "You're already dead, remember? That's the only way you're going to get through this ordeal intact. There's nothing more this world can do to you. Let Me live through you. You love Me, and I promised I'd work all things for your good."

Now, praise God, my condition didn't happen...but I know people who's worst fears have come true...we've recently talked about this in our Beth Moore Bible study, Esther...and I think they would agree that only through the grace of God and all that He gives when you die and let Him live in you...all those things He gives you; peace, joy, strength, wisdom, etc. It's all those things that help us live through this life...and to really live...not just exist.

Only by dying can we truly live.


Party of Five said...

Funny, I've had to address this recently, too. As my family drove off for a camping trip I said, "Oh.My.Gawd...there goes my WHOLE LIFE. I will just die if anything happens to them." I was reminded quickly that they are not supposed to be my whole life and while it would be tragic and awful and I would be sad for SO LONG, my life here would still have meaning because of Christ and He is supposed to be my whole world. What a hard lesson for a mom to learn. I'm just glad neither of us learned it the hard way!

Sarah said...

i like you a whole lot. this post made me cry...dont know why necessarily. i think because i lived the first 23 years of my life like i was dead...and i am overwhelmed by what God replaced the life that i gave up with......a-mazing! I am eternally grateful for you and Daniel teaching us that. (Well really God taught just relayed the message) But thanks for the reminder and thanks for challenging me to keep living...or dieing...or vice versa...or whatever it is God wants me to do. ha!

karenstacy said...

Good thoughts here so much to process. As you well know I too want to die and God just leaves me alive.