Monday, April 4, 2011

reflections on the week

One week ago last night, our friend went to be with Jesus. The past seven days have ranked among the most difficult, challenging, emotional and amazing days of my life.

I've told Leia several times already that this event has and is making adults out of teenagers, or at least giving teenagers a maturity that ranks with adults. I know I'm never going to be the same again, and I know of many others who feel the same way.

Our friend left an amazing testimony and even through this tragedy, his family is continuing to live out that testimony. Their faith is very humbling and encouraging. In the days, weeks and months ahead as we begin to move on and look to see how this fits into God's big picture, I know that I want my testimony to be like his. I want to live so that everyone around me can see Christ in my life, and with God's help, I can. Our friend really and truly lived. He loved and cared for people, made even the youngest ones feel special. He was everyone's big brother. In fact, he was one of the guys who taught me how to handle a lightsaber when I was about six or seven. *chuckle* In return, I taught him how to finger-knit. On one finger. By the next week, he had figured out how to knit on five fingers all at the same time. *grin* That's just who he was. He was funny, friendly, and made others feel important.

His college friends said that he had a relationship with Jesus that was different from their own. He lived an open, bold, strong, unashamed Christian life that everyone could see. People knew he had something different because he lived the Gospel and shared it freely.

Our friend lived. I thought I was living before, but now I see that I wasn't. This week, I'm purging. I waste my time doing so many little, petty things and not focusing on *life*. My siblings should be more important than my email or my blog or even school or reading. What if God called one of them home next? I know that I would have regrets about not spending enough time with them, saying "no" when I *easily* could've said "yes".

In the past few months or so, I began to be overwhelmed with school, relationships and what I was supposed to "do" with my life. One by one, these issues were resolved as I learned to rely on God for what I needed and not myself. Things fell into perspective, I stopped worrying. God was preparing me for something bigger, harder, more overwhelming. This week, we were reminded at how fragile life is, and that we should make every minute worth it.

No, I'm not turning into a death-fearing pessimist - on the contrary! In Christ, I have no fear of death and I should be rejoicing all day long because of the hope that I have. And yes, my sense of humor is still here. *wink* But this week has been hard. It's also been a learning process. God is showing me what's really important, and I'm readjusting accordingly. I'll still be blogging, emailing, etc., but now I know that those things shouldn't be as important to me as they used to be. Like I said, this accident has done more for my spiritual and mental maturity than I even know right now. One of the pastors at the memorial service said that we'll be feeling the "ripple effects" of this for years to come.

*sigh* We will love our friend forever and miss him greatly, but we know his is in a better place with no more loneliness, worry or fear. And, the best part is that we will see him again! *amen!*

7 comments:

  1. Dear girl, it pains me to see all you are going through but my heart is so happy to hear that you (and Leia) are growing so much through this. The death of people close to us makes so many things real. When everything is smooth sailing sometimes we loose feeling. In 2009 my life was at it's peak. My relationship with Jesus was better than it had ever been previously and then from December 31st it fell apart bit by bit. In 2010 I cried myself to sleep so many times. The death of Mom's friend, loosing Gussie, and our whole family rejecting us in a time when we really could have used them. But when we are naked of everything there is nothing preventing us from seeing the face of Jesus. Heaven is opened to us. And in July I saw God working in the most extraordinary ways. I had been saved since I was eight but never before have I had such intimacy with Christ. It was a beautiful time that I will cherish in my memory for a long time to come.

    The valleys always come after the mountain tops, but when you are in the valley where else is there for you to go but up?

    I'm so proud of you and Leia for claiming the victory over the pain and suffering and seeing Jesus' working hands instead.

    I love you! I want so much to just see you and give you a great big hug and tell you all this in person! But, for now, know that I'm thinking of you and tell Leia the same.

    Love you,
    Näna

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  2. I'm so sorry this happened to you!! I will be praying, and I'm glad that you will get to see him again in Heaven. I really liked this post, it made me think. Hope your week goes better :))
    -Jocee <3

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  3. I'm so sorry about your friend. He sounds as though he were very dear to you.

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  4. Oh that is so sad--yet joyous at the same time. Sad that his life ended so soon. Joyous that his life was well lived.
    This makes me think of the song 'Blessings' by Laura Story.

    Love in Christ,
    Emily Grace

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  5. Oh, dear Jo...Clouds and silver linings...suffering and blessing...the Lord has a way for us to grow spiritually in every event that comes across our paths. I'm so glad to hear that you and Leia are growing so much because of this.

    I'll keep praying for all of you!!!!

    Blessings,
    Trini

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  6. I'm so sorry, Jo. It's hard, but God is using it in an amazing way, I know! {hugs!}

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  7. {Nana} - I love you too!!!! I was encouraged in *my* walk by watching the way you and your family pulled through all the events of last summer - {{{big hugs coming your way}}} - and your comments and emails in the past few days have been another amazing encouragement. Love you!!!!

    Thanks everyone else for the encouraging words and prayers you've shared with me this week - God is using you.

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