While I was cleaning a customer’s house yesterday I took a break for lunch to go to my parents. I went back to finish cleaning that house, and I learned some information I didn’t know beforehand that has me praying for a family I’ve prayed for many times before. After I finished cleaning that house I went to The Well for a 16 ounce mocha as I do just about every day.
Then it was time to pick up my daughter who was scheduled for allergy shots. Somehow on the way home from allergy shots we beat the rush hour traffic we normally run into, but I also drove with a lead foot. What was surprising is that Carey got home minutes after we did, and when she gets home before 6:30 it always makes me happy. I was doing whatever on the computer I’m typing this post, and she got ready to make dinner. We had fondue with a delicious blue cheese dip to go with our carrots, bread, green apples, strawberries and celery. The merlot was a nice pairing, believe it or not, with our dinner choice. Growing up Church of Christ wine was not a part of meal time, so nonetheless now we might have a chardonnay with filet mignon even though the wine snobs say no. I’ve read from some food reviewers that is just fine, but the fundamentals of wine drinking is that a chardonnay (white) goes with fettucine or fish, and merlot (red) goes with steak or tomato sauce. I say whatever. If you had been over last night you would have seen Carey with two pieces of ice in her merlot, and that is a definite no no. Again I say whatever. To each his or her own.
The rest of the evening before I retired I spent right here on this computer doing “work” stuff because it’s hard as a business owner who doesn’t have an office to separate business from pleasure. Well, I have an office, but it’s right here in this house. It doesn’t bode well for the constant barrage of existential questions that haunt my professional and private life because there isn’t any boundary to separate the two. I suppose I could close the “office” door, but the office belongs to two beautiful girls who live here too. It’s just not practical. And the flow of air in our 1950’s ranch house moves better from one end of the house to the other when all doors are open.
After reading about pitching reality tv I retired about midnight, and I actually tossed and turned for some time. This is unusual because after a week of working hard, the effects of my Trileptal and the the hum of my CPAP I usually fall right to sleep. It’s not unusual given that I’ve experienced it before as my thoughts can overcome the Trileptal, which is supposed to keep my thoughts from racing, but it does happen.
So there I am tossing and turning till I go into a REM sleep cycle, and I wake up at 7am with the same thoughts coursing through my mind. Coach Meyer always said to journal about what you learned, not what you did, but as an essay writer I have found it helpful to move from the mundane into the quandaries life presents. Story is imporant, and memoir writing is not always from point A to point B, but sometimes point A to point B is a good way to see a logical pattern to the confusion that life offers. Normally my essays are between 500 and 1,000 words, but I see this one going much longer. Bear with me. I’m actually asking for your replies because the cross I bare here at Beyond Sad is a difficult road that is making me into a better person, but these thoughts must get outside me before I see their real value. The Bible is all about human being’s relationship with the Father as they traverse the obstacles of life. Obviously we trace this struggle all the way back to the choices Adam and Eve made in the Garden, but the New Testament also says God did not give us a spirit of timidty and fear, but of power, love and self-control. There’s nothing quite as sad as a human being who chooses to make themselves a victim. I refuse to give up, even in the face of clinical depression, because my God is bigger than that. Community is vital in our search for answers, and when I see my friends Suzanne and Tammy like my essays on Facebook it sends a jolt of encouragement that I hope inspires them as they read these words. None of us is an island, and we only get out of life what we put into it. We can mire in self-pity because we have free-will, but that is a pathetic way to live, and I suspect people who do that live shorter lives. I’m all about living as long as I can. I’m not afraid of dying, and if it came down to it I’d lay down my life for Jesus and any of my family. Death is not the end, and my theology affirms the fact that it’s really the beginning. That’s a whole series of posts in and of itself. Moving on.
So there I am moving my thoughts and problems through my thinking processes. Part of the problem was that I got on Facebook. I started looking at the best part of other’s lives, and wondering why I am where I am. You’ve been there and done that. You might have come across this essay while doing that. Let me reach out and tell you right now that you are complete in God’s love for you. You do not have to compare yourself to anyone. Our Father doesn’t because if you were the only human being on the planet He’s still send His only Son to die, so that you’d have the gift of the Holy Spirit. If that doesn’t amaze you as a believer than you just need to reject Christianity. We are constantly trying to jump through hoops to make ourselves and others happy, and it never works. We put the cart before the horse everyday, and we have to stop because Jesus Christ grieves when we do it. Let’s not grieve our LORD and Savior who gave everything for us to have everything.
There’s not a one of us who is sinless or without problems to overcome. We have to face them head on, tell a few people about those sins and problems, and be serious about changing. There’s no way in and of ourselves that we can change, but we aren’t puppets on a string either. It takes to tango, and it takes two to heal. Let’s get to work. We have a Savior who is cheering for us 24/7, and I think that’s what the last 24 hours have been about for me.
I deeply hurt because of the rejection of the church, but I deeply rejoice because of the glory of God I see in the church. I think Joseph, David, Jesus and Paul can identify with me. I think you can probably identify as well. Our greatest curses can be our greatest blessings, and I still wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy, but in the same breath I praise God for the work He is doing in my depression. It’s brought me a laser focus to why I’ve had to go through what I have in my life.
Again, there is not a one of us who doesn’t suffer. Wesley put it well in The Princess Bride.
Life is pain your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
God has not called me to be anyone but me. God has not called you to be anybody else but you. We may not have answers to the sin, sickness or problems we face, but He sustains us through them all. I pray that He remove the depression from my life. He hasn’t yet, but I know He can. I’ve seen Him remove cancer from beautiful people who suffered from the pain it caused. He still heals, and He still woos us into His presence with a love we cannot give apart from Him. He longs to be near us. He wants every man, woman and child to choose Him. He does not force this on anyone. Satan is doing a number on so many, and some people use the name of God to justify bad, bad choices. God does not make mistakes. God does not sin. He does not take children with cancer from their parents. He did not cause my dear friend Ty to lose his only son. My heart bleeds in pain for the pain my brothers and sisters suffer through.
I was at a funeral home years ago with a mother and father who lost their daughter to a heart defect. As I stood with the mother another lady came up and said, “I guess God needed another little angel.” God did not need another little angel. That mom needed her daughter. Why did God let that little girl die? I don’t know. I do know that little girl will be reunited with her family, and the reunion will be filled with tears that won’t be sad. This blog is called Beyond Sad, but it’s about hope. I learned in college that hope is a confident expectation. It’s not wishy washy feeling that says, “I hope I get an A on this test.” If you don’t study for that test likely you are not going to get an A on it. Life is what you make it. There are things out of my control, but when I refuse to let the things out of my control to control me I’ve crossed a threshold to what it means to hope.
Never stop hoping. You might experience your own sad times, and God forbid you go through what some of us have to go through with depression, but in case you do know there is never a point of no return. When someone chooses to take their own life know too that there is an evil at work that that person is not themselves. Suicide has personally affected my family, and I condemn those who say suicide is the unforgivable sin. If God has to take a break on Judgement Day I will not volunteer to get up on the throne.
We can talk till we are blue in the face about Heaven, whether or not there is a Hell, and if there is who wil go there, but those answers belong to the One who knitted each one of us together in our mother’s wombs.
No one stands to fall before me. They stand to fall before the Creator who again loves us all unconditionally. He will judge those who reject Him as Father, His Son as our Savior and the Holy Spirit. How will He judge those who reject Him? Some think He’ll send those people to be tortured in the Lake of Fire called Hell to be tortured eternally. That is not my theology. I hold a very different interpretation of John 3:16. Perish to me means that those who reject Him will cease to exist. They will in fact be destroyed. You might disagree with me, but that doesn’t mean we cannot still be brothers and sisters. Diversity does not demand division. Christians for centuries have agreed to disagree. There’s nothing new about that. The Crusades were such a travesty because Christians murdered anyone who wasn’t a Christian. The Holocaust was evil because Hitler thought he had to “purify” the Arian race. Man has always used religion to justify their sinful behavior, and that continues. When we glory in our shame we do what billions have done before. It’s only when we as a nation humble ourselves before our Father that He will lift us up. If we exalt our “rights” then life will only get heavier. His yoke is easy and His burden islight. There is neither Jew, gentile, male or female in Christ.
I pray that the entire world come to know our LORD and Savior.
Thank you for reading my friends.