Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reflecting on "Then & Now"

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

Have you ever noticed the "Then & Now" option on the Time Hop app? Its really neat, it will show you a photo from your facebook timeline from the past and then give you the option to post a new one so you can see them side by side, or , "Then & Now". 
There are obvious problems for me with that when a photo of Jackson pop's up. I don't have a "Now" to post of Jackson, all we will ever have is "then" as far as photo's. That is the strangest most foreign feeling, even 5 years after he went to Heaven.  knew I was supposed to write a "Then & Now" post, but I was not sure what way it would    go, as I type I'm starting to SEE it unfold. That's usually how this writing thing works for me, I try hard to be a vessel, but its not alwayseasy, and I'm not always obedient. Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE opening timehop and seeing my boy. It makes my day to see him in living color, the heartbreak comes when the app asks me if I want to post a "Now" photo. I would love nothing more in this world, but its not happening. There are times that I have to just wallow in it for a while, the fact that I can't post those type of things for Jackson. Usually though, the Lord sustains me when I allow Him to. He always reminds me that Jackson's "now" is far greater than any earthy photo or moment I could ever imagine, I need to be focusing on my "Now", I am the one who has not made it to eternity yet. 
What does my present photo look like, spiritually I mean. Am I doing all I can to help others and be the light I am called to be? Am I pointing people to the cross? 

 My "Then"

I think what I want to remind myself and anyone else who  may need it is this, everything is a choice on Earth even if you don't realize it, it IS a choice. When I get down and I just know I can't get up, I look at my family and friends and I can't help but to give thanks for what I do have "Now". I can not say how important it is that when you are in the pit of grief that you remain intentional on who surrounds you. It is imperative that you allow God's people to share your burden. I am thankful everyday, even in my grief, for my God loving family and friends. 
I will miss Jackson until my very last breath, and after that, guess what? I will SEE him again. Am I happy and have this outlook all the time, ummm, no. In fact I am crying as I type these words, I held it together today but it was a hard day, and we all have those. There are times that I scream and stomp and throw a fit, life is just so stinking hard. I have to make a choice to focus on right now and let the petty stuff go.  
                                                                                                                            My "Now"
So,  as look at myself on timehop, I realize that there is no physical photo in existence that could show the change in me over my grief process, no "then & now" can show what Jesus did in me. I went to hell and back in 5 years and no physical feature can show that, until my last breath I will continue praying that the Lord will continue to show me how to focus on Eternity and my present time. I need people to SEE that while I was not able to move in my grief, God worked. He is always at work. When Jackson left this world God moved people into my life that would mold my family and become part of my family. They were the hands and feet and still are! I am blessed beyond measure for the famliy God gave me, blood or not, they are beyond any family I could ask for. 
My then and now is completely different, because I allowed Him, He showed my family grace beyond measure. While the Jackson size hole in my heart will be there all of my earthly days,the Lord never left my family without hope! I want to remind myself and anyone else reading to try to intentionally love on someone, you never know the pain they may be carrying. Looks are deceiving and its so important to always remember to love your neighbor, the burden they carry may just be dragging them down to a place they feel they can't escape. Today may be the "Now" that they need you to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Reach out. Be intentional. I am challenging myself to continue to be intentional in my effort to love in my sorrow. THIS IS NOT HOW IT ENDS. 
Lord hold on to us, keep reminding us that this pain is just a season and it will end. Heal our busted hearts and remind us to pray for the hurting. Show us your intentions for us are always good even in the hurt. Lord and help us see that our "Then & Now" will be such a change that we won't even recognize ourselves when we reach glory! 

"Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)"

Winter has come back again
Feels like the season won't end
My faith is tired tonight,
And I won't try to pretend,
I've got it all figured out,
That I don't have any doubts,
I've got a busted heart
I need You now
Yeah I need You now

Hold on to me
Hold on to me
Don't let me lose my way
Hold on to me

I am the wandering son
Enough is never enough
I keep chasing the wind
Instead of chasing Your love
I'm screaming out Your name,
Don't let me fall on my face
I've got a busted heart
I'm in need of a change
Yeah, I'm desperate for grace

Hold on to me (Hold on to me)
Hold on to me
Don't let me lose my way (Don't let me lose my way)
Hold on to me

Broke Your heart a thousand times
But You've never left my side
You have always been here
For me

You never let me go
You never let me go
Don't ever let me go

Hold on to me (Hold on to me)
Hold on to me
Don't let me lose my way (Don't let me lose my way)
Hold on to me

Winter will come to an end
Soon the season will end
I surrender tonight
You meet me right where I am