I keep having this thought that seems like its a nudge from God to write. And I keep telling God I have nothing to write. As you know its been a hard year, and 2017 does not mark the end of the year for me. March 17 will be one year since my brother took his life.
The new year verse that popped up on my Bible app was Isaiah 43:19,
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
The moment I read this verse I sent it to my immediate family, hoping to show that mom is not in the dry wasteland, and God is doing a new thing, and blessings are coming in ways we don't comprehend...
But I can't fool anyone, especially my husband and kids. So I followed up with - I know I fail at this. What is it I fail at? I had to ponder that. Grief is not something you fail at.
But there are things I'm putting in place that I see now as God beginning to "make a pathway..."
A couple weeks ago I was encouraged to read Psalm 119 and only that Psalm for a while. The Psalm is poetic and repetitive, bringing calm and truth. Truth I need. Truth we all need.
I know your year has not been easy either. Who has an easy year? In John 16:33 Jesus tells us,
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Jesus had trials and sorrow! He came so that He would glorify the Father in redeeming all this pain by walking towards the most painful moment...separation from His Father on the cross. Along these lines, I was recently thinking about how Jesus wept. And it became more personal to me than ever before, because He wept over the loss of Mary and Martha's BROTHER. Jesus actually understands why I cry, specifically about my brother. John 11:35,
So in what ways to I see the pathway beginning to open for the rivers to flow through wasteland? The GRACE to be DELIBERATE. I have been reading Psalm 119 over and over, and at first it was because of a suggestion. But each time the Word became more alive! And that is what Psalm 119 is all about!
After couple weeks of reading it, I have begun to deliberately write out 8 verses a day from Psalm 119. Again, a deliberate method of meditation. But God reminded me of a sermon where it was said that sometimes in an activity we move from drudgery, to deliberate, to delight. I probably have the 3 d's wrong, but you get the idea.
So I'll end with this. This is not the first time I've started to write out Scripture since my brother's death. But I feel the Spirit of God taking my hand and saying pick up the pen Julie. It's OK to be "right where you are. I am here with you." Remembering the verse, "I will never leave you." Hebrews 13:5
Sometimes I move away from God, sometimes I just sit near God, and sometimes I move towards God. My prayer and belief is that He will always pursue me, and I know that He will always pursue you!
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
Lord, let us be deliberate in drawing near to you. So no matter where you are today, it is possible to be deliberate, even in the smallest way, to draw near to God. Even if just to say, God help me. I've had many tell me that we were not meant for this world. And its true. But until eternity we are meant for it. Even in our pain, we are meant to glorify God, and to give a reason for our hope. 1 Peter 3:15,
I'm not going to over analyze what I just wrote, it just flowed from my pen after praying. I pray it encourages you. And by that I don't mean that a verse takes the pain away. But the Creator of the Universe would want us to know that He is the Word, and that one day He will wipe away all tears. Revelation 21:4,
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."
God has given me friends who never fail to bless my heart when I lease expect it. I thank God for each and every one of you. May you be blessed with hope today and not be too hard on yourself. And here is one more deliberate thing to try...SMILE.
Shane and Shane, Psalm 34
Shane and Shane, Yearn
This one hurts, but its so redeeming! Its what I'm trying to say...I'm not there yet, but falling forward
Shane and Shane, Though You Slay Me
I have hidden your work in my heart💙