The Object of Our Agitation

My son was very agitated today about surface things that I could see had nothing to do with his anguish. Finally, I heard him sobbing in the other room. “Mommy I can’t stop crying.” I wrapped him up in my arm and rocked him as he continued to talk about the object of his concern, but quickly shifted to crying out for Jonathan. “I miss him so much!” he sobbed.

My heart broke for his grief! Oh Lord, equip me to comfort him. How many of us have those moments, we feel anxious about our broken toy, the car that just cut us off, the snow trapping us inside, the phone ringing–all the things that on another day wouldn’t bother us, but today it is just too much. All the time brewing beneath that agitation is real heart ache, longing, brokenness, fear, and sorrow.

Why did God create us with emotions? Emotions tend to squish out in strange ways when we deny them their purpose. I believe that our emotions were created to feel joy, pleasure, interact with each other and our God internally and externally–literally to be stirred by God. When the fall occurred our emotions were suddenly stirred by sin, which will always point to us away from God. But, we can learn to lay out our heartache, our pain before his throne so that he can replace our burden with healing. Our emotions always long to be in right relationship with God! Don’t be afraid to lift the veil to reveal your heartache to him, He longs to hold us, and is moved with compassion for our sufferings. He may prune away what we think is causing us grief to reveal the root.

If someone around you is agitated about things that don’t seem to match in value do a little gardening. Dig past the surface to the root pain; much easier to heal when we correctly identify the source of our anguish. It may just be as simple as being present with your loved one and listening, but it can make all the difference in the world.

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Suicide Has a Face: Learning to Offer Hope

As a survivor of suicide, there is nothing that makes me recoil worse than hearing, “Sometimes there is nothing that you can do, if someone wants to kill themselves then they will find a way.” The speaker is talking about some abstract, undefined person–not my son. Gratefully I have not heard that too many times, but I have heard it. I have not had the strength to respond until now, not out of condemnation, but out of a desire to offer hope and healing to deeply wounded souls and educate those that desire to help.

My son wanted to live! Everything he was doing, everything that he was planning for was to live a long life. Ironically I’d have to say that I would have fit the above statement better than Jonathan. I made repeated attempts on my life, he made one. I am still here because there were people who never stopped offering me hope in little and big ways, no matter what I might do.

That is the thing, the above statement always comes after someone takes their life. I believe that the speaker is trying to understand something too horrific to ever comprehend. Suicide is not something that we will ever be able to stuff into a box and say, this is what it is! I left no note, Jonathan left a note, some suffer from physical causes, others depression. Our suffering may be different, but the one thing that we all need is HOPE!

Don’t ever stop offering it to me, to those around you just because the task seems daunting or impossible. God is a god of the impossible! Jesus saw our suffering and mourned with us, brought healing, and hope to those that others claimed were without redemption. I will cling to that hope, because in my darkest days it is my sunshine.

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