Posts Tagged: death

Redeem This Day

For You have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalm 49:15

Turning My Page

Tomorrow is an anniversary no one in my family wants to relive. Yet, every year, July 1st still arrives and we have to decide what to do with it. The sadness swallowed me up today so my husband asked me to share special memories of Jonathan.

Remembering and laughing brought me out of my funk and made me realize that I would have to be intentional about tomorrow.

  • Lord, I acknowledge that you are redeeming the ruins of my yesterday.
  • I remember and invite others to remember and share with me their memories of Jonathan’s character, his love for God, family, and friends, and the adventures and laughter
  • Have lunch at Moes
  • Sing and record my video on Psalms at the beach
  • Photograph what brings me joy and peace
  • Raise our Jarritos in memory of Jonathan

Father, redeem July 1st, and may I honor you, your love for Jonathan, and the perfect peace you give to me. Suicide is not the whole story. Amen

 

Turning Your Page

Do you have a day you need redeemed? Notice what makes the day hard. It may be injustice, it may be loss, anger. Don’t shy away from what you feel, because those emotions are as much a part of revealing God’s redemption as the good ones. There are so many things in this life that hurt. Learn to feel, but continue to write your story through the pain.

  • What makes the day hard? Sum up why this day seems to unwind any progress or growth you have made since your first moment of trauma.
  • Are there others who can help you through this day? List out some activities that bring you joy and pick one to do on your hard day.
  • Pick a song, psalm, or passage as your focus to read out loud throughout the day or meditate on. Acknowledge your heartache while moving your thoughts towards God’s perspective on your suffering.

Lord on my hardest day, you were there. Though all I may be able to do is cling to you when I remember that day, I know that you care for my every wound and bring healing and wholeness to my broken soul. Amen

 

 

I Cannot Stop the Impact of Evil, But I Can Trust God

“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:6-8, NIV).

Sara cradled me as she braced for impact.

I was only a toddler and the seatbelt laws had not yet been implemented. It was News Year Day and my parents were driving back from a party with their friend holding me on her lap in the back seat. As we drove through a four-way stop another car broadsided us sending Sara and I flying against the opposite door. I was safe in her arms, but Sara’s collarbone was broken by the impact.

I have no memory of the traumatic event, but others do. Sara’s only thought, as she saw the oncoming headlights, protect Karisa. She sacrificed her own body to keep me from harm. I couldn’t stop the evil that occurred that night. I wasn’t even aware of it. The driver of the other car sped off and never seemed to experience justice for hurting us.

Sin has an impact but does not have the final say. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23). Everything in this life is working towards that end, but Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10). His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection has always given the opportunity for an abundant life. The choices are: Come into agreement with death or embrace life.

I hated my life and came into agreement with Satan’s plot by attempting to take my own life. Growing up I accused God of neglecting me and harbored anger towards him for not stopping the evil of abuse in my life. Yes, sin had an impact, but God protected me from the consequences. I now know the only difference between Judas, the betrayer of Jesus and Peter the betrayer of Jesus is, Peter did not take his own life. He turned his page of betrayal to see the resurrection. God built his church on Peter.

God is building his church on me. I thought I was worthless, unredeemable, and God too distant to care about me. God protected my purpose in the loving arms of a woman who bears scars for my sake.

Jesus bears scars for our sake. We may never know all of them, or how deep they are, but he has a mark for every evil done to us and every evil we have done to others.

I am reaching through these next words and cupping your tear-streaked face in my hands and declaring: Your life was purposed since the foundation of the earth. How many times has God redeemed and protected your purpose? He knows you, he created you, and no matter how much evil impacts you he is trustworthy.

I realize I cannot stop the impact of evil, but I can trust God. Yes, evil takes precious things from us, but there is so much more to the story. Don’t stop living it. There is resurrection. There are changed lives. There is hope that does not disappoint. Don’t stop standing firm in the midst of evil. Come to know the one who wins and resurrects every heartache we experience and give crazy, amazing and abundant life.

Life and Death aren’t Kept Secret

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 ESV).

(Originally Shared October 2014)

Fall is my favorite season, and as I hiked through the woods, I was reminded of why. It isn’t just the fall colors or the cool nip in the air that revive and remind me of the divine. It is that even in death, life is given.

Take this log for example. It is brimming with life! Fall reminds me that death is not the end of God’s story. There are millions of possibilities that lay hidden beneath the surface ready to burst forth and display his provision and splendor.

Some of us feel like an empty shell, dead inside, nothing could possibly grow from us.  I declare to you with complete confidence that there are a million seeds of life planted inside you ready to spring forth! I once thought that I was without purpose, but I see clearly that life is in every cell of my being! I want to give that life to you.

This season is one of hidden possibility. But God’s promises are true. They are observable, and repeat I’m nature and the testimony of many the world tossed out as dead. Trust God’s provision for your life and let him reveal the life growing inside of you.

Love you dearly!

Karisa

Devotionals are posted at 7pm every Tuesday.

Born From Grief

Birthed from the womb

of your grave, I gasp my first breath of new

life and cry out.

 

God’s Gym: Working Out Depression

 

Suicide doesn’t water down my faith with

flowery prose about God.

I take my doubts to the mat and wrestle

with who I believe Him to be.

Depression is the resistance between

my will and Yours being done.

Sacrifice, daily dripping with sweat,

works out belief on the gym floor of reality.

 Muscles cry out at the strain of discipline.

But still you coach me beyond what

I think I can reach. “Just one more breath!”

Shaping and toning my soul into your image.

Turning heads with a foxy endurance

that is not of this world!

Karisa Moore

An Earthquaked Soul

No words, just erupted scream–

an earthquaked soul

in the crumbled devastation of a child “deceased”.

And with equal force the Spirit pushed back

against caving walls of motherhood.

Opening resurrection doors

to the Father’s will

that no temporary grave consumes. Building

fortified love and hope where there

are no words, just a heart that welcomes orphans in.

Valley of the Shadow of Death

(A post from the first days after putting Jonathan in the ground.)

Day 5

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

A spur of the moment trip yesterday afternoon to Coco Key Resort, produced a valuable image for Daniel and I to hold onto as we walk through the darkness of Jonathan’s death. Daniel is tall enough to ride the four big slides, and this summer his confidence in the water has skyrocketed. He and I tackled the first one on a two-seater inner tube. After that he was ready to tackle it alone and then moved onto the body slides.

But, he declared from the beginning, that he would not go on the two slides that did not let light in. I have to admit, I had no intention of going on those either. Later, I’m not even sure what prompted me to go on the dark body slide alone, but I did. Maybe I chose the tube because I am already walking through the darkest place imaginable. The slide was as dark as the inside of a cave cavern. I could not see the twists and turns and I didn’t know how long the ride would be, but I knew the light was at the end.

Just before leaving, Daniel grabbed the two-seater and declared that he wanted to ride the dark slide. As soon as we started down I could sense his fear. I declared that I was still beside him, and that the light would greet us at the end. When we exited the pool I told him that this how I feel with God right now. I don’t see him, but I hear his voice, and I’m trying to stand on the truth of his character. In the car the kids asked to listen to their Music Camp CD. One of the songs was “You Never Let Go”. As Daniel listened he exclaimed, “That is like the dark slide! I couldn’t see you, but I knew you were there. I know God is there, and that he won’t let go of me.”

Yes Daniel, and yes reader, God will never let go of you! Through whatever storm or dark place in this life you are going through. Our part is to know that he is here. For me, the only way to obtain that knowledge has been to read about his character in scripture, to pray, and to practice walking in faith. I can’t see where this devastating dark twist will lead, but I won’t turn back, because I know you are here.

Goals:
1. Let others help me today.
2. Work on my song.
3. Find a new copy of Barbra Johnson’s book. (Meet me at half-priced books anyone?)

Standing Between the Grave and Resurrection

John 20:11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Death =  How serious God takes sin.

Resurrection = How serious God takes forgiveness.

 

I stand between the tomb and the resurrection. It is so hard for me to not stare into the darkness of the grave expecting to see the mangled body of my son. It is harder for me to look into heaven and see the resurrection power of the Son of God in the life of my son. Our pastor reminded us this morning that the men and women who ran to the empty tomb did not have the full context of what was happening, like we do.

Even with the full implication of the open tomb-death where is your sting -I am like the women headed to the grave to anoint the body. The followers believed that their hopes and dreams were buried with the miracle-working rabbi. No matter how much I have seen of God’s faithfulness, no matter that I myself was dead in my sins and made alive by the love of Christ, the resurrection power is not yet fully at work in me. I don’t believe that resurrection can happen in my circumstances. Heaven is distant and the grave is up close and way too concrete for me to embrace the freedom and power God’s perspective has for me. I am still morning who I thought Jesus was to embrace him right now even though I know he is calling me by name.

Father, you are patient with me. I feel the soil of grief more than the seeds of your presence with me. What is it that you are teaching me about heaven? Open my eyes that I may recognize you, my gardener and savior when you are standing right in front of me! Help me to embrace the resurrection of Jesus so that the fullness of your forgiveness can be revealed in me. Amen.

 

15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,b “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Romans 11:33

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments,

and his paths beyond tracing out!

34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?”

35“Who has ever given to God,

that God should repay them?”

36For from him and through him and for him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.

I see Paul hunched over his writing table, earnestly wrestling with the place where God’s holy and perfect sovereignty meets our free will. “32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 
If you are anything like me, you lean in one direction or the other, but oh the power we will have when we accept the full wildness of who God is. We want Him to be safe, or we want God to be powerful, but we don’t want him to be safe and all powerful at the same time. We try to place a divider between Old and New Testament and treat Him as if he is two separate Gods. Remember, the cross of love was brutal, the scars permanent, and the forgiveness complete. That’s inconceivable! Man meant (acted in our free will) crucifixion for evil, but God meant it for our good. To save many!
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It is uncomfortable being shaped inside the Chrysalis of His hands! It was the same for all the patriarchs!  Joseph’s journey was painful, but he was able to see that God was both sovereign and gave mankind free will. He told his brothers who sold him into slavery, 20“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Transformation occurs when we both submit to the sovereignty of God and exercise our free will to obey and glorify Him.

I believe standing in this spot, meditating on the fullness of God’s character is where I accept that he did not cause my son’s death AND His perfect will is working through Jonathan’s death. How can both statements be true? I know this much, I would not be sitting here sharing my story with you. As I reconcile myself to God in the flesh, who used his free will to die for me,  I also open myself to His will for my worst enemy! Many will be saved. That is indisputable. Amen and Amen!

 

I Have Never Been Stranded on Mars, but if I were . . .

“At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” –Mark Watney (The Martian)

I have had a multitude of troubles thrown my way, but I can honestly say, I have never been stranded on Mars. In the early days after Jonathan’s death a friend asked, “How are you doing this? How are you able to function?”

My answer, “I’m not.”

I knew several things almost instantly the day Jonathan died.

  1. This was hell on earth.
  2. I could not stand in this furnace alone.
  3. I would grieve with hope.

Galatians 2:20I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

I live, because Christ lives. The more I am crucified with Christ, my fleshly desire to have Jonathan alive dies. So many of us do not get over losing our children because it is a way of keeping them alive in our minds. God does not say, “Just get over it.” He mourns with us! At the same time he invites us to the realization that God will be glorified. We cannot stare longingly at the grave of our past and expect to resurrect what is not within God’s will. We must keep our eyes fixed upon the cross if we want to live.

I wrestle with this aspect of God’s character, but I also know he did not spare his own son. When Jesus started talking to the followers about “eating his flesh”, many walked away. (John 6:53) This is a hard teaching! Will I leave Jesus because I cannot fully get my mind around what he is asking of me? No! Who else in this world has changed my life. Who else has loved me like you? You are the Christ and my salvation is in you alone.

I am finding that the cross is the juxtaposition of Christ! Opposites collide on the cross– life and death, pain and pleasure, law and grace, sin and holiness, shame and glory. On the cross Jesus understands, both my deepest sorrow, and the heights of his fathers glory. And as I die my spirit is revealed more and more. I pray that I too, one day, can fully state. “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” I don’t have to scramble, alone, to solve enough problems to get home. Christ already solved them for me on the cross. I’m already home!

 

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.