Turning the Page on Suicide: In the Beginning of Grief

Originally posted November 8th, 2014

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort” ( 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 NIV).

What an amazing passage! We do not suffer alone. What an precious gift your friendship is to my family and I. Learning to comfort in our affliction means that we look beyond our circumstances to God’s purpose in our sufferings. I share in Christ’s sufferings, but I also share in his comfort. As an added bonus I get to share that comfort with you.

When the seizures started yesterday morning I begged God to take them away. I thought that they had stopped completely several years ago and their return was more then I could bear. “Even in this, I have a purpose.” Was God’s answer to me. I have to decide if I trust him with that purpose. Do we look at our weaknesses as afflictions or as God’s opportunity to work in and through us?

One of my favorite women Joni Eareckson Tada, lives out God’s purpose through many hardships. At the age of 17 she broke her neck in a diving accident and became a quadriplegic. She has experienced cancer and difficulty in her marriage. Does she suffer? Definitely! But oh what she is allowing God to do with that suffering. Painting with her teeth, ensuring that others get the wheelchairs they need, speaking, singing, writing, and serving God in whatever way he calls her to.

So God has a purpose in my seizures! May Jesus comfort you in my affliction that you may not grow weary in your own sufferings. Hugs and encouragement to all of you. I love you dearly!

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Surfing Suffering

I’m never going to tame suffering.
It is an ocean of unpredictable waves.

In my youth, I surfed like a barney,
thinking I knew the right moves.
But I was a rag doll with a christian vocabulary
tossed from my flimsy board of faith.
A Maverick of despair pinned me,
revealing my desperation for a savior.

Still the waves kept crashing,
drowning me in sorrow,
Until God rescued me and
set my feet on ground solid with his love.
We trained for hours.
I looked silly hopping up on my board of faith,
awkwardly balancing between grace and works.
Up daily for dawn patrol to
study the Hall of Faith surfers,
men and women,
though scarred by Great Waves,
who rode life to the fullest impact.

They testified to the reward of daily discipline,
and increased my quiver. The right board for the right wave.
Self-control stretched and retrained my weak muscles.
Jesus taught me to respect suffering;
lean into the lessons rather than fight their powerful surge. 

I now know what it is like to run my fingers down the barrel,
relax into the beautiful hollow of not being God.
I use suffering from top to bottom,
carving hope from impossible odds.
I respect other surfing sufferers, rooting them on to ride well.

I persevere when rung through the washing machine of trials.
Experiencing epic peeks with God towards the glorious impact of gnarly suffering.

 

Photo by Hernan Pauccara from Pexels “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).


Podcasts post every Monday at 10 am.

Devotionals post every Tuesday at 7 pm.

Poetry post every Thursday at 7 pm.

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