First of all, regardless of our status, situation or condition there are certain things that we as believers must always be doing. One of which is "Take every thought captive". As well, we always need to be guarding against ungodly attitudes and behaviours. Now, grieving and having bad days and being broken hearted do not constitute an ungodly behaviour. What I am noticing is the propensity for natural grieving to potentially lead to ungodly attitudes and behaviours. That is what I am focused on.
Did I mention,being broken hearted, grieving, crying and feeling utterly broken are not ungodly attitudes?The Lord Jesus had some of those very experiences.( The tomb of Lazarus, in the garden at Gethsemane, on the cross of Calvary) But what are we doing with them and where do they lead? If, while experiencing these hard moments, we fail to take every thought captive it could lead to:
Lets look at each one. Ungratefulness. Ive said it a hundred times and I will say it again. So many have had it so much worse. There are worse experiences on this earth and I am grateful that we were spared additional hardship in our sweet girls passing. If you 'cant imagine' a situation being worse, talk to your neighbor or watch the news for 5 minutes and you will see what I mean.
Bondage.One of the things that I constantly deal with, battle and try to keep in balance are, Charity things. When a child dies, suddenly to you and everyone else, their every item becomes sacred. So as I go thru things and clean and do laundry or pick up the yard, if something was Charitys, it suddenly becomes important. I was so worn out and exaughsted the other day with all of the things of Charitys that I had 'set aside' that I said outloud "IS EVERYTHING SACRED"~. Because where does that lead? Every child is important. So is everything that ever belonged to any of our 11 children that walked the earth sacred? Really? I don't know about you but that is much to much of an overwhelming task for me. How do we balance that and see it clearly in light of eternity? "Thinking right thoughts and taking every thought captive'. First of all I think of the song by Robin Mark "When its all been said and done, all my treasures will mean nothing"...it is true. Charitys trinkets mean nothing to her in light of her eternity and the life she shares now with God. Should they mean overly much to me? Overly no. Some yes. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I hold aside here baby comforter and her pink zebra stripe pillow....etc ... However when I have hadtendencies to 'lock up' her room and keep it sterile and everyone out, well I don't see that as being healthy.
What do I mean by Idolatry? Well, if Im putting more emphasis on my daughter who is in heaven, than my children who still walk the earth..that seems to be a type of idolatry. Why in part do I miss my girl so much? Because it is going to be a wait before I can see her again. I long to hug or hold or talk to her sometimes. Nothing wrong with that but.....I still have six children at home at the moment who I can hug hold and talk to. If Im spending unusual amounts of time missing Charity, Im losing those same precious moments with those whom I can still be with. Its not wrong to miss and long for one who has gone to heaven. Excessive longing at the espense of the ones who still walk among us is, I believe unhealthy and something that should be guarded against.
What is the definition of Bitterness? The old Noah Webster dictionary is my favorite so forgive me if I don't entertain the modern definition of the word. This is what I mean by the word;
|n.||1.||The quality or state of being bitter, sharp, or acrid, in either a literal or figurative sense; implacableness; resentfulness; severity; keenness of reproach or sarcasm; deep distress, grief, or vexation of mind.|
|2.||A state of extreme impiety or enmity to God.|
|3.||Dangerous error, or schism, tending to draw persons to apostasy.|
Im not exactly sure why I haven't struggled with bitterness (yet?) but I can easily see how one could fall into it. We don't mean to! We are hurting and heartbroken and sad, and it is understandable that we are having a difficult time. However, bitterness is a dangerous cancer to let spread. It will ruin our peace now, and our presence tomorrow. It will not soon be rooted out so it is best to not allow it to grow in the first place.
Hopelessness. This is one that must be fought diligently and normally on a daily basis. As you go throughout your day minding your own business, it never fails that out of the blue the realization will come to you that you are 'Never going to see Charity walk through these halls again.". (take every thought captive remember) 'True but the halls she walks now are the ones we always intended for her to walk'.
How about this one....On May 1 is Charitys birthday. We as a family are going to gather together and celebrate her life. Sad that we focus more on our loved ones moments of passing when there were 16 years of life and celebration in our case. We are very blessed indeed. So here is a hopeless question "Is she 16 still or 17?" I really hope none of the littles will ask that question as I do not have the answer. What do we really celebrate when it is a birthdate anyways? How did a simple day become so complicated? Simple, because we live in a fallen world and our tendency is to not think biblically. We choose rather to be controlled by our hopelessly sad emotions than by what is true. So what are some of the true things I like to remind my self about?;
Charity is living out the eternity we always prayed she would, with Jesus in heaven. Admittedly sooner than we would have chosen believe me. As well, as I sit here sad and lonely for her presence I love to remember that she is LIVING in heaven. She is not in the grave. She is not 'Resting in Peace'. She is living, rejoicing, celebrating the Lamb, enjoying the fellowship of millions of believers who have gone on before. The bible says she is walking on streets of gold and the Lord had, in advance of here arrival, prepared a place for her. A mansion nonetheless. She is neither lonely nor hurting or sad, she has the mind of Christ and is experiencing joy everlasting. Those are the thoughts that I remind myself of.
I will still keep many of Charitys things and will always keep her memory alive in our family. But by the grace of God may I put more energy into loving and caring for and fellowshipping with these young charges that I am so blessed to still have an impact on. And they an impact on me:)