Monday, August 26, 2013

My Heart Cries Out for Miley.

My heart has been severely heavy today.  It's been hit with a burden.  It has been crying out in despair.  But this time it's not for myself.  It is not because of my grieving.  It is not about something that has happened to me personally.  It is crying out in despair for a person that I've never even met.  It is crying out for Miley Cyrus.

I did not watch the VMA's, primarily because I do not have cable, and also because I knew I could catch the highlights on youtube the next day (obviously the only highlight I am speaking of is the NSYNC reunion).  However, even though I was not watching I sure felt like a viewer last night.  All of the sudden my twitter feed and facebook exploded with negative, horrible comments about Miley Cyrus and her actions.  I knew whatever she was doing at the time could not be good to get such a sudden combustion of disgust on my social media outlets.  And it instantly made me sad. 

I watched her performance on youtube this morning, and like most of you, sat in disgust as she stumbled around the stage.  However, my reaction was different than a lot of people's.  My reaction was utter hurt and sadness for this girl. (It is true that I can be overly sensitive...but this was different.)  For this child of God that has decided that acting completely out of control is the only way she can get attention.  For this child of God that believes those actions are all she is worth.  For this girl who believes this may be the only way she can receive love, identity and attention.  It is obviously a cry for help and what do we all do?  Judge her.  Judge her and pat ourselves on the back because we don't have these same issues.  We take deep sighs of relief because our brokenness and craziness are not on display for everyone to see.  But - we are still broken.  And most of us (just kidding, all of us) are still crazy.  We have to stop doing this, friends.  We have to spread love instead of hate.  I am not saying that what Miley did wasn't crazy and messed up.  It so was.  But instead of bashing her, we need to embrace her.  Don't misread me - I do not mean embrace her actions, but embrace her as a person, as a child of God.  Look her in the face and tell her that it doesn't have to be this way.  I know that sounds weird because how many of us will actually talk to a celebrity face-to-face, but you catch my drift.

I sat in a group of women tonight at our community group through church.  A group of women of various backgrounds, ages and marital statuses.  I learn so much when I am around them all.  We talked about the sermon from church yesterday, that spoke of the topic of suffering.  We talked about all the different types of suffering and I shared what had been on my heart about this whole Miley thing.  Miley is clearly suffering.  She is suffering something fierce and she is clearly not handling it well.  But she's handling it the way she feels like she needs to.  I am so glad that the Lord led me to share my heart because it helped stem a beautiful discussion of encouragement and support as one of the women shared what is going on with HER heart, about her worries for her own daughter.  Her daughter is doing nothing as extreme as Miley by any means, but she's still going through some things. I am so glad she felt led to share her concerns as it gave us the opportunity to pray for her and lift her up to our God who is sovereign over EVERYTHING.

Friends we have no idea what people are going through.  We must stop being so cruel and judgmental.  We live in this crazy day of technology where a single tweet or post can be read MILLIONS of times in one minute.  We should use this to spread love and hope.  We must do our best to breathe out and live out the gospel in our lives every single day.  Both on social media and in real life.  We must reach out to the Mileys and the Amanda Bynes' and the Lindsay Lohan's and show them what sincere, Christ-like love can look like.  Otherwise, what in the world are we living for?  I know that the Lord will take these situations and use them for his glory in some way.  That is the only thing I know for certain.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Only Sign of Him Dying Was That He Was Turning Blue.

I do not typically blog in the early hours of the morning, but I have to get this out before I forget.

This morning I woke up in a bit of a mental haze from an intense night of sleep.  I love nights of solid sleep, but I did not awake as refreshed as I would have liked.  I was in a haze because I was shaking off the images and feelings that came along with a dream I had just had.

For the past 7 months, I have had maybe a total of 10 dreams about Richard.  The dreams are different - different scenarios, different surroundings and different people, but there is always one common theme: I can't get in touch with him.  Either his phone is off or he is mad at me and won't answer my texts/calls and I don't know where he is to go see him.  They're never fun to have, but I figure that this could be pretty normal since, technically, I can't talk to him anymore.

However - this morning I woke up and realized that I had a dream about him last night and we were face-to-face and we were talking.  He was very animated and talkative...even though he was lying in a hospital bed (and we were at a baseball game?...) and he was slowly dying.  And we knew he was dying.  But the only sign of him actually dying was that he was gradually turning blue.  Really creepy, I know.  But in all honesty, I am a little in awe and excited that we were together in the dream.  AND he was giving me advice on who I should and should not date next, ha!  Crazy.  He was saying, "Don't!  You can't date that person!  Now I am going to be paranoid!"  Makes me giggle now.

I e-mailed my counselor this morning (my counselor that has very quickly and swiftly become one of my favorite people) and told her about it.  She said it seemed like maybe my sub-conscious was trying to tell me something in this late stage of grieving. 

Wonder what it is trying to tell me?

Blessings and love to you on this Friday, friends.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

God is Good All the Time; All the Time God is Good.

Friends, please do not find yourselves confused, corrupted and confined to the ways of this world.  How important it is for us to remember and to believe that God is good.  He is good all the time.

He is good when we find love.
He is good when a child is born.
He is good when a baby says their first word.
He is good when the weather is a perfect 70 degrees.
He is good when we discover a favorite restaurant.
He is good when the dew settles on a summer morning.

Of course He is good then - during times of beauty and flawless joy.

But, He is also good when a loved one dies.
He is good when someone is diagnosed with cancer.
He is good when a natural disaster hits.
He is good when we lose our jobs.

He is good in times of trouble and turmoil.  Even in a world of tragedy, God will burst forth and his glory and blessings will rain down. 

Bold statements, I know.  How can I be so sure of these ideas, beliefs and views?

Because I've lived them firsthand.  Because the Spirit dwells within me and has forever changed my perspective on the world.  Because when my boyfriend suddenly died of leukemia in a swift and cruel manner, I felt nothing but thankfulness beneath my crying.  I was grateful for my relationship with him; for the lessons I learned from my time in his life; for the fact that he had looked at me several days before his death and said, "this is the first time I've been in the hospital and have not been angry with God."  Praises poured out of me instantly.  It was all I could do.  All I could do was cry and praise The Lord.

But I did not praise on my own.  Again - the Holy Spirit lives within me and when that happens to you, your complete view of the world drastically changes.  Your perspective widens.  You are able to see the beauty in such a tragedy.  A peace that absolutely surpasses all human understanding sets in.  It's supernatural.  It's awesome.

Seven months have passed since the death of Richard Gaiser.  I am amazed at how God has used this situation in my life and in the lives of those around me.  It's been a beautiful and heart-wrenching journey that leaves me eager to find what the next seven months will bring.  Search for the Spirit, friends.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39