Friday, August 23, 2013

Walked This Road Before Us

Hello to all of you - YAY it’s Friday here!! 
What’s on your agenda for this weekend – anything fun? May I suggest that whatever you do, take along some great, inspiring music to lift the mood and lighten the load!  Here’s an artist I would recommend:

Not exactly sure why, but the last few days or so I have had a singer I met some years ago on my mind. I saw a tweet from her the other day and because I felt a connection with her years ago when I met her, I looked her up. 

I did know that a few years ago she lost her husband, Tony Greene, after a lengthy illness. She and Tony were part of the gospel singing group, The Greenes.  Before meeting them, I was not really a gospel music fan, but TaRanda put a fun and powerful new flavor to the music and I fell in love with her music as well as TaRanda herself. 

This morning, however, I felt a tug in my heart and I decided to play a song or two of The Greenes.  My, how could I ever have forgotten the pure, beautiful and powerful voice of TaRanda Greene!  I went to her website and watched a video performance and then came across a short video put together in memory of her husband, Tony. 
You know – it got me to thinking.

At one time or another, in each of our lives, we will encounter a time of crisis, deep emotional pain, or heartbreaking loss of some kind.  As hard as it seems, this is a fact of life. And no matter who we are, or what our status – whether we are a nice person or not, whether a Christian or not – most of us will not be exempt from this fact.  But take heart…

In listening to TaRanda’s beautiful and deeply emotional voice singing this morning, I experienced a quickening in my heart; a hopefulness, an understanding deep within me.  A knowing that this is why we are all allowed to go through – to experience these hard things in our lives.  Yes, some tragic, some devastating, some quite unimaginable – I know - there are some truly awful things going on in our world today - and none of us are purposely exempt.  But I believe this is why:

Because there can be such sweet testimony and beautiful healing for others in watching the journey and healing of one who has walked this road of pain before us.

I know personally the difficulty of enduring hugely painful situations, of surviving the darkness and sorrow of deep grief.  I know how hard it is to even want to survive through the pain sometimes.  But I also know that I did.  I survived!  With the loving care of those who had walked my road before me, I was carried through the worst days and nurtured along until I broke through to healing and anew joy-filled life once more.

I am frequently asked why does a “loving God” allow “such bad things to happen to good people?”  After watching and listening to TaRanda’s sweet voice, and seeing how she is pulling through the loss of her beloved husband, partner and dear friend, and raising 2 young daughters now as a single parent, I am touched and I see a clear answer to this question.    

I see healing in TaRanda.  I see beauty and grace.  
I see a testimony that life can go on after sorrow, and with a powerful purpose.

And with this, I realize the great importance, the need for those of us who have walked this road already to open our hearts and share our experience with those who are just beginning their own journey.

Is this journey easy? No, it’s definitely not.
Once we have emerged from the deepest or darkest part, does it get easier?  Yes it does, however, there are still struggles, there are setbacks, and there is still pain.  But if we reach out to someone who has walked this road before us, someone who can cry with us, grieve with us, but also laugh with us; someone who can share our experience with us and lead us through, then we can make it through!

But notice - that means there has to be some good people 
who have gone through some bad suffering and pain.

When good people are allowed to suffer and they come through stronger and even better afterwards, they can be a powerful tool, 
a life-giving inspiration for those who are still struggling.

And, please let me be clear - I don’t mean to exclude those who our minds classify as “bad” people or those we might feel are somehow more deserving of suffering.  They can be, and are powerful tools as well; especially when their lives are changed for the better and we can see their beautiful healing. 

We all have good in us, and we all have bad in us.
When the good helps the bad, then we triumph!

So my thought for today is this: if you have walked a dark road of suffering, pain, abuse, loss, grief, etc. and have emerged to a healing sunlight, won’t you please consider sharing your experience with others who are on that dark road now and need the example of your healing?  Would you even consider being more public with your experience – write a book, a song, an article? Would you consider reaching out to someone who is hurting today - you could be the difference they need.

And if you are one on that dark road right now, won’t you please consider reaching out to someone who has journeyed that road before you and has emerged with hope and healing?  It is possible to find the daylight again.  It is possible to pick up your life and find meaning and purpose again.  Will you allow someone to show you how?

In our dysfunctional and crisis torn world today, so many of us wonder how we can make a difference.  Some of us vow to make a difference – somewhere, somehow.  
I believe each of us can. 

And I believe the greatest difference each of us can make
is in helping to heal and enrich the lives of those around us.

It is in reaching out to others, in helping one another that we find we have actually helped ourselves – we have fulfilled an instinctive need within us to love, to nurture, to make that difference.  

And when we allow ourselves to reach out to others in our own time of need, we not only find a way to make it through the storm, we also learn caring, compassionate skills to pass along to another in the future.  Now this is a way to make a difference and begin changing our world!

Won't you join me???

Blessings and healing to you,

11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJV)
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

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