Day 1 of A Call to Die was great! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! My fingers wanted to turn the pages with such eager rapidness! Jesus, He is beyond awesome for sacrificing Himself for everyone. The concept is huge, and cannot be grasped to its full extent by us until we reach His kingdom of heaven. At my small group (JAM), we indulged ourselves into an interesting conversation about worshiping. Its differences of capability on earth and in Heaven are obvious- once we are granted the great gift of eternal life we are promised (as we follow Him), placed before Him on that mighty throne, we will take enormous joy in praising Him constantly. We all thought at one point- sheesh, wouldn't that get a little tiring? Bowing down and saying, "Lord almighty" repeating FOREVER?! Dawning upon us instantly, and us as pretty passionate young Christians, we agreed that it would be an HONOR to have to the PRIVILEGE of praising God for all time. He deserves a bit of recognition afterall!
The comfort to know that once we lose someone on this earth, and that we never lose them in our heart and spirit because they are in heaven, prepares me for upcoming deaths. My great grandmother has dementia and is close to passing away. She has been an inspiring grandmother to my father, and her occupation as an artist has kept me appreciative of expression. Her current residence is a nursing home in Amelia County, and my family members visit her often. Before that transition she lived in her house of who knows how many years in South Carolina. It was a small brown house with a decent sized garden. As she got older she payed someone to take care of that garden. Her yard is my most fond memory of her house. Kelsey and I used to run around on the cobble stones between my great-grandma's plants. The last time we stayed there it was raining, and (oh no here comes the deep stuff) I loved how precipitously driven rain drops rested on the violets' petals. hahah
Why am I sharing this? Well, I've had to accept death before in my family, and I know it will be coming soon. I pray for my Dad, since I know it will be hardest on him along with my aunts. My great-grandma lost her husband before I was born, and it's been hard on her ever since. He was a paratrooper in World War II! How cool! Whenever we visit her she often mentions Otis (that's his name). This makes me think of how I will lose people in my life, but will be aware that God's gift of eternal life makes it possible that they still live within us, and eventually our spirits reunite in heaven!! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! I know that she will be so happy when she finally gets to be with my great-grandpa again!
And one other thing.
I was challenged today. Challenged by my anxiety, by the effects of my medicine. To protect myself I am going to keep some information private about what exactly happened to me today. Before going to sleep last night I prayed to God that I know challenge is near, that conflict is on the horizon. Well, it came. Though a change in detail emerged! I prayed before trouble, while in trouble, and after trouble. A Call to Die said to memorize John 3:16. When I felt the rushing waves of anxiousness crash on me, I repeated the verse. My friends' tremendous care was given to me today, and I thank God for that, for not letting me be alone. I love these people who have continued to show me what love really is.
What I continue to pray is this:
Jesus, let the light of your presence shine on areas of my life that need to die, and let the fire of your Spirit burn those things away each day. Let my life be so consumed with your love and strength that I become a lighthouse for others, but Lord, only you can accomplish that in me. Have your way, Lord Jesus. Have your way. Amen.