Sunday, April 22, 2012
In the nearly 8 years since beginning this blog, I've lost my dad, my favorite aunt, 3 dear friends of 20 - 30 years, 4 dearly-loved cats and various elderly neighbors. Tom was laid-off from his job for the first time in more than 30 years of our marriage. We've had to adjust to early retirement (we thought). We've moved 3 times. I went through menopause. Tom had two surgeries. We've experienced growing pains with our daughter, she broke-up with a boyfriend who felt almost like a son to us and last month Naomi moved states away.
Whew. And I didn't even mention facing a ton of disappointments-- tiny, daily ones and larger ones, too.
Some of you have ridden along this entire journey with me, others, for tinier portions of it. And I'm sure most of you can recall me saying, a few times, something like, "For the sake of my sanity/healing or just needing a rest, I'll be taking a blogging break, probably for a week or more."
But you know? Only once (that I can remember) did I take a break for that long--ten days, to be exact-- but that was due to our train trip across the U.S. I wished to wait until our return home before I shared the whole trip with you.
The other times? I always returned to my blog earlier than I'd planned. I'd slink back here and tell you, "Well, I'm back. Sooner than I'd supposed." And not until today did I figure out the why of that.
So why? It's because God knows that part of our healing involves helping other people. You know, taking our eyes off of ourselves--our own pain, our unfair times, our tears and the me-me-me-ness of it all--and putting them, instead, upon other people. Their pain, their unfair times, their tears.
Because hey, God planned it that way. When He told Adam it wasn't good for man to be alone, He wasn't just talking marriage. No, He meant that men (people) needed each other and they needed to give to each other in order for they, themselves, to be fully healed.
"The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered." ... Proverbs 11:25
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." ... Luke 6:38
"Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." ... Deuteronomy 15:10
And there are more verses than just those.
So what I realized is that, yes, I've needed times alone with God for Him to heal me and times of encouragement from friends, too. But the reason God won't let me stray too far away, for too long from this blog, this vehicle He's given me to help others? It's because He doesn't want me to go all hermit-like. Inside myself, unto myself, concerned only about myself. And not all, "Us four and no more" around my home, either, for even that looms way too small in His eyes.
No, He knows it's vital that I must keep giving to others. To not only fulfill the calling He's placed upon my life (even before I was born), but so that each healing I've required will be made complete. That my whole life will be made complete, actually, for there is no real life if we're not flinging back out to others what God has so richly dropped down to us. Stop that flow and you have murky, depressing, smelly stagnation. But keep the flow wildly going and you have such an exciting, fulfilling life that--at times--you can hardly stand the extreme, healing goodness of it all.
Trust me, I know this to be true--and I hope you do, as well.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
"But the greatest of these is love." ... 1 Corinthians 13:13