"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
If we are distressed,
it is for your comfort and salvation;
if we are comforted, it is for your comfort,
which produces in you patient endurance
of the same sufferings we suffer.
And our hope for you is firm,
because we know that just as you share in our sufferings,
so also you share in our comfort."
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
I'm going to put it out there, the most difficult times of year for me, the times I miss my sister the most are on her birthday, which is this coming weekend, and a combination of dates in the Spring. April 3, Easter Sunday, and Daylight Savings Time all induce feelings of loss and bring tears for my sweet sister. I spent over a decade after her kidnapping dwelling in the hurt and anything had potential to spiral me into the depths of despair. I wasn't sure I could make it without my sister yet knew, if for no other reason, I must persevere for my parent's sake.
When Jesus spoke again to the people,
he said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
If you are sick of fighting, tired of anger in the pit of your being, and ready to experience joy - then the next time you look up at the clouds to ask "Why?" to God, simply say, "Help me God! I can't do this on my own." Guess what, we are designed to do it on our own. If it weren't for the hope I have for tomorrow, missing and searching for my sister could quickly bury me into the darkness of my bedroom again BUT I have a choice. I can live life to the fullest and help others or wallow in my own self-pity.
I'll be honest with you, there are times when I want to throw in the towel and call in quits, not to end my life but to quit working, writing, speaking, and forging ahead. I am human. I'm a human who loves and misses her sister so much. Loss is a part of life. You are going to think I'm crazy or maybe even a fanatic for my next statement but I mean it.
When I am ready to pick up the phone and call in or cancel an appointment, GOD ALWAYS, YES ALWAYS, shows me the beauty, goodness, and joy in this world. GOD ALWAYS places a card, text, email, or message before me to say, "Lisa, get a handle girl. Jesus died for your sins. I overcame the world. You don't think I can help you through the day? Get it together and get over yourself. Everyone suffers. Everyone loses. Everyone needs Hope. You can be selfish and stop, or you can lean on me and keep moving forward."
I choose to move forward in His strength, love, provision, and compassion.
If you are saying, "Lisa, you don't get it. I can't." then I challenge you to look at the people around you - who needs you? If you can't do it for yourself, do it for them. You'll be surprised at how good you feel and how it gets easier to do, and be, when you are trusting God to help you each step of the way. Baby steps. Your first step might be getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed, and going to the mail box. Only you know - I'm praying you make the first step.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:
Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Be sure you tag me in the picture and post it to my Facebook page so I see it! My parents will be judging this contest and they're bummed no one has entered yet. For more details, click on the picture of the camera.
For more details about this contest, and how simple it is to be entered - click on the photograph of the cup full of pencils.
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