Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pain = Peace

Amidst all the hustle and bustle, joy to the worlds, and Ho, Ho, Ho's, I am reminded that there are some people who find this time of year more difficult, more sad, and more painful than any other time. For myself, there is an amount of grief this Christmas season that is new to my repertoire of things to feel sad about.

My father in law died just a month ago. He was very loved and respected by everyone in our family. I can hear his voice, and see his smile, and it makes me very sad to know that we will not be able to love on him this Christmas. And losing the friend that I loved more than any friend I have ever had has left a gaping, weeping hole in my heart. At this time of year, she and I shared much...music being one of the big things. We were best friends, she was my music minister, her family spent Christmas Eve with us, and we shopped...boy, did we shop. So many times, I just want to call her and tell her what song I just heard, what the band concert sounded like, and how far along I am in the preparation for our Christmas celebration. It is worse than if she is passed on because she is alive and has chosen to end our friendship. Both of us are at fault, but I have asked numerous times for reconciliation. She refuses to answer all forms of communication.

Yesterday, I had a melt down. The sadness overwhelmed me. I wanted to call and simply say, "I miss you." But I must respect her decision, her husband's decision as he never trusted. Jealousy. Sin.

I called a friend. She listened, diverted my attention, spoke of happier subjects. I calmed. When I checked my email later, there was a sweet note from her, an encouragement to spend some time with God...praying, reading, thinking on the things that I could not change. Acceptance.

I read this: They say that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. If I learn to accept that pain is part of life, I will be better able to endure the difficult times and then move on, leaving the pain behind me.

Oh, sweet words. Suffering is optional. Today, I remembered that I am powerless over her decision. I may not agree with it or think it to be right in the eyes of God, but it is her decision. I am powerless over it so I have to accept it.

My world is rich with wonderful gifts; beauty, loving fellowship with family and friends, challenges that strengthen and prepare me for what God intends for me. This day is too precious to waste by resenting things that I cannot change, people that I cannot change. When I accept everything as it is, I tend to be reasonably peaceful and serene.

I am responsible for changing what I can and I have to let go of the rest if I want God's peace. Just for today, I will love God and love myself enough to give up a struggle over something that is out of my hands.

Psalm 29:11
The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.


Carol said...

Hi Liz,

It is hard to except those things we cannot change. Especially the changes that people choose that cause us pain.

I'm praying for you, and for your family as you go through this Holiday season.


Tina said...

thanks I needed that :)

Mary Ann Duncan said...

I know. Mom

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Oh my word, Liz. When you spoke of your friendship and how it is worse than death. Thank you Sweet Jesus for someone who understands. My husband choosing to divorce me and not reconciliation is so painful. He, too, chooses not to respond in any form of communication. Not even a simple email. I know the relationship are different but I feel such a connection with you and your pain and know that you must know how I feel. We both in our marriage were at fault...me more some but him more some without realizing...I guess I can see both our faults but he only sees mine...absolutely none of his own. It's really. There is much freedom in taking responsibility for our own actions/faults/etc. I, too, just want to simply love on my beloved. To send a loving email, to express of word of love or anything. To simply love on him per say...tell him all the things I see in him now and the things (good) that I see in my self and all the stuff God has done.

Thanks for sharing your heart.