Monday, November 30, 2009

The Post I Have No Right To Post

So, after such a depressing post last time, I figured I owe it to my readers to share the brighter side of my life a little. Truly, God does allow times for mourning, and times for rejoicing. I might add my must haul oneself out of the Time for Mourning into the Time for Rejoicing. Otherwise, it might never come.

In my case, I am on a learning cycle with this one. I grieve, I mourn, I weep, I cry out for help, I wait for answers, I demand comfort......then I remember that it's actually still my move. God has already given the Gift (salvation and his Holy Spirit) is my duty to stand up, strengthen my weak knees, and lift up my hands. My Mom used to call this, "The sacrifice of praise." Ever wonder what the psalmist meant by that? Surely, I used to think, praise came from a heart overflowing with joy and thanksgiving. Was it such a sacrifice to offer up the welling joy in praise? Well, now I understand. We must praise. And in times it feels better to weep and mourn, it is then that praise becomes a sacrifice. And, just as in most Old Testament sacrifices, once the gift is on the altar, the fire comes down from heaven, and the Holy Spirit consumes it. Or you. Me.

This is the power in Holy Spirit-living. This is what is keeping me going when my heart literally faints within me over missing my husband. My friend, Denise, said recently in a f/b post, the fact that these deployments get harder and harder just illustrates how much more deeply we fall in love with our husbands. As we grow closer, the separations are more and more painful. This one, for us, is just sickeningly hard. I sometimes feel like no time at all has passed.....We've been at the 2 month mark for YEARS. How can I ever make it another 9 without touching the face of the one I love? The hardship of watching our precious child grow up without the nurture and closeness of her father is excruciating at times. No pleasure of parenting, fellowship, excitement, or anything this life has to offer is not tinged with the hollow bitterness of missing the one I love.

So, it is in that low state of mind that the Holy Spirit reminds me that even in the "completeness" of marital joy.......there is nothing eternal. Remember? Then I do.......I remember. And, I remember what one thing I can have complete joy in doing all by myself.....alone....before God. And that is worship. It is hard....I would rather continue mourning, hands go up, and I start singing the first worship piece that comes into my head (sometimes with a pout on my lips, too, oh yes!).......and God comes down. It is like oil and wine on my head.

God. Is. Faithful. That is all I have left to say. He WILL draw near to us when we draw near to Him. And we WILL find complete fulfillment, even in the depths of despair and loneliness.

Thus ends my sermon to myself. :)


Denise said...

Susi, this was exactly what I needed to hear. I had been pondering the Psalmist's words these past few days, and just knew BEFORE I saw God's salvation I needed to start praising. I love how you talk about how it's "your move." This gives me a lot to ponder tomorrow.

On the flip side, I have some practical questions about things to do with a 10-month old who seems to bore easily with just me! Can I call you sometime? Let me know the best hours of the day and I'd like to make it happen this week.

You and Ben are constant examples of grace and strength to us... but of REALNESS too. You walk your walk with a genuineness. Jonathan and I are, and have been, and continue to lift you up (we mention you two often).

Much love.

Hosanna said...

I know I probably have no right; no right at all to make a comment about any of this - as I have no idea what it is like to have my husband gone away from me for months and months on end.
So I know that whatever I have to say, you will probably be thinking to yourself - "Yes, but you don't know what this is like. You have your husband around every single day. You cannot possibly understand."
I know exactly what you mean about the Sacrifice of Praise. I have had to do it many times.
I may not be a military wife suffering through the horrible pain of deployments and separations from the one I love; but - as you know - I have had my share of miserable pain.
During that time I loved to wallow in my despair. I felt better; it was like indulging - the hurt, the crying, the fretting, the misery and depression, somehow, felt so good. It's twisted but true.
And then my brother called me out on it one day sitting on the beach at Nag's Head. I won't detail everything he said, but basically it was: "Stop this. Yes, what happened to you sucks. Really sucks. But YOU are responsible for your response to it....."
I had allowed it to BECOME my life.
That day on the beach at Nag's Head, I started making a daily decision to find things to be joyful about. Every day. And it got easier and easier. And soon I found that, even though I was still in pain, and still working through all that hurt and damage that was done to me, I had a joyful heart again. A thankful one.
Through my tears and sobs, I would Thank him for allowing me to go through circumstances that drew me closer to Him and made me stronger.
I certainly haven't "arrived".
But that is my personal experience.
Even though I may not understand deployment -
I DO understand pain. I do. And I am thinking of you and pray for you.

Hosanna said...

PS - my dad always said that when you're hurting, in pain, sad, depressed, etc. To go out and find something to do for someone else in need or pain and in that act of service, you will find comfort.

Susannah Forshey said...

Sure, call me any evening after 8 PM. Violet's in bed by that time, so I'm freed up. :)

Susannah Forshey said...

Hosanna: I love your point about ministering to others to bring yourself out of sorrow. That is a very practical truth. I need to put that into practice more! Also, I know that pain in anyone's life is what it is: a sanctification process. Whatever form it shows up in, deployments, painful physical accidents, loss of a loved-one to death, or children in rebellion.....all these can be used by God to form Christ in us. I don't hold my experiences above others' as being "harder" or "more sanctifying".....only God knows what any given person needs to experience. Each situation of hardship is tailor-made for the child of God. So...I guess I'm saying, I value anyone's input in this matter. I can learn from all God's people's experiences! Thanks for your comment.

Gramoni said...

I love your comments, Denise and Hosanna. Susi, I love your testimony, and confirm the truth of what you have said in my own life. Whatever happens I must sing--and then the Magic (Holy Spirit magic) begins and I am lifted to God's holy, healthy place. It's only a short time before we will be there with Him forever. In the meantime, we suffer and are being turned into gold. I think sometimes that I might ignore God far too much for my own good if I didn't feel the pain. A little like some grandchildren I have, not to mention the children I raised. Quote from Ann Bevis: "Oh, yes, we believe in spanking. It gets their attention!"