1 Peter 5:7-8
Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (Psalm 55:22) 8. Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
I have never been that great at dealing with emotions, mine or anyone else’s. I am not typically an overly emotional person and when I am it usually comes out mostly as anger or is covered up with anger. So for me this has been a really challenging 2 weeks to deal with. For anyone that doesn’t know, my Papa passed away January 16th. He had been battling lung disease for a while and though the timing was a surprise it really wasn’t. I know he was at peace and I know he’s flatfooting around the throne (especially now that my Granny knows it’s ok to dance) and his love for music is being used to praise the King. I am certain he was met by a myriad of relatives he has longed to see for a very long time and they are all there cheering us on. Though I know all these things it doesn’t change the fact that he’s not here, he’s no longer a phone call or visit away.
I think it’s safe to say that anyone who has ever had a loved one move on to Heaven knows all the ups and downs of emotions that go with it. There are the moments of rejoicing, of remembrance of their lives, sadness, grief and anger. There are the moments of wanting them back so bad you can’t stand it and at the same time praising God that you were blessed to have had them in your life in the first place. We all have ways we cope with all of the emotions that follow the death of a loved one. For me, I typically stay really busy and try to avoid the quiet so I don’t think too much. For the most part it works and most people are supportive. It may not be perfect or someone else’s way but it works for me.
I absolutely hate funerals. Not just because someone we love will no longer be here but all of the other garbage that goes on. Maybe it’s just me but they always seem so drama filled. A moment that should be for family togetherness and consolation turns into back biting, manipulation, fighting over stuff and craziness. Emotions run high and that’s coupled with people that aren’t always the best of friends anyway being thrown together and being asked to play nice when they would prefer to not. It’s also a time that you get together with the people that have probably seen you at your best and your worst and won’t let you forget the latter.
Don’t get me wrong the majority of my family and friends are amazing. But (yes a but) there’s always one. There’s that one person that no matter what there will be something or everything that will be overly dramatic. For me it’s always the same person and the only person. I decided, no I determined, that I was not going to allow this behavior to affect me any longer and definitely not at this moment. I determined that at this point in my life I was going to focus on who God says I am not the opinion of someone else. Someone else’s distorted view of me or their own insecurities with themselves were not going to make me forget who I am in Christ or who God says I am.
It went well through the funeral and the days immediately after, as well as a funeral can go anyway. There were comments and snippiness but nothing that was even validated. But the week after I suppose it had been too quiet for too long or all the other digs hadn’t worked when it hit. A simple conversation turned into 20 text messages of rage, jealousy and nastiness. It’s like the scripture above says “careful your enemy waits”. I was ready this time armed with the Word and what God says about me and who I am in Him. It was close, a week no, a lifetime of emotions and wrongs welled up and everything in me wanted to blast them with all of it. If I could just get it out! Forget the texts I wanted to call, wanted to yell and wanted to put them in their place. How dare them! They had no right to say anything to me about honor, honesty, love or accountability. Not to mention the nerve to choose one of the hardest times in my life to behave that way.
For one of the first times in my life I paused and didn’t blast them, though I had the words there I didn’t use them. I prayed. As I heard the phone chiming with text after nasty text I didn’t even look. I prayed. I was praising God that His Word was written in my heart for times just like this. I was grateful for my phone that has a Bible on it. I was thankful for all of the family and friends that had sent me messages praying for my peace though they probably didn’t really truly know why I needed them. Above all else I praised God for Jesus and because of Him I was a new creature in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things have become new.” I praised God for that! I am a new creature in Christ I don’t have to respond the way it would be expected, I don’t have to respond at all. Praise God that according to Romans 8:1 “there is no condemnation to me because I am in Christ”. Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world (1 John 4:4), I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved me (Romans 8:37), I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and I resist the devil and he flees from me (James 4:7).
My response after being determined to not allow the enemy to destroy my witness was one of forgiveness, prayer and moving on. This time I have closure with peace and I can go before the Father knowing because of who I am in Him I did what He wanted-stayed determined to put Him first. That my friends is where I am determined to stay In Him and focusing only on those things He wants and who He says I am. Why? Because it is a necessity!