Tag Archives: helplessness

But, What If I’m Not?

We have just passed Thanksgiving Day and quickly moving towards the Holiday seasons. It is this time of year that we are reminded to be thankful and grateful for what we have. But, what if I’m not?

Life has its challenges. It has its darker moments for everyone. What if, at this time of the year: you lost someone close to you; you lost your job; you had a medical emergency; you lost everything? What if things just aren’t going well at all..

Hey, it happens. There will be times that will steal our joy and plunge us into the darkness of sadness, anxiety and anger. But these things, too, will pass. It is these times that you find yourself a quiet place, then scream, shout, cuss, curse, cry and just let it all out. But just for a little while, a few minutes or so. Expressing your anger, grief and disappointment to God will let you blow off steam. You will get it off your chest. Does this change anything? Not really. But it does give you a point to move on.

And for being grateful. You can still be grateful. You can be glad that you survived. You can be impressed by your strength to move forward. You can count the blessings of your friends and family. I try to be positive most of the time. But life gets to us all. It is okay to be alone, get mad and yell at the wall. It will clear your mind. And its okay if you break down in tears and let it all out. It is part of healing and moving forward. What is not okay is staying in that place and wallowing in the pain.

So I get it that you might not always be thankful. Life is hard. It doesn’t always make sense. But you get to choose to move on, to go forward, to cope and make it better. And no, I cannot always understand the depth of pain people can feel. But I know that it is never the end. It might be tough right now, but remember, that there is the power to pick yourself up, maybe even with a helping hand. There is something, somewhere that you can be thankful for even if it resides in tomorrow.

So what if you aren’t? It’s okay, there will be another moment where you can. Life is a journey of hills and valleys with lots of intersecting paths. Hope to meet you there.

Trusting in God

   I think it is difficult for most people to trust in the will of God. I know that I must concentrate on renewing my faith when faced with trials. My workplace was just subjected to a reorganization. This caused a great deal of stress and uncertainty for all involved for a period of about a month. It was easy to get caught up in the fears and apprehensions that uncertainty can cause. It was easy to worry about a job loss in a down economy. I have to admit that I did succumb to the fear initially, but I prayed about it and decided that God would open other doors for me if this door closed.

   Prayer helped put my focus on my faith. Trust in God is a matter of faith, obedience, love, and surrender to His will. The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who balked at God’s will but then trusted Him.

   I believe the main reason we find it so difficult to trust in God during trials is that the trials don’t make sense to us or that we can’t believe that a solution is possible. We sometimes place limits on God’s power because we apply our limits and our world’s physical limits on God. Trusting starts with believing that God is capable of getting us through our trial. Trust is knowing that God will provide for us. He may not provide for us in the way we think He might or even in a way we think He should. But we need to know that God loves us. 

   Mother Theresa said “I know God wouldn’t let anything happen I couldn’t handle. I wish God didn’t trust me so much.” I know I feel this way sometimes. Like everyone else, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. I then force myself to think about how big God really is. God can handle anything and because I know that, I can turn to God for help and comfort. I know that God loves me. I also realize that just because it doesn’t turn out the way I want, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love me, it just means that I do not fully understand what God wants for me.

   Another important thing about trials besides teaching us to trust in God is to teach of lessons about life. God wants to make changes IN us, not just for us or around us. Trials help us be better persons, help us learn about our world and others, help us learn more about ourselves and our relationship with God.

   The reorganization is settled. I was offered a position in the new structure. I was prepared for the worst, knowing that God would open other doors for me and at least provide me with what I needed, not necessarily what I wanted, but what I needed. I feel for those that have lost their jobs during the reorganization. I hope they will find other work soon, or even start their own businesses. I hope their trial will bring many positive things to their lives.

   It is easy to trust God during the easy times, but the true test of faith is to trust, love and rely on God during the hard times. God loves you. He has a safe place in His heart for you. May your trials open the heavens so that you may receive the wisdom and blessings that await you.

   Take care, stay well and be safe.

-Justin

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Lessons from Death – Part Four

If you missed Part One you can find it here Lessons from Death – Part One

   Just before my father’s final ambulance ride, I woke up and made my way to the kitchen as I did every morning. I was startled to find my father, folded against his bed face down. I immediately went to him, dropping to my knees. I shook him. He responded with a weak moan. I thanked God he was alive. How long had he been like that? Minutes? Hours? I had no idea. I called 9-1-1. They asked how long he had been down. I could only answer that I didn’t know.

   Within a few hours, my father was alert. By that time, he was getting IV fluids and a blood transfusion. He kept asking me what had happened. I had no answers for him. He could not recollect anything that had happened. As far as he knew, he just woke up in the hospital.

   He was admitted to the hospital for observation. This began his final week among us. My father actually seemed to be doing well. Phew! We thought, another crisis over. It seemed as though we had just breathed a sigh of relief when my father developed a high fever. The doctors and nurses worked hard to control his raging infection. His immune system had already been compromised. He just couldn’t fight it.

   A health proxy, completed much earlier, stated his wishes against feeding tubes and artificial ventilation in favor of a natural passing. A “do not resuscitate” order was already in place. I tell you this because he refused to eat. I agonized between letting him refuse nutrition or forcing him to eat. I tried to feed him fortified pudding but he begged me to stop. I felt helpless. He told me, “Harry, I just can’t do this anymore.” Now, I really felt helpless.

   His doctor held a conference with my girlfriend, my sons, and me. He explained that all they were doing was not affecting the outcome. I made the very difficult decision to honor my father’s wishes and allow him a natural death. He would be made as comfortable as possible until the end. I was letting him go. I desired to and hated to. The anguish of it all stunned me. I would learn later that my youngest sister considered my decision “the killing of her father.” She no longer talks to me.

   The next contribution to this series describes the final letting go and my initial misunderstanding of my father’s last words to me.

Follow this link to Lessons from Death – Part Five

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