Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Morning After

February 25, 2011

Everybody has told me that it will be the day after the funeral, and the weeks, months, and years after that will be hard. So, given this is the dreaded "morning after", I have found since last night that for their sake I (because I tend to be a people pleaser at my core) think it is only appropriate to crash now. Since Friday I have only determined to do one thing at a time, finish one detail before I move on to the next good work that God has ordained. His grace is sufficient for today, tomorrow has enough worries of it's own. We have watched God be with us and give us strength every step of the way so far and we are determined to realize that it is only by his grace that we will take every other step as well for the rest of our lives.

My thoughts over the last couple of days, and especially this morning, have been about being refined by God's fire. When the day comes to write the whole story I will rejoice in the twenty years that God has been preparing me for this, but for now I need to remember His abundant mercy, love, tenderness, and promises that will sustain me until I enter glory. I am so much the more living eternally minded because of what God did Friday. Looking ahead to the day when all things will be tested by God's fire. What was built with precious gold and stone will be revealed, and what was built with hay and stubble will also be revealed.

Trent's life was precious gold and stone to his mother's heart. His loss will always stand the fire as it is just as scripture has said, that the gospel will go forth with much sorrow and heartache. What I find myself being aware of right now is how I go about building the rest. Will I choose to believe what God has promised~ that this is His good work, that He is sovereign, that He really does have every day planned, even Friday? Will I build this to be a poor Terri pity party so I get the glory? Or, with everything that is within me and with all the strength that God gives me, will I hold onto knowing and somehow extolling that this is all about God and him being glorified? Will other's souls be of higher importance to me at this time?

I know that Trent is in heaven, I watched God work in his life. God has revealed and proven enough other scriptures to me that it is a simple equation in my brain to see that God did what scripture says in how he saved Trent (He allowed us to see Trent's hard heart, revealing to us clearly that he was dead in sin. God then saved him, not by our coaxing at the time, etc., but clearly at a time that God changed his heart.), to believe that Trent is now in heaven.

So this "morning after" I have determined to be where God wants me, not where everybody else thinks I should be. I have begged God to never let me want Trent back here. There is nothing here that I would want him for if it denies him being with God. I want to always praise God for His perfect plan of salvation. Those who love salvation love God's ways (Psalm 40).

God has also graciously brought several examples from scripture to mind. When the baby died was when King David rose up from his mourning clothes, washed, anointed himself with oil and called for food. Those around him were baffled, as many are around us, but his response was that the baby died. David knew that he would go to the baby, but the baby would never return to him. God has chosen Trent to go home at this time; God has chosen us to live at this time. May we always be faithful to God in the days left we have to live and do His work.

Another example is Jesus Christ himself, who Hebrews says suffered in many the same ways as we have. He fully knew the consequences of sin and that God's plan for salvation would include death, even his own death. I have been recalling His reaction, and can not recall ever when he was angry about it. He struggled in the garden, but in the end it was God's will that He longed for over his own. God also reminded me of Lazarus, and how scripture says that Jesus wept. It is okay to weep.

But my thoughts of Jesus also go to his resurrected body, and give me yet again the hope of one day gladly giving up this body, as Trent has just given up his body, and look forward all the more to the day that God calls me home. I would not want to be wished back.

Paul's life has also been on my mind over the last few days. God for now has especially brought us the book of Philippians to affirm again His good plans in this. Paul was in prison facing his own death at the time, yet his only thought was to glorify God in it and to see many saved, which he did. Even in those circumstances, Paul says several times "rejoice~ and again rejoice". As the passage in Isaiah 65:17-25 was so sweetly given to us from God, I will hold on tightly to the verses that tell me this was God's good and perfect plan and it is okay to rejoice in it forever because that is what God is doing.

We are being poured out like a drink offering, and like Paul, we can't choose which is better: to be with Christ or to remain here for the sake of God's work, but being that God has us here, we can only choose to storm forth and battle for lost souls with a vengeance and energy that we have never had before. We will continue to fight the good fight all the days God allows us to. When and if the hard days come, I will worry about them then. Today God's grace is more than sufficient, and again today He has allowed me great rejoicing that my son is in heaven.

I am trying to be very careful to let God handle all of the details at this point as well. I tend to have my own ideas of how God should work even in this, and I need to remind myself over and over again that God will do the rest, not me. My part is to be faithful to what and who He calls me to, not to manage the numbers and times and depth that He will take people. It is God that I need to glorify, not my own ego.

I long to stay in this hiding place of God, where I am being carried by so many prayers and an abundance of grace. Where nothing else matters but the gospel going forth. The worldly things of jobs, money, schedules, etc., etc., are soon going to creep back in and I don't want to get caught up in this world again.

My other morning thoughts are the ones of the amazing celebration we enjoyed yesterday. Of the many, many ministering opportunities that we had personally, and I am sure others had as well. Of the gospel going forth several times, personally and publicly. We were told that 400 people attended the funeral. I think of the people who came to surround us. I tried to drink in every single part of the day, but at the same time let it go and not hold on to the yesterdays so we can do the work God would have for us in the tomorrows.

The finality is not Trent's body in the coffin, it is the work of God being done. No matter what God chooses to do with his death, Trent is still in heaven, and that will be enough, although I long for God to do more and to save many, because that is what He promised to do. And He also promised to never leave me or forsake me in doing it. What a mighty God we serve!