True Rest Tuesday #0015 | About Life, Death, Obedience, Goodbyes and a New Personal Mission
I write this week's True Rest Tuesday with mixed emotions, and this will be the last of this series at least for an indefinite time for reasons that I will get to. This week consists of a list of thoughts, convictions, lessons, and thing learnt, journaled down here as a place of memory for the work and truth of God in my life.
Loss and birth within our church family
This week our church family has experienced a loss of our dear sister who has been battling cancer for the last two years. She was given two months last week after being rushed to a hospital and passed away yesterday on her sister's due date. This morning her baby niece was born, and her family shared with us this verse:
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5 ESV)
As a church family, we knew and trusted that God was able to heal her fully, and we all prayed for a miracle. Sunday night the Holy Spirit urged me to pray, and I asked the Lord that my dear sister would not suffer anymore. In God's infinite mercy and grace, she took our sister back home to be with Him and answered our prayers. She is now fully healed; she is no longer suffering.
As we prayed last night at our ladies ministry gathering, I felt God impress the truth on me that He is the God of the living, and not of the dead. I felt God's Holy Spirit tell me that our beloved sister is alive; she is in a place where Satan is defeated, where sin is no more and death is defeated. She is in a place where there is only life and joy in the presence of God's holiness and love. I felt the Spirit impress upon me that our beloved sister is fully alive, more alive than the rest of us here.
I praise God for the work of the cross. I thank you, Jesus, that you lived a perfect life that we ought to have lived, and that you died a death that we deserved to die. I thank you, Jesus, that through the power of the Holy Spirit you rose again on the third day to show that you have defeated Satan, sin and death. I thank you that you saved our sister, that she glorified you these last two years in unwavering faith and trust in you, and she finally has You, Jesus, as her prize. God, I thank you so much that you chose her to be your own and you have redeemed her and that she is safe now with you.
I'm amazed at God's timing, that in the wake our sister leaving us, that you have timed for new life to be born. I am amazed that God continues to shower His love over that family and we are amazed by the strength that they have in God and how they are glorifying Him right now.
When the world keeps turning
Even in the hope of where our sister is now, the sting of death still has its power and presence in our life with Christ. In the sting of learning of her passing, at that moment where you felt the whole earth should stop and mourn, it did not. The trees did not falter to bring forth its flowers; the sun did not stand still. The endless streams of superficial thoughts and Facebook posts, frivolous photos and trivial tweets did not cease to flow.
The book of Ecclesiastes came to mind in all of this - I just can't pinpoint a verse. A sense of the temporariness of life, the continuation of cycles, the forgetfulness of man.
How I have grieved the Holy Spirit
I came to place of conversation with a friend whose life is adorned with the fingerprints of Christ. And in that conversation, the Spirit used it to show me that He is fully able to show you what you should and shouldn't do, and reminded me of those times when I have willingly disobeyed the Spirit and grieved Him.
When I wanted a dog, I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me "no", but I silenced His voice and closed my ears to Him and bought her anyway. I see how I have done this with so many things.
I remember one specific time I wanted to buy some VSCO film emulations. I could sense the Spirit telling me, "No", but I hushed Him and proceeded to enter my credit card details into the fields. My credit card failed, and I could sense the Spirit saying, "no", again and moved money over to my credit card in stubbornness and willing disobedience. When my purchase went through, and I went to download the film pack, I realised I purchased the wrong one, and moved more money over and bought the right one.
And then I lamented for a short while over how much money I just spent because of my sheer willingness to have something, and wondered whether I would get a refund for my purchase.
God's grace, even when I disobey
VSCO do not offer refunds for their purchases. I panicked - they're not cheap after all. Somehow, when I contacted the company they were gracious with me to give me a yellow card and one time only refund. In my guilt I thanked God. Even with my dog Talitha, I sometimes feel the strain that I went against God's desire for me, she is a lot of responsibility after all and takes up a lot of my time and energy. Even still, God has been very merciful, overly gracious to give me a wonderful dog with a wonderful nature. She's low energy overall, and great company, healthy and a comfort to me.
God's "blessing" is not always proof that you have obeyed Him
I'm not advocating that it's okay to disobey and grieve the Spirit of God. God in His mercy shows me grace and mercy in spite of my disobedience. Just because you feel blessed in the wake of a decision does not mean that you were obeying and doing God's desire for you.
However, I will testify that in those moments where I had willingly disobeyed God, it did not go without an incredible sense of guilt and condemnation. I felt shame in doing so and so avoided talking to God as a result of my rebellion against His prompting.
Why I'm ending this series indefinitely
I've sensed the Holy Spirit ask me to stop blogging for the purposes that I am currently doing. In this I retorted with a, "why, I love it, you've given me skills for it, it's starting to grow now!"
However, I feel that my commitment to writing the True Rest Tuesday series to be trying on my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I feel that I'm sneaking off to write, that I'm more committed to writing and seeking God only for the purpose of writing. I see it even how my posts have weakened. I know it's God who grows things, and so I trust Him with my blog, and I trust Him with my life and relationships and everything else. So for whatever reason, it will be for the better.
A summary of everything God has done through this series
I thank God for all He's shown me through this series, I may pick it up again one day with His prompting, but until then and until I have peace, I will discontinue writing this series. I am amazed by what God has shown me through it, and how He has used it to work out a great mass of sin in me; right now I have never felt so free.
I believe God is calling me to seek Him more through prayer and I will be glad to share that with you if and when He does.
A new personal mission
In light of where I feel God is guiding me, He has impressed me a new desire to make a personal mission to live by and be remembered by. I want to be a woman whose life is remarkably decorated with the work of Jesus. I want my life to be about His story in me; to be able to carry a song in my heart of what He is doing in my life. I desire His life to be manifested in me; I want those who don't know Him to know and remember me as someone who leans her full weight on trust on Jesus.
Do you have a personal mission? What's been going in your week? Have you ever ended something you didn't want to in obedience to God?