You’re reading Week 4 in a series called Hearts Undaunted. We are exploring how to live free from overwhelming fear, anxiety, discouragement, insecurity, and worthlessness.
Sometimes, a little background or peek behind the scenes is meaningful.
Hence this post…
Yesterday, I wrote at (in)courage about lies and truth. By “yesterday, I wrote,” I mean that I wrote the post in the late spring, submitted it, waited for a response, and got my post scheduled to “go live” on September 18th (yesterday).
When I began our Hearts Undaunted series, I had the date for my (in)courage post and decided that my heart tool of replacing lies with truth would pair nicely with the (in)courage post.
I had no idea then that this week leading up to me writing about lies and truth would be fraught with a battle of real life lies and truth. But, here it is:
The world stopped turning for a moment on Monday, September 10th.
Before all the news reports flooded mid and southeast Michigan came my 7:00 am wake up call: Pat is dead. Shot. Killed in the line of duty. Pat? Amy’s Pat? Our Amy? O’Rourke? Patrick O’Rourke is dead?
Immediately, the lies started:
This is too big for you to touch.
There’s no way you can help.
You don’t know what to do.
What could you possibly do to help?
And the ones I really internalized:
I will not know what to do.
I will not know what to say.
I will say and do the wrong thing.
I will let her down.
I won’t do enough.
I’ll do too much.
What if I offend people?
What if the family doesn’t want me there?
A really insidious one: This is Amy’s grief, and nothing I might be feeling comes close to her pain, so I have no right to be grieving anything.
With variations: How dare I worry about being close to her, or getting into the church, or tripping on the stairs when I go up to read…(insert any anxiety here) when Amy’s grief is so big?
I second-guessed my every thought and action, worrying whether it would come out sounding exactly right.
The truth is: there is no guide book for this situation. No one knows the “right” thing to do, what should be said or done.
The truth is: though this is Amy’s nightmare, grief also trickles down to many others. I can support her better by dealing with my feelings in a healthy way.
The truth is: It is normal to take some time to get my bearings, think things through, and discern how to proceed.
The truth is: everyone needs grace in this situation, and no one expects perfection. I must apply this to myself, too.
In the swirling chaos and crazy of the week, the Lord mercifully planted this desire in my heart: that I stay focused on Truth and reject any pull into the ugly side of grief–anyone’s grief. That I let go of anything that doesn’t really matter and just be present. Be available. Be stable. Be unoffended by anything.
In the crazy and chaos of the week, in her grief, sweet Amy spoke out several times. From deep within her spirit came a resounding voice of Truth to quell all lies, and it left me speechless. Not with grief, but with awe. With conviction. With that intangible feeling that I had a fleeting, yet definite moment of God’s presence.
“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”–Philippians 4:8
Think on these things.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. If you are discouraged and anxious, if you feel afraid, insecure, or worthless, this is something you can do right now to change things.
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