“This time last year…” started a conversation with a friend I bumped into last weekend at a wedding celebration.
He & his wife are long-time friends – back in the days when we really didn’t have a care in the world. It might have felt like we did, but gosh did we ever burn the candle at both ends – not carousing, just fun. Those were the days when you could stay up all night, eat at the IHOP at 1AM and still function the next day. Well, maybe not full-function.
I think I might have been the only one in our crew who had a corporate job. The company I worked for could probably still remember how well I functioned – from frequently showing up with two different shoes, to possibly drifting off to sleep while working at my desk in my super-cool office that doubled as the file room (which was a HUGE step up from my 1st office that doubled as the copy-room — my life is a sitcom!), to a colossal embarrassing-moment prompted by runs in my panty-hose, and more.
Such great friendships were formed. Including my friend who I got to see at the wedding. This time last year we saw each other and almost all of our just-out-of-college-days friends not at a wedding celebration, but still a celebration of a life well-lived. Our friend whom we were celebrating insisted it be a full-on party. And it was. Dancing, singing, remembering. Our friend, Greg Murtha, wasn’t there in person as he is living what Randy Alcorn so beautifully refers to as the “long tomorrow.”
“This time last year,” my friend said as I hugged he and his wife, “it was little different.”
Hard life-circumstances. Can the heaviness, the sadness, the questions and anger and fear associated with those be overwhelmed by Truth?
These last couple of weeks have been busy for me – in great ways and in very challenging ways. One of the greatest things about writing a book literally founded upon and contemplating Truth – is that I get to hear it over and over as it passes my lips (even in front of live audiences, even standing next to someone drenched in tears at 1AM in the morning). I get to hear and contemplate over and over
I get to hear about God’s power over the seen and unseen. Not just hear it, but contemplate it. Because if such a concept is worth saying, worth banking on, it has to have stood and still be standing up to the test of time. And honestly, I can’t find a time that it hasn’t or doesn’t. Truth is absolutely worth banking on.
And I thought about Truth and this time last year as our friend who, having been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, physically suffered so greatly – overwhelmingly so. Yet according to him, he lived a more full and unencumbered life after his diagnosis than he had ever lived before his diagnosis. Why? All the things of this world that had overwhelmed him (performance pressures, expectations – both his own and those of others, worries, fears, … and more) paled in comparison to Truth.
- Truth that every need would be met (they were)
- Truth that people walking alongside are what matter most in life
- Truth that all the do-all and be-all are complete and done in what has been done-for us
- Truth that the world’s enough is absolutely elusive and ridiculous since we already have and are.
He wrote about it in his book Out of the Blue. (Greg says it all a lot better than me!)
And I thought about some other friends who experienced unimaginably hard life-circumstances losing a child. I dropped by their house this week just to say hi and saw his name carved in the sidewalk next to his sisters and wondered how old he was when that cement was wet, begging for initials and names. And I thought how I’d never move from that house if I were them and about what they let me share in Not the Boss of Us: Putting Overwhelmed in Its Place:
“Words just don’t capture the deep, deep level of pain felt and the glory of God realized as he lifted us from that pain—not immediately, but in his sovereignty over the time period he deems perfect as he continues to lift us.” In the midst of unimaginable heartache, they stand equally unimaginably overwhelmed by Truth.
Time is a part of Truth’s process. If we can surrender and wait and trust and live, fully live in the midst – respecting Yesterday with all its happenings (so many of which fight to over-inform our day today since the past can do that) and Tomorrow with all it’s expectations, concerns as well as anticipations.
And for people of faith, there’s another rather huge part of Truth – the whose we are part. So on that note, here’s our most recent SaySomething chat – with J.T. & Sara Olson. J.T.’s story is an up-close and personal example of provision in overwhelming life circumstances. It’s a story about passion and purpose and about circumstances-redeemed. But rather than overshare the story here – let’s let JT have his say:
Thanks for walking the road with me.
and now for yet another shameless plug – since TRUTH is such a better overwhelmer than the things of this world!
If you have had the chance to check out Not the Boss of Us – the folks behind it all would be humbled by and so appreciative of any time you might have to write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Good Reads.
T H A N K Y O U!