Written March 2010.
Losing my Mom was very difficult. She suffered her last days on this earth but always trusted the LORD knew best to heal her or take her home. My last conversation with her was so emotional. I did not make it to her bedside before she passed. She knew she was dying and said how much she loved me over and over. She also said to be good to people and love the LORD. As I went to her home to try to get things together after her death I was overwhelmed by the amount of medication she had. I can’t imagine taking that much medication in one day. For as many pills as she took there was no real relief to her suffering because the pills only masked or numbed the symptoms. They did not heal her. While I was home I tried to do some things but had been having a nagging back ache for a few weeks. There were things at my own home back in SC that needed to be taken care of. I managed to overdo it and return to Dallas with very intense pain in my lower back. Long story short after nursing it through the holidays I saw an internist who sent me to an surgeon. I had some inflamation in my spinal column that was pushing on nerves really creating havoc with my concentration and lifestyle. I was prescribed several pain relievers of different types to bombarde the inflamation. They worked for a while but again only masking the pain and not healing me. Something in my spine was misaligned and the meds just kept me from feeling it. When something is spritutally misaligned no amount of emotional medication will heal that. We fool ourselves thinking we are ok when we are running and numbing.
In midst of the grief and physical pain I was challenged to a very deep level by someone from my past that I loved. I had been praying for them for over a year so their sudden appearance seemed to be an answer to prayer. Unfortunately some answers sometimes are not what we prayed for.
This morning I couldn’t sleep thinking about what I am seeing them go through. I thought of this medication scenario when I thought of them. Physical medication that heals nothing does bring momentary comfort and alleviate our pain and suffering. Emotional medication damages us rather than brings comfort. It doesn’t let God’s intention for suffering and testing heal. What do I mean by emotional medication? I mean surrounding your life with things that numb your accountability to GOD and that fills your hours with distractions that keep you from change and God’s will. We hear about major addictions people turn to in order not to feel or deal, drugs, sex, money, and power.
What I am talking about is much more subtle. It’s in our minds and hearts and we have to be careful what and who we expose ourselves to or allow ourselves to become in bondage to. There are two approaches to truth it is either believed and demonstrated by our actions and changes us or dismissed and fills us with knowledge that is useless unless we change. In other words the power of truth is the response to it.
We can be blinded while we are medicating ourselves and it takes more and more to stuff out the noise of our soul’s cry to be free. Jesus came to set the captives free. Isaiah 61. Luke 4. We are going to be tried and tested in this life and much of it is orchestrated to reveal our character and mold us into Christlikeness which frees us. I try to be real about that and my reality isn’t always pretty, I have experienced alot in 49 years.
It grieves my heart watching someone I love ruin their testimony, wander in circles in the wilderness thinking shamefully that it is their plight. People outside of me and my bias who are watching them see it and are saddened as well. When you are being medicated this way by artificial worldy pleasures and pursuits, it’s hard to see it in your life. Your symptoms can be so masked that you really think you are ok even Godly. I was there the first years after my divorce. No one could speak to me and change my heart and mind. I spent hours with people who were broken and medicating themselves with my brokeness. That makes this all the more hard to watch. I have been there.
I have also learned to purposefully take care of my relationship with Christ. I try to keep myself surrounded people who love God and sometimes we pray for and talk about situations and circumstances in our lives being the body fitly joined together. I need the accountability and truth in love they share and I do likewise with them. The biggest change in my life is digging into the WORD of GOD and developing a real intimacy with Him.
I was having such a conversation with a Christian friend who is an author that deals with the subject of wilderness experiences, brokeness, and depression and victorious living in Christ beyond them. I asked him a question based on his experience with folks who resign themselves to “a hard life” who were burnt and spent and this was his answer about their future. I thought it put into words what I hadn’t been able to so far. This is to me what an emotionally medicated person looks like.
“[They] will either enter the rest of Christ and the reality of Christ or live as a wilderness christian with a deeply broken heart wandering around going nowhere in circles” , “pitiful lives with Christ in them and all you see in flesh”
“like the desert a vague memory they will be as a witness, a piece of sand blown away in the wind forgotten that Christ lives in them” ,”You are welcomed into the kingdom but boy a poor example, just like the Israelites, resigned to self-imposed poverty in the desert, and there you will die as a Christian”
“[It’s] so simple, the same faith that saved you is the same faith you live as a Christian. Christ in us living thru us but so hard to grasp”
“Thats what happens to wilderness Christians, you lose focus on the heart and build your ego up – [ ] and put a Christian label on it or you get attracted back to Egypt and live in sin. Build your ego up and make your Christian life attractive on the outside, but the inside is as dry as the desert and as dead as bones.”
This conversation was the result of my heart grieving my loved ones loss. I hate to see them lose. I heard it and felt it in their last contact with me. I hadn’t seen it as clearly as before. The bottom line is as much as I desire things be different, I am not this persons mom and certainly not the Holy Spirit. I can’t fix people. If I could they would be in worse shape anyway because I am not GOD. I have to stand back and get out of God’s way. I also am accountable to guard my heart and walk so as not to let someone be a stumbling block to me. The last underlined sentence gripped my heart the most, I am sure we all have had seasons like this somewhere in our walk. What is the answer? The truth is we all face things that challenge our lives, we come to those storms and are either developed or destroyed. It all depends not on the truth we know but the truth we believe. Is CHRIST not only able to save but able as HIS Word says to “keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day?” Everyone has their pivotal moment when they have to either trust GOD or wander in the wilderness. Challenges reveal our substance and character and most importantly what we believe and base our faith on. GOD will let us choose. GOD is sovereign but it’s always our choice to obey.