Friday, August 26, 2005

Social Security

I'm glad my social security appointment is over. The counselor they assigned to my case is wonderful. I am a 'case' alright...especially today. My second son was born today...a sweet 16 years ago. He had a full head of hair and needed a haircut right away...not much different than today (except that he's pretty 'stylin' these days). He's a good guy...working hard at being a rookie on the waterpolo team. I am so proud of him. I love to see him preparing for his Sunday School teaching. He wants the truths in God's Word to come alive to the children. They are so much more than stories...they are truths about real people...who God used to teach us real lessons about real life.

Real life. "Reel" life. Reeling today. The reality of life is slapping me upside the head. God and I had a long conversation this morning...trying to bring some of the out-of-control thoughts into some sense of order enough to get through the day. One of my best friends is here this weekend with her daughters. I'm so thankful it worked out that way....for them to come up here. I thought it would be a while, but God is good. This family jumped in their car 2 hours after I called them about Mike's journey...for an 8 hour drive. They stayed for a week. That is a kind of friendship security. God has allowed so many different people to be there for me and my family at JUST THE RIGHT TIME....for some it was the infamous week...for others it has been in the days or weeks or months since... I didn't want to be around anyone today. Socially I felt and still feel kind of AWOL.

I don't know why I chose the title 'Social Security.' It just kind of popped in my head a couple of days ago. Maybe the irony? My social security is kind of awkward right now. What in the world is security. It is so easy to take life for granted...especially the lives of those closest to us. I was in Michaels Craft Store today to pick up a birthday present and some stickers caught my eye. They were for putting with photos or in a shadowbox sort of thing. The title on them was "Life's Journey." My mind was racing 100 mph.
  • That's how I refer to Michael's passing (his journey)
  • Those are for putting on photos...I have to do photos...
  • "History" was one of the titles. Michael loved history.
  • He is a part of history
  • I don't want to think that I won't be able to take any more pictures of him
  • Let alone pictures of him with his kids...or ME

I started to cry right there. The rest of the gang was over in the clothing store. I felt like a fly that was flying in a random know, the kind that don't land anywhere so you can't kill them...they're just annoying. My mind didn't want to land and I couldn't move away from the aisle...I tried to remember what I needed to get for my son. Tracing paper. See through paper. What a mental picture. I can't see through to the other side.

I looked up "security" in the dictionary. "1. the state of being or feeling secure; freedom from fear, anxiety, danger, doubt, etc.; state or sense of safety or certainty 2. something that gives or assures safety, tranquility, certainty, etc.; protection; safeguard 3. a) protection or defense against attack, interference... 4 a) something given as a pledge of repayment, fulfillment of a promise, etc.; guarantee b) a person who agrees to make good the failure of another to pay, perform a duty, etc.; surety

Remember the Little Rascals? Michael used to immitate them, "You said a mouthful Stymie." I could journal for hours on the definition of security. While I feel secure in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I cannot say I feel a total freedom from kinds of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Losing Michael bluntly reminds me we have no guarantees here on earth. Any guarantee here is based on eternity. Here we make the choice of where we want to spend eternity. Michael lived his life to clearly present that he knew where he wanted to spend eternity and he wanted to make sure others knew heaven was a place to desire to go. When he was out biking the morning God ushered him into glory, he responded to a comment, "Wow, what a gorgeous day!"He said, "Can you imagine what heaven will be like?"

He loved us, his family, and his friends...but he just was not married to his material posessions. Check out 4 a) in that definition. The dictionary editior might as well have put in Romans 3:23 and 6:23 right there as examples. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." and then in 6:23 it says, "For the wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God), but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." We fall (woefully) short of perfection here on earth, so there is no way we could exist with a holy, perfect, pure God. But, God designed a sacrifical way on His part to pay the cost for our imperfection by sending His Son to die on the cross as a SECURITY, as a guarantee. That guarantee, should we choose to accept it, guarantees us eternal life with God. If this is true, then that eternal destiny, life with Him forever, starts when we make that choice...

If you want to read more about our inheritance, check out Ephesians chapter 1:3-14. If we choose to accept that Jesus bore the cost of our imperfection, we are "sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13b-14) I have not been so "hit" by a definition in a long time. Not only is Christ our surety, the Holy Spirit is given as a promise of our redemption. I spent a lot of time crying tonight...asking things like, "Why was Michael's work on earth done now?" "Why did he have to go now?" I told my friend I wanted to run out of the house and run up and down the street looking for mind was heart was/is broken. At times I glanced around at the things in my house. So much of the stuff...things Michael and I purchased together, or purchased for one another...seems pointless and useless. Yes, some of it tells a story...but when the earthly life is done it can't be over. It seems like there is a bigger story to tell...a bigger ending...or a beginning for Michael.

Sometimes answers are like trying to look through tracing paper. I can't "see" where Michael is, but I've seen God's hand enough in my life that it is easy to trace the truth that he is in the hands of a loving God who will care for me and guide me, ease my fears and soften the blows to my heart. Michael is in his secure place now. And, socially, I am not worried about him...hanging out with the likes of children like Jessie and Casey fill in the blanks....ah, and some of the adults there are certainly still wanting to know "how he did the magic trick." (Can you keep a secret? So can I.)

Besides, as far as seeing clearly, Michael doesn't need his glasses...he is face to face with Jesus. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known." I Corinthians 13:12 He has TOTAL social security. Oh how I want to know Him more. Can we seek Him together?

Secure in His care and appreciating yours...more than you know,

Annie B.


At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to share this with you. Before dinner the kids take turns saying the blessing. Very often the kids will mention Pastor Mike in their prayers. Lil Miss Darcy always has something to say. One night last week she prayed "thank you Pastor Mike died" "What?!" I thought! Realizing her three year old words were not coming out as she may have intended, I gently corrected her. Dylan quickly came to her defense. "Mommy, we should be thanking God that Pastor Mike died...he gets to be in heaven with Jesus. It is a much better place and he is not sad because no one is sad in heaven." Your last entry made me praise God as I realized the SECURITY my eight year old son feels in what God has planned for us. He said it with such confidence! Dylan misses his Pastor Mike with all his heart. He wants him here with us. But somehow, in a simple eight year old way he seems to get the bigger picture. That is the SECURITY I pray he hangs onto all of his life.

And to that I will add how thankful I am to Mike for teaching my kids the TRUTH and helping to instill it into their hearts. Although he has left on his journey with the Lord, Michael's legacy lives on, especially in our house .
Love and Prayers,

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Annie, your ability, during that time in 2005 to open your heart and speak about your feelings, your grief and your love for your husband in such a real way is humbling.

God bless you.


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