Physical death has such a cold, sharp finality. And such temptation. Maybe the ultimate test. My heart cries out, “God, have You forsaken me?”

I have to choose the answer. Even if only intellectually. Even though all I see seems to contradict who I know You to be.

This is Jesus as we are murdering Him. Facing the “Is this worth it?” moments. For the joy set before Him. Jesus didn’t think Love was in vain. It wasn’t our love for God that kept Him alive. No. True Love never dies. No matter the darkness, even the tiniest Light will pierce it thru.

So what are You showing me in this, Lord?

There is a temptation to sit here. To keep Love and Hope alive by sitting here. That’s what I did the past few years. And very unfortunately it did not work. On this side. My love and hope wasn’t enough.

Is Jesus’ Love enough and hope for us enough? Was it?

Maybe yes and no.

The cold, cold sting of death asks me if I could have done more. What if I could have had a few more years? I’m afraid that question will haunt me until I get to the other side.

But this is also a two-way street. Just like with God. What if you were also part of the problem? What if we were stopped, waiting on you also?

Do things happen as they are supposed to happen or can we mess it up? Can we miss out?

Did Abraham and Sarah have to involve Hagar or was there always the option of a different outcome without her? Did Moses have to strike the rock or could he have chosen to go into The Promised Land? Did David have to sleep with a man’s wife and murder her husband or could he have left a better legacy? Did Judas have to betray Jesus or could everyone have chosen differently and experienced more than those three or so years?

There is someone I know who is a very bitter, hateful, hurtful, and combative person. This female refuses to face the pain of her past choices. Instead, she projects – if you listen closely, she is obsessed with telling her story by accusing others of the things she does and has done. Over and over.

Looking in from the outside, it seems so clear that there is a better way, simply speaking of course. But really, is she unnecessarily complicating things?

If so, why? Is it because her hope is in a story she has been telling herself? Versus the heart of God for her?

Could she have a much better life, all she really wants and more, if she just stopped trying to break down the same closed doors and instead turned around and went a different way?

Is my hope also in a story? Or will I allow myself to rest in God? In Trinity’s heart for me? Maybe that is the only way. To real peace and happiness.

I have no room to judge. I get it. But can I decide differently today? To build my love on something other than what I seemed to have lost? To truly believe, even choose to believe, that God’s heart is always for healing versus hurting. Even if it was just us who messed it up.

Jesus sought Peter out. He presented him with another way. Is Spirit doing the same with us today? Ok, with even just me?

I’m a writer. Nobody forces me to put down any certain thing. Yes, words come to mind. But I am the one who ultimately presses the keys. Who says yes and no. Nobody else. Not even God.

So is it that simple? Just write another story? Just tell ourselves another story? Or maybe even stop telling ourselves stories not much further beyond “God loves me for sure”?

Like, what if I didn’t insist on God doing things my way? What would happen if I invited God to whip up some of Trinity’s beautifully artistic mystery into my life? What would I be losing?Fear and control didn’t work anyway in helping me avoid pain and loss; they may have even made the wounds worse.

What if we’re scared to say goodbye because we don’t want to let go and it hurts too much to hope for a good or better hello? Both understandable. But, God. In me. Only FOR me. Even when we abandon ourselves. No?

The only thing that keeps me moving forward is knowing you’d be so unhappy for me to stay stuck. You wouldn’t want your legacy to be me wasting away in your memory. Absolutely not. You’d be so upset FOR me if I did that.

I feel you telling me to honor you by LIVING. By not staying stuck. By not parking my identity in what was. By not defining myself by only one opportunity to have loved.

Even if it was the best. Thus far.

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