The Only 100% Guarantee

2 Corinthians 5:5

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, simple wooden crossguaranteeing what is to come.

For over 2 decades my profession was in the financial services industry.  I worked in several capacities for financial advisors.  Clients would seek the services of advisors to guide them through the process of preserving assets and accumulating wealth.  They wanted some assurance, some guarantee, of what was to come.

There is no investment, no insurance policy, no piece of real estate that can guarantee what is to come.  2 Corinthians 5:5 gives us all the advice needed if we want a 100% guaranteed investment for our future.

Giving our lives over to God, completely trusting in His love for us, allowing the Spirit to guide us, is the only 100% guarantee for our future that we have.  And we have it because He gives it to us.  All we have to do is take it.

 

Be mindful how you’re mimicked

 

Bad Company corrupts good character – 1 Corinthians 15:33blog phot little boy looking up

Nothing good happens after midnight

These are two of the phrases my boys would mimic me saying when recalling memories of their childhood.

When telling me about one of their friends that got into trouble I would ask, “What time did that happen?” expecting the answer to be past midnight (and it usually was)!

If I thought one of their friends was a little shady I’d give them a dose of 1 Corinthians!

When your children recall your teachings, what life instructions will they remember?  What do you hope they recall?  Be mindful of how you want to be mimicked later in life!

 

A Personal Note

I’m going to stray from my standard “post” and get personal.  I’ve blogged before about the rash that was overtaking my face, neck and chest.  My first recollection of having the rash goes back to August of 2011.  It would come and go but by March of this year it became alive in a whole new way.  The flare-ups were getting more violent, more frequent, and lasting longer.  I’d been seen by 2 doctors, 3 dermatologists including the head of dermatology at University of Colorado (so really 9 if you include all the residents and interns and other docs called in!). I’d been on 13 different meds including steroids. I was seen by an allergist at National Jewish and patch tested for allergies which did result in some findings that helped but didn’t resolve.  Get the picture?!  It was BAD!  My skin was so weak it would break open.  My fear was that I would get an infection – then what?  Oh, and have I mentioned that it was getting increasing painful!

I can anticipate your question.  “Did you surrender this to God?”  Yes, yes and yes.  I went prostate and prayerfully to Him daily.  Everybody was praying for and with me.  I poured over the book of Job seeking for some piece of peace or wisdom.  Again, I NEVER turned from God but I was getting angry with my Father, especially when the pain was intensifying.

So, what was I to do?  I continued going to doctors armed with my lab results, pictures, and journal.  I was starting to hear, “Anything that I would do has already been done.  There’s nothing I can do for you.”

I’d exhausted medical resources and realized (or had it pointed out to me by my best friend Judy) that I really should start considering that the rash was psychological.  To quote Judy, “Julie, I think you are wearing your grief on your face.”

It was the only road I hadn’t traveled in an effort to get to the bottom of this “rash” that was overtaking my face and life.

I made an appointment with a grief counselor recommended by my latest doctor and also began attending the group grief share program at church.

It has now been 16 days that my rash has been MUCH better (minus 4 days with a flare up).  I’ve had 3 personal counseling sessions and been to 2 group grief share sessions at church.  I have only taken 6 Ibuprofen during these past 16 days for my 4 dare flare up.

Here’s my point.  I am not a doctor,  psychologist, counselor, etc.  I have lived 2 years with a rash that got increasingly painful and ugly.  I exhausted medical treatments available to me.  I started the psychological aspects of my grief and, so far, have found relief.

What I believe is that there is an actual process for grief that has to be addressed.  I have always submerged difficult feelings but this time I think I let it go too deep.  It was too big for me to handle so I didn’t.  And I thought I was doing okay; still eating, sleeping, laughing, working, living.  But my soul knew better and my body responded with this rash until I came to the realization I had to address the physcological aspects of Max’s dying. It wasn’t enough to get through the days.  I needed and continue to need help from professionals who have studied and dealt with the subject of grief.

Just because I am living it does not make me any kind of expert and until the mental aspects of losing my child got attention my body would react; in my case with the face rash.

It’s been said over and over that the grief journey is personal to each person traveling it.  No one has the right to criticize it, BUT, in my case, my body was telling me I was doing it wrong!

If you are grieving or are close to someone who is, keep this writing in mind.  I didn’t realize there is an actual process and that I needed help I didn’t know I needed.  I am now getting counseling and attending a group program and it is helping.

My hope for anyone going through this experience is that they will consider including grief counseling in their grief journey arsenal.