Why?


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world 1253045942Xr6lMiand against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12

Why can’t we have peace on earth?

In the beginning, there was peace on earth, but God created humans with the ability to make free choices. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, all future mankind bore the consequences. The peaceful existence that God desired for us was traded for a world full of chaos and pain, where evil has free reign.

Why do awful, unthinkable things happen?

When tragedy strikes, we look for someone or something to blame. After the recent school shooting, people placed blame on many things:

  •  No prayer in our schools: Some say that God isn’t allowed in our schools because policy dictates that schools no longer have times of public prayer. As a Christian, I of course want the whole world to accept the practice of corporate public prayer, but lack of public prayer within the walls of our schools did not cause this tragedy. There were Christians in that school that day, and I have no doubt that there were prayers being said there as well, so yes God is still allowed in our schools. As long as Christians continue to pray, there will be prayer in our schools.
  •  Guns: Some say guns should be banned or at least better controlled. This didn’t happen because people are allowed to own guns. Criminals will always find ways to get weapons. Evil causes people to kill others with guns.
  •  Mental Illness: Some say this individual was mentally ill? Even so, most mentally ill people do not commit horrific acts of violence. Evil will however, take advantage of the weak.

Why is it so easy for a mentally unstable individual to acquire a gun?

Perhaps if he had been exposed to prayer and Bible readings while at school, he might have turned out different. Perhaps if more funds were allotted for research and treatment of mental illness then he could have been helped before he became violent. Perhaps if there was better gun control, he would not have been able to get the gun.

Why? I don’t know.

Why did it have to be children who died?

I can’t make sense of this but I know that only evil could do such a thing. The purpose of evil is to destroy all that is good. The best thing about us as humans lives inside our children, who have yet to lose their innocence. When children are harmed, the damage and pain is far-reaching.

Why does God not intervene and prevent horrible tragedies?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

God is always at work. He protects, He heals, and He does intervene much more often than we realize. Throughout life, things happen that influence our decisions or the paths we choose. Many times it’s as simple as running late for work and later realizing that if we had been on time, it might have been us involved in that fatal accident. For unexplained reasons, we left the house a few minutes later that day and reached that intersection just minutes after the accident.

When God intervenes, His hand is invisible because we choose not to see it until it’s more visible against the dark backdrop of evil. It seems that we only look for the hand of God when evil is present.

Why? I don’t know.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”    Psalm 34:18

As I write this, I try to choose my words carefully. I don’t want to minimize the pain, the suffering, and the loss for these families. There is no acceptable answer, to “Why”.

I don’t write as a scholar, a philosopher, a psychologist, or any kind of expert. I don’t have the answer. I write as a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, but most of all as a child of God, who needs to express my own sad and confusing thoughts. Writing helps me gain clarity, however this time… I still question… Why?

On December 14, 2012, evil walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT and took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults.

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Dear 16 year old me


206468_1063012942220_8031215_nHi there, it’s been a long time. It’s been 34 years since… well, since I was you. I’m sorry that I’ve taken so long to write but I thought it was time that I contacted you to tell you how life has turned out so far and to try share a little of the wisdom that I’ve gained over the years.

First, I want to tell you that I know how you feel about yourself and I want you to try to learn to love yourself. You really are a very special person and you have a lot to offer. Don’t sit on the sidelines so much. Try new things, take a few risks and don’t be afraid of failure. It’s okay to fall down; it’s okay to make mistakes, just don’t give up. Please stop comparing yourself to others. Learn to like what you see in the mirror or better yet, get a new mirror because you are seeing a distorted image… you aren’t seeing yourself the way others see you. Life will be much easier for you once you learn to do these things. To be honest, 34 years later, you are still working on this but you have come a long way.

I know you are hurting right now. Life seems really hard and it’s not fair. Your parent’s divorce felt like the ground crumbled beneath your feet. All the safety and security of home was taken away from you but you and your brother and sisters will get through this eventually. This event does shape your life in many ways, as does every other experience, but your feet will find stable ground again.

You will someday understand that your parents did the best they knew how to do. Try to spend as much time as you can with your momma and daddy. They will be with you for many years but your momma will go to be with the Lord much sooner than you are ready to let her go. After she is gone, you will think of many things that you want to say to her and there will be many questions you want to ask, so make sure you do that while you can.

Prepare yourself, because life is about to take another drastic change. You will soon be married. I guess you needed to grab onto something after the divorce and this relationship was convenient. In less than a year, you will be a mom… yes, soon after you turn 17; you will become the mom of a beautiful little girl.

I wish I could tell you that life is wonderful from now on and you live happily ever after, but you will experience divorce again… this time, it will be your own. There will be other bad relationships as well. There will also be some very good times. You will have another baby girl in 1984 and a baby boy in 1986. Enjoy your children. They will always be a source of joy and comfort for you.

A part of me wants to warn you of all the situations and people that will cause you pain so you can avoid them. but I know that you must travel the same journey that I’ve already traveled. You will go through times when you don’t want to face another day… but God has His hand on you and He has a purpose for you, so remember this at those times when the depression drags you so deep into those dark pits that you can’t see a way out. Remember this when you go through sleepless nights worrying about your children or about how you are going to get through another day.

Many years from now, when you are 40, God will bring you to a difficult place; A place where you will have to make a decision to either try to continue to live life depending on your own abilities or to depend completely on Him. Remember this scripture: “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). God will use this verse during this time to speak to you. At this point, your life will begin to change in wonderful ways.

I wish I could tell you how to avoid the difficult times and to spare you so many nights of crying yourself to sleep, but if I did that, it would change who I am and where I am today. Although some parts of your life will be hard, it’s this journey which  you must travel that will make you the person that God created you to be.

This is what I want you to know about the person you will become.  Every hurt, every scar, every experience, good and bad has shaped me into the person that I am today. The journey was not always easy, but even during the bad times; there were wonderful blessings, such as my children. This journey eventually intersects with the path of a wonderful godly man who is now my husband. I know it’s hard right now to think so far into the future but just try to remember whenever times are hard that God has a plan for you and it’s worth every tear and every rough spot in the road.

With much love,

Darlene (50 years old)

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Never too late


Bible“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” 

Deuteronomy 6:7           

 

I became a mom at the young age of 17. Talk about being clueless… I was completely head over heels in love with that precious little girl but I didn’t really know how to help her grow up. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do to prepare her to leave home and build a life of her own or to raise children of her own.

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That little girl is now 33 years old and has two little girls of her own. I also have a 28 year old daughter, and a 26 year old son. In spite of my youthful ignorance, they all survived and I’m proud of the adults they have become. I do however, think about all the things that I “didn’t do”, that I wish I had done with them when they were children.

I Did Not:

  • read them bedtime stories
  • help them say their prayers at night
  • always teach them to pray and give thanks for meals
  • have a time of devotions and Bible reading with them
  • give them an allowance and teach them to be good stewards
  • get them involved in giving to charities and helping the needy

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As I watch my children today, I realize that even though I didn’t do all the right things, it is not too late to be a role model and to teach them by example. They still call me for advice and they still look to me for answers, so I know that I can still have an influence on them and  help them be better role models for their children.

What I Now Do:

  • I read a lot and I share what I am reading with my children.
  • I pray for my children and I tell them that I’m praying. My children will tell you that Momma’s answer for everything is “let’s pray about it”.
  • When we have meals together, we give thanks.
  • I have a time of devotion and Bible reading with my husband daily and my children are aware of this.
  • We are missionaries, so we live on a budget and my children have seen how God has provided for our needs and how we  practice being good stewards of God’s blessings.
  • As missionaries, we serve others in need.

I hope that my life today influences the lives of my children but even though there were things I failed to do, they have grown up to be healthy, happy, godly adults. This is not because of what I did or did not do but because God took care of them. As a young parent, many times I didn’t know what to do, so I just prayed and I still do that today… I pray over my children and God takes care of the rest. If your children are not “children” any longer; don’t look back and regret the things you didn’t do or the things you did wrong, it’s never too late to be a role model. Be an example of Christ for your children, no matter their age.

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What About Santa Claus?


santa_clausA large part of the Christmas season centers around the tradition of “Santa Claus”. However, many people may question whether or not Christians should take part in this tradition. As Christians, we believe that Christmas is meant as a celebration of the birth of Christ and as a reminder that Christ was a gift from God to all who will accept Him. So, is it ok to allow our children to believe that there is a Santa Claus? How parents approach this question is a personal choice but I feel that the key is to keep “the main thing, the main thing”… meaning that Christ is the main thing in Christmas, so keep Him the main thing.

Allow children to enjoy the “magic” of Christmas but don’t go to great lengths to tell lies and perpetuate the fantasy of Santa Claus. Children are going to learn about Santa, elves, and the North Pole from other places even if parents don’t put a big emphasis on these things. When they are old enough to ask questions, then that is the time to evaluate just how well they can separate fantasy from reality. When children are old enough to ask, “How can Santa Claus visit all the children in the world in one night?” they are beginning to develop reasoning skills. This may be the time to explain that mommies and daddies actually help Santa… this is the first step to helping children separate what is real and what is fantasy. Don’t lie to children when they begin asking questions; allow the natural process of learning and discovery to take place. With or without the belief of “Santa Claus”, Christmas will still be a magical time, and there will still be presents under the tree when they wake up on Christmas morning.

Parents can use Santa to teach biblical principles to children. There are many similarities between Christ and the persona of Santa.

  • Both encourage children to come to them.
  • Both are givers are good things
  • Both reward good and punish bad
  • Both can be in multiple places at the same time
  • Both live forever

The list of comparisons could go on and on. These similarities can be viewed as either good or bad depending on how you look at them. Parents can use them to teach and reinforce the true meaning of Christmas. They can teach biblical principles such as hope, giving to others, caring for the needy, and loving others. Parents can explain how Santa is a secular symbol for these things. The parallels between Christ and Santa can be a bad thing however, if parents allow Santa to become a replacement for Christ during the Christmas season.

Nativity

The Christmas season actually begins the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, so there is plenty of time to focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. Santa Claus really only has one night, he arrives on the 24th of December; on Christmas Eve… so keep Christ the main focus on all the other days of the season.

Christmas is a special time of year and regardless of how commercialized some people make it, Christmas is a Christian holiday. Without CHRIST there is no CHRISTMAS.

This was reprinted on faithwriters.com