Saturday, March 19, 2005

Weekly Word for March 18 - 25, 2005


Weekly Word - March 18, 2005

The Lord is my shepherd . . . He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .
(Psalm 23: 1 - 4)

As I turned on the radio, I heard that song again! Ted and I had just seen the video the day before, and found ourselves caught by the emotion the song brought out. It was a song about a young boy, and his decision to kill himself. The boy singing the song, asks all the questions that so many ask when something like this happens. “How could you get that lonely . . . And nobody knows?” The questions continue: “Why, how . . .” In the video, you saw people in their cars and trucks, driving somewhere and asking the questions. And then you saw it - - - they were heading to the cemetery. So broken and full of grief that you knew that they had loved him - - - and the questions remained . . .

Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.
(Psalm 25: 16 & 17)

For I am lonely and afflicted . . . I wish I could say that none of us would ever feel like this - - - but the truth is that we do! Each of us will face heartaches and losses during our lives. Choices of how to handle our lives . . . Sometimes, those choices have “forever” consequences . . .

I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. The cords of death encompassed me, . . . I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord.
(Psalm 116: 1 - 4)

I was 16 when I first met this beautiful little boy! He was only three years old, and I had just started dating his uncle. When I met him, I believed he was the most beautiful child I had ever seen. He had the type of blonde hair that is almost white, and big blue eyes, and long lashes that every girl wishes for. When I looked at him - I wanted a little boy just like him!

After that day, I started to stop by to visit him after school. His grandma watched him, as his momma worked as a nurse. Jonathan and I would go on long walks, and he would tell me stories or ask questions the whole way. He was so smart for only three years old . . .

Two years later, his uncle and I were married. As the boys brought the car around for us to take on our honeymoon, a little voice started to cry. I looked over, and there was Jonathan, so upset! “They wrote all over your car, Uncle Joey” he cried. I looked down at this sweet little boy, and hoped I would have one - just like him . . .

Jonathan was just the first in a bunch of grandchildren that came along. Over the years there were cook-outs and whiffle ball games - - - times of laughter and joy! As the children grew - we all seemed to loose track of each other. I would hear how Jonathan was doing from his grandmother or others - but didn’t see much of him as he graduated high school and started working.

He was just 22 years old when he made that horrible decision - - - the one that ended his life. I had heard how he was working detailing and painting cars, and had even started working for some racing teams. On this particular night, he was out with some friends playing pool and doing what young 22 years olds do. He hadn’t been drinking too much - as he was driving. He had just gotten the brand new mustang for his birthday - and so they all got in the car to go home. He wanted to get there in time to get enough sleep, so that he could get to work early the next day. He knew he drove a little too fast - the number of tickets he had gotten proved it. So when he heard the siren - he decided he really couldn’t afford to get another ticket. This time, he might lose his license - and then what would he do?

That night, I will remember forever! He didn’t quite outrun the police. All his friends walked away from the car - everyone but Jonathan. He didn’t have a mark on his face - as his blonde hair and boyish face lay in the casket. We all had so many questions - - - Why? How? If only . . .

Choices of life and death - we all face them . . .

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; (Psalm 23: 4)

Many, many years ago; I found myself facing my own choices - choices of how to deal with heartaches and pain. I had known they were there - but had never really looked at why things hurt so badly. I knew that God was with me - but it didn’t stop my heart from wanting to die. In the middle of my pain - I couldn’t see clearly - couldn’t see the friends that cared - - - I couldn’t see anything! I only “felt” the losses. So when I finally decided that I couldn’t stand feeling this way any more - I followed the feelings. I had two beautiful little children at home, and still I believed it would be better if I didn’t live any longer. It was as if the abuse that had come at me over so many years - was all I could envision for the rest of my life.

I still remember being in a blur - and convincing myself that the children would be better off without me. After all, I hadn’t been such a great mother - and someone else could do a better job. Everything was swirling out of control - and I felt like I had no other choice . . .

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
(Psalm 27: 1)

Somewhere deep inside - I must have wanted to live. It was cold outside, but I had gone to a park where there was a brook and pond, and I remembered as being beautiful. The park was empty, that is, except for me. I started walking, looking at how beautiful the water was, flowing over the rocks and branches. And then I found the concession stand - with a phone next to it. When I picked it up, it was working. I called two people - my husband and my friend. And then I sat looking at the beauty surrounding me - screaming and crying for God to take my pain - to help me . . .

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters . . . He restores my soul . . .

I am so glad that I failed that day! But the truth is, I could have let the pain win! I could have let all the anger that had ever come at me - - - all that others had done to hurt me - win out in my life!

I remember being so surprised when my friends found me. And then I was angry! But they stayed with me - taking my hand - and listened to everything that had led me to this place. It wasn’t easy, but over the next few days I got help. I had friends and counselors, as well as others, praying - hoping - helping me to let go of the pain. It took time, but with help - I found God’s healing in my life.

A few weeks after all this had happened, I returned to that park. It still was cold and empty as I looked around at the place where I had run to - and finally been found! Then, I walked up to that phone. When I picked it up - it was dead. That’s when I realized what a true miracle that day was . . .

I did have to face the hurts that I caused my children, hoping they would forgive me - hoping they would be alright - hoping that I could make a difference in their lives - and help them face their own choices, their own troubles . . .

Bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. (Psalm 25: 17 & 18)

Over the years, I’ve been there for others who have been just as lost and hurt. I’ve sat in kitchens and emergency rooms - listening and holding on to them - when they couldn’t hang on for themselves. You see - - - we all get hurt - and hurt others. All we can do is hope and pray that in those moments, we’ll let God in to help.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest . . .
(Mathew 11: 28)


God doesn’t promise that we won’t have troubles and hurts in our lives. But He does promise to walk with us through them. He does promise to bring healing and life where we have been hurt. What will your choices be? Will you call on Him - in times of sorrow - in times of trouble . . . He is always waiting - always!

I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him - as long as I live.

God bless you in this coming week ahead - this week leading up to Palm Sunday. It is a time to remember Jesus’ gift - His Choice . . . Of Life for you . . .

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers

1 Comments:

Blogger Melanie said...

That was so moving and soooo inspiring...thank you for writing that.

8:06 PM  

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