Tough Topic Tuesday


please pray for Jenny Bizaillion
Sent to me from several people. Posted on

Feb 9 12:45 am

It is a surreal scene. A remnant of family and friends gather and hold on tight to the most tangible thing left-prayer. We get silent. Smaller pockets of prayer break out. More silence. Praise music fills the room. Addison Road's What Do I Know of Holy is what captivates our heart at this moment. Beverly is ministering to another family in the room.
Jenny is on the first floor undergoing a CAT scan.
People are praying all over the world.
God is not asleep. He is not dead. He is very much alive.
We are waiting for Jenny to get back from the CAT scan.
We will let you know as soon as we can.
Kayci is dancing.
Angels are among us.
God is here.
Tough Topic Tuesday
Really? A 31 year old, beautiful, young, full-of-life, mom, wife, sister, and friend gets pneumonia and is now fighting for her life? Fighting amputation? Fighting organ failure? Why? Why all the pain in this world?
I know the answer to that. It goes something like: broken world, less than Holy, not fully redeemed yet, or as Forest Gump would say, "S H*T Happens."
Sometimes the stories I hear just make my heart hurt. Not so much a tough topic Tuesday, just a tough reality Tuesday I suppose.
Last week a girl wrote me about one of her friends dying in a plane crash. 14 year old Libby Cooper, her older sister, and her father all died two weeks ago in Arkansas on their way to a basketball game. And like that, a mom and son were left with memories. And a friend of the family, Haley, writes to ask me what she is supposed to say to God now? She's only in 8th grade. How do you tell an 8th grader that it gets harder? That sometimes there are no words.
What do you say to God when everything is falling apart?
A book that really helped me deal with grief and anger is by a pastor whose son died days before leaving for college. This pastor was shocked at the anger and rage he had for God in the days following the accident. Then he was shocked at his depression and disparity. His sense of feeling lost and directionless. He was shocked as he dealt with the denial. And then shocked at his guilt as he began to feel happy and human again. As he dives into the steps of grieving, he realizes that in order to truly heal, he has to embrace everything he is feeling and he has to honestly be able to reveal those things to God. He is angry. This book is for those facing tragedy and find themselves wondering what to say to God in the midst of their hurt and anger. It's aptly called: Sit Down God, I'm Angry by RF Smith. For me, it was a life-changing read.
Another book?
The book of Psalms where David says, "How long will you ignore my cries for help?" "How long will we suffer?" "How long will the evil prosper?" "Oh Lord, have you not heard my cries for help?" The questions go on and on. They are real. Honest. Vulnerable. And full of raw emotion. David wants God to pay attention to his suffering. And some of the questions he poses for the Lord make me think he is past being nice, he wants God to show up and answer. NOW.
I will always remember one of the first Bible study groups Ryan and I went through as a couple. We each had to share our "story" and mine included the church I grew up in covering up an affair and firing my mom quietly because she knew too much. It then included a subsequent church who not only (we found this out after it was too late) notoriously fired their student pastors, but did so by asking them to pack their offices, leave the premise, and not allowing them to come back to say good-bye to their students. Needless to say, my family was very hurt by the people my parents were serving. And I was angry. Angry that people who were called to serve as pastors were using their power in such sad ways. Angry that the "good" people in these churches sat by quietly as their clergy did things in the name of God that were wrong, manipulative, and hurtful. And I was angry at God.
As I shared my story with this bible study group I said, "I went to college hating God. I really did. I hated the church and hated God and wanted nothing to do with it."
A girl in the group looked at me and with a fiery indignation and this little eyebrow raise she did with that made her look like an old school, goody-goody, teachers pet she said, "You did not hate God. You may have been mad at him, but you didn't hate him. You shouldn't say that, that is very extreme."
To which I responded, "But I did say that. I HATED GOD. I really did." Pretty sure I embarrassed Ryan and made the room tense and awkward. But seriously...
Woman... don't tell me who I can and can't hate! I know what was going on inside of my heart. I am not saying it was right or that it was satisfying or that it was the end of my story... but I am saying it was a part of my story. And let's face it, if you have a real engaging love-affair relationship with Christ, one day when the world hurts you, you are more than likely going to look at him and say, "why?" "Why didn't you come?" And if you are 19 and young and as passionate and emotional as I am, you will probably follow it up with, "I hate you!" and not eat for three days.
In the New Testament, when Lazarus dies Mary wouldn't even come out to greet Jesus. We don't know if she was hurt or angry or numb, but my guess is a quiet anger. So you're God? Then why didn't you come heal my brother? If you were there, she says, he would not have died.
Sometimes when this world hurts we get angry before we get sad. It's part of the process.
Jesus, if you would have showed up, he wouldn't be dead.
This World Makes Me ANGRY
Sometimes when this world hurts we get angry before we get sad. We get sad before we get numb. We get numb before we experience regret. We experience regret before we see glimmers of hope. We see glimmers of hope before our joy is restored. We see joy, little tiny bits of joy, sink back into our hearts and souls before we see restoration. And we see earthly restoration before we see Jesus. Heaven. Those who have gone before us. And the beautiful ending to a story that is often laced with tragedy and hardship.
Before we ever get to the place where there will be no more tears, only the Holiness of God's face, our journeys bear the marks of this broken world.
And today, I have been reminded that in brokenness, we often experience anger. Doubts. And sadness that can sometimes be overwhelming.
But then I read the description above:
God is not asleep, he is not dead, he is very much alive
Kayci is dancing
Angels are among us
God is here.
I think Jesus says, "I know you are angry, sad, broken, tired, scared, worn down, and bitter... but come to me all of you who are these things... I will give you rest. I will give beauty for ashes and strength for fear." And his promises are never ending. And they are real. They meet people in waiting rooms and bedrooms and airplanes. And all of a sudden, when you realize you are not walking through the valley of the shadow of death alone, the anger begins to quietly and effortlessly leave and the strength, HOPE, and yes, JOY of God steps in and replaces all the anger, hate, scared, bitter emotions we have.
Please pray for Jenny Bizaillion, her 9 year old daughter, and husband.

Please help Jenny's family raise the money to pay for her extensive medical care. You can donate to the tax deductible 501 c3 fund set up for her by clicking here.
(once on this page, click on donations, and in the special instructions page please include Jenny's name)

Can you help me raise $5,000 for her? That's my goal. Anything and everything helps.