Sunday, January 21, 2007

Convenient versus necessary.

I hope that I have the ability to make sense out of my thoughts for this post. Bear with me, as I am thinking them through and writing them down all at the same time here today.
This layout has had me thinking about the hope I possess and how real it is to me. There is nothing anybody can say to shake my belief that I will see Teagan in Heaven again someday. In the early days and months after her death, sometimes the one thing that got me up and out of bed and in the mood to try to put some normalcy back into my life was the thought that getting through the day would bring me one day closer to seeing Teagan again. {I know...a very selfish way to live, but that's the truth.}
When I was scrapping this page I started thinking about a couple of different things. The first is that I felt a real sense of happiness and excitement as I imagined the day when I will actually be with Teagan (and God, of course!). I feel really lucky that God has given me this peace and assurance and the promise of Heaven. It has been my source of comfort and has been the thought that has given me the ability to go out and live {with joy} and turn my sorrows into opportunities to offer comfort and hope to others. I sometimes feel 'blessed' that God has chosen me to be used in this way.
Another thought was this- I wouldn't trade the tragic experience I have lived through (even though I wished it would have never happened) because it has brought me into a deeper relationship with God- I have a renewed passion about my faith- more than I ever had before Teagan's death. Here's where I am still thinking things through. I fully believe that God could have used other events in my life to bring about this same result. I know He could have enlarged my faith in other ways...and I don't blame my faith (or the lack of it) for Teagan's death. (Meaning I don't think God had Teagan die just so that I could have a closer relationship with Him.) However, it has been one of the 'gifts' I have been given since losing Teagan. I may have said it here before; I feel like her death and our physical, emotional and spiritual experiences have given me a "new set of eyes" from which I view life (and death and all eternity).
What I have been realizing is how much I live each day with total dependance on God. Granted, somedays are more demanding than others. And somedays I am more filled with praise and thanksgiving and gratitude, rather than having to ask for help and strength as I did in the days where trauma was the norm in our household. I have looked back and looked inside and have seen that although God has been "in my heart and life" since I was just a little girl of age four, I didn't 'need' Him in ways that I need Him now. It's sort of backwards when I think about it. The times when I have felt closest to God have been when life has demanded the most from me. One would think that would be the time of questioning where God is. And many people do this, so it makes me even more grateful that God 'showed up' at these dark times for me. That's has been amazing for me- God has shown me grace and mercy.
The times in my life when things were pretty 'smooth sailing' are when I took God for granted. Why would I need God when things are going well? That's where I got the title for this post. It makes me wonder about God and the way He works. I am fully aware that I will never understand His ways and His timing and His plans...but I am beginning to see that He is necessary in my life. Every single day. Not just when I decide I need His help. He has shown me through Teagan's death and through other life experiences that He desires to be the One thing in life that I just can't live without.
I thank Him for giving me the thoughts like the one on this page- that I will see Teagan again, and dance with her in Heaven someday. {Those of you who remember Teagan can't help but think that it's gonna be a special moment...she loved to dance and be the center of things!} So, that's my thoughts...maybe you didn't need to hear them, but I needed to get them down, and this blog is always such a great spot for me to do my thinking. And if you want to share your own thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them. Is God convenient in your life, or necessary? Or do you even think you need Him at all. I know I talk about faith a lot. I can't help it- God is everything to me- so I guess that explains it, huh.


Jordan said...

I have never responded to any of your posts before, though i check it almost everyday...but i could not pass this up...i feel that it would be wrong to not tell everyone that i KNOW that God is necessary in my life. He is the reason i am here. He is the reason i have my wonderful family. He is the reason i have a good job, a roof over my head. Everything i have in this life is from my Heavenly Father. I love Him so much. It is so much easier to be thankful when things are going your way. I try to be thankful every day, whether it is a good one or bad one. I know many of us that will post are from all different religions. But i know that my Heavenly Father loves me and EVERY single person out there. We created us all, and we chose to come here. I know sometimes i have lived that He is just convenient, but i have grown to know that i would be nothing with out. He is necessary in my life.

Anonymous said...

I guess you can "officially" call me an addict to your blog. In the past few days I have read most if not all of your posts.
So many of the things that you say I can completely relate to. The things that if you say to people in "real" life they worry that you are dwelling on death and may be suicidal..etc. But we are of the few that dare to say what it's really like to deal with death and especially the death of a child.
The cold hard realities that come from having to put your child in the ground.. from laying awake and night and worrying that your baby is cold and being reassured when the funeral director tells your husband that his wife wrapped the baby before the casket was sealed and then you are okay... to the JOY that comes from knowing that you have an anchor in Heaven. The child that will never have to have any more pain, who will never go through rebellion as a teenager, will never have to stress about credit card bills.. never had to worry about 9/11..
Do you find that it is harder in this area (midwest.. we live in the Upper Peninsula) to be open? I really have felt that way. I was raised on the East Coast and in an open family and we live here now and near Hubby's CLOSED family. Yet I have found healing in things like being a hospice volunteer or belonging to the Footprints Project where we bury miscarried babies from the hospital once a year.
I also have a special needs child. (Read our story at ).
As a Christian from a large (14!) family I always would pray for a healthy baby. Now I have learned that it's GOD'S choice. That if we had had that healthy baby we would have missed out on the knowing what it is to "count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations." (James 1:2). I am a slow learner. I am currently dealing with a health scare. I am visiting a surgeon for a biopsy on Tuesday. I am STRIVING to count it all joy. Not the joy that the world knows that fades away but the eternal joy in knowing the Jesus who paid it all for me and the God that is in control of it all.
Sorry for the book. It's just that Wednesday was the 8 year anniversary of Cainan's death and I'm the only one who remembered it. I can relate to you. I will always be his mother, even when others forget him. He is my HEAVENLY anchor.
God's Peace,

Anonymous said...

It is nearly 2am here, & I just got done with a tragic call of a young man beating up his father, leading to me having to place this young man in detention (I am a probation officer), but before turning down the computer I checked your blog & had to comment.
I was raised from birth on as a Christian, baptized the day after I was born (as my parents had lost 3 babies before me, it was important to them that I be baptized), I went through 8 years of parochial school, attended church every Sunday plus! My best friend is our former pastor's daughter, & her parents were like my second parents -- God has always been in my life, & I never thought anything could shake that -- I faced some adversities (being demoted at work, being sued by a probationer for over $1 million, etc.), & I learned to pray for those who tried to hurt me, & got closer to God during those times (especially when the $1 million suit was finally dismissed), & prided myself in remaining faithful. Then, I got sick & I prayed harder than ever to not have to have surgery, but was "forced" into having a hysterectomy, destroying my dreams of having children of my own, so I stopped praying, stopped wanting God in my life, because He had disappointed me. Then, nearly 2 years ago, my Mom died after having a mastectomy & a stroke & heart & kidney problems, this even though I prayed fervently for her to live, & thought surely my return to God in adversity was the reason for it all & that she would live -- when she died, I again turned my back on God, feeling he had done the same to me again. These responses of mine have suprised & saddened me actually, & really make me worry. I never thought I would be that way. Maybe I was patting myself on the back too much in the earlier instances... I don't know. It would sadden my Mom, & I hate to think of that. It is slowly at times coming back, but I guess what I always thought was necessary ended up being convenient instead? Like I said, a big suprise to me! Especially as I'm ending up alone in this life, & surely could only focus on the life to come, which is the one thing I've remained certain of, & want to have come as quickly as possible. So yes, I know too you will dance with Teagan again too. I'm glad that for you, your belief had remained a necessity, because it is suprising when you find out that you have actually been a "Convenient Christian", even when you had made it through bad things before with God.

halfbakedscrapartist said...

I am brought to tears and to my knees by this posting, Jody, and by the stories of the awesome women who shared words in response to your thoughts. Even though I never knew Teagan, I have been very touched by her life from the very first moment I learned of your tragedy in the news (even before I met you), read of your story in your college magazine, and spoke with you personally about your loss. Powerful evidence of the grace of God is clear through how you have used your loss and Teagan's short but oh-so-powerful life to reach so many. In a world that in so many ways teaches us and encourages us to be lukewarm and convenient and Sunday Christians, it is so humbling that God provides a way of rich intimacy and relationship, if only we respond to Him. To know--really KNOW--that He calls each of us by name and SEEKS us and will not let us go, what more do we need to commit 100 percent sold out to Him. We serve such an awesome, awesome God. In our church, we've been singing a new song with words that say it all.: "And it all...comes down to just ONE know you, Jesus, and make you known." So, so true.

Oh, yes, and the scrapbook page is beautiful. I love the title design and how it works so seamlessly with the photo. I'll be in touch.

Anonymous said...

As always your words are so touching and you can see how you touch so many with your words and sharing yourself by how these women have shared there stories.
You are truely a amazing lady and thank you for sharing and reminding me daily to live for God.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this. I have lost 3 babies in the last 2 years and I also take comfort in the fact that I too will dance with them someday. Thanks for the sweet inspiration Jody.

teresamay said...

If I sat alone on a cold corner, having lost all I count as "blessings", I would still have "it all". Christ is my all and irregardless of all other things in life, my salvation from Him is all I will ever need.