In loving memory…

It has been ages since I’ve written a post. Somehow, writing keeps falling lower and lower on my list of priorities, but today I felt the deep need to express myself in words. Last weekend was a difficult one. My physical circumstances were ideal. I fully believe my loving Savior arranged my weekend beforehand to allow me time to pray, journal, and process the feelings in my heart, and also to give me fun times to distract me from the brooding I’m prone to. Despite these accommodations and blessings of schedule, my heart was put through the ringer, so to speak.
On Friday morning, I learned one of my classroom translators from my mission trip to Taiwan took her own life. I had seen a concerning post on Facebook the night before, but was hoping something was missed in the translation from Chinese to English. Friday morning brought the confirmation of that initial post, and my heart broke at the news. While she and I were not extremely close, she occupied a space in my heart that is now left aching from her death. Cindy was such a joy; she was beautiful, kind, compassionate, loving, funny, encouraging, and the list could go on. In the week I spent working with her, and the following months I’ve kept in contact with her, she has blessed my soul in so many ways. My heart is heavy knowing she couldn’t see what I saw in her. I mourn the fact that she felt she was so unlovable, unworthy, unimportant, or unwanted that she felt she was better off dead. My only joy in this is that she is now with Jesus. For the first time, she is able to see herself as she really is. She now knows how loved she is. She knows how valuable she is. She knows what a blessing she was to us all while she was here on earth. I regret the conversations I wasn’t able to have with her during her life, and I regret never scheduling that Skype date we planned so she could share with me her entire testimony. I regret a lot of things, but I take comfort in knowing my God is still in control.
It is easy in situations like this to think the enemy has won. God seems small and powerless, while the devil seems victorious. The Holy Spirit has been counseling me, however, that everything is more than surface deep. At first glance, it looks as if all hope is lost. Cindy is dead. God was unable to save her from herself and the lies Satan fed her. I must remember, though, that death has no power. God has the power, and my God is in the business of making beautiful what seem like hopeless situations. This is not the end of the story! Just as The Father used Christ’s death to bring about salvation for many, I trust He is able to do the same with Cindy’s death. I am not saying Cindy’s life can atone for sins, that would be utter blasphemy, but what I am saying is God’s work is not finished. How great a testimony of God’s power and grace that not even suicide could snatch her from His hands? The salvation Jesus offers is not dependent on our performance! We all fall into the lies and traps of sin. Each and every one of us make mistakes that break God’s heart. Some mistakes are irreparable, but that doesn’t mean they are unforgivable. As Cindy’s many unsaved friends and family are left reeling from her death, I pray they find the love of Jesus. I pray God is magnified in this dark time, and that we see the salvation of many in response to the loss of Cindy’s life. I pray this tragedy would be used as a tool in the lives of all who knew her to mold and shape us into the image of Christ.
I am thankful that even now, so soon after Cindy’s death, the Lord has been using it to reveal sins in my own heart and lies I believe. Her death has been a constant reminder that I cannot listen to the voices in my spirit telling me I am worthless, unwanted, and unimportant. I am counseled that I must hold every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. I am reassured that my Savior loves me, flaws and all, and He did not give His precious life to save something of little value. Even though I fail daily and feel my situation is hopeless at times, I know (and must continually remind myself) that God will complete the good work He began in me, He loves me deeply, and has a wonderful plan for my life.

Jesus, thank You for Cindy. Thank you for saving her and for giving me the great blessing of knowing her. Thank you that You have won the ultimate victory over sin and death. Thank You for loving her and for now wiping away each of her tears. Please be near to all those who love her here on earth. Be the wonderful counselor You are, and use this tragic situation for Your glory. May Your Name be magnified.
Amen

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