The Presumptuous Ladybug

A blog about Faith, Family, Life....and Anything else

Tag: sorrow

A Heart for Vegas, A Heart for People, A Heart for Prayer

It took me all day to finally sit down and read the details; just seeing the headlines made my heart sink.

Not again.

If I don’t see it or hear it or think about it maybe, maybe it won’t be true.  Maybe it can go away.

But it doesn’t.

And as the day goes on and the details emerge, a familiar ache makes it way up my spine and lands itself, once again, in the corners of my heart.

And deep inside me, hidden from the world, my soul drops to it’s knees and screams.

There is no question of “Why?” within me.  There is no wondering.  There is only sorrow.

I know why.

But that doesn’t ease the pain and it doesn’t erase the horror.

The Las Vegas shooting didn’t touch me personally so I can afford the luxury of looking at it from the side and only exposing a part of my heart to the nightmare.  But too many don’t have that luxury.  They are suffering anguish difficult to fully process and they can’t go on with their day because the horror is their day.

But, it hits too close to home.

I can write about Egypt and Syria and other places, but the USA?  It’s harder, it hurts more.

And I’m angry.

The anger and sadness twist together like a jumbled messy root within me until the one cannot exist without the other because…

Because I know why.

And the knowing…its what drives the anger inside me.

I know who the enemy is … and I hate him.

And, what he is capable of is awful.

The Devil is in the shootings.  There is no other reason.  It is evil.  It is destruction.  It is wickedness. It is vicious and vile.

And what will we do about it?  What can we do about it?

It feels like the fighting among us starts immediately.

We fight over gun control issues, and the news giving attention to the shooter, and we forward our anger and helplessness onto other scapegoats that make us feel useful.  We fight about religion and politics.

Will it be one more thing that further divides us?

Or can we come together and be united?  Can we mourn and pray together?  Will we set aside the differences and care for those affected as they try to put the pieces back together over the coming months?

The verse that keeps coming to my mind is this:

They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, “peace, peace,” But, there is no peace.  Jeremiah 6:14

Peace.  That is what I want for America, not just physical peace but more importantly, spiritual peace.  But if things keep going this way then there will be no peace and that grieves me.

And I want hope.

Let us never give up hope.

Hope that God will heal our land.  Because He can.

Christians!

God says,

If, my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, Then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Let’s be clear.  This call is NOT for the non-believers.  This is specifically a call to those who already follow Yahweh.

We need to repent of our wicked ways!  Of hypocrisy, of being ashamed of our faith, of compromise, of idolatry, of pride, of loveless hearts…

We do!  Christians do!  I do!

We need to seek God and humble ourselves before the God we claim to worship and then He will heal our land.  It’s time to stop pointing the finger; it is time to look at our own hearts.  It is time to ask God to purify us and burn off the chaff and the dirt on us.

Then we can be:

“clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future.”  Proverbs 31:25

Dear Christian, if you find yourself wanting to place blame then it is time to look in the mirror because most of us haven’t prayed enough.

It is time to repent and to pray and it is time to stop fighting.  Not because it will take away the atrocities already committed but because it can heal our land if we do and because it can prevent further depravity.

God can heal our land.  He alone can put evil in it’s place but we have to come together and seek God in unity.  We have to ask God to reveal in us our own deficits and repent of those.  The evil things don’t happen because we are being punished but because when we push God away, eventually, he gives us what we want.  Life apart from his blessing and protection and requirements.  Yes, things will probably get worse, but it is not up to us to decide God’s timeline.  We are called to repent, pray and love.

But, do we really want to worship God?

Do we care enough to become humble before Him?

Do we care enough to put our differences aside and simply love God and love people?

Do we care enough to honestly examine our hearts and repent and beg God to heal our land?

Because if we do, then He will.

He will!  But it starts with us deciding who we want to worship and who we want to run to.  God?  Or ourselves?

How many times does someone reject you before you let them go?  It’s the same with God.  He doesn’t want a part time relationship.  He doesn’t want to be called on only when we need something, He wants to walk with us daily.

I want healing for Las Vegas, I want healing for The United States, I want healing for our souls and hearts.

My heart is for our people.  My heart is for Vegas.  My heart is for healing.  My heart is for God.  My heart is for prayer.  Why?

Because, I can never stop believing that God is good and that the evil we do to each other breaks His heart.

And, I can never give up hope that in the end, good will prevail and that redemption will win.

And when evil strikes, I cling to my faith in God because He is the source of my hope.

Dear Vegas, Dear America,

I’m sorry.  I am so very sorry.

My heart grieves with you.

 

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Hope for the Disconnected Heart

I haven’t written anything in several weeks.  Somethings are hard to explain.  Somethings are hard to process.  Life isn’t an easy cake walk where you stroll along to the beat and, once in a blue moon, collect a prize just for trying.  Some roads you walk alone and it seems like there isn’t a soul on this planet who can understand exactly what’s going on inside.  It’s a messy journey and at the end of the day we can find ourselves tired, broken down and terribly disconnected from the world around us.

As a Deputy’s wife, a special needs Mother, a Christian, and a contemplative soul; I have found myself disconnected from the people in my life on a variety of levels on more than one occasion.  The result is my own internal spiral into silence; an awkward quiet where I desperately want to speak and connect and show you my heart but where instead only silence, or worse, inadequate words bounce around in the distance between us.  My quiet attempt to save you the awkwardness, and me the verification that we are walking different paths, can leave me stranded at sea while the cruise ship goes celebratorily sailing by.  The voyagers wave at me and I smile and wave back as they pass, and though I want to call out, and though I want to say, “Throw me a rope”…I can’t.  I even mutter that “I’m ok, just out for a swim.”  There are no words for deep sorrow and turmoil.  There is a hope that “this too will pass,” but also there is no explaining it; there is only silence.  There is only watching, and waiting, and feeling and silently screaming in the dark and wishing someone could hear it.

I want to be connected.  I want to be, not just seen, but understood.  I want to know that someone out there is bobbing in the waves, just as I am.  There is comfort in thinking you aren’t alone in the deep dark…but sometimes…you are.

And it can be easy to miss in someone like me.  I’m social, outgoing, and laugh easily.  I can find joy and humor even as my heart breaks.  It isn’t a mask; it is genuine joy in sorrow.  Optimism is easier to show the world, but it isn’t always the whole story and getting the other half of the story out is a much more difficult endeavor.  It isn’t me hiding; it’s me unable to communicate what’s turning inside.

So where does a heart deeply stranded and isolated find an anchor?

Where does a soul like mine grab hold when the waves are crashing and life makes no sense at all?

Where do we turn when there are no words for the brokenness?

Who can we trust?

I need to know, and maybe you need to know…

Because the looming question is…

If I let the waves take over, will I wash up on shore or drowned in the sea?

I can’t explain all of the sources of my grief here, but they do find me in multiple areas.  Some circle around, some are fleeting, and some simply take time to heal.

The really important thing is:  I do have an anchor.

I’m tied to something that keeps me from getting washed too far out into the ocean.

I’m tied to a source of strength that always pulls me back in; little by little, hand over hand until I’m safely on shore again.  Wet, soggy, exhausted and a bit beaten up…but standing on the shore, eyes on the clouds, as the sun breaks through.

I don’t have a “prayer language.” I don’t speak in tongues when there are things I can’t voice.  But that doesn’t mean I’m left without a life line to Christ or that we aren’t in communion.

For me, the greatest source of peace is right there in the torment of silence…just me and God; together in a quiet space of seclusion that no other soul in this universe can enter.

We don’t have to speak, we don’t have to communicate.  I have no words anyway.

But there is hope….there is assurance…there is the satisfaction and understanding that no matter how hard, no matter how deep the struggle within me…I am not alone.

He is there, always.

I can’t rely on people; they don’t always get it.  They don’t always understand.  They can be flaky and dismissive and hurtful.  They can leave me feeling lonelier and more disconnected than before.  And no matter how hard they try, I know…I always know…that soon they will be gone, chasing other dreams, other relationships, other friendships, other purposes, and other people.

And, I will be standing on the edge of the sea, peering into the swirling madness with God alone by my side.

No words are spoken because there is a knowing; an understanding between us…a conversation of souls in the silence.

The people, they don’t know.  We are disconnected, and maybe we can never be connected in the way I desire.   Even so, I am not alone.

You are not alone.

And there is peace there.  Peace in the knowing, in the silence, in the presence of God.  And there is comfort and tears and release and healing.

Right there in the mists of the sea, in the silence, in the storm.

Isolation, loneliness, disconnection, depression…

They can get a hold of any one of us.  But there is hope.  There is always hope.  No matter how bleak or desperate or hopeless you may feel.  There is hope.  There can be healing.  There can be rest.  There can be redemption, resolution, and recovery.

Stop fighting the terrifying waves and surrender to God.  Let Him pull you into shore; hand over hand, one day…one moment…at a time.  Stop looking to people to fill the void or bring healing; let God be your sanctuary, your peace, your anchor and your connection to life.

The hope for the disconnected heart is that we can be deeply connected to the One who created us; the faithful One who will never leave us, or disappoint us, or misunderstand us.

The One who knows…

even in the silence.

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

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

 

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Note to readers:  Please know that I am not advocating that you reject treatment for depression when needed.  Counseling, medication, and proper care can be essential elements for health and wellness. 

Is God REALLY good?

Is God REALLY good?  And, does he actually care about the details of a life like mine?  Or a life like yours?

Maybe God cares about great people of power and influence.  People like Einstein, and Mother Teresa, and Billy Graham.  Maybe he cared about the great people of the Bible like Moses, and King David, and the Apostle Paul.  Maybe even philosophers like Plato or Leibniz, but a simple life like mine?

And is he actually bothered with making good things come out of the weakest and most difficult times of our lives?  Does he really know that finances are strained, relationships are broken, and sorrow is piercing the soul like a dagger?  Does he really care? Does beauty really come from ashes?

The Bible proclaims that God is good?  Nearly every Christian will flippantly mutter an expression of God’s goodness on any given day.  The words can feel empty and flat.  The evidence when we look around this world seems stacked against him.  Death of loved ones, tragedies, illness, killing sprees, anger, division, violence, hate, rape, war, drugs, refugees, hunger, deception, corruption, poverty, abuse, human trafficking…

Is there goodness here?  Is there hope here?

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Psalm 100:5

No doubt evil persists.  We can see it’s underhanded work in the details of our lives and in the global reign of terror.  We see fear and animosity and something so sinister it’s name eludes me.

“Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.”  Job 30:26

If God is really bigger, stronger, truer, and greater, why do these things persist?  Where is he?  Where is the goodness?

When we suffer the depths of sorrow and betrayal and when dreams are broken, his goodness seems so distant, like an intangible idea that exists only in theory.

I live in a place of beauty.  A place where his handiwork seems so great.  As I gaze at the mountains before me my mind and soul is flooded with the song “How Great Thou Art”.

The shape of every river, the power of the wind and the beauty of mountains covered in glimmering snow all testify to a world handmade by God and speak volumes to the detail and care he puts into us.  And yet… sometimes life, with the breath of agony and the breaking of our hearts and the anxiety of loss, seems empty of a God who cares for the details.

Often, he feels faraway, uninvolved, and silent.  Perhaps in some distant time and space he is or was good, but goodness can feel so far removed from the place and time of our own existence.

I get it.  I’ve wondered.

Let me assure you…you ARE seen.  Your specific life, in all its glory or simplicity, matters to God.  You were fashioned and created with the same care he poured into the mountains.  No…with more care.  You are wanted, you are pursued.  You are treasured.

My heart aches as I see you in my mind’s eye struggling and hurting and suffering and feeling hopeless.  I see you in the burdens of this life grasping for a life preserver that eludes you.  Where is hope, where is love, where is goodness and where is God?

God is here.  God is there.  In his quiet, unassuming manner he is with you and with me.  He wants you, he is waiting for you to want him back.

Join me in a writing series as I explore who God is and the depth of his goodness and the truth of his deep love for you and me as I dig into the question: Is God really good?

Author: Jacqi Kambish

*Side note:  I post every other week, typically on Mondays.  I believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant word and my posts on this subject are made with the assumption that God is real.  Feel free to believe as you want, but please know that my intent here is not to debate God’s existence but to build on that belief.