Tag: prayer


Why is there suffering?

October 29th, 2010 — 1:54pm

Everyday I get up and read about some new catastrophe that has befallen the world. Cholera, tsunamis, murder, rape, war…It gets to the point where I become apathetic about it. With all the evil that exists in this world, people (mostly Christians) get asked where God is amongst all this tragedy. A question long asked of me by agnostics and atheists is, if God is loving, merciful and just, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?

I return this with a separate question: Where in the bible do you read that this world would not have suffering or pain?

God is merciful and loving, but He is also just.

This world is full of evil things and sinful people; as people are on the whole evil (think of what you would do if you knew you would never get caught and never had to deal with any comeuppance).

Since this world is evil and sinful, there will be pestilence and pain, suffering, heartache, rain. The strong will prey upon the weak and the rich ignore the poor. The unsaved will gallivant around in Porsche’s and limousines while the saved watch their children die because they cannot afford the health care needed to give them a simple shot. That is the nature of this world because this world is filled with sin.

So, if one were to look only about this Earth and try to find God’s goodness and greatness and mercy, one would be sorely displeased. That is not to say there is not grace and beauty in this world, but it is often overshadowed by the dark, dark sin.

God’s mercy and love, does not come from Earthly goods and desires. You are thinking and speaking of a being that exists outside the confines of space, time, matter and energy. How can you equate all of His wonder to that which you can see and touch? God’s mercy and love comes from the fact that, though we are sinful and evil creatures amongst whom even the holiest of holy are conceived in sin and bear the sins of Adam, God still loves us enough to allow us to come home into his heaven.

He loves us enough to allow His Son to bear the penalty of our sins (which is death), and allow us to be at peace. What we deserve is eternal damnation, but we have the opportunity to receive life everlasting.

He is merciful enough to leave us with a Comforter on this Earth. As we walk about and live in this sinful world, the catastrophes and the discord can leave us weak and weary and unwilling to go forward, but…

God leaves us with the Comforter, who gives us strength and keeps us calm throughout the stormy sins of ourselves and our brethren.

God is just. The sinful can and will flourish on this Earth, but everyone dies and at death begins the judgment. “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

God is!

God is loving, merciful and just in more ways than we deserve…He simply is.

This is not to say that when you see catastrophe in the world that you should turn a blind eye and say everything will be sorted in the next life. Good people should still seek to do all the good they can do in the world. My point is that God’s existence should not be questioned simply because bad things happen in this world.

When you look at the blessings of the beautiful things that thrive despite the evil of this world: children laughing, dawn, births and weddings, smiles and hugs and love, you can find it fascinating that anyone could doubt that God not only exists, but that He touches each of our lives, regardless if we heed His word.

Fun reading: http://www.old-wizard.com/ten-dumb-things-people-say-about-religion

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Dorienne, age 26

September 15th, 2010 — 8:59am

Throughout most of 2009, I ran around in a frantic tizzy about getting old and turning 25. There were so many things I desired to do before getting “old” and, yet, it was happening nonetheless. Despite all the planning and scurrying, I managed to accomplish very little by my actual birthday and started to get depressed because of it.

For most of this year, I feel as if I have wandered around in a fog, reacting to life instead of progressively taking hold of it.

As this September brought another time of deep reflection, I began to once more grow sullen about what I presumed to be my lack of accomplishment throughout age 25, but in my hours of reflection, a thought occurred to me.

Instead of age 26 being another year of prospective failure, this past year has been the year when my career (backup as it is) has really taken the strides it should be taking.

Age 26 also marks 5 five years since I was saved.

Though I was baptized at age 7, I wasn’t really saved until I was 21, on the floor of my apartment, on my knees praying for Christ’s blessings and all that He could do for me. It was in that dark hour that I found Christ and that was five years ago.

So, instead of being upset about what I didn’t get accomplished, I will go into this time of reflection remembering how far I’ve come. I am not the person I was five years ago and I do not want to be that person again. I am stronger from what Jesus has sent my way and I know that ages 26-30 will bring more challenges to make me even stronger in Christ.

🙂

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Well played, Old Man

July 19th, 2009 — 7:38pm

I didn’t make it to church today.

This time last year, such a statement would have initiated a barrage of texts, e-mails and phone calls regarding my whereabouts that I would have felt it necessary to release a public statement to let my family know that I was okay. Nowadays, however, things are different. No one calls because it’s not such a rare occurrence any longer.

I’ve been telling myself for months, “I’m not losing my faith. I’m just going through some things right now.” What these “things” are, I don’t know and, as much as I pray about it, these “things” aren’t revealing themselves to me. All I do know is that has been getting easier and easier to skip that which held such an importance to me less than eight months ago and, when I woke up this morning, I had wondered if it was even “necessary” to go to church again. We’ve had another death in our family and, today especially, I just didn’t see the point in going to church.

Some time in 2008, I’d made a “deal” of sorts with God after losing Edrith and also MawMaw in such quick succession; I just didn’t want to go to anymore funerals until I turned 25. This entire time, I’ve known that I can’t actually deal with God, since I’ve got nothing of any real value to offer except my submission, which I should be giving anyway, but I’d made my deal last year, praying that I could just live life for two years without going to yet another funeral; saying goodbye to yet another person. I’ve experienced loss in the past two years, but I hadn’t needed to attend any homegoings. My birthday is not until the end of September and yet, here I am.

When I’d heard what had happened, I immediately thought of my deal and prayed for a very long time about what I’d done so wrong that I couldn’t have until at least my 25th birthday without having to deal with another loss. It wasn’t until this morning, however, that it occurred to me (really occurred to me) that there never was any “deal.” People come and people go as He sees fit and He had seen to it that I had the time I needed to grow up a little more before having to deal with it once again. But, what truly got to me this morning was the growing depression and thoughts that “none of this mattered,” that eventually I’d lose everyone I loved and no amount of church was going to change the inevitable. And, that’s when I started to cry.

I’ve always classified tears into three categories: “small tears” that occur when I shed a few over the birth of a child or when friends marry, “pain tears” that occur when I’m in such physical pain that there doesn’t seem to be anything else I can do, and then there are “real tears” that follow overwhelming depression and sadness. My tears this morning fell into that latter group and it angered me because I hate when I cry “real tears.” Joy or pain can be expressed, but mourning depression is something that I try to hold in as much as possible out of sheer frustration that I can be reduced to tears over something that simply encompasses my own thoughts bouncing against one another until I hit a low and I cannot pull myself out of it.

So, this morning, I lay in my bed, crying these real tears and thinking aloud that there really wasn’t a point to any of “it” anymore and I had no reason to even give “it” anymore thought because God hadn’t cared about my deal and He wasn’t answering me in the time that I wanted Him to answer and, even if He did speak to me, I knew I wasn’t going to like the answer. I must say, looking back hours later, it was very dark moment for me; one I used to experience all the time before I had first come to the church and had hoped I would never see again.

As complete frustration over these nonsensical real tears willed me to stop crying altogether, I lay there half-listening to a CD I’d made a couple weeks ago and wondered if I’d ever feel like myself ever again after recognizing that God doesn’t make “deals” with people. And, that was when the sappiest of songs started to echo through my boombox…

Now, I’ve been listening to Michael Jackson songs non-stop for the past three weeks and I know that’s a subject worth prayer in itself, but for this song to come on when it did… I felt a smile pull at my lips and I had to shake my head at the simultaneous “on-timeness” of God and simple coincidence. MJ’s “Keep the Faith” had come up on the CD.

Again, I’d been listening to MJ songs for close to a month straight and I’d probably played that song twenty times since I’d dug out my Dangerous album, but…when I lay wondering what the point of all of “it” was, when I lay thinking that no path I could take was ever going to bring me fully into Christ’s light, when I lay crying about God not answering my questions, the title of the song spoke to me: Keep the Faith. It sounds almost laughable when I write it because it’s not even a Christian song, but simply hearing the beginning of it and remembering the title right when I did felt like something only He could do for me in a moment so dire.

And so, in hearing this song that had both saccharine sappiness and inspiration weaved within it, I let out a laugh and rose from my bed thinking, “Well played, Old Man.”

I didn’t make it to church today, but I have this renewed vigor in my approach towards it, nevertheless. I began studying my Sunday School lesson for next week tonight, a feat I hadn’t accomplished since I started teaching again and, regardless of the fact that I know I’ve got greater and more painful losses coming my way in the upcoming years, I feel strong. The logical side of my mind is saying, “Dorienne, it was just a coincidence. The song comes on after ‘Give Into Me’ on your ‘MJ-Sleep’ CD. It’s just a coincidence.” but whenever I think of coincidences in relation to religious matters, I consider my favorite The X-Files quote coming from Mulder: “If coincidences are just coincidences, why do they feel so contrived?”

I was in a very, very low place this morning and God spoke to me in a manner, in a way that only He could and He told me, quite clearly, that even though the road ahead looks rough, I need to keep the faith. I can only chuckle to myself when I think about it. Well played, Old Man…

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The small things

November 30th, 2008 — 1:58am

Something like this happens nearly every day of my life, but rarely do I step back and really thank God for the small wonders He bestows upon me. Since I’m a bit too thick to remember the proverbial small things, He takes some of them and just expands them in front of my eyes so that I remember that even though I am just an insignificant speck amongst all His creations, he is still watching and listening.

I try very hard to find the something good out of everyone I meet, but of course, there are some people I just don’t like. While I make every attempt to first examine myself to make sure what irks me about them is not something they do and that I also do or worse, is something that I am just projecting onto them unduly. Once all these conditions are met, I chalk said person up to “I just don’t like them,” but again, work diligently to remember that Christ’s teachings are to love all my “brothers” and “sisters” and pray for them even when my “humanity” just doesn’t want to pray for them. That said, I have encountered a number of people through my job that “I just don’t like,” but it is amazingly through these people that God allows me to remember my own faults and issues and also reminds me to thank Him for the small things.

A few months ago, I applied for a new position within my job and was sore to find out that I did not get the position I wanted, only to realize that that same position would have put me in direct contact with one of these few people “I just don’t like.” That little scenario in itself was happy-dance and blog-worthy because it was one of those times when I had said, “Well God. I don’t understand why you didn’t given me what I wanted, but I’m sure this is all a part of your plan.” but the real joy comes from today. When faced with another one of these people that “I just don’t like,” I cried out an arrow prayer of sorts that I didn’t even realize I was making and was provided with not only the peace I was seeking, but also the ability to save face so that I could remain on good terms with someone who I really just want to punch in the face, but don’t because…well, there are lots of reasons, but I know I just shouldn’t.

The point of today’s ramble is simply that God is always listening and knows precisely what I need, and for that, I am thoroughly thankful.

I added this video as one of my YouTube favorites recently because it really makes one consider “insignificance” in a whole new light:

I am incredibly small when compared with everything else in God’s universe…and yet He still saves me from myself and answers my prayers.

…kind of brings this little diddy to mind:

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**Sighs, rolls eyes, and laughs**

December 9th, 2006 — 5:12pm

**Sighs**
On the fifth of this month, I took down my weight and all my measurements including my BMI and body fat. Every Tuesday, I will reassess everything. Sometimes there will be changes, hopefully in a negative realm, other times there will not. The goal is just to have something in front of me, so that I can see the changes. I’ll also take a picture every month because I’ve this master plan of making a little animated gif of my “transformation,” and I need to start somewhere.

height: 61.5 inches
weight: 215 lbs
waist: 41 3/4 inches
hips: 49 1/4 inches
neck: 15 3/16 inches
BMI: 38.73
body fat: 45.3 ~ I know there’s no way that this could be right. No human being could possibly be 50% body fat and live, but at least it’s a number to gauge some kind of progress.
Me - 12/9/2006

**Rolls Eyes**
On a side note, and by side note, I mean actually “the main thing,” today I was able to do…it. I asked for help. It was time for prayer requests following our choir rehearsal and I was, finally, able to do it. I think it was just because there were so few of us there today, that I actually felt more comfortable than I would have with all of young adult around me, but the point is, I did it. I also asked for help from my mother. I have been so set on being independent that it feels like I’ve failed at life knowing that I need help, but I suppose on the other side, at least I can turn to my mother.

**Laughs**
For the past few weeks, I’ve been praying for God to give me the strength and the words to pray in a group. For every auxiliary of which I am a member, we always end with prayer requests and an individual leading us in prayer. I have long dreaded the ends of meetings because I always knew the time would come when I would be asked to lead the prayer. I had just been praying and praying that the words would come to me. Others have a…gift when it comes to leading our prayers and I always felt like I could never be a natural and encompassing as I needed to be should I be asked to lead. I was asked to lead for both our usher board meeting and our choir rehearsal. The first time, I intentionally looked away and was, of course, called upon to lead. It was short and I felt like I might have missed some things, but I got through it. The second time came far more natural and I felt the words come to me; the way I’d prayed for them to come to me.

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Addendum to ‘Can’t let go’

December 9th, 2006 — 12:10am

Why can’t I do it? WHY CAN’T I DO IT!?!

Tonight, the women of the church came together to fellowship and everything was…so nice, and positive, and good. We then came to prayer requests and I just couldn’t do it. I had requests. I have requests. Please, pray for my grandmother; I think she’s worrying herself into the ground, a little too literally. Please, pray for my mother; she sounded so sick when I spoke with her tonight. Please, pray for me as I attempt to venture back into the working world and struggle with these monetary woes of mine. I have loads of requests, but I can never voice them. Why? I’m always so frustrated with myself. It seems like it would be so easy to do, but I just can’t do it.

It’s like some deep, innate lack of self esteem. I don’t know what to do or how to approach this. Everyone talked so long about the women of our church coming to one another. That one of us hurts we all should hurt and bring one another back up again. But….I just don’t feel like I could ever deserve that. It seems like everything going on in my life is so insignificant compared to everyone else’s, and just I can’t let go of that feeling.

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Groggy

November 17th, 2006 — 11:36pm

I had my second ankle surgery today, and amazingly, it when far better than the other one. My throat is a little sore and I’m still a bit “out of it,” but more or less everything went fine….except when the physician giving me the primary physical noted that my heartbeat was slightly elevated and that I needed to have it looked at. But honestly, all that has to do with is sheer nerves. I would imagine that anyone’s heartbeat would be a little irregular prior to surgery. No matter how minor it is, there’s no telling what could happen in the operating room. For the past week, I’ve been plagued by nightmares of waking up in the recovery room minus my left foot, while the nurses tried to explain what had happened. If anything could cause an irregular heartbeat, I would say that is more than sufficient.

Having now undergone four ankle surgeries, I have the entire system down:

First the arrival at registration where they ask for anywhere from two to four hundred dollars up front, depending on one’s insurance, and the woman prints off the initial plastic bracelet. It has my full name, age, date of birth, the fact that I’m female (if that wasn’t initially evident), and my doctor’s name.
Then up stairs to the family waiting room, where they ask you who you are with and give you a rundown of the situation. If the doctor has anything to tell you, he may come out and talk to you prior to the surgery.
Then you go back to pre-op, where a nurse goes through your entire medical history: allergies, heart disease cancers, etc, and then makes you take a pregnancy test, regardless of what you have to say. Then you strip down to your underwear into that oh-so-ugly hospital gown that I’ve never managed to tie in the back by myself and once you’ve changed, your family or whoever you brought with you is allowed to come back and sit with you. The most nerve-racking part about the pre-op part is listening to everything else that’s going on around you. There’s something discomforting about hearing ALL the nurses complaining about just how tired they are or how ready they are for the weekend to come. It kind of gets me worried and all I can think about is how I would go lax on job, especially when I didn’t want to be there (hence the rapid heartbeat). It’s also unnerving listening to the nurses go over the same questions with other patients just a curtain away from you. Why do I know that the guy next to me is married, has had ACL reconstruction, a hernia operation and a vasectomy? Because he was loud and proud with all of his information. I suppose I am the type of person who just does not want to know about everyone else’s problems…Anyway, normally once the nurse leaves to grab my parents, I take that opportunity to pray, because really, you have no idea when you will be able to do it again. I didn’t today though. I guess it slipped my mind, as shocking as that seemed, but I did pray in the room just prior to surgery, as well as sang church songs to myself.
Once your family greets your in your beautiful gown, you get a moment to hand them any valuables, like the cross I never take off for example. Though now that I think about it, why would they need to make you take off something like a cross prior to surgery? I would think that if there was anywhere that I would need one, it would definitely be during a surgery where there’s no telling what would happen once the anesthesia knock me out cold.
After some time with your family, the nurse takes you back to the “other” pre-op area, where everyone is exceptionally clean and wearing scrubs and those surgical hats. Here is where you meet some of the nurses that will be in the operating room with you as well as the resident and the anesthesiologist. A nurse will administer the IV drip, which for me, has always hurt badly and even hurts more than my freshly operated foot following the surgery. From my own horrible past experiences with nurses taking blood, I know it is absolutely necessary for them to put the IV in my hand rather than anywhere else. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of nearly passing out while nurses dig around in my arm searching for a vein that had just slipped out of sight, that the claim was just there a moment ago. One time, the initial nurse tried, then another nurse, the one of the doctors in the area and then finally they had to bring out a nurse from the neo-natal ward to administer my IV. Needless to say, I want to do everything in my power to keep from having, yet another disaster in pre-op.
The nurse starts the IV and the finger heart monitor, and you start to meet the others while you wait. Today, my heart really began racing when my doctor asked on which foot we were operating. Now, every nurse, doctor, whoever, you will meet prior to entering the operating room will look at your plastic bracelet and constantly ask your name, date of birth and on what they were operating, so this was not unusual for my doctor to ask me this, but when he looked at my x-rays and then looked back at me, I admit I got scared. He’d been given the information for my right foot and there was a bit of confusion, since my surgery time had been changed about four times before today. Fortunately, everything got straightened out, but seeing that the expression that not everything was going as planned in your doctor’s eyes, does tend to cause a bit of stress.
When I met the anesthesiologist, I was given this anti-nausea patch behind the ear, because I had also had enough for vomiting profusely due to the anesthesia. Miraculously, it has worked perfectly up to the moment. Should I ever have to go through this again (and hopefully, I won’t), I fully plan to ask for this patch again. Today was the first time, I’ve come to 11:00PM the night of a surgery and still feel fine, sans vomiting! (Oh, damnit! I missed Law and Order!)
Anyway, then comes a bit of a wait depending on how many surgeries your doctor has in front of you and the prep time required for your own. Sometime in there, they give you a little something to relax you a bit and before you know it, you are being wheeled down the hall into the operating room.
The operating room has never failed to be overwhelming for me. First of all, it is so bright in there, it is nearly blinding. It’s also freezing and regardless of how long those hospital blankets that they keep coming at you with are, you will definitely feel the cold of that room. The nurse and the resident will wheel your bed right next to surgical bed and have you move yourself over the stationary bed. Then, the spread your arms out across these posts that slide out from the surgical bed and they come at you again with the warmed blankets, while sticking you with the circular disks they use to measure your vitals. Once they do all this, (someone took my glasses, but I really don’t remember at which point) they come at you with the face mask.
Now, for the past surgeries they’ve asked me to count backward from ten, but for this one and the one I had in September, they just placed the mask over my face and I was out within five seconds. I prefer not having to count because the lower you get before passing out, the more stressed you get that the anesthesia isn’t actually working and you’re going to feel the whole thing.
When you wake up in the recovery room, you know that some time has passed, but it does not register immediately. It feels like you just closed your eyes for a second and then ended up in the recovery room. I’ve had all types of experiences waking up in the recovery room, from kicking people the foot that they just operated on, to feeling it absolutely necessary to get out of that bed. What is always a constant for me, is the thrashing. I wish I could explain, but when I wake up like that, I just thrash my head from side to side until I can get a grasp on my bearings. This time there was just a little thrashing, but the last time, I actually had a few nurse holding me down as I struggled in the recovery bed and attempted to rip the oxygen wire they had going under my nose from my face. The last time I also discovered I had a type of sleep disorder, where I nearly stop breathing while I sleep. They kept having to wake me up to get my oxygen back up over 90. This time, they had to wake me a few times, but it was not nearly as bad the previous.
When the nurses are satisfied with your vitals, they ease you into a wheelchair and to the post-op area where they help you get dressed and give you a little something to eat, since you haven’t had anything to eat since 8pm the previous night. Your family greets you hear and they give you any pertinent instructions before easing back into the wheelchair and to your car so you can be driven home. I’ve always had issues staying awake for any length of time while in post-op, because I really can’t sleep prior to surgery. I just feel like there’s something else that I’m missing or forgetting and sleep never occurs.

*Sigh*

I’ve gone through this surgery thing far too often and quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Hopefully, this will be the last aside from something like childbirth….

Oh well: Here’s praying!

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