Hard Things Happen
Crosses. My husband made me a wooden one. It hangs on a wall. I wear a silver one around my neck. I hear people say, “That’s my cross to bear.” What in the world?
In our day, the cross is a reminder of Jesus, suffering, and pain. In Jesus’ day, it meant death. Crosses were about dying.
Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
What if it means something in me has to die every day? Maybe my plans and desires need to be put on a cross daily. Whoa! I am a wee bit of a planner. That hits me hard.
I have been cracked and busted open. I have also had the privilege of knowing and counseling some lovely people who dared share brokenness with me. Beautiful every time.
Each of us has his own cross to bear.
I am drawn to people who are real and honest. Especially to broken people. I relate to broken families, broken spirits, the broken-hearted, anyone or anything broken down.
Life breaks us.
I fell off of a loft bed in 1998 and broke my back. Fragile and vulnerable. Then I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Fragile and vulnerable. No one’s fault, but after the initial shock, I had to fumble my way through the healing process.
I did not grow bitter nor did I turn away from the crisis at hand. But Wow! Did I ever talk to God and to myself every waking hour.
Long days of suffering and pain for my family and me. Little deaths. Little crosses. The love, far greater than the suffering. Everyone gave up getting his/her own way.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe there was a time when you felt like you were dying. Maybe something inside you actually died. This can happen with an illness, heart attack, the loss of a child, an unsettling divorce, a big change in a job, moving across country. Losses and crosses.
My plan of action: I will keep hanging tight to Jesus. That’s what works for me.
Reality check: He keeps hanging on to me! God’s grace.
So what does Jesus really want? Our whole lives? Yes.
Photo by Pat Durmon, on a wall in her home, March 17, 2017.