Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life Goes On

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Life goes on...oh...la, la, la, la, life goes on"

I can't help but sing that song from the early nineties t.v. series when I see the words "life goes on." The phrase is most definitely trite and overused but very much true. Until Christ shatters the heavens and steps physically back into our world again, life, as we know it, will go on. Winter will turn to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter. Families will rejoice with the birth of a new child. Mothers-to-be will mesmerizingly rub their swollen bellies as they feel the first few flutters of life within them. Children will learn to ride their bikes without training wheels. Lovers will enter into a lifelong covenant with each other, for better or worse. Fabulous food and heartfelt laughter will be shared around the dinner table. Homework will be demanded and discipline enacted. All around us, life goes on.

There is great joy and comfort in these things. Familiarity. Things going the way they should. Life following the expected course. There is nothing wrong with it. It is the experience of common grace. How gracious is the Father that He would let us enjoy such life?

And, how gracious is the Father that He would let us enjoy such loss?

That might offend some. I'm sure many will not agree. It is not by my own might or strength that I can utter such a phrase, but rather, His spirit within me. I cannot pick up the scriptures without facing God's mercy through His allowance of suffering. The apostles did not escape it. We, as those in the "last days", are guaranteed it. By His grace, it fosters within us steadfastness (James 1), genuineness of faith (1 Peter 1) and power (2 Corinthians 12). It also reminds us that there must be more than this (2 Corinthians 4 & 5).

Yes, there is mercy and grace in life going on...but there is also mercy and grace in life stopping for a bit. In a woman losing her 75-year-old husband after 49 years of marriage. In a woman losing her twentysomething husband after 3 years of marriage. In a woman losing her 2-and-a-half hour-old daughter. In my loss of my two unborn babies.

This has been a gift. A bittersweet reminder of true reality: this is not our home. We were not made for this. There must be more than this.

"For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." 2 Corinthians 5:2 - 4

26 comments:

The Engelhardt 4 said...

Beautiful and so eloquently written. You inspire me each time I read the words that the Lord lays on your heart. Blessing, my dear friend!

debra said...

this preaches.

The Barnyard's said...

Wow..beautiful. Amen.

Andrea "The H family" said...

Girl, just today..no kidding, I spoke outloud to a very dear friend and said the following "God changed me through my special needs child..I am changed and I praise God for His mercy in showing me the true gift of surrending my life and CHILD to HIM 100%". Had it not been for my hell with Luke, I would not know the Father as desperately as I thought I did. Funny isn't it. I was pretty high on myself..until Luke. Now, I'm very BELOW MYSELF and try to stay (a big try here) buried under His feet. I want to stay that way--It's my mercy God gave me.
Big hugs honey--I praise God for the grace He's given you.
A

Bezner said...

Great comments here, Lauren. I think that the embracing of the fact that God's purposes continue to move forward is one of the most comforting truths...and you've communicated it perfectly.

Meg and PK said...

Wow, Lauren, my eyes are flooded with tears. I love your perspective. I am so sorry for your loss and so blessed and challenged by your willingness to share what you are walking out.

David Campbell said...

seriously good stuff. i fully agree.
much love to you!
keri

Amanda said...

I love that you have this blog. Please say that you are going to somehow publish your words in something for the masses! I don't know if you grasp how many people are drawn closer to God by reading your testimonies.

cara jane said...

praise God that there is more than this. praise God for His strength to know grace and mercy in the midst of loss. He remains. He goes on.

Hayley B said...

The truth in this is overwhelming and comforting! You have no idea how much I needed this

The Andujar's said...

Lauren- I love this post. It so resonates with where I am lately. Battling with health issues for more than a year and not knowing what is going on, I have had to come to a place where I can trust that in His Sovereign plan, this suffering, this affliction- is for my good, my sanctification and His Glory. Isnt it so merciful of Him?? So if I never get well, I have a reminder in my flesh that this tent groans for the place that we will truly call home some day. Thanks for sharing

Dawntoya and Adam said...

Such great truth~such good writing.

The Shaffers said...

God just flows through you in an amazing way. Thank you for your words of wisdom...

Aina said...

Thanks for writing this Lauren...it is so hard and true and that life does go on, but the awesome part is that God goes with us...you guys are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Aina, Caleb, & Charlotte

Nat Pat said...

good words. love ya.

The Kaufmann Krew said...

What a beautiful word. Praise Him that there IS more than this life. And that we will bask in His presence for eternity!!

KristenRea said...

When I first started reading this post, I completely underestimated you. I feared I was in for your attempt at convincing the world your heart was already done grieving. I was so wrong. Granted, I now have the "Life Goes On" song stuck in my head, but I'll take that trade for the wonderful worship happening in my heart as I contemplate your insights today. Beautifully said.

Lindsay said...

You are a beautiful writer.

I'm adding you to my blog roll..it made me laugh when you said you get to my blog through Liz's b/c I do the same thing to get to yours!

I just emailed C to see if I could hang out with you guys one day while you are here. I would love to actually meet you in person!

kjsonntag said...

Came to your page from Jen Cochran's - my! I love those thoughts - that He is gracious to allow us so much - in pain and in joy. Because, really, we cannot enjoy the joy without really experiencing the pain. I prayed for you today that He will continue to mend your heart!

B-HO said...

PREACH PREACHA!!YOU GOT THE HOLY GHOST FIRE!!

mtuwakazi said...

Have prayed for you all so often. Your words here are so true. God has purpose even in our pain and we can trust Him. Many times our first words are "So sorry you are going through this," but the truth is if God is taking you through it, He will bring His glory to the situation and you don't want to miss that. Will continue to pray for you. Thank you for you and Matt's ministry to our family through our daughter Amanda.

Kacy said...

Thanks for writing this, it is a reminder to me that getting wrapped up and overwhelmed in the sadness of earth is a reminder that so much more is waiting for us in heaven. It's hard to imagine a place with no sadness and no tears, when this life provokes so much. I can't wait to experience it. You and your family are a blessing.

allison_2524 said...

This post is so encouraging... Thank you for sharing from your heart the beauty of God's mercy and grace.

the corsos said...

beautiful.

Michael, Faith & Evan Bleecker said...

so true! have you been reading Piper's new book? I can't wait to read it, kinda.
Thanks for allowing God to use you in such a way that suffering takes place in you, affecting you deeply, resulting in waves of God's goodness that causes others to see Christ.

Carter & Julie said...

Hey Chandler Family! It's been so long since we've seen each other...back in the Prestonwood Metro days...I went to your blog through the Chilton's blog and read your most recent post today and want to tell you we're praying for your family. What a testimony of your faith! God will and is using that for His glory! Hope everyone at the Village is doing well! In awe...Carter & Julie Morris

carterandjulie.blogspot.com