Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.- Jesus of Nazareth-Matthew 7:13-14
This photo taken earlier this week helped me remember this parable Jesus used to teach his disciples how narrow the road is in life. For those fighting for life due to a chronic/terminal illness we can feel it and even see more in our situations.
As I lay in the balance of life and death I have done my best to advocate for the good life. Not in my truth but in God’s truth. In so many ways we can live abundantly by choosing life and not death everyday in our words, actions and in return let this multiply by everyone you come in contact with.
Though it may seem like the toughest path to walk through. What a fine line to reality and having to feel happiness in the midst of a full blown storm. This full awareness of the narrow road is what is life giving not to even yourself but to your atmosphere and all you touch in this lifetime.
This week we had another family member pass away. My husband’s cousin’s husband, Johnny. He leaves 7 children that are all still very young. Including my “warrior” Goddaugther Janae who has been fighting strong since the day she was born.
We used to live in the same city and back than were able to see each other more often. Johnny taught my husband a lot about cars and helped us several times to fix our cars that would be major work. Like our Toyota Camry that we commuted to work and everywhere for many years. Because of Johnny and his friends we were able to utilize that vehicle to help us through so much.
When my husband’s family finally gets a break from all the losses; we were yet reminded of the frailty of our lives. I am reminded. As I look at my nieces and nephews. I’m reminded of this impending reality for myself and it hurts to my core. Because I know one day as I sit here and grieve with my family it will be my family’s turn one day.
Is that what I should be focusing on? Of course not. However, it is a part of our reality and why living on the right path is everything. We have already walked through losing several family members who have passed away fairly young. Including Johnny who was only 42 years old.
I wish I had some wise words to give to my God daughter, cousin, nieces and nephews. But I don’t even as I try to muster something to say during this difficult time; that even makes it hard to write. All I can do is be there the best I can in prayers and in love. I believe that’s all we can do in the time of grieving.
There’s something powerful that happens during this time and this is why I believe God says,
Happy/Blessed is those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
Along with the remaining beatitudes that characterizes blessed people. These are also the same principals used in Celebrate Recovery ‘s 12 step program. This has been embedded in me as I’ve walked through the steps twice to help my healing path.
How backwards it can seem to be happy or blessed because of loss and grief. The Matthew commentary describes it best:
Those that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended. Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God. (original source)
This principal along with the others I believe are essential to recovery:
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY BASED ON THE BEATITUDES
Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)
“Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.”
Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)
“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)
“Happy are the meek.”
Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 and 5)
“Happy are the pure in heart.”
Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 and 7
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires”
Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 and 9)
“Happy are the merciful.” “Happy are the peacemakers”
Reserve a time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 and 11)
Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)
“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.”
As my family walks through another season of grief. I offer what continues to help me in my healing path. These simple principals are helpful for any recovery season and for the narrow path of our life. Me and my husband has walked through so much in this lifetime that it is step 12 that continues to help us.
By giving our example in our actions and in our words. It’s a daily battle. But it is essential to the allotted time God gives us. Because we are all not exempt from the hurt and pains of this world and lifetime. It is why I know I must continue to share what is put upon my heart during my own battlefields.
To offer healing through my continuous pursuit to wholeness here on earth as it is in heaven.
Much love always,
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