They rocked our world

(Post below reprinted from the Grieving With Hope Facebook Page)

The world is reeling with the news of the death of Prince. The Minnesota Dept. of Transportation tweeted their condolences yesterday: “‪#‎RIPPrince‬ The I-35W Bridge will reign purple tonight.”

The Eiffel Tower and the New Orleans Superdome also shone in purple.

WCCO TV – CBS Minnesota provided news coverage in the city of Minneapolis on an All-Night Dance Party in honor of Prince at First Ave. and 7th St.

Hearts are grieving for the loss of a great music icon. The death of a public figure like Prince sends the world spiraling, throwing grief into the limelight. Those of us who are all too familiar with the glare of grief nod our heads in understanding to these tributes. What a beautiful way to honor Prince’s great memory.

But what about our loved ones? They weren’t famous, they didn’t change the world, and their gifts and talents were only acknowledged by a few. We want the same honor and remembrance for our loved one that the world is doing for Prince.

Friends, it’s not about how big or famous one is. It’s not about how great a legacy our loved one left. It’s not about whether or not they changed the world.

The truth is this: Our loved one changed our world, our lives. Our loved one may not have lived large on the stage, but they lived large on our heart. While our loved one may not have touched thousands of people’s lives, they touched ours. The greatness of one’s life isn’t measured by the number of people it touches.

Our loved one rocked our world. They touched our life with the music of their soul in who they were. They, too, are beautifully remembered in the love we have for them. We honor our loved one’s memory best when we, also, light up our heart with remembrance.

Angie Cherney
Mom to Matt – Age 16, alive in heaven

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When you want things to be different

I was messaging this week with my ______. She’s been going through some pretty rough circumstances for a while. And by a while, I mean years. We’re not talking something “light and momentary.” Some of the “hard” in her life is a result of poor choices, some of the hard is the result of a fallen world and broken bodies. She struggles daily with physical pain, effects from a debilitating disease, and the stigma that, sadly, follows particular life circumstances.

She and I have both fervently prayed for things to change, that she would just “get a break.” We’ve prayed for physical healing and relief. We’ve prayed for people to just give her a second chance. Yet, it seems at every  turn, she’s met with only more difficulty, more resistance, and more rejection. Why? Why doesn’t God do something?!

She was struggling.

I didn’t know what to say. I’m not qualified. I’m not in her shoes. I wondered the same thing she did: Why doesn’t God seem to be doing anything? Why can’t she catch a break? Why does she have to struggle so?

But this I can do: I can be her friend. I can speak the truth. I can point her to the only One who has the answers. I can show her who to go to with her pain and her questions and her doubts.

I told her: “Jesus knows. He knows the struggles we face. You know how it is when you meet someone who’s gone through the same thing you’ve gone through? Yeah. Jesus is one of those people. He knows the discouragement, the lack of acknowledgement, and the struggle for things to be different.”

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3 KJV

I reminded her that it’s not wrong or selfish to want things to be different. However, God’s answers aren’t always yes.

Oftentimes, it’s no or wait.

Yeah, that’s not what we want to hear. Nope. But it’s the truth. Don’t ever let someone tell you that the reason your prayer wasn’t answered was because you didn’t have enough faith. That’s a crock. Yes, there are many examples in the Bible where Jesus healed because one’s faith was great. But there are also plenty of examples where God said, “No” or “Wait.” An answer of “No” or “Wait” is not equivalent to one’s faith. It is the reflection of God’s good plan. He has a purpose in the no. He has purpose in the wait.

Our job, I told her, is to trust Him, to keep doing what is right, to give God glory. Glorifying God means that we give an accurate view of Him. When people see us, do they see a hypocritical Christian or do they see God reflected in our life and actions? “Christians aren’t perfect–They’re just forgiven.”

Hard circumstances often reveal who one’s true friends are. It’s painful to lose friends, and even more painful to lose family members. But there is One friend who will never leave you, never forsake you. He is with you in the hard.

How can you be a friend to someone who’s struggling? You can point them to Jesus. You can remind them of His love. You can validate their feelings. You can give them grace. Just like Jesus.

 

 

 

Fear not

Perhaps some of you have heard this before: the words “Fear not” appear 365 times in the Bible.

While it’s an awesome thing to contemplate, the truth is that it really isn’t in the bible 365 times.

But that’s not the point.

The point is this: God tells us not to fear.

Now why on earth would He tell us this? He tells us this because He knows we do. We are a people riddled with fear and anxiety. We fear the known and the unknown. Some people live their whole lives in fear, every decision based from it. God tells us not to fear, knowing all the while that we do.

Don’t you think that sounds rather odd? Do you find it strange, or even a bit invalidating, to say, “Don’t be afraid” to someone who is fearful?

At first thought, I did. I did, until I realized I do the same thing with my own children. How many times have we parents whispered in our panicked child’s ear, “It’s o.k. Don’t be afraid. Mommy’s here.”

Does not our heavenly Father do the same? Does He not lean in close to our trembling bodies, wrap His arms around us, and quietly reassure?

Absolutely.

He absolutely does.

But many of us are too busy freaking out to hear His voice. Some of you are too busy seeing what’s in front of you that you miss hearing Who is right beside you. We are so focused on our fear that we are blind to our Father.

Friends, God’s admonition to fear not is His call to look at Him. Look at Him. Look at Him because He is so much bigger than what you’re facing. He is more powerful, more glorious, and more sufficient than you can imagine. Your fear has convinced you that He’s not. Fear has inclined your ear to the wrong voice. Fear whispers lies. Fear is not from God. Fear comes from the enemy of your soul. He determines to take you captive. He is the ultimate stalker, bent on keeping you looking behind instead of ahead.

Do not listen to the voice of fear. Your Father asks you to trust Him, to keep your eyes on Him. He alone sees the past, present, and future. And He is in every one of them. Fear can make you fight like a trapped animal, struggling furiously to escape. Like a drowning swimmer, you attack the one trying to save you.

Yet the common rescue lies in this: Be still. Be still and let your Savior free you.

Freedom comes when we fix our eyes, not on the problem, but on the answer. He is the answer. Fear not.

Blessings,

Angie signature