Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Much to Bear

It seems at times that life comes at you so hard that you wished you could just step out of its way. Already in a state of mourning over the certain passing of a loved church member I went to visit my grandmother last night at her assisted living home. As I entered the room she was sitting in her chair by her bed with a look of shear panic in her eyes. She began to babble about there being two men outside her room with guns who were shooting at each other and how they needed her help. This, of course was a hallucination and what I hope can be chalked up as a result of her Alzheimer's disease. As I sat there and talked to her and tried to calm her down she began to discuss how frustrating it is to tell people something is going on and people tell her it is only real to her. This incident is only one in a long list of similar ones. As we talked more grandma began to open up about her awareness that the things weren't real and the fact that she believes it is Satan trying to cause her to stumble. This, I could not disagree with and she verbalized real fear over her ability to overcome this. She wonders why God is allowing this to happen and is confused over why she cannot simply move on to her reward.

I reminded grandma of 1 Peter 1 and the fact that through these trials we are reminded of our love for Christ and why we do travel this pilgrim land. I reminded grandma that she has been preparing her whole life for this and that if she relies on her study and faith in Christ that she can overcome these terrible afflictions. We then prayed together and I feel confident that God heard my prayer and will answer it in His way and time. I left confident, not knowing that my faith in these words would be tested shortly.

I got home about 7:45 and ate a quick dinner and then began to play with the boys. I was rejoicing over the fact that a brother in Christ was on his way to meet the King. It was awesome and we were having a blast and then about five minutes until 9:00 my phone rang. I received a phone call that one of my very good friends, Mike Real, was involved in a motorcycle accident and that his wife wanted me to come to their house. I hugged the kids, told Joy not to wait up, and left immediately. While driving I was making phone calls to rally Christian soldiers when I received a call from Mike's daughter Lanice. She told me Mike was gone..... He's dead..... I told Lanice I was on my way and tried to remain as confident and strong as I could. When she called, I had Jason on the other line and I know I said to Jason (I love you man) that this on top of John's movement out of this life was more than I could bear. I made a few other phone calls and then it was just me, the night, the road, and my thoughts and emotions. My mind immediately turned to the conversation that I had with grandma earlier in the evening. Now my faith is being tested. My strength is up for display. My parachute of scripture is in need of deployment.

After arriving at Linda's house I stopped for a second before getting out of my car and I prayed that Christ would shine through me and that His love, compassion, and joy in the fact that not only one Christian brother was on their way to meet Him, but that one has been sent ahead of him. While there are no words to make the hurt stop, there are hugs, held hands, shared tears, and most of all prayers that can numb the hurt for just a moment. The rally of Christian soldiers last night, today, and I know in the upcoming days has been amazing to watch.

I debated over even posting about this night but I think Mike would be disappointed in me had I not. Mike always pushed me to let go of myself and to follow my heart.

If you know me, then you know Mike and probably his family. If you want to leave comments, prayers or condolences for his family, do so by clicking "comments" below this post and I will print them out and make sure the family gets them.

Mike, I love you.

Linda, Lanice, Renee, I love you and your families.

Will and Barry, stay strong.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about your pain and the deaths of your friends.

Your grandmother... check to see if she is receiving sleeping medications. Sometimes, sleeping medications, (such as Ambien), cause people to hallucinate. Sometimes, reactions to certain antibiotics have the same effect. Been there, done that with my own grandma. She was well aware that she too was seeing things that others did not. It was heart-breaking. A change in meds helped though.

Ashley S said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog; your words are very touching and I am so proud of you. I wanted to share a blog with you that I have been reading that is very inspirational to me and many others. It is a story of a woman who lost her baby girl due to chromosome abnormalities. Her faith in God is so strong and her story and daily posts are remarkable. The name of her blog is "Bring the Rain." Bring the Rain is a song by Mercy Me. Part of the chorus says:
" And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain"

Please visit her blog at:

Her story is amazing and such a wonderful example of faith in God even through the most difficult times.

Leah said...

I'm in class right now and I'm shocked. I had no idea he was killed. So sorry for them all. We'll be praying for all of you.

Leah said...

Hey, will you send me an address for them? My email is on my facebook page...

Heather said...

This is one of my favorite passages when we lose someone. It always helps me.

The Little Ship

I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light. As he disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, "He is gone".

But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered "He is gone", a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, "Here he comes!"

We are praying for all of the Real family and all of the friends who loved Mike.

preacherman said...

I am also so sorry to hear about your losss and pain that you are going through right now. Please know that I am praying for you. You can visit with me anytime. I have gone through tough suffering the last 2 years. I want to encourage you to understand that God joins us on the ash heap of life. He cares. Even when he seems absent he is right there with you. He loves you more than you can begin to understand. I hope these words help but know that Christians including myself are lifting you up in prayer!

jeleasure said...

I just wanted you to know I read your post. You impress me as a very fine man. Stay close to the brethren, love your family, love others and you will have a firm relationship with The Lord.