So it Happened
by Joshua Paul Bechtel
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So it happened.
You “knew” it could never happen. When it did, it sent you into a fit of rage. Which you expressed or experienced in your own way. You had done everything to avoid it. Even promised God all sorts of things “if only you keep this from happening.” Then you sunk into what is considered sinful by some... depression.
What if you haven't “accepted it yet?” Are you... wrong?
What if you are still angry at God...or yourself...or others? Maybe you cannot bring yourself to admit it...let alone look at it. It hurts to think about opening some of those memory doors.
What if you are still angry about “it” happening? Maybe “it” hasn't happened yet. Maybe it has...and you are still reeling.
Is this a sign of not trusting God?
What makes you think so?
What if you are still in the depression part? What if you haven't allowed yourself to go through the depression stage of...grieving?
What if you haven't gotten to the “acceptance” part, yet?
Let's just forget that there is a yet.
Just kidding...sort of.
If you have not gotten to where you are going...does that mean you are not on your way? If it doesn't look like you are “making progress”...does that mean you aren't?
There is a yet...and the fact is that we are not there...
If you are “there” already... I do not have anything to say to you. Maybe you should be putting your insights on paper, not me. What I am going to say will probably give you some ammo to use against some of us who are still on the path.
If you aren't “there” yet... If you are still “in denial” or “angry” or “bartering” or “in depression” (the first four of the five stages of grief, according to Kubler-Ross)...
Neither am I. Not totally, anyway. I am actually in the middle of all of this. I am not writing to say “I have arrived.” I am writing to say “Here is where I am at. Here is where I have been. Here is where I am headed.” It is the imperfect record of a very imperfect story.
The fifth stage, according to Kubler-Ross, is acceptance. Not everyone goes through this process in the same way.
Eventually, with the help of God and the passing of time, we come to some form of acceptance.
I probably am not qualified to write what I am going to write. Unless a desire to be honest and get some clarity for myself qualifies me.
So... I am primarily writing this for myself.
If you are interested...you are welcome to join me in a frankly unpredicatable journey. The only predictable part of my story is...God.
Although...but that is my story.
What if the realities of your life have finally dawned on you?
You would like to deny that life has....sucked. You are angry...about the stuff that has happened in your life. The people that have messed up your life. The way you have messed up your life. The way you have reacted to...everything about your life. You might be in the middle of “bargaining” with yourself...others...God. “Please, tell me it wasn't so bad.” “Please tell me I imagined all of this.”
It hasn't worked, has it?
The feelings you are supposed to get after forgiving hasn't really happened. Those feelings were there, at first, for a while. But it comes back again and again. You feel confused...depressed...if you are able to feel at all. Part of you is past it and has gone on. Part of you still is stuck back there and it seems nothing is able to get you beyond it.
The best advice you have been given...hasn't worked.
So.... you haven't “accepted it” yet.
Is that okay?
I am not sure “okay” is all that important. Or even matters. We do not have to say what God does not say. One of the things God does not say is that things are okay. Or that we have to act as if things are okay.
God sent Jesus Christ to save us from our sins...not act like everything is okay. Life will not ever be “okay”...
Not while we are in this life. Perhaps not even in eternity, until that incredible moment when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” for those who have allowed God to deliver them from their sins.
Some time ago, as I was pondering this, I wrote the following poem.
Unanswered, but Answered
The broken toy cannot be fixed
If I don't admit its broken.
Tension and fear won't be resolved
If the differences aren't spoken.
This life's a room of broken toys
Of bandaged limbs and cut short joys...
So if I insist on tearless eyes...
When it comes time in paradise
For Him to wipe the tears away
What will He do...
What will I say?
For wine is made by crushing
The grapes we wish were whole...
And gold that has been beaten
Is most beautiful to behold...
“No tears in heaven
No sorrows given”
We sing as if it brings us joy
But what if,
While here on earth
We insist on acted mirth...
If there's no pain
Will there any depth
To our joy?
We bring our own experiences to questions of life such as this.
And so, if you are ready, we will plunge into a story. A sometimes confusing story. A somewhat fragmented story. A sometimes pointless seeming story...except for the fact that it is going somewhere.
It is my story.
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