Change is In the Air

There are so many things on my mind right now I am not even sure where to start. Guess I will start with yesterday. You know I am trying to take Chris out more – at least three times a week. We took him out to my sister’s for a very unique family get-together. When it came time to pray before the meal everyone gathered in the dining/kitchen area…leaving Chris alone in the recliner in the living room. I decided to stay with him.  I know that as a general rule he does not respond…but he is in there… and I hate it when he is just ignored. (I’m not saying anything was intentional or anything.. I just noticed it so I stayed with him.)

They kept saying, “Come on Jeanie, let’s pray.” And I replied, “I’m staying with my son.” It didn’t take but a second for everyone to realize I was not budging, prayer or no prayer. So they all gathered around and included Chris in the family circle to pray. (check out his blog to see how he responded and what a difference it made: www.updatesonchrishampton.blogspot.com. )

We really just do not fit into normal anymore! But that’s okay, really. I just see Chris as so vulnerable and tender. (I know he’s a man so don’t tell him I said so! lol!) And I want to do whatever I can to protect him. I love it when I go someplace and people address him. That’s what I like about Among Friends, everyone talks to Chris and includes him in the conversations even though he does not even look at them.

My family is great, don’t get me wrong. They all took time to come and talk to him personally and he engaged with each one of them too! I realize it’s so difficult to know what to do with him…but it makes me hurt for him…and for my family too. I hurt because I see my daddy so wanting Chris to speak, move or do anything…my brother missed the gleam in Chris’ eyes…and my sisters just want him to be back. And I know Ronella hurts so much too. It’s almost like she’s become an only child,,,except Chris is still here. There’s no end to the pain from where I am…it all hurts…all the time.

To be perfectly honest, I am just emerging from a very dark, desert place. I really cannot describe it yet…don’t know if I will ever be able to fully explain it either…don’t know if it is even necessary to try to do so…but God has felt so far away. My heart and mind know that He never leaves us and He is always present…but my feelings were far removed. Don’t go all religious on me and act like you have never felt this way. We all go through the desert…pain can do some crazy things with our minds…I have been so far “gone” I haven’t even tried to find a way “back.” It just didn’t seem relevant somehow…

But it seems as though I am finally beginning to emerge. It’s not by anything I have chosen either.. it just seems to be happening. I cannot explain it, or deny it nor will I try to stop it….but I will embrace it…

So this morning I was reading Psalm 63 about thirsting for the Lord…longing for Him…looking toward the sanctuary. I have taught for years (perhaps unsuccessfully) that we are His sanctuary. So as I was reading through this today and sharing about it in my devotions for caregivers blog (www.dailydevotionsforcaregivers.blogspot.com) it really stirred my mind and heart up.

We really do not have to go  anywhere to meet with God. Think about it even if we do not totally get the concept that we are His dwelling place – He lives in us. When I thought about how I have erroneously thought and felt through the years that the local church was the sanctuary, it made me sad. We do not have to go to church to experience Him. We gather in a facility because we are looking to be with people who love HIm too. I think it is that simple, and if we are gathering for any other reasons it’s more like we are just trying to gather together with people who agree with us….God is already there…He’s already everywhere. He actually cannot even go away from us…

I am chosing to think about that today… just the truth that He is with me through the pain…in the dark…and He will bring us out. I am not sure why that is comforting all of a sudden…I am determined to know HIm without seeing Him through religious lens…I want to know Him open, honest and unreligiously.

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