Today was a pretty sucky day. I woke up for work with the same headache that I had since about 10 a.m. yesterday but it had morphed into a migraine overnight. I woke up tried to start getting ready for work but it turns out I, personally, need two good eyes to do some things and sharp pains in the side of my head prevented me from doing much this morning, namely seeing out of my right eye. I took some medicine, called in sick to work, and went back to sleep.
About an hour later, I moved to the couch because our neighbors had decided they wanted their roof redone after seeing what a great job our "hombres" did on our roof. Let me tell you, it's not easy to sleep when guys are on top of your roofing banging on things, and it's still not easy when its going on next door.
I slept until about 1 p.m., woke up and decided that maybe if I tried to eat, I would feel a little better. I now had sight back in my right eye and the migraine had been down-graded to a major headache. (I think I'm going to start my own headache scale, you know, like the hurrican scale.) Anyway, by the time I started eating, Kel had come home from work and informed me that one of our friend's brother had chosen to take his life on Thursday night and that the funeral was in Pelham at 4 p.m.
Suddenly I didn't care about my headache anymore, I just knew that I had to get to that funeral. This was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Birmingham and she did so much to include me and invite me to do things and introduce me to people, when she really didn't have to. My heart hurt for her. Her brother was only 31 and left behind a wife and a seven-month-old son. But the hope in this situation is that we know that he is face-t0-face with our Lord now.
Some may ask, "Is it possible for a person, namely a follower of Christ, to still go to heaven even when they take their own life?"
My answer is a resounding "yes". I didn't know this young man personally but I heard enough stories today to know that he loved the Lord with all his heart, took his calling to be a disciple-maker seriously, surrounded himself with the best of people, and was a great father, husband, son, brother and friend.
The one point that was reiterated at that funeral today was that God's grace is big enough to cover anything. This young man sinned against his God, his family and his friends. He took his own life when when it wasn't his decision to make, but the great thing is that his sin was not bigger than God or his merciful grace. He was covered by God's grace the day that he became a Christian, walked with the Lord everyday of his life, and in a time of spiritual crisis, he took things into his own hands. However, God is a God of second chances. He's a compassionate and forgiving and I don't think one person in that room today had a doubt about where this young man was today or what he was doing.
There were a lot of emotions running through my head and heart today. (Warning: I'm about to spill my guts here.) I felt complete heartbreak from my friend and her family but at the same time, I kept thanking God that he gave second chances. In the past year, I was affected by a similar situation but with a much better outcome. Since then, I've looked at life and God from a different perspective. Like I said, God is a God of second chances but I've also realized my God as protecter of his children, renewer of all things, and a God whose peace passes all understanding. In this certain instance, I was surprised at how peaceful I was considering that my world had pretty much come to a screeching hault. But with every thought and every prayer, I found myself handing it all over to my Lord. I trusted in his faithfulness and everything seemed to take care of itself.
Please be in prayer for my family as they work through their grief and head down the long road of healing, weaving through confusion, resentment and forgiveness. Also be in prayer for those people around the world who struggle with the same inadequecies, both those of faith and those not of faith. Pray that they will realize that there is a God out there who catches us when we fall and holds us close and carries us home. And then we can proclaim like the great hymn says, "No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man, can ever plunk me from his hand; 'Til he returns or calls me home, here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand."
"Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death." Psalm 68:1-2
On a lighter note...
Chuck's back! I've been looking forward to this day for like the last four months, since I saw the first commercial advertising the season premiere. Chuck is just as cute and funny as ever. And Morgan got a haircut and must have gone on a diet. I feel bad for Chuck because the dude cannot feasibly have a real life. He and Sara cannot have a real relationship with the CIA butting in. Sometimes I wish all his flashes would go away but then there would be no Chuck to enjoy on Monday nights. Oh, well.
Oh, and I'm so glad Heroes is back too, but Hayden Panettiere does not make a good villain. Stop making it try to happen. It's not going to end pretty.