Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer Kostick is an author and speaker who teaches women how to activate their life’s purpose through the study of Scripture. Jennifer knows more about grief and loss than she ever thought she would, but Jesus met her in the middle of fierce storms and held her tightly with an even fiercer love. In addition to her love of teaching the powerful truth of Scripture, Jennifer is married to Paul, her husband of twenty-five years, has three children, and a beautiful daughter-in-law! She is also a full-time seminary student… because you can never know too much about the Bible! Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
I wish I could tell you why I’ve chosen to sit down and write. Maybe it’s because I think it might help me feel better. Perhaps it’s because as much as I want to throw my hands in the air and tell God I’m done doing everything it is He wants me to do, I can’t. I don’t want to write, but it’s as if something on the inside burns until I get the words out. He won’t let me quit.
I also wish I could tell you I had some sort of plan for what I’m about to say. I don’t, so hold on tight. I’m not sure what’s even safe to convey at this point. My emotions have gone wild and for the first time in my life I have no interest in taking command of them. I feel entitled. Entitled to yell and scream and rant and rave and tantrum about how I don’t deserve to suffer what I’m suffering. However, truth is truth: Jesus didn’t say I wouldn’t suffer, He only said I wouldn’t suffer alone.
In the quiet spaces inside my head where no one can hear me, I use different terminology to explain my situation. For example:
Merry Christmas to me… I am motherless.
I don’t have a mother.
My mother died.
My mom is gone.
I feel like an orphan.
And the list goes on and on.
I feel as if I’m broken beyond repair. My brother died only five months ago, and now my mother. Three years ago, I lost my stepfather. My entire immediate family is gone. That old saying, “You can’t go home again”, well, I finally understand what it means.
But, does it matter?
You see, when I think I can’t go home again, I’m reminded that this world is not my home. (See Hebrews 13:14) When I become angry, telling myself I’m a good, God-fearing woman who does not deserve to suffer, I’m reminded how much Jesus, who lived a perfectly sinless life, suffered. Perspective matters.
Oh friend, I have no idea what God is doing in my life, but among all the tragedy I know it’s good. That sounds crazy to even say at this point, but THE God of the impossible seems to take us down illogical paths. Those pathways lead to wholeness. I know because I’ve been healed from other grief, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be healed of this. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
My mother once told me that when she was a little girl, she would stand on the side of the bathtub to pray. As a young child, she reasoned that the higher up she was when she prayed, the closer she would be to God, and the better He could hear her. She had lots of stories like that. God pursued my mom from an early age. So much so, she was willing to climb to get to His throne.
If you’re dealing with any kind of crisis at all, please hear what I’m about to say.
God pursues ALL of us! My mother wasn’t an exception, I am not an exception. Each one of us was given a purpose to fulfill here. In the book of Acts, Luke writes about David…
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed…”
When it comes to my mother, it’s very difficult for me to see how someone so young, with so many years ahead, could have possibly fulfilled her purpose already. However, I’m not God and I don’t know. I have to trust Him. One thing I do know: I’m still here, and I’m NOT done.
God is chasing me, at this very moment, at a rapid pace. I’ve never felt Him fighting for me the way I feel He’s fighting now. This means I cannot stop doing what He ordained me to do. Do you remember when Jeremiah was so tired of his tasks that he was ready to quit? He quickly had a revelation.
“But if I say, “I will not mention His Word or speak anymore in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”
I’m surrounded in tragedy, and yet, I can feel the fire of God in my bones. My emotions might be running wild but God is reining and ruling and reviving the truth in me. That truth will set me free from what I feel and knit me close to what I know. He is alive and active in my healing.
He’s chasing you, too. He’s alive and active in your healing, too.
As we celebrate Christmas, I think it’s important for all of us who are grieving to refocus our hearts and minds. Christmas is not about who is missing, it’s about who has come: Jesus.
As much as my mother loved me, and she loved me with the best kind of love, she did not hold the power to save me. Christ, the One who came, saved my soul and made me free.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
This Christmas, may you be conscious of the wild pursuit over your life. There is a chase in progress made to fan the flame within you, setting you free to live purpose in a way only you can.