Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Reckless State of Mind

I'm a pretty conservative person. I like to play it safe for the most part, but when Jay passed away, I felt this strange recklessness inside.  Typically I'm afraid to fly but when we had to go to San Antonio Texas to be with Jay and bring him home, I had no fear at all about getting on the plane. Even though I had some of my family with me, I figured that if anything went wrong--and the plane went down--we'd all just be getting a ticket to paradise. I wasn't the only one feeling this way. My son Ryan told me he was feeling pretty reckless as well. He said he felt like he could make himself a cape and head out to fight crime (he's a Batman fan). The point is that we were experiencing the reality that our lives come to an end and that there's nothing we can do about it. We were experiencing a confidence we had in our afterlife that stemmed from a certainty we had about where Jay was.

The Heavens are real. Our God has made us a home and nothing on this earth can affect that truth. Philippians 1:21 says it all: Paul says, "To me to live is Christ, to die is gain". Me and my son Ryan were feeling a recklessness because of  God's promises and developing a better understanding of His eternal plan. Heck, somebody sew me a cape!!

Being in this "reckless" state of mind had me feeling pretty good. I went from playing it safe to throwing caution to the wind--and I liked it! For years I had talked about getting a tattoo and now that I was in this new mindset, the time felt right. My kids had heard me talk about it for years. So much so, that everyone was pretty much convinced that it was an empty threat kind of thing. Jay wasn't always supportive of my idea to get a tattoo but over time, he liked the idea and, in fact, wanted to give me one on my birthday. The truth is that I was all talk, that is until now. I never knew what I wanted or where I would place it, but finally I had all that figured out and It was time! My son set the appointment and I waited anxiously to go. I was pretty...whats the word? Amped!

When we arrived at the tattoo shop, I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. Under normal circumstances walking into a place like this would have been intimidating to me, but now I was fearless. There was this chair I was to sit in and it was pretty cool looking; I'm not gonna lie, I was feeling pretty tough. I showed the guy my design, he worked with it a bit, and then it was time. I barred down as he took to my wrist and starting doing his work with his tools. Before I knew it, it was over. The whole process took less than 15 minutes and afterwards I was on a major high. I was so excited! As I went to bed that night it stung a bit and I thought about how Jay would be reacting to my new tattoo. I could see that smile he would make when he was tickled inside. Kind of a smirkey, crooked, grin. I felt good. I fell asleep with the same kind of smirkey, crooked, grin just thinking about it, and thinking about him. 

When I woke up the next morning the first thing I felt was the stinging on my wrist from my bold and reckless act the night before. Slowly I rose my arm up and as my tattoo came into sight I literally could hear the silent scream in my head-"I have a tattoo!!" Panic soon set in as thoughts raced through my mind. "Oh my gosh, I'm going to have this on me for the rest of my life!" "What will this look like when I'm 80?!" "It's too loopy!" I sprung up from my bed and was immediately pacing. Yes, I could still see Jay with that smirky grin--only now It was more of an, "I told you so" kind of grin. Within minutes I was downstairs googling tattoo removal. I even called a place to get price quotes. So much for feeling tough! So much for feeling fearless!

Eventually I calmed down and I'm happy to say that I have now come to adore my tattoo. I mean really, I kind of don't have a choice, but it has grown on me. It's special because it has such a precious meaning to me and it's a reminder to me that I'm a fighter. A fighter for what matters--a fighter for faith.

Jesus told a doubting Thomas "because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed". My husband and I used to tell our children that faith is believing with your heart what you can't see with your eyes.  A more adult explanation of faith is this: "Faith is not a certainty based on physical perception, but is trust grounded in insight into the reality of God, what God is capable of doing... Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."Arland J Hultgren  

We are called to walk by faith, not by sight [2 Corinthians 5:7]. It's not easy. Forces work against the believer to make them quit and lose hope, to tire and give up. But never give up! God promises to guide us on this journey as He reveals His truths with each step that we take. It's a continual and infinite work until the day we go home and is only possible by-- believing with your heart what you can't see with your eyes. If you believe with the faith of a child, you'll find the strength of a warrior inside. 

"God thank you for your holy spirit that guides us, teaches us, strengthens us, equips us, and does in us what we can't do for ourselves. Help us, your children, to rise up and be the warriors you want us to be". Amen

God is good... 

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