It is hard to believe we have journeyed through the wilderness for almost four months and I have only blogged through 34 of what resulted in a 355 page journal. As I shared my heart, God made it clear that others have suffered through the wilderness, and for that reason I allowed several of the Redbud writers to share from their personal experiences. I pray their stories have encouraged you to continue in your relationship with the Lord and passionately pursue him even when times are hard, when he appears silent, and when it seems all hope is lost. I pray that you will turn to Jesus, cry to Jesus, reach out to Jesus, and choose life even in the desert.
One of the books I read in the wilderness was, Reluctant Pilgrim, by fellow Redbud, Enuma Okoro. It provided healing to my soul. Enuma and her publisher are kind enough to provide a chapter excerpt from an intimate moment in the wilderness. I pray that it blesses you as it has me.
The following is a chapter from Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community, by Enuma Okoro. Copyright c 2010 Fresh Air Books. Used with permission.
Lord, of heaven and earth. . . .
The night that Claire called I was getting ready for bed around 11:00 Pm. I knew something was wrong.
Death is a word I am all too familiar with. I hate it for all the times it has visited my door and changed my world. In the past 16 years of my 33 years of living, I have lost eleven close relatives. That includes my mother and first born son whom I carried around inside of me for five months.
As a result of these devastating personal experiences, and observing the grief of others, I have come to the conclusion that the church generally (at least in practice) has a poor theology of grief. When mom died, I gave the good Sunday school answer (not because it was what I was supposed to say, but because I believed it). I rejoiced that she was now in Heaven basking in God’s glory with no more pain and suffering. Somehow the attitude of Christians and people around me was, “Everything will be okay.” After suffering a recent loss of her own, Redbud, Trillia Newbell, honestly acknowledged that “Death is not okay.” Continue reading “Wilderness: What Are the Things You Need to Grieve?”