If, Then

In the 1930s, my Great-Grandfather was shot and killed by a Spanish-American War rifle. He was in an argument with a man who completely lost control. My Grandpa decided that the situation was hopeless, not to mention becoming dangerous,  so he figured it best for him and my grandmother to walk away. As he left, the man shot him him in the back. The bullet entered below the right hand shoulder blade. My Grandma, at the age of 12, had to run down the street and get help. They took him to the hospital, but it was too late. The doctor came out holding my great-grandpa’s kidney in hand and shared the news of his death.

The incident was taken to court.The murderer of my Great-Grandpa claimed that he was only defending himself. He wanted the court to believe my Great-Grandpa had thrown a punch at him and then the shot was fired. There was eye-witness testimony to refute that. Also, it was proven that my Great-Grandpa was left handed; had a punch been thrown, it would have been his left shoulder to receive the wound, not the right.

And my grandmother grew up without a Father.

My mother was the youngest of 7. Her Father, my Grandfather, developed throat cancer. All his children would take turns caring for him. My Grandmother would mush up and liquefy his food daily, feeding it to him through a tube in his stomach. His sheets had to be changed daily because his body would pour out sweat and blood onto the bed. It was obvious that he would not be around much longer. Preparations for his death were made, and he died two years after his diagnosis when my mom was 8.

And my mother grew up without a Father.

My Dad made very few business trips. However, when I was 4, he made a trip to D.C. While in our Nation’s Capital, he suffered a deadly heart attack. The doctors said he might have survived had he not been alone in his hotel room when it occurred. They sent his body home for the funeral.

En route to the graveyard, my mother had the funeral procession stop while the hearse, with my dad’s body in the back, continued a little further to our home in order to turn around in the drive way, for my mom wanted him to make it home before we buried him.

And I grew up without a Father.

This is my fear.

I am scared of losing Thomas–ever–but especially while my kids and I are young. I feel, too, that I have some hard core, generational evidence to make this fear not so irrational, as most fears are.  And let’s face it, we all fear something, at some degree or on some level.

But, recently I have learned something from my Beth Moore Bible study, Esther. Beth took some time to discuss fears, having us fill in some “If/Then” Statements. If _________, then ___________. If____(insert fear here)_____, then ______(insert what you would do/feel here)_______.

Her personal example was based off her fear of her husband leaving her for a younger, cuter model.It went a little something like this:

If my husband left me, then I would throw a fit.

If my husband left me, then I would say mean and hateful things about him.

If my husband left me, then I would not eat for days.

If my husband left me, then I would fall on the floor and cry until my eyes were not able to cry anymore……………and then I would get up……..and move on………and serve my Lord……….because HE WILL TAKE CARE OF ME.

Her point was that no matter what the fear, no matter what the If, the Then can be the same: God will take care of you.

Almost too simple, I know. All too easy to say and write. Way too complicated to live it out, yet I have seen people do it every single day. I have seen several people, ones outside of my family mentioned above, live through my biggest fear, all the while coming out of that moment embraced in the Love of Christ. Why should that be any different for me?

Right now,  my dear friend, Kelley,  just received news of cancer and is having to walk through an IF, one of her biggest fears (pray for her, please!).

And God will take care of her.

It may not be the way we would like or the way we would imagine, but the care is still there. No matter the IF, God always follows through with his THEN. He will take care of me!My prayer is to *never* have to live through the loss of Thomas. But IF I were to lose my husband, dear father to my children, THEN God will still take care of me.

Amen.

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8 thoughts on “If, Then

  1. Summer-

    The first sentence in your last paragrah provides true insight inot our journey with Christ. I would NEVER have imagined that my wife would die when only 34 years old, yet over the past 2 years, God has continually built me up and strengthened me and returned joy into my life.

    I hope and pray that neither you nor your friend has to live through the kind of journey I’m on, but for anyone who does, I know from personal experience that God CAN and WILL bring them to a place of joy in their journey with Him.

    On a total random side note, you are a very good writer – your blog reads like a professional storyteller’s best performance mixed with a pastor’s best message. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and talent with the rest of us mere mortals… :)

  2. Nice reminder. I often tell Stephan and forget about that when it comes to my “big” issues. This pregnancy is a HUGE reminder that He has everything in His capable hands and is surely going to take care of both the baby and I.

  3. so poignant and vulnerable summer! thanks for sharing your heart with us… we just finished up studying about bowen’s theory and the impact of our family history on our current selves. your post made me really think about that theory, and how very personally it impacts each and every one of us. also- Beth Moore speaks truth- love that little fiesty woman!

  4. Summer,
    I don’t think I’ve ever told you this before, but you and Thomas remind me so much of my parents. They were only 19 when they were married, and tomorrow marks my father’s 71st birthday. They’ve been married 51 years now, and still hold hands. They don’t see each other as “old” at all, but often talk about when they first met and fell in love. It may be the height difference between you and Thomas also reminds me of them since Dad is 6’7″ and Mom is 4’11”.
    Don’t dwell on or worry about being alone. I don’t think that is in the cards for you two.

  5. Great story and so true. Fear is not of God and I know that but sometimes I let fear take over. Thanks for sharing. I needed to hear that. God will take care of His children. Praise God.

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