Loss

(Dedicated to my friend and brother, Jerry Arney)

When we lose someone, a lot of times we just don’t what to do next. We don’t know what to say. We don’t know how to act or even feel.

Loss of a marriage is like the death of a friend or loved one in a lot of ways. It is a life leaving us to make sense of what has happened and move on. It forces us to deal with thoughts and emotions that we avoid at all costs. Who wants to experience that?

Today, a very good friend of mine who has been sick for almost 3 years passed away. His name is Jerry Arney and he was someone who I loved as a brother and friend very much. I always will. I will never forget him, though life moves on and eventually I will not give him much thought, and I absolutely hate that. Sorry, Jerry, but that is the human life.

We are usually consumed by what is happening at the moment. Time makes it imperative to deal with what is going on today, which causes us to push the past into the back of our minds. It sucks, but that is what happens.

When it comes to the loss of a marriage, the pain eventually subsides and the business of life, children, a job, friends, and new events require us to have to focus on them. It pushes the past back a little more each day and is a large part of the healing process.

When that happens, it doesn’t say anything about that person you lost or the marriage that did not last. It had a life and it hurts when it is gone.

When I spend less time time thinking about Jerry, it doesn’t take anything away from the relationship I had with him. We shared and invested in our friendship and it means something. The same is with a marriage. It mattered and you invested so much into it, and yet it is gone.

When I think of Jerry, I am going to do my best to remember the good times. We spent a lot more time in a hospital praying and talking than we ever did outside of it. The bad times happened, but I am going to remember how even as he suffered pain and disappointment, he had a love for Jesus that I will always be jealous of.

He knew that someday, he would be healed one way or the other. One day the pain would be gone. And tonight it is gone.

My pain is getting more intense. I miss my friend and brother, I miss his love for his family and God. I miss his love for others, those he shared love with on the the streets and in the detox centers where he ministered to those most people have given up on. But God will help me and carry me during this time. He has before, and he will again.

You have lost a marriage, and it hurts. It hurts bad. You will miss some things that where amazing. You will miss the person that you married, the one who said for better or for worse. You didn’t marry the person you they are now. You lost someone totally different.

The last time I saw Jerry, I knew he was getting tired. He shared many things with me to make me realize now that he had become a different person from the one I first met and grew to love as a fellow man in ministry. He still loved & trusted in the Lord, but his human body was dying.

Your marriage was not the same at the end as it was in the beginning. You wanted it to be different, to be like it was when you first got married, but eventually it died.

So where does that leave us?

As I mourn my friend and brother, I will cling to Jesus, the one who is the answer for my broken heart. He is the only one who can heal it. And he will. I will eventually be able to look back and remember the good times we had, all the wonderful fellowship, and the time spent with our Savior.

As you mourn your marriage, cling to Jesus!! He loves you with an everlasting love. He is the only one who can give you the wisdom, peace, and joy to move forward each and every day. It will get easier. I promise. As you let Him lead and hold you, He will give you a peace that will surpass anything you could ever imagine.

Eventually we will both look back and it won’t hurt like it does now. We may have a scar and a tenderness when we remember, yet it will not stop us from being better. God has plans for both of us. Walk with me as we both move forward with Him.

RIP Jerry Arney

Dying To Live

The phrase ‘Dying to Live” is one that is confusing to some people. You might think, “How can I live if I die?”. Simple, but not easy.

The phrase has come to mean, you need to let those things that are dead (ie, marriage, relationships, friendships, your past) be as if they are buried in the ground, never to return. Only then can you really get on with living the life you have to live. Dying to live.

I saw a friend of mine post this video a few days ago. The reason I checked it out was because I used to listen to Creed almost nonstop for a year, getting to know the songs intimately. Scott Stapp (lead singer) has such a distinct voice and he sang with such passion. The words were definitely right down my alley, since I had become a Christian & could tell they were Godly lyrics, even if the band refused to classify themselves as a Christian band. I just needed to check out the video.

I could not believe how inspirational and comforting of a song it is. The lyrics were on the video so I could follow along and it just spoke to me heart.

I would ask you, if you did not take the time to check out the full video, please do it. Pay attention to the words as the music plays. It speaks life.

After a little youtubing, I ran across another video about how he was struggling with alcohol and other vises as the band was growing apart. He talks candidly about how dark those times were and that he experienced a divorce and a near-death 40 foot fall. He realized he had to die (almost physically, yet totally to his own self) to live. Check it out here, if you like.

It is through the struggles in life that we find out what is really worth living for. Our children, family, friends, and those near and dear to us love us like none other, except God.

Jesus died for you and me so that we could live. He knew life is a struggle, but He provided the way to peace and new life in God.

“I had to go hell to find my Heaven, 40 feet I had to fall from grace. Everything’s so clear when you’ve got one foot in the grave.”

Who has been there? I know I have. I remember wishing I would just die, knowing that I would see Jesus right away, but He had other plans for me. He had a purpose through my pain & experience. He knew that at some point, you would need this encouragement. My pain was to help you.

It took me a long time to figure that out, but I now know that things will come clear, if you just die to yourself and your past, and choose.to live.

My pastor said one Sunday that “Forgiveness is hold out no hope for a better past.”. The past is gone. You can learn from it, but you cannot change it. Let it die.

And my friend, now LIVE!!!

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