Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Aiden

The sun is warming the window sill, and a cool breeze is tiptoeing gracefully through the small, warm room. Many different faces are gathered close. Some are age-worn and garnished with wrinkles gained from years of wisdom and decades of smiles; others are young and smooth, waiting for life to record it's events in creases to come. Some eyes are bright with the intensity of the moments that are passing, others are weary from only a few hours sleep in days, but all are eagerly fixed on the littlest in the room.

Together each one in this cozy room is connected with a bond of love and the continuing of three generations, all gathered close. When they are together, like iron and flint, laughter will spark at least a little, no matter the situation.  Like the ocean and the moon, conversation ebbs and flows, swayed by the littlest of these.

Unlike the average bedroom, this little one's crib is surrounded by wires, tubes, and monitors. This precious little one, rather then the usual toddler's collection of tools for the imagination, is surrounded by tools to preserve and monitor life.

He is weak and worn. Sprawled out, he is fighting for his every breath. This boy, so close to our hearts, is fighting Alper's Syndrome, a mitochondrial disease.

I am in the room; I am a part of the youngest generation here, and I love this boy and this family. Staring down at him, I am reminded again of Meg Murry and her beloved Charles Wallace in A Wind in The Door. But I am not Meg, and this is not Charles. This is Aiden, and the only "naming" I can do is praying forth the truth that God has life for this little one.

With a mother's diligence, patience, love, and Christ-given hope, Tami is sitting inches from her little son, stroking his hair, keeping him comfortable in any little way she can. Dan is near by, one hand near Aiden and the other near his beloved wife. My husband and I are behind them, and their parents are behind us, with a few close friends gather close beside us all. His breathing has changed and his little lungs are fighting weakness, gravity, and more than I know. Only every twenty seconds or so is he able to push forth enough strength to gasp in the oxygen he needs. His beautiful, valiant heart is fighting ferociously--beating so strong we can see his chest march along as he takes the front line in this battle. Beyond all reasoning, incredibly, he continues on like this for a few hours. We go back and forth again, our tide of conversation ebbing slower, but still flowing, as he fights and we stand by to support him however we can.

A few of us step out for a moment, to find dinner for everyone because despite the battle raging, all we can do is try to continue everyday life.

Then, a whisper from the stairs--


he's gone.


For a moment, the sun is gone and we rush up, a silent wind and cloud of grey pushing us on.

I walk in, and my love grabs me close as I look at Tami holding her precious son, and Dan holding them both.

The peace in the room is so mighty the grey cloud that rushed us up is cast as far as the east is from the west.

Every check is wet, yet the hope is so strong. Aiden is finally whole, Aiden is healthy now. God keeps every promise; this son is now doing what he never did on earth--running and exploring, in heaven with our loving Lord Jesus--full of life. This truth permeates, yet also present is the grief that we have lost him for now, and we are left here with his little, still body.

Dan holds his wife, and with true adoration and tears in his eyes, says, "You're amazing." She responds in kind, and their eyes meet with such powerful hope, peace, and love. Dan continues: "I would never have thought, but this feels like when we brought our boys into the world. Tami, through you didn't bring him in, I am so thankful and proud you were the woman to send him out." The power of God's presence was indescribable.  All I can think is that I am overwhelmed and blessed to call these two my parents and to be present as God comforts.

The evidence of a life well lived is here, on this battlefield where a little solider fought for life and love. He made this tight-knit family even stronger, he opened heaven to usher in more love and power where Christ revealed His Glory, he pulled us all from the monotony and weight of everyday doings to remind us of what really matters--family, friends, faith and love. Aiden, you are victorious.

After a moment, we realize in the background, the song "Happy Day" is playing. Oh Happy Day, Happy Day. Our Aiden is free at last, meeting face to face, he is Yours, Jesus, You are his. He now has endless joy and perfect peace, and his earthly pain has finally ceased.

To read more on Aiden's story: http://www.lifestorynet.com/memories/67788

Monday, March 21, 2011

Core Lies, Ungodly Beliefs, One Big God

I love how big God is!

I love when God lets me see the current of His truth moving in different streams of the Church.

My church just finished a two-week series on Emotional Freedom (You can listen here if you want--just search "Emotional Freedom" in the player).  The main theme is that at some point in your life, just about everyone believes a lie and makes it a part of their identity. Usually this results from an experience or series of experiences in their life.

These lies can be anything that doesn't line up with the new identity Christ has given us. Before Christ, we may have been any of this, but now that we are saved, we need to live as whole, complete, saved people--living in His redemptive power. Some of the lies that can sneak in and limit us from this are:

I am ugly
I can't do a good job
I am unlovable (No one loves me)
I am alone
I will never succeed
I have no purpose
I am stupid
I am broken
I am worthless
I am not worthy
I am dirty
I am untrustworthy
Etc.

As a response to believing these lies (none of which line up with scripture as redeemed children of God) we become afraid of being "found out" by others or staying this way forever, so we turn to controlling our situations to be "safe" and often that control creates a cycle that reinforces the belief.

For example, in my life, I've always wanted to be the best and do everything perfectly. If I do not achieve my ideal of perfection, then I feel like a failure. This is the lie that I struggle with believing the most: "I am a failure." It is amazing how deep this lie goes, and how easily the enemy uses me and encourages me to be manipulative based on this fear. But over the past many months God has been peeling the layers of this onion of a lie back and and am slowly fearing less and believing the truth that "I am successful" and "I am good at doing things" instead--that is the truth of who God made me to be! When I walk in my true identity, I am 100% more effective at serving Christ and sharing His attributes wherever I go.

coreliesMy family and my church were exposed to this concept of ungodly beliefs, or believing lies that effect your identity and actions, since I was quite small--I don't remember life before I knew about these concepts. I was taught them early in youth group. Our source was Restoring the Foundations, a ministry started by Chester and Betsy Kylstra in 1992 (http://www.restoringyourlife.org/about/our-history.html).

The fantastic thing is just today, one of my dear friends, Anne, posted that she is reading a book called "Core Lies." A quick skim through the e-book and I can see that this is exactly the same truth coming from a completely different source!! Anne and I go to different churches in different streams, and I don't know that she's ever heard me talk about this concept... And looking at the author, it looks like they have never even heard of the Kylstras. But God is so big, and He reveals His spirit and His truth EVERYWHERE.

I love it!
                                                             
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