The Crossroads

If it weren’t for having to do it, we wouldn’t be doing it. What choice do we really have? Here we are; Tara is in pain with shingles…and justifiably grumpy. I am tired of telling the same story over and over again of how we are doing okay. Are we? My kids need more of me and I don’t know if I have it to give. We are sick of having people in our home. Tara is tired of getting treated like an invalid. We are only doing what everyone else in the world could do in our situation; surviving, barely.

We just heard the Easter story at church tonight, and I don’t feel very moved. In fact I feel like going downstairs and watching a UFC fight or a movie with some senseless violence. I know, I know. It should be different. But that is where I am at right now.

The beautiful thing is that without moving from where we are; without a change of heart; without having to think some spiritual thought first; God is willing to love on us; all pissed off just like we are. Now that IS moving. Somehow the realization of total acceptance no matter how we feel or how we act, does change my heart. Slowly.

I remember several times at home when I was mad at something and Tara quietly loved on me. Humble and gentle. I could not stay mad. She won my favor. That is what God is now doing in my heart. No expectations. Humble and gentle. Quietly loving on me. Winning me back again to hope and joy. Maybe the Easter story tonight was more impactful than I thought. This is the crossroads of life and faith. It meets here.

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11 thoughts on “The Crossroads

  1. Yes, yes and yes! Yes, it is disgusting that we have to endure these things, yes you have a right to be mad, and yes, it’s totally amazing that in spite of everything we have a God who has traveled the road, understands and best of all, doesn’t give up on us when we just want to kick sand in His face! Jay, you are just amazing! I’m sure you are the “reason” in Tara’s life, when fear grips. It was certainly the case for me. When I would think that I had no chance, or some dreadful curve ball had just appeared, it would be Neil who would explain to me why it wasn’t necessarily so. Yes, the children were very important, but he was the one who kept me going. I see that in you! You can do this…….you’ve got this! Prayers continuing…….thank you for your writing. You are an inspiration.

  2. Recently I read that “to pray is to dream” (Paul Miller). As I’ve meditated on this, it is reshaping my prayers. It reminds me to hope and look for possibilities. It’s not just a discipline but a choice of my will – to pray when I doubt. Some say “to dream is to believe.” Logically then that means to pray is also to believe. I think that’s what Nicodemus and Joseph showed tonight, Jay. Don’t give up your dreams. Don’t stop looking for truth. Don’t quit believing in a God who loves you, Tara, and the kids more than you can know or articulate. Keep praying. Keep dreaming. Then you will find you still believe. Praying – and dreaming – with you. Love, the Stahls

  3. Thank you for being real. We continue to pray for all of you, your time together, your life balance, Jay, and of course we pray for healing. I can’t wait to be there to love on you guys in person. I’ll be there as much or as little as you might need or want. Love you so much.

  4. Thank you for your transparency. I hear your heart cry and although our situation was different, I remember similar feelings last summer after my daughter’s accident. Although I never tired of sharing God’s provisions and the way in which He saved her life, Breanna, like Tara, tired of being treated like an invalid. She wanted to be whole and she wanted to be treated as whole. She wanted to be treated “normal”. Isaiah’s friends showed great care and concern for him (amazing for a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds) by constantly asking questions about his sister but Isaiah just wanted to hang out with his friends so that he could forget, if just for that moment, that his sister was in the hospital struggling to remember the previous day or learning to walk again. He didn’t want to answer questions. He wanted to be a normal twelve year old having air soft wars with his friends. After spending three weeks in the hospital with my daughter, my husband just wanted his wife back. God brought us through and continues to strengthen my family and our faith……..much like He is doing for you. 🙂 I praise God for the way in which He loves on His people, the way in which He gives comfort and hope!

    I am praying that God will bring you comfort and give you peace and a place of refuge from all those things that you have tired of.

    Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

  5. GOD uses honesty in what you are going through to speak to those of us praying for your family. I thought of what David wrote in the Psalms when he was going through trials. Hang in there we are praying!

  6. We love you. Jesus loves each of you!

    After watching the “Bonilla Bunch” our faith has strengthened….
    While watching your beautiful family cling to The Lord our faith has strengthened…
    While watching the Kelly’s, Steer’s, Karen Anderle, Marcus and many others our faith has strengthened because we have watched The Lord strengthen them through his love!

    We Love you and want to support you! Hugs to each of you.

  7. I confess to having a similar fear, were I or a family member ever to suffer a similar situation: I would hate all the sympathetic looks and the never-ending inquiries. Surprisingly, it’s a little like being pregnant: everyone (especially people who wouldn’t normally look your way or say anything to you) always asking how you’re feeling, as if you must certainly be suffering or worried or something. People, albeit desiring to demonstrate their care and concern, would lock onto the one topic of conversation that was obvious. I know it was nice, but geez, it could be annoying!

    Man, it’s okay to take a break. Go split a cord of wood with a big heavy axe. Go to the shooting range and fire off some mega high capacity magazines with a big, fat Colt 45. Tell the cleaning crew to take a break so Tara can do her own d**n cleaning and laundry, thank you very much! Tell the much-loved and -needed and -appreciated family to go away. They can come back when you’re ready.

    It’s important for you to find some space of “normal” in the midst of all that is no longer normal. Maybe you even need to take a break from the blog. Just “be” for a while, without being on a stage.

    God, and the rest of us, have got your back. We’re not going anywhere, but we’ll “get it” if you need to recede for a bit. We’ll all be cheering and praying, just like we have been. And we’ll be ready to help again, once you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.

  8. Jay and Tara…. Just wanted to tell you both how much you are loved. We “get” those feelings of despair that you both are having. Putting it bluntly THEY SUCK. And I mean that literally. They suck you back down into that miry pit Jesus so lovingly pulls us out of daily (sometimes hourly). Some things found very helpful were to dive into google and plug in “encouraging scripture” and just sit and read verse after verse after verse. Another was to call on a closest friend and vent out the yuck ( just to get it OUT) so there was room to breath. Someone who would know that this was just a bad day, a hiccup and all that was needed was their ear. We noticed when ever giving into the fleshy things, there were just MORE feelings of yuck!
    Can we be either of yours or Tara’s ear? Can we take the kiddo’s for a fun weekend on a very muddy farm??? We would love to help by more than our prayers. We love you guys!!!
    The Walks

    Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

  9. If it makes you feel any better, I was mad about your whole situation a LONG time ago. Not really sure how productive that is, but sometimes anger is good. It is a source of energy too. Draw on it and don’t apoligize. We are, afterall, just human beings. Love to all of you.

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