Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brick by Brick

This morning as I was preparing for my day, I was reading one of the daily emails that I receive, and a specific quote immediately caught my attention. The quote said, "you can't always see where God is leading you, but you can always look back and see where He has been." This quote stuck out to me because there is so much truth in those words. During difficult situations it's hard to see any good. You begin to wonder why you have to go through something that seems so impossible. In fact there are some situations that force us to feel like the only option is just to give up. This thought process isn't completely inaccurate because giving up is what needs to happen, but I don't mean giving up in a negative way. The giving up that I am speaking of is giving up control, ridding yourself of worry, fear, and anxiety. By giving these few things up you are opening your door to life in a whole new way and allowing your mind the ability to relax. You are giving yourself permission to live each day as it happens.

As I have talked about before, for some reason there are days where lyrics in songs just hit me and I no longer can hear that specific song without constantly thinking about what the lyrics mean. It is the reason I enjoy music so much and the reason I love all the different genre's. The song that got me thinking was "Brick by Boring Brick" by Paramore. Paramore has been attacked a number of times about the meanings of their lyrics and whether they are a Christian band or not. I don't know the answer to that but I feel like as you listen to their music you can find a number of references towards God and living a life filled with faith. I don't have an exact explanation as to why this song popped into my head but as I thought about it I felt like I had an understanding of the lyrics.

Before actually thinking about the song this whole thought process started with a devotional. The devotional was about rebuilding your faith and allowing God to piece together your life through any situation that presents itself. It spoke of a wall being built up and broken down but always being rebuilt in the end. As situations occur in our lives our wall is broken down. It's possible that our wall is only partly torn down or in the "worst" case the entire wall is shattered. The instances where the wall is partly torn is usually because we need a change of direction or we may need to start over at a task we were struggling with. These trials could be fixed quickly or could take some time but usually they don't effect every piece of our lives. However, when the wall is shattered we are forced to start over, to begin picking up the pieces and figuring out how to continue living. It is during those times that without us even knowing, God is placing new bricks into our wall to help us begin again. It's not always easy to see that He is present, but later down the road we find that it was during those struggles that he was ever so near.

The analogy of a brick wall being torn down is how I view the "process" of grief or the "grief journey". For me, my wall was completely shattered. I saw such a huge part of my life ripped away from me and I was left to figure out how to fix it. As I fought to figure out how to continue living I saw my life fall apart even more. I was extremely depressed and had no clue how to pick myself up. Luckily I found a few things to focus on and have some people in my life that haven't allowed me to fall apart too much. The things I am passionate about such as: my job, working out, my friends, and continuing to strive to be the best person I can be, have allowed me to see hope in this dark tunnel. Along with the things I have just mentioned, I have an amazing support group that has always been there and continues to be there for me. These people have acted as my temporary wall and have been my strength when I couldn't find any.

As I continued to think about the devotional I read and the idea of a wall being rebuilt Paramore's song made it's way into my thoughts. "Brick by Boring Brick" is a song that forces you to rethink where your mind is and helps you see what is real. At times we get so caught up in all the small meaningless issues in our lives and we no longer can see the good in all that is around us. We begin to live a life that is anything but optimistic. I love some of the lyrics in the song that bring you back down to reality and remind you to just focus on the things you can see in front of you. It's about using the lens that God has given you to really see what He wants you to see and then to act on that. We can't just attempt to escape real life and choose to live in a fantasy world. We have to face each step forward with all we have. Ultimately how we view the things that happen to us, the situations that arise, and the choices we make, is the most important thing. We have the ability to see the positives in every trial that is presented in our lives. It's not easy and it may take a long time but it will be worth it if you can just live for each day. The title of the song comes down to the fact that it's not a quick journey or a smooth path, but each brick will bring about new strength.

As God continues to place new bricks into our wall we are able to find new strength, strength we didn't know we had. This is where trust plays a big role. We have to trust that in due time things will get better and our life will fall into place. It may be a small trial or it might be something extreme but no matter what it is each one takes time and effort. We must be willing to see the good, to think positively, and to attempt to do good things while we wait for our lives to make sense. It goes back to that quote because at some point we will see where God made his presence. God will give us the opportunity to make changes in our lives and He will give us opportunities to work on the areas that we need help. If He immediately fixed every situation or gave us everything we wanted then we would never grow in our faith.

It's a long road, a journey, a process, but one day you will look back and see where you started. One day I will look back and see what I have gained along this path. I already have a hard time believing that I have made it as far as I have but it really shouldn't surprise me. My strength hasn't come from me but from a God that has continued to provide the necessary things to get me through. I can't say I enjoy this process and although time is flying by it also feels as if it's not moving. I feel like I haven't made much progress and tend to feel like I am still struggling more then I should be. I know that I am handling things better then I have been in the past months and I am extremely thankful that I have a lot of passion for a few very important things in my life. By allowing myself to take pride in certain goals it has kept me busy and forced me to keep moving forward. My wall will be rebuilt and although it might be a long time before it's strong again, I know that I will make it. Brick by brick my life will fall back into place and I will find true happiness. I will be able to accept what has taken place in my life the past few years and move forward.

Whatever trial it is that you are going through includes some form of grief. Grief can hit in many different levels and at times we don't even realize that we are actually dealing with a form of grief. Some grief is harder than others, but they all have their own consequences and challenges. It doesn't mean that you don't have reason to be depressed, scared, mad or whatever emotion you may be dealing with. It just means that what you are going through is a difficult time in YOUR life. It doesn't matter if compared to my situation your issue seems less. Remember that you have all the right in the world to grieve and to fight your own battle. Allow yourself the time. Allow God to work at building your wall and even though it may be a slow boring process, hang tight and have faith that at some point all these hardships will make sense.

Much love and God bless!

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