Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Who am I?" - Today's Thoughts

Well, once again it's Wednesday, time for the "Who am I?" study and this week's post is going in a direction I didn't expect. You see last Friday night our small community experienced a tragedy - two young adults were involved in a car accident. One, Brooke Elliot, a senior from our small school was killed. Her death has left many hurting, grieving, questioning and reflecting.

I am part of that group - you see I was Brooke's junior high basketball coach a few years back. I knew "little Brooke" before she was crowned Homecoming queen earlier this year. I know many of her friends who are hurting right now and I hurt for them.

But the Mom in me hurts for Tracy, Brooke's mom, who's life will never be the same. I can't imagine being in her shoes, but in the last few days my mind has gone there. Brooke's death reminds me that none of us know when our life will end and for me a harder truth than that, I don't know the number of my children's days either. But God does, which is yet another reminder of why it is important to know His answer to the question, "Who am I?"

When hard times happen and tragedy strikes, I must remember who I am and more importantly remember whose I am. During the difficult days I must draw near to Him and let His strength sustain. In those moments when I'm empty, it's His love and peace that will fill me!

Brooke's life, one that many think ended way too soon, has also made me think about identity in another way. We can't wait to be who God made us to be...there is no guarantee tomorrow will come. As I think about the many great words others spoke and posted on Facebook about Brooke I was reminded our influence really does go farther than we think. When that day comes for me I wonder what others will say, but as I had that thought GOD reminded me, really that's not what is important. No, all that matters is what He will have to say.

I pray I will hear a response similar to the servant in Matthew 25:21a, "“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!" This will only happen if I use the gifts He's given to me and be who He created me to be! So please join me again next week as we continue on this journey of seeking HIS answer and until then let's strive to be who HE says we are!

Until then I want to share the words of two songs...Last night as I drove in for Brooke's visitation I heard a song I've enjoyed for quite sometime, but this time the words were personal and powerful in a new way. As I listened to Casting Crowns sing, "Who am I" these words were real,

"I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours"

The brevity of life has been a truth our community has come to understand this week and I pray as Brooke's friends and family feel themselves falling they will know they are HIS!!

Then as I drove home with tears in my eyes and hurt in my heart, God once again spoke to me through song. This time Brandon Heath's, "Your Love" came on the radio and as thoughts raced through my head and my mind wondered how any parent would get through this, God gave me peace as I heard Brandon sing,

"The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love
all I ever needed is Your love"

It's true there is nothing any of us can do to make things better for Brooke's parents, sisters and all who are grieving. Only God's love can light up the darkness! Friend perhaps today your community is not in the midst of tragedy, but I'm sure someone is experiencing darkness. Will you remember who you are and allow the ONE whose you are to fill you with His love so you can share it with another? If you are in need of prayer, please share and I promise to lift you up! And I ask you to do the same for all who are grieving the loss of Brooke. Today they will gather in our gym, where she cheered just a week ago, to say their final good-byes and then the congregation will be served walking tacos - the menu she'd planned for the graduation party she was looking forward to. Thank you.

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