Saturday, January 20, 2018

Heartbreak Happens

Heartbreak Happens

By Susanne Scheppmann

Key Verse:
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NIV) 

Devotion:
The privilege to see her develop from a darling “Gerber” baby to an adorable four-year-old were the best years of my life.  Every time I picked her up from preschool her eyes would light up.  She’d jump up laughing into my arms and shout, “Grandma!”  I never took those moments for granted.  I knew heartbreak happens.

Her brother, Michael, was my little buddy.  I watched him grow from a baby bouncing on my knee, to a scampering toddler, to a young man that I picked up from school each day.  I treasured him as no other little boy.  He was beat of my heart.  The joy in my smile.

And then one day, Michael and Mikayla were gone.  Heartbreak happened.

On June 16, 2016, my son and daughter-in-law informed me that they were moving two-thousand miles away.  My heart collapsed.  I could not stop crying.  My weeping kept my husband awake at night for months.  My hair fell out by the fistfuls.   My thoughts blurred between a disarray of depression and anger.  It was my time to weep and mourn.

Despair filled my soul.  Well-meaning people would say, “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  Let me set the record straight right now.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say he will not give us more than we can handle.  The following verse is misquoted most of the time to the detriment of those who are broken-hearted.   Let’s look closely at what 1 Corinthians 10:13 actually says.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) {Emphasis mine.}

The verse actually states that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, not that we will not have heartbreak beyond what we can handle.  Let’s delve into Scripture future and see what else the Apostle Paul writes about not being able to endure.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NIV) {Emphasis mine.}

Losing my grandson and granddaughter was more than I could bear.  People would say it could be worse.   “There could have been a horrific are accident,” or “They could be moving to Africa as missionaries.”  Or the diagnosis could have been “cancer”.   I thank God it was none of those, but in the reality of my emotional heart a death had taken place.  My heart was shattered into a million pieces that Christian platitudes were not going to glue back together.

Let’s investigate what happens when your heart is broken.

·      Your brain thinks you’re physically hurt and respond accordingly. (Fight or flight.) I choose flight.
·      You get fat or thin.  (Of course, I always choose fat.)
·      You’re swimming in stress hormones.  Your brain pumps cortisol and epinephrine into your blood stream reacting with the fight or flight response.
·      You’ll be depressed.
·      You’ll wonder who you are.  Erica Slotter a Ph. D. candidate from Northwestern University states, “We know that relationships change the way see think about ourselves.  When a relationship seemingly ends, that sense of self ends.” I just wanted to be a grandma.
·      You’ll want to be alone.  Yup, pretty much.  My friend, Heidi, said, “You are on the run from the reality of your life.”  Duh!

Heartbreak does not end.  It lasts.  Now after many long dark months I still grieve the loss of Michael and Mikayla, but I do not grieve without the comfort of our God.  He has swaddled me in his tender arms.  He has sung sweet lullabies while I wept.   My comfort comes from His Word.  Search the Psalms to find his love song to you. 

Heartbreak happens.  Christ consoles.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, come to us that are heartbroken by life. Life is hard.  You know that because you walked this earth in a frail body of emotions too. You understand, even when we do not. Come and console us.     

Power verses:
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Psalm 119:76 (NIV)


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 (NIV)
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:13 (NIV
© 2017 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.





GREAT QUOTES ON HEARTBREAK


“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”  Mark Twain


“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching.”


“I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay.”  Sara Evans


“Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime.”


“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope”


“Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.”


“I was in the biggest breakdown of my life when I stopped crying long enough to let the words of my epiphany really sink in. That whore, karma, had finally made her way around, and had just bitch-slapped me right across the face. The realization only made me cry harder.” Unknown


“When you're missing a piece of yourself, aching, gut wrenching emptiness begins to take over. Until you find the link that completes your very soul, the feeling will never go away. Most people find a way to fill this void, material possessions, a string of relationships, affairs, food...I bare my soul, with words, for all to see.”
Unknown

“Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to
wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus.”  -- Wallace Stegner


When you lose someone, you get used to living day to day without them. But you’ll never get used to the “10 second heartbreak.” That’s the time it takes to wake to full consciousness each day and remember…”

************************************************************************

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7 (NIV)   
Or as our world would say it’s Karma…what goes around comes around.


“Sooner or later in life, we will all take our own turn being in the position we once had someone else in.”

“But, mark my words; someday she'll get what's coming to her. Karma's a bigger bitch than she is.”

“If karma doesn't catch up, God will surely pick up the slack.”

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hidden Treasures

By Susanne Scheppmann
Key Verse:
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 45:3 (NLT)
Devotion:
Secrets. Riches. Mysteries. Treasures. These words bring spine-tingling excitement. Around the world, Pirates of the Caribbean became an unexpected blockbuster movie. The Indiana Jones DVD series still, after over twenty years, sells consistently as a top gift item. Adventure novels prevail in the bestselling book lists. The hope of finding treasure enthralls us. 

This applies to followers of Christ as well. We read in Matthew 13:44, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. (NLT) When I read this verse, it makes me ponder the last time I felt excitement over the kingdom of God. To be truthful, my excitement is usually based on the “performance” of God in answering my prayers. 
However, the Lord doesn’t promise to answer every one of our prayers as we expect. But He does promise to reveal treasures hidden in darkness. Sometimes our seemingly unanswered prayers are the secret riches that God wants to reveal to us. It reminds me of lines from the old Garth Brooks’ song, “Thank God for Unanswered Prayer.” “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers  . . . Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

Instead of acknowledging this truth about prayer, I find myself waiting and watching for the expected results of my prayers. What I should be doing is seeking God for who He is. God told the patriarch Abram, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1 NIV emphasis added.) So God, Himself, is the great treasure that I need to unearth. He has promised we will find Him when we search for him with an intentional attitude. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV).
Today I desire to change my shallow-hearted expectations of God. I want to seek Him and His Kingdom as if I am an explorer on a treasure hunt. Right now, I choose to know God, seek Him, and treasure Him.
Prayer:
Dear Lord, teach me to search for the hidden riches of Your Kingdom. Help me to seek You with an excited heart .Remind me that the answers to my prayers are only the beginning of a relationship with You--You are the treasure!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Application steps: 
Today when you pray, intentionally ask God to reveal Himself to you in a new way. Ask Him to reveal to you “treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches.” Begin a journal of God’s revelations of Himself to you.

Power verses:
Colossians, 2:2-3, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.