Friday, March 16, 2012

Eight Years Ago Today

Dear Readers,

It's been eight years ago since my son, Joshua, took his own life.

I am determined to remember Joshua with a smile.

That idea came from my sweet and dear friend, Susie Neal, when she sent me a card today, encouraging me to remember my baby boy with a smile.

Thank you Susie!

And thank you to all my friends and family members who have helped me along this journey of loss. I could not have gotten this far so well without you.

Most of all I am grateful to our Lord and Savior for the Love He shows to me daily.

God bless you, beautiful people,

Until next time . . . I'll pass along your gift of encouragement.

[photo of Joshua, age two, doing his favorite thing: eating]

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Whole Amour of God

One of my favorite scriptures, one that I pray the words daily, is Ephesians 6:13-17.

Those first months after Joshua died eight years ago this March, my husband and I struggled in the reality of our lives. We realized after a few bumps in the road that even though we grieved mostly the same way, there were the differences.

It became a task to hold our own selves up, let alone the other. We needed something more, and only God could help us.

As I poured over Bible verses each night, I came across Ephesians 6 and I leaned closer to the page. I began to memorize verses 13-17. I named my husband and I when I prayed and recited the steps to put on the whole amour of God. From that moment, a remnant of peace covered us and grew to strengthen our hearts.

When another married couple needed prayer, I added them, and when my list grew long for marriage relationships, I streamlined my prayer.

How do I pray? I paraphrase a bit from the King James Version:

Father, I ask for the full amour of You upon all these couples with special emphasis on______________&____________.  Please, girt our loins with truth. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, that we may be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I ask for a covering of the Holy Spirit over all of us now. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.

According to the 1560 Geneva Bible, here is the breakdown of some of the noted wording to help us modern day readers:
  • truth means virtue
  • righteousness means innocent and God like life
  • shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace means that you may be ready to suffer all things for the gospel
Another interesting word that I misunderstood is loins. Loins in the Greek means lower back area.

I can say without a doubt that when I began to pray the "Whole Amour Prayer," our spiritual lives changed for the better, and we continue to grow in God's strength and power. That helps us focus on our Father and a little less on our own sorrow of losing Josh to suicide.

Until next time . . . study the word of God and realize the joy.