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  • Jonathan Boyers

Holding our Questions: Where do we run amidst tragedy, mourning, pain and grief?

One of our church members, Leanne Lewis, shares some thoughts in response to the sad news we are coming to terms with together:

I can’t believe the news of Jayne. It totally broke my heart. I had grown so close to Jayne over recent months, we found some similarities and our vulnerability brought us closer together. We spent many times in prayer for one another and checked up on each other regularly throughout the week and encouraged one another. I was heart broken by the news as all the church family will be.

Because that’s what we are aren’t we, a family, all parts of the same body of Christ. We all have to work together so you know yourself if you break your leg its effects the rest of the body, it causes pain, unbalances the whole body, makes you sad, feel sorry for yourself, lose motivation etc etc.

Isn’t that exactly what a death of a family member does, a church family member?

Jayne was so incredible, powerful, patient, outspoken and honest, full of love and extraordinary. Always wanting to help people, heal people, grow people, love people. She touched any life she encountered. It was hard not to be touched by her life when you met her. Isn’t that what we all aspire to be? We all aspire to touch the lives of the people we come in to contact with, and in a very real way she did.

Some of us may sit and think “yes I do that, I’m doing God’s work, I’m following my calling” and if that’s you that’s amazing and I am super happy for you, proud of you and inspired by you. There are soooooo many of these people in our church I see them every time I’m there.

But I’m sure there are also those who may be feeling lost, confused, alone, bewildered, on the wrong path, depressed, or not as important.

These are fears and lies put on you by the enemy because you will never step out and be truly who God meant you to be for his kingdom here on earth as long as you are any of these things.

I can say this as, over the last two years, I have felt all these things at one point or another. I’ve felt trapped in It. The reason I share this is, I don’t want to see anyone feel this way in our church, I feel there is a great attack happening on our church and we must defend the people who are feeling this way, it’s our duty as God’s children to protect one another and the community we live in.

If you are strong in faith and you know someone struggling, check in with them, love them, pray for them, reach out to them, support them.

If the body of Christ is injured, it is weakened and more vulnerable to further attack, therefore we must stand together to reinforce the parts that need a rest or need more support. This is how we heal, and with healing the body is made stronger, able to support itself and defend itself in the battle that I feel is happening and coming.

Ephesians 6:10-18

The Armour of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full Armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

We have been equipped you see. As for the whole tragedy of Jayne what does the bible say on the subject of death?

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

He doesn’t say ‘don’t mourn’; he says ‘BLESSED are those who mourn.’

So let’s mourn. It is natural to mourn at this time, it will bless your spirit to mourn rather than keep it all in. God understands it. We mourn together as a church.

Death is hard especially when you love someone. This can be a point where people can turn from God as they blame him. But He loves you as family love each other. Would you harm your child, nice nephew, parent? NEVER – it’s the same for our father in heaven.

This is not an easy thing to accept when you are the person who has lost someone you love. If any of you have ever seen the movie or read the book The Shack, it’s a beautiful story and there is a line in here that always sticks with me that God says “I can create great good from tragedy, that does not mean I orchestrate it.”

I have found this is so true; I can speak from my own life that there have been a great many tragedies happen to me, and around me, throughout my life. Before I was a Christian I blamed God, and when I first became a Christian, I blamed God. I was consumed with anger towards him but the more I learned about God’s love for me I knew he would not harm me on purpose, and the more I learnt about evil in the world the more I learnt that the enemy creates tragedy, pain, conflict, desperation, misery and he loves it. And he loves people blaming God for it!

We play right into the enemy’s hands when we turn our back on God in times of tragedy or pain. It isn’t easy to accept that God didn’t intervene, and I’m not going to sit here and say I have all the answers as I’m very honest to say I’m not God,

But, I do trust him, I trust that he will move me through tragedy as he will all of us who are in pain right now. It’s not easy to see when you are in the midst of pain, to see God’s love sometimes but I promise you it is there, you just need to ask for it and he will pour it out on you so much you will be smothered in it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is there is war on this earth, we are in the midst of it, there is definitely more to come, I feel our church is definitely under attack right now. So, pick up your armour of God, put it on. Know that He will not fail you, ever!!! Although there is pain and part of the body is broken, we can all support and heal those damaged parts and they will grow back stronger, I know it!

I believe there is revival in Partington’s future and the church’s future, we just have to reach for it, be ready for it and long for it and it will come!

If you are hurting at this time of your life the I want to leave you with these words:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Highest will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

I Love every part of our church family and you all just absolutely blow my mind daily. I’m blessed to be part of this family in the pain and in the joy.

Leanne xx

Photograph taken my Mike Labrum, via Used with permission

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