Saturday, May 26, 2012

May is Skin Cancer and Brain Tumor Awareness Month {Part III}

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  That being said, here's a little note from The Skin Cancer Foundation:

"Those tempted to kick off summer by getting a “base tan” should be aware that there is no such thing as a safe, healthy or protective tan. The misconception that a base tan will protect the skin is dangerous; even for those who never burn, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to skin aging (including wrinkles, lines and age spots) as well as skin cancer. In fact, about 65 percent of melanomas and 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with sun exposure." -

Part III
{ Go to Part I  or Part II}
ReconstructionI've had a hard time finishing this series up.  Hence the nearly two week gap.  It has been difficult focusing in on a way to sum up a seven year journey of reconstruction and healing in a few short paragraphs.

While losing a parent is different than losing a spouse, or what I imagine must be the unbearable pain of losing a child, the stages of grief are the same.  And eventually a person hits that upward turn and begins reconstruction.  Having been a designer on several hotel renovations, I see a resemblance between the reconstruction of a building and that of a life.  Once all the demolition is complete, there is always something uncovered that was unexpected.  Sometimes small, often times large, something ugly is always found.  With a hotel renovation it could be mold, electrical wiring issues, plumbing problems, rotted subfloor, and a plethora of other un-pleasantries. 

We all have a tendency to blame someone for our problems, and generally if we have a "character flaw" we, with the help of secular psychologists, point the finger at our parents.  {Of course our character and personality are created by the experiences we have growing up and help define what we eventually begin to believe about other people, ourselves and God.  However, we are not helpless.  We have a choice to let those things impact us positively or negatively.}  Well I have my fair share of character flaws, so I went along with society and blamed my mother.  Surely she's the reason for my irrational temper, unreasonable expectations {of myself and others}, and intense perfectionism. Sure, I'll blame the mother who every morning prepared me breakfast before going to school, who read a devotion to me while I ate, would bring forgotten school assignments to me in class, who drove me all around town for a thousand activities, who took side decorating jobs and substitute teaching to pay for my thousand activities, and who took a job as a full time teacher when I graduated high school just so she could buy me a newer car to take to off to college that my dad didn't think was necessary.  I suppose it was easier to focus on a few bad things then the endless good things, and of course it's always easier to blame someone.  However, God, even after I yelled and cursed at Him, allowed me the opportunity to reconcile that relationship. I will never be able to grasp how lucky I am that I did not loose my mom before I could begin a good relationship with her.  {Mom is still here in this world - she will be about 40 minutes down the road from our new house, and I can't wait to enlist her help in landscaping and DIY adventures!}

Oh, and yes, I said I yelled and cursed at God.  I could write a whole post on that, but most people wouldn't care for it.

As I said at the beginning, it has been difficult writing about reconstruction because there is an incredible amount to say.  Instead of boring you, I have decided to keep it short and bring back the question "why do bad things happen?"  Plenty of people have spent a whole book or series of books to try to answer this question, but I'm going to sum it up to the core of what I believe.  First, it's a fallen world; when Adam sinned, we all sinned.  Second, we are not the center of universe.  Sometimes when someone close to us dies, it's not about us.  It could be about that person, or someone else involved - so stop trying to make it about you (sorry to be blunt, but it's just the reality of it).  Third, "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."  We may never see the result of that in our time here on earth, but Paul taught us that in Romans, so I'm clinging to it.  Not to mention I have truly seen the truth in that.  It's amazing to reflect through how that verse has held so true in my life.  Finally, speaking of our time here on earth, our time here is like two pixels of an incomprehensibly large image.  This earth, this world we get so caught up in, is simply not our home.

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Laura Story, "Blessings" (only second half of song above)

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