Judson's Legacy

Trudging Through


On Sunday our pastor began his sermon by rhetorically asking how much people in their everyday lives consider eternity, fixing their eyes on heaven.  He guessed that for most people, little to none of their thoughts focus on our eternal home.

Prior to Judson’s death, I would easily fall under that synopsis, living my life with minimal heavenly perspective.  However, the absence of my son has acutely awakened my longing for heaven wherein my mind is regularly consumed with thoughts of God’s kingdom and my Juddy awaiting me there.

Ironically, now I struggle more with finding sufficient hope for this lifetime since losing my son.  It is not that I don’t want to live and live fully, it is just that I have become so convinced that God does not promise us earthly lives of comfort that I fear a life of more hardship.  My pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it is as though I am constantly bracing myself for more impending pain, suffering, and devastation, while longing for the relief that awaits in heaven. 

People regularly tell us that God is sure to shower us with blessings after all we have been through, but I’m not sure he promises anything of the such in this lifetime.

C.S. Lewis put it this way:

I’m not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
I am wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.

I trust that in the end, God is working all things for our eternal good, but that does not mean the process will not include more pain.  My intimacy with pain has helped me understand how the Lord uses it to change lives and how he wants to sanctify us through our heartaches, but my familiarity with it has also sapped me of zeal for this life; the truth is that I don’t want any more hurts.  And, quite frankly, my longing for comfort seems to outweigh my desire to be sanctified.

Of course there are many things that bring me joy each day, Jessie being one of the greatest, but at the core I often feel like I am trudging through, just trying to be faithful.

Oh God, please help me see your goodness and experience your hope for this lifetime not just the next.  You have come that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).  Whatever you mean by abundance, I’m crying out for it!

6 Responses to "Trudging Through"

  1. Carrie Virtue-Gundlach says:

    thanks for sharing, christina. i loved that lewis quote, so true. there have been times where I look at lives and think, ‘no, God wouldn’t do that after all they’ve been through’ yet ‘that’ actually happens. He knows more than I. but it is true that in this world we are not immune from pain and that is scary when you get a taste of some of the worst pain and then fear any more of the same. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to taste that. I pray that you may experience the abundance you cry out for in that same deep, intimate and powerful way you’ve experienced the pain.
    love to you.

  2. kristy says:

    You are in my prayers often, Christina! I think of you so often as I go through my days. Your blog entries pop up on my Blackberry and regardless of where I am, I log on to read them. I know that must be little comfort to you, but your writings are thought-provoking; heart-wrenching yet inspiring all at the same time. They make me stop and think about my relationship with God, my expectiations, my family … God is still using the Levasheffs for His kingdom. Thank you for your willingness to be honest and open throughout your journey.
    xoxo and prayer,

  3. 57016 says:

    Paul himself spoke of this conflict when he said, "For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you." Philippians 1:23

    We must all find what this "fruitful labor" is for our own lives. I believe that therein lies the secret to abundant living. While Christ never promises us an easy road, he does promise to be with us. As we suffer and grow older, we may discover that this becomes all that we need.

  4. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Oh sweet Christina~
    Just keep looking above sweet girl….there’s a song that goes…"Keep your eyes on things above not on the things below….in this life there will be heartaches and there will be woes". Just keep looking above sweet girl. We so love you!!!!!!!
    Jean and Gary

  5. Dan Klinge says:

    good morning christina, this is Dan the Man. do you remember me? the guy that wrote a little song for Jud and sang it to him one day. i havn’t been on your blog for quite some time, and i thought about it today and here i am. oh how glad i am that i did because your "Trudging Through" is something i’ve been fighting with for a while, and when i see someone else is too, it gives me more understanding and insight. I want to share the first verse of a song i wrote while wrestling with "where’s the joy Lord"? 1)i’m so tired of turning my cheek when i want to stand and fight",2)"tired of stumbling on the truth, when i try to get it right",3)and i’m so tired of tryin to fit in, when i know i don’t", 4)"tired of sayin that i will, when i know i won’t", i’m so tired Lord, of this valley that i’m in, so tired Lord give me peace, amen. i am going to have to confront something today, and i was looking for some inspiration, and thank you i found it in your blog. God Bless you and your precious family….Dan

  6. Kristy Harrang says:

    Hey Christina!

    I have fallen behind on reading your blogs the last few weeks. As I caught up today though your writings really ministered to me. I resonated with some many things you were saying. Thank you!


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