Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Funeral Ends Today

Recently Ned and I rented the movie, "We Are Marshall". For those of you who haven't heard about this movie, it is the story of the 1970 plane crash that took the lives of practically the entire Marshall University football team, along with coaches and some of the booster club. The movie chronicles the attempts of the University to keep their football program alive, despite the inconsolable grief of an entire town. After repetitively petitioning the NCAA to lift their ruling about freshman recruiting, the University begins to rebuild a football team out of young, inexperienced and naive players. These boys do not have the experience nor the determination to win. As they don their new football jerseys, they come under a constant barrage of negative support from those who mourn the ones who once wore those very same jerseys. At one point in the movie, head coach, Jack Lengyel, played by Matthew McConaughey, takes the boys and the coaches on a "field trip" to the cemetery. Coach speaks about those who lost their lives on that horrible day. He speaks of the impact the loss has had on the town and the team. In a moving speech about the oftentimes crippling effect of grief and the team's seeming inability to focus on the game, McConaughey says, "the funeral ends today".
That phrase stuck in my mind throughout the rest of the movie. I thought about how many of us talk about the "good ole days" as if they really were---good. I thought about those who recount the "sowing of wild oats" that took place before they became Christians, and about that little edge of pride hidden behind the smile of regret. I also thought about churches that have been hurt in the past and still carry that pain today, allowing it to keep them from growing and maturing and reaching out beyond the stained glass windows and the steeple's spire. I thought about brothers and sisters whose feelings have been hurt, whose spirits have been wounded and who have let the past hurts cripple them and drive a wedge between them and their church family and ultimately between them and God. Why is it that some of us are unable to live beyond our past? Why is it that though logically aware the past is gone and we cannot change it, emotionally we hang onto it like a small timid child, clutching our security blanket? It seems to me that if we are to grow as a Body, if we are to become healthy, fully functioning Christians, that we must let the past die, bury it and end the funeral.
The past is simply that---passed! We can neither change it nor control it. We cannot rewrite history! Neither can we pretend it did not exist--bad things do happen! People do get hurt and they grieve and mourn. While we cannot control the past, we can decide how much impact it will continue to have on us and how it will effect our relationships with others and with God. We can decide that! We can choose to move through the pain, to grow in spite of the past and to let it die.
Like most of us, there are things in my past that I am ashamed of, things I have done, people I have hurt, words I have said. Would I take them back and undo them if I could? Absolutely! But I cannot. And so I try to remember how much pain they caused and make every attempt to not repeat those same mistakes. There is some of my past I am not proud of! There is some of my past that still hurts when I think about is. But . . . and this is huge--there is a future that I can affect, a future where different choices can be made, a future that is right in front of me. You have heard me say before, "God put our face on the front of our bodies so we look forward." (One of the many things I learned from my brother Tom Washburn).
Perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to look forward. The old Neva, her sins are gone, washed clean by the Sacrificed Blood. The old pain, it is healing, healed by the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the mighty power of forgiveness. I refuse to be crippled by the past. I will no longer mope and no longer grieve. The funeral ends today!



Blogger DJG said...

You reached in to my heart and said just what I needed to hear. I need to end the funeral as well!

Thank you!

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post today! You never disappoint!


10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, it is time to let the buried past remain buried.
Great post, Neva


10:56 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

There's a little email that's made its way around cyberspace how many times, but seems to address what you've so beautifully written this day.

Yesterday is called
The Past - it has passed away.
Tomorrow is called
The Future - it is yet to come.
Today is a gift - it is called
The Present.

When we learn to accept the grace of God's forgiveness we can get on with it, so to speak. If He removes our sins from us as far as the East from the West, we'd do well to follow His example, accepting His grace and stepping out in secure faith into today, the Present from God. What better Gift than that and His great promised future in Him!

Bless you, Neva. You always seem to hit the bullseye on every subject you bring to us. Also, I'm thankful for release from the grip and tyranny of the Past. Amen!

[take a quick peek at Jim Clark's blog today. You two seem to be on the same track. :) ]

11:02 AM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

I can think of many funerals that need to end today. Many in my life as well.

Excellent point

11:25 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I don't see you as someone that mopes, great post today. Looking forward is a lot easier now, have not looked back in weeks.
Love Ya,
47 hrs, 2,820 min, 169,200 sec till I can leave!!!!!!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous carol said...

You are spot-on! Maybe we could have more positive futures if we let go of our negative pasts.


1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen so many churches who cannot rebound after their minister or elder or whomever has brought reproach upon that congregation. They either cannot forgive or cannot stop mourning. Very sad. Your post is very applicable.


2:16 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Great post, I appreciate the way you take a mundane topic and make a spiritual application. Keep up the good work.


2:25 PM  
Anonymous Allison said...

I rarely comment, but must today to say that I have missed you. I am so grateful you are back to blogging on a regular basis.

Love and peace

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been in the church very long, but I notice alot of people in the church sort of live in the past. They can't seem to let go of what used to be.
I really liked this post, Neva


4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much shame in my past, it is very hard to forgive myself. I am glad that God forgives me but I often have a hard time even accepting his forgiveness. Shame is very hard to bury, it seems to rise from the dead over and over again. I believe the words you wrote in your post today. You have spurred me into a desperate and intentional decision. Thank you for this ministry.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have all been there. If we are honest, we all have had trouble forgiving ourselves. You are not alone. Keep praying to accept God's forgiveness and model it in your life. Forgive yourself, love yourself and live.

Interested Bystander

4:57 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...


Like bystander said, we've all been there. Not sure that will help you because for a long time I thought no one could possibly have made as big a mess and mistake as I had. Then I realized that by accepting God's forgiveness I had the right then to give up my right to feel shame. God doesn't look at me through a rear view mirror, so all we need do is accept the worth He gives us forever. He doesn't take it back because of our past.

You mention something about your past to Him and His answer is "What thing? I don't recall any such thing! Are you sure you haven't been forgiven about that already?" ;)

The only thing past sin serves is to light our path helping us avoid stumbling over the same rocks all over again.

I send you hugs and my heart's prayers that you can begin to accept the fullness of God's grace and forgiveness. Any past sin is GONE forever. PTL!!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, sister


5:56 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Praying for your son...right now. We've been through a LOT with my brother so I understand all your frustrations and pain. It's not easy, but I will pray!! It's what will pull you through these hard days! Much Love and Hugs!!

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading but rarely comment. I wanted you to know how much you havehelped me with your blog. You are a very wise and spiritual individual and I just wanted to tahnk you for taking time to teach us.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts


8:52 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Excellet post!
It was awesome.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I love the way you bring the Lord into everything you do.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Traci said...

Amen! That was an excellent post.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. :)LB

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Patrick Roberts said...

that movie was good, turned my mind to God, how we can hope in him at all times, thx for the post

5:52 PM  

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