Heavy Heart

Frankly, I struggled for a title regarding this latest blog entry.  My heart is aching, straight up.  In the short amount of time since being ordained there has been a fair amount of strife and struggle.  Tests & trials. Sunday brought that up another notch.  Bad news, no matter at what time it decides to arrive is just rotten.  Ministry I have learned is not an easy road.  Especially when you’re the leader. However, I trust that God has me where He wants me, and I simply have to trust Him.  This is my time in the plan He has for my life.

Sunday was a typical day visiting one of the institutions we visit regularly.  It was also Prisoner’s Justice Day ironically. I have met so many awesome men during this journey, men who are clients of our ministry, and men who are friends of our ministry.  We grow to have quite a relationship with those we see month in, month out.  “Harold” is one of those men.  I have grown to know “Harold” for 4 years or so, an awesome gentleman.  I got to know his story, and events that transpired in his life.  “Harold” had been released on parole to a community supervision residence in a city in our region for a nearly a year give or take.  He was a guy that a person just takes to.  Easy to talk to, very likable, and always upbeat.

I found out on Sunday that a very short while ago, that “Harold” had some struggles that caused him to take his own life.  I was stunned, to say the very least.  I wanted to cry, but fought with everything within me to keep it in.  Very hard to do considering the environment I was in, I will tell you. What went wrong?  Why Lord, did this happen? Why, why, why?  I mean, this is a man who told me many times leading up to his release that THIS time he was going to make it.  Joyce Meyer, was absolutely brilliant when she named one of her bestselling books – “Battlefield of the Mind”.  It can be a dangerous place to wage battles.  “Harold” was like any other person.  He had children, grandchildren.  He had dreams, hopes, and like us all, just trying to make it in this world.  Reality is, we will never know what happened that drove him to that decision.  Where did the enemy quickly gain the upper hand in this battle?

I pray that “Harold” is at peace, somehow.  I will miss his smile, as it is ingrained in me.  I was happy to see him leave prison, of course.  My heart bleeds for his family, and the men he had bonds with on the inside.  “Harold”, I love you & will never forget you my brother, my friend.  Thank you for greeting us on arrival, and seeing us off on our journey back home each month while you were inside.  I am thankful for the opportunity to have come to know you.

You know, there has been a lot of good times on this journey, and some harder times.  Unfortunately times such as this take me back to a territory that is familiar to me.  My story.  I am reminded that where the enemy wanted to put a period, God won the battle and put a comma and has continued to be the master of the pen in a story where He gets the glory.

Yes there will be times of struggle, but as only God can do, he provides the strength to continue forward.  “Harold” would want that too.  Press forward, move ahead, and fight the fight.  We will do just that.