Processing

Disclaimer: If you wanted something light and fluffy today, this post is not for you. But you can go here where we are discussing “guilty pleasures.”

Disclaimer 2: If you wanted something that was poignant and tied up with a pretty bow, this post this blog is not for you. But you can go here where I at least make a concise point.

Most of the time my thoughts are linear. You know the kind? A + B = C?

But everyone once in awhile when something big happens my brain just gets stuck, stuck in a circle. And I keep processing the same thoughts over and over, and over. I just can’t seem to make sense of them. I just can’t come to any kind of definitive conclusion.

And, as you can imagine, the “thought death-spiral” is quite frustrating. It halts productivity. It drains energy.

I am in one right now about the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti and all the good things, and the bad things, that have transpired since.

So I am putting pen to paper fingers to keyboard and putting the circling thoughts out there, selfishly, in hopes that putting them out there will stop them from spinning on and on in my head. (Because there is work that needs to be done.)

  • During his “A Rhythm of Love” message at Cross Point Pete Wilson reminded us that “Everyone has a soul.” (You can download the message here. It is very powerful.) Everyone has a soul. Think about that next time you find yourself becoming desensitized from watching the non-stop news coverage.

Break my heart for what is yours,
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
,
As I walk from earth into eternity.

I sure bet His heart is broken right now.

  • And lastly words from Jars of Clay’s “They’ll Know We Are Christians”:

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

By our LOVE. Our LOVE. One more time….our LOVE.

I told you it wasn’t pretty. But this is where I am today. Welcome inside my brain.

Have you been able to make any sense of the devastation in Haiti? Or are you, like me, still processing?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I've made no sense of the heartbreak in Haiti– but my heart is singing: Hosanna.

    I want my heart to be broken, and moved with compassion- to action. I also desperately want to run away form the overwhelming need. SO much pain.

    I'm doing what I can, giving what I can and praying and processing.

    It's the best I can do, for now.

    My recent post Haiti Has Another Name : Fedna

  • I am still processing. Last night as I laid, unable to sleep, I thought about the devastation… those children… my mind always wonders back to the children. Then I thought of mine… and did the what if Denver Colorado… and I couldn't go further.

    I love that Jars song… I might have to go put it on and offer up a prayer for Haiti again.
    My recent post Sketching the evening away… sorta.

  • Emily

    Lindsey, I'm with you. I've been crying on and off this morning as I hear and watch what's happening in Haiti and I just don't think anyone sitting comfortably here could possibly absorb or make sense of this disaster. Love is the only response that will do any good at all. Love in action, in prayers… even remembering the lives lost with dignity is an expression of love.
    My recent post God Be With You, Haiti…

  • I'm still processing it! I had to stop watching the news b/c it has been overwhelming…
    My recent post Not only pray

  • I don't think i want to make sense of it or even process it all.
    It is overwhelming.

    I was watching CNN two nights ago and Anderson Cooper was showing all the devastation, I sat there and watched the horror for five minutes and then turned turned on my PS3 to play a video game. I don't know< i struggle with all of this but yet I move on with life.

    I feel convicted by this and do not have a response or even an idea as to what to say to the hurting. I think partially is because I am so far away, separated from it all that I feel safe and comfortable. Maybe because of this comfort it has taught me to respond in a very fake caring way. That I express my grief but move on. Almost like the whole, I will pray for that, but never actually pray.

    I am right there with you.
    processing all these thoughts and trying to make sense of them is overwhelming.
    God forgive me for being more concerned about my comfort then the souls of the needy.

  • You aren't going to make sense of Haiti. Sometimes tragedies just don't make sense and we just have to trust that God is on the throne. This is one of those times when you have to skip the processing and just react to the need, IMO.
    My recent post 31 Days in Proverbs Day 14: Pat Robertson and crap

  • Torybee

    It is heartbreaking. I've had many conversations about this, from one person quoting Scripture of God's wrath, to the pat answer of this too will bring glory to God somehow in someway.

    I've many thoughts and questions. If I posted them I'd seem like a nutcase. I suppose my biggest struggle is personal. I know that in my own life when tragedy has hit, well intentioned people have come to me and said that "if one person turns to Christ because of this it's worth it" and I struggle with that; Did God cause, or allow, such things so that One Person could come to Christ? What about those that died? If God is omnipotent, couldn't he someone bring that one person to Christ in a different, better way? How could a loving God decide that one person was worth this? Of course, that's just a pat answer to explain and give meaning to things that happen that don't make sense. We don't like to die in vain. We want purpose.

    Deep down, I do believe that God will be glorified in this (Haiti) tragedy. I don't know how, I don't know any of that. It boggles my mind and hurts me to the core. I do believe that God is good but do I believe it because I have to cling to something or because i firmly believe it's true?

    I think God's heart would break even more if His people, His Church, did not have hearts that break at the news of this and did nothing.
    My recent post Enough is Enough?

  • I don’t know if you can ever make sense of a disaster like this, or any bad thing that happens, except in the hope that God can find a way to bring good out of the bad.

    That is my prayer.

  • Ali

    It is an incredibly devastating situation for the people in Haiti because for many, as they know it, the world is coming to an end. I have been praying for God to show his mercy on love to all those affected and to those helping–and I am just praying in general–because He knows what is needed. And of course I am giving financially.

  • Thank you for the honest, touching post, Lindsey.

    For the past five or six years I've struggled a lot with doubt – and the last few "faith crises" were brought on by disasters (the Asian tsunami of 2004, the Pakistani earthquake of 2005). I just can't seem to figure out why a good God would let things like this happen.

    And so this time I just sorta snapped into intellectual and emotional survival mode – focusing on what I can do to make a difference rather than what I think God could have done to make things different.

    Also, my husband and I just cut our cable, so it has been different experiencing this without a TV – not necessarily better or worse, just different.

    I'm not sure we can ever fully process what has happened…or if we should.
    My recent post What’s your mantra?

  • There's a man who works in our office who is from Haiti. He still has family there, 3 sisters and his mother (and nieces and nephews). He didn't know at the time if his family was safe or not, he just kept saying that "God is good and whatever He wills, I will accept." I was blown away by his faith. (He has since heard from all but one sister. We are still praying.)

    At the risk of sounding trite, I think sometimes the worst circumstances are the best opportunities for God's love to shine. He often chooses us to shine through. Each expression of compassion is proof that we are created in the image of the One who is the author of love. Without Him we wouldn't have the capacity for it.

    I am in NO WAY saying that God causes bad things to happen to make Himself look good – that's just insane. But when bad things do happen in this imperfect world, God's hands and feet have opportunity to bring glory to His name.

    That's how I make sense of it. And yes, my thoughts go round and round ALL THE TIME. It often makes me dizzy!

  • Christy

    I constantly think of that Jars of Clay song. It is such a reminder to me that as a Christian they are looking to me and see who I am by my love.

    I too am having circular thoughts about Haiti. The more I see the images and the people in complete and utter devastation they begin to get faster. My heart breaks because so many of them must feel so very hopeless. Lost. Scared. I cannot get their emotions out of my head. Then today seeing the rescue of Dan the Compassion worker I felt such hope…but he is just one person in so many.

    I feel like my prayers are the same litany over and over…

    Sigh. I am hoping this weekend as I pray and lay things down before our God who is in complete control of even this I can move ahead…

    Thanks for letting us know we are not the only one's Lindsey. And giving us an avenue to share how we feel too.
    My recent post Caffeinated Randomness :: 5,000 Questions

  • Chrystie

    You cracked me up with the "thought death spiral." But only because I relate. Boy, do I get stuck on that merry-go-round. You are so right too! It is unproductive, draining, frustrating. I like to call it analysis paralysis. Its that whole thought process where I am trying to understand my mind by using my mind. Never works. Only makes me really tired.
    My recent post Book Review – Let Go By Sheila Walsh

  • I think it's a reminder that we all have a responsibility to act before disaster strikes. If the global community, if indeed a community even exists beyond rhetoric, had squashed third world debt years ago the living conditions in Haiti would be better and loss of life would have been less. It's always too little too late.

    Does this help me make sense of it? If we can see that everything is interconnected, then we're all suffering, but we're also all rallying together and showing our true potential. Essentially we're all good, a little lazy, and reluctant to think globally, but good siblings also.