The month of October, leading up to Halloween, has emphasis on ghosts and haunted houses. Indeed, the telling of ghost stories is common as we approach October 31st.
I have a few of my own ghost stories, of sorts. They involve the mystery that is my family.
I’ve shared much about my dad’s abusive nature; that is familiar to me.
What, however, is NOT as familiar, is knowing about him. Like many immigrant families, the past was not discussed. I know very little about the exact country my family came from. Likewise, I don’t know much about my dad, apart from his rages and his obsession with farm work. The unknown reality, therefore, has left me haunted, especially within the last few years. I now have the responsibility of clearing my childhood home, a house in which my dad, his siblings and parents all resided.
The house, itself, is one hundred years old, filled with decades of memorabilia. And, in organizing, clearing and cleaning the house, I have stumbled across some relics, like his dog tags, which create more questions- and yes, ghosts.
So, it is fitting that, earlier this month (again, the Halloween month of October), I discovered a long lost photo album, devoted to my dad’s time in World War II. Up until then, I only had a few photos of him; he was camera shy.
But, now I’ve come across a brown leather photo album, with its black pages filled with photo after photo of my young dad, in his early twenties. There were various shots of him on his battleship, as well as many images of him hanging out with his fellow army buddies. Now I have many photos of him. Still, there is no resolution to the mystery of who is was.
Therefore, this housecleaning has taken on a deeper meaning. As tedious and overwhelming as the clearing of my childhood home is, there is significant value to the process. No, I have not learned the answers to my ever expanding questions. Yet, having these scattered puzzle pieces is something I’ve come to view as buried treasure.
It has yet to be determined what- and how much- I discover about him, about where I come from. The haunted feeling could lead to despair, if it were not for the reality God has every answer and is in the process of revealing, all in due time.
So, until that time, I endeavor to remain thankful for what I do have, be it photos or God’s perfect grace and mercy.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
“Know ye that the LORD he is God…be thankful unto him…bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Yes, I’d love to know ever answer, but Jesus’ words on knowing everything echo in my mind…
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’”
What about you? Can you relate?
It can be tempting to believe we are the only ones going through a haunted, painful experience. But many of us have unresolved questions and issues concerning our loved ones. It’s far more prevalent than we think.
“…time and chance happeneth to them all.”
There can be some traumatic experiences, hushed secrets and missing puzzle pieces, driving us from one painful, self-destructive choice to another.
Are you haunted? Or are you too aware of something, desperately trying to forget it?
Whatever the case may be, God is keenly aware of its entirety. And He knows how to best deal with the situation when it involves what is most precious to Him: us.
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Perhaps, concerning our finite selves, it is better we don’t know everything, absolutely right now. God knows if it has the potential to destroy us.
Yes, I know, “the truth shall set us free (John 8:32). And that still stands.
However, it doesn’t guarantee things will be painless. Far from it, often times.
I do want answers. But am I ready for them? Well, that’s uncertain.
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:9-12
What you and I can do, however, is place faith in where we are now, as well as where God is leading us. And He is leading us…
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
In the meantime, we need to trust we are becoming who God has created us to be…
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
No, it’s not easy or pain-free. God never said it would be.
Nevertheless, there is reward for staying connected to God, loving Him, in spite of our flawed selves.
“But as it is written, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’”
1 Corinthians 2:9
God has, not only every single answer, He also has help for every haunting we experience in life.
So, right now, wherever we are, however we’re haunted, let’s make the choice to go from ghosts to God. And, with that, with God, happy Halloween!
Copyright © 2015 by Sheryle Cruse