This is Us — Is This Us?
“The Wedding” S2/E18 #ThisIsUs #IsThisUs
It’s just a t-shirt, her brother says. That’s true…but it’s Dad’s Daytona t-shirt, something that reminds Kate of her father, and she feels that it will bring his memory even closer on her wedding day.
…Would Dad have liked the place I picked for my wedding? Maybe I can buy his favorite flavor of ice cream…the one he always bought when he took me to the local shoppe.
Clinging to memories is comforting, and even healthy to a point. But even though they keep the person or the feeling fresher in our mind, the memories don’t make the love real. The love is real because it’s forever. What Kate needs to remember is that her father’s love was and is with her even if the t-shirt and ice cream aren’t. He promised her and he always kept His promises. He was the best Dad ever!
Is this us? Do we sometimes feel far from our Heavenly Father’s love, not feeling it as tangibly as we want to? Rather than seeking things that might help us remember Him, at those times we need to cling to the everlasting promise of His perfect love for His precious children. He promised us and He always keeps His promises. He’s the perfect Abba Father.
I suppose we’re all a little like Kate at times. ‘This is us.’
“And may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.” Ephesians 3:18-19 (TLB)
For his love remains the same,
He knows you by your name.
By John Gowans SASB #44
“This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life” S2/E17 #THIS IS US
Randall refers many times to “this big, amazing, beautiful life”. Even in the midst of loss, abuse, tragedy, addiction, pain, and disappointment, all that life can bring, we can all choose to see life from this perspective as well. This episode showed different parts of life from birth to death and all that happens in between. We see positive and negative influences in their lives; the unwavering, supportive Grandma, the unoriginal drug –using boyfriend, the alcoholic parent. These positive and negative influences take us on a journey. My heart sank when I realized Beth and Randall were going to find Deja and Shauna living in their car. We go from the harsh reality of poverty; not having enough, being evicted, living in the car to being brought into the safety of the Pearson home. Deja and Shauna were brought in to the family and given a special seat at the family table. They were made to feel chosen and special instead of alone and abandoned. Ephesians 1:4, 5 encapsulates the experience and says “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ”. What an amazing feeling this still is! God chose me. He chose you. Tears welled up in my eyes and warmth filled my heart seeing God’s love expressed through the human heart. I am challenged by this sacrificial love. Is this me? Is this us? Do I give freely the love God so richly and generously gives to me? Do I bring people, even strangers, into my world and make them feel loved and special? Maybe we can’t all open our homes in the way that Randall and Beth do but we can open ourselves in different and healthy ways to others. Maybe we can be open by being that positive, healthy, Christ-like influence in the lives of those we come in contact with on a daily basis. We can be that encouraging voice amidst the discouragement we find everywhere. However you can be of godly use then do it. Be God’s hands and feet in this world.
Vegas, Baby!! Season 2, Episode 16
Vegas, Baby! We join Kate and Toby as they head off to their bachelor and bachelorette parties in Vegas this week. They dreaded being with not-so-close friends and having to do “friend” things with people they aren’t close to. But, the redeeming factor was that family was coming too.
As they prepare to head out, Kate and Toby have a conversation about how they just want the weekend to be over. They want to return to being just them – not hindered by other people – not having to work at relationships. But, as the story line plays out we find that what they really wanted was deep, meaningful connection with those who mean the most to them – family!
Is this us? Are we connecting with God and others in meaningful ways or are we settling for pseudo-relationships? Building connections within relationships take time and intentionality but are so worth it! Friends can encourage us and support us. Friends can tell it like it is and help us as we struggle through life issues. Sometimes it’s difficult to move from superficial relationships to trusting, deep relationships. But we are reminded in Scripture that there is a Friend who can always be trusted.
Proverbs 18:24: “There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Instead of surrounding ourselves with “friends” like Toby did in Vegas, we need to cultivate our relationship with Jesus. We need to intentionally create a godly community of like-minded believers.
Super Bowl Sunday/Season 2 Episode 14
SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve been waiting FOREVER for this episode! It’s THE episode where we watched and cried as Rebecca comes back to the hospital room to see Jack has died after her quick trip to the vending machine. I cried right along with her!
While my heart ached with Rebecca, I find that Kate tugs at my heart the most. I watch her struggle over and over again with the overwhelming feeling of guilt over her Dad’s death. Repeatedly we hear her say, “it was my fault”. We hear her voice that again in this episode. That guilt that she carries affects every area of her life. She just can’t seem to let it go – it haunts her, it brings her down, it keeps her from relationships. It holds her from moving forward in her life.
At times, we too, get caught up in the grip of guilt in our spiritual walk. We hold onto past experiences that caused us to doubt or past sin to which we’ve repented and confessed. We’ve given these to the Lord but sometimes that nagging guilt can creep back in and make us feel like there is a chain binding us to the past! Is this us? Do we live out our full freedom in Christ or do we allow the past to keep us from moving forward in our relationship with Christ?
Psalm 103:12 reminds us: “He has taken our sins from us as far as the east is from the west”. Don’t allow that guilt to creep back into our minds, our hearts, our lives. God has taken our sin and removed it – never to be remembered by Him again. We can live in freedom!