“Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 NCV)
I know my blog is about relentless faith, but for the past three weeks, I’ve been struggling. Struggling to find a purpose in what has been going on with the changes in our lives. Struggling to somehow put a handle on or grab a hold of something that appears to be out of reach. What’s so difficult about this challenge is that the day before this struggle began, we had just returned from a 3-week trip to Nova Scotia. My niece, Kris and her partner, Susan, hosted our Thanksgiving celebration in Canada this year. We enjoyed a dream time of sightseeing, eating wonderful meals of fish, clams, lobsters, scallops, dancing, sightseeing, Monday Night Radio Bingo, friends, Lucie and Joe, and my sister, Arie. I was blessed to be able to turn this into a road trip with my college friend Cydell as well as longtime friends Suzanne and Ted. Angel and Larry flew up. It was a glorious time blessed by autumn colors, blue waters, Bay of Fundy, and breathtaking scenery.
We returned on Sunday and then on Monday we were hit with life altering news. I’ve learned again and again that this is life; all of us face challenges. However, this challenge was different. It required that I look at life in a way that I’d never done before. So, to cope, I kind of just went through the motions of getting up, trying to maintain a routine, trying to just get through the day. My prayer was simply “Lord help me, Lord help us. Thank You.” I put on a pleasant look; can’t say a smile, for my husband, my daughter and others. I prayed hard at the beginning of each day. I would force myself to just live in the moment. I felt as if everything would be alright. But, to be honest, this living in the moment, this struggling to feel normal, is draining. So, draining that I had little energy to do things that needed to be done. I could manage the routine things like preparing dinner and keeping the house looking okay. But, anything extra, was left untouched. However, every day I prayed and read devotionals and my Bible, listened to harp music and burned incense. Sometimes what I read sank in, other times it just floated in and then out; I was going through the motions. But every day I managed to feel some joy and have an inner knowing that God is a good God. I felt that in time, somehow, someway this feeling of strangeness, of emptiness would pass. I knew deep down that God would not fail me. On the surface, I didn’t always feel this connection. All I knew to do was to follow my mom’s advice of putting one foot before the other. I knew falling apart was not an option. My only option was to get up and thank God and move. I’ve gotten into the habit of thanking God, even when I’m not sure of what I am thanking Him for; somehow, I believe that He just knows and accepts my thanks. I also thought, if I allowed myself to stay in a dark place, I may never get out. Thank God. I truly believe that whenever I’ve been in a dark place, everyone who has ever loved me and gone before me support me. This may sound strange, but I can literally feel the presence of my mom, dad, brother, daughter. Their love and presence transcend death and reaches down to breathe life and love into the deepest depths of my being.
I also know that I am blessed by Earthly Angels. I’m not one to talk about my challenges mainly because I don’t see them as challenges. I truly view them as opportunities to lean into God and His support. But sometimes things happen that let me know I need more. This was one of those times. I needed the support of others; spoken and unspoken. Just knowing that others care goes a long way. What’s even more beautiful is that I hadn’t said what the challenge was simply because some things are too raw to put into words. Too raw to speak out for fear that the words will shatter you into a million pieces and like humpty dumpty, those pieces cannot be put back together. That’s why I am so thankful for my family and friends who require no explanation, no words. My brother, Billy, who knows me so well that he figured out the challenge by simply listening to what I didn’t say. My brother Fred who constantly sends messages of love and support. My sister Alice who just senses when something is not right. My daughter, Angel who calms me by her presence. Then, there is my sister, Lola, whose words and encouragement are a true blessing. Also, there are my friends Cydell and Suzanne who are always there for me.
God, thank You for loving me and sending me family and friends who support me. Thank you for those who don’t require explanations and love you when you are going through so much; yet, have so little to say.
This blog is long. So, please come back tomorrow for Part 2.