When I look at this picture, taken Valentine’s Day weekend two years ago, I wonder if I passed the woman in the picture today, on the street, would I recognize her? My hair is now lighter, my physique is slightly lighter, I’m more wrinkled than I was two years ago. Everything in my life, absolutely everything, in two years time has changed. I can not honestly think of anything that has remained the same.
King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a season for everything & a time for every delight & event or purpose under heaven”. He proceeds to list all of the musings, we as God’s children, can expect to walk and experience in life. During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln referenced Ecclesiastes during a speech to Congress. Thomas Wolfe once wrote in regards to Ecclesiastes, “Of all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth—and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth.”
Where am I going with this rabbit 🐰 trail? If Kings, Presidents, and novelists acknowledge God’s Word to be truth, shouldn’t we?
Everything we need to get us through life is in God’s word. There are truly no surprises.
The first year I just prayed to survive. I just wanted to not feel sad anymore. I wasn’t prepared for the cavernous hole in the hollows of my soul, that echoing pit.
I made the choice to be intentional. Even if I didn’t get dressed that particular day, I would thank the Lord for something. I believed God’s word to be true, and that He would never leave or forsake me.
Nineteen months later as I’ve started to heal inside the focus has shifted externally:
“Make your tent bigger. Open your doors wide. Don’t think small! Make your tent large & strong, because you will grow in many directions.”-Isaiah 54:2-3
Isaiah 54:2-3 has become my ❤️heartbeat verse. It has given me the vision to see outside of my own pain and a purpose for the future. The Lord will use any tragedy, I am convinced, for good and His glory. My tent, I hope, will grow large enough to shelter other widows as they walk through the steps of grief, rebuilding, repurposing their lives and figuring out what God has called them to do and be. I don’t have all of the answers, but I have experience to know what not to do and what to do. I know that the Lord has graciously lavished upon me his goodness. I know that relearning life after being a caregiver of someone with ALS or any terminal illness is life changing.
If that same man in the wheelchair, leaning towards me, holding my hand, a lifetime ago, came wheeling towards me today would he recognize me? Would he roll up under my tent & help minister the message of hope? I don’t know. I would hope so. I would hope that he would be proud that this experience did not crush me. It has strengthened me, no inspired me, to go forward to help other women in any capacity that I can. There is no hope in ALS or terminal illness. But there is hope in Jesus Christ and in His Kingdom to come.