Monday, August 08, 2016

...Thou Art With Me...

I had the thought this morning that Wes' terminal cancer is saving me. 

I have drawn much closer to God than I would have done otherwise. 

 Since the very beginning of this grief filled "journey" I have had the 23rd/22nd (no matter which numbering system [masoretic or LXX] I use, someone will yell at me about it) in the forefront of my thoughts. 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me.  Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me..."

and I do know the nearness and the comfort of God.  In fact, it is God's presence that keeps me going each day, and keeps me from falling into utter despair. 

I know that I will be OK, whatever comes, because God is with me.  God is the one holding me and taking care of me. 

And each day that Wes lives longer than expected, God be glorified.  And with each element of struggle and suffering, God be glorified. 

I sure did not imagine having a life of chronic illness, a husband with terminal illness, kids with autism and chronic pain...never in my wildest dreams would I have chosen this for myself or my loved ones. 

But would I trade it in for temporal comfort, and miss out on the sweet comfort of the Holy Spirit? 

I would not.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.--2 Corinthians, 1st chapter.

So here's to all the young folks who don't know it yet:  Your life will be so much harder than you imagine.  More grief, more pain, more suffering.  But God is there, with you. 

Saturday, August 06, 2016

The Late Summer of my Life

I was complaining to someone who complimented me that I actually felt like a middle aged hag, and she said the most wonderful thing in return. 

She said "you are in the late summer of your life.  It's not youthful springtime anymore, but you are not into autumn or winter yet, either."

What a beautiful thing to say to me. 

And timely. 

It is now late summer, and in the Orthodox Church we celebrate the feast of Transfiguration.  One tradition is to bring the first fruits of fruit harvest (or anything from the garden) to Church to be blessed and shared around. 

Well, this year, in the late summer of MY life...I have some "fruits" that are ready to go off to college, and in a very short while, I will be an empty nester all of a sudden as three of mine will be going to college all at once.  (B still lives at home with us and will for a good long while due to her autism issues.)

And the thing I was thinking of JUST this week, is that my task is to bring them to God, and let them go, already. 

So they are my first fruits this year, in the late summer of my life.  This thought really helps me with the letting go process that I must be doing.