Tag Archives: learning through pain

The Shape of this Year

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It’s amazing how something so painful can also reveal some of the things that I wish I knew all along.  Like how much more important people are than things.  How much more valuable time is than gifts.  How much better it feels to give than to receive.  How many of our daily complaints may in fact be our biggest blessings.

2013 has been a salt in the wound kind of year.  I have never cried so much, hurt so deeply, asked why with such passion.  I have never beat the ground in such agony, sobbed so desperately over something that used to bring me such joy.  I have never asked “why” so many times, knowing that I probably won’t get the answer this side of Heaven.  I have never questioned my God’s motive so much as I have this year.  Before this year, I honestly thought happiness in life was mind over matter.  If I ACT positive, then everything will BE positive.  I learned that there are some things that can happen in life that, although we will stand again, just completely knock us down and leave us in the most helpless place we have ever been.  There are things that can happen that keep you from seeing a silver lining because of the well of tears that cloud your eyes.

I have also never seen such compassion.  Such love.  Such encouragement from others.  I have never read such heartfelt stories.  Testimonies of how lives have been changed.  I have never seen one little life stir the hearts and souls of so many.  I have never seen God’s hand so literally reach down and grab a hold of me and so many others.

Losing the opportunity to experience life with Sadie (alive and in the flesh) was so up close and personal.  It’s much easier to absorb these things happening to somebody else’s family…not ours.  I’d much rather learn by reading about someone else’s story—I didn’t want the story to be my own.  Selfish?  Maybe.  But wouldn’t you agree?  Tim and I have actually laughed because, although many have told us over the past few months that they admire us—no one actually wants to BE us.  You’d have to be crazy to desire such heartache.

But we are stronger as a couple.  We are stronger as a family.  We may cry more, but we are learning and living with each tear that falls.  We are learning when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.  We are learning what ‘love one another’ truly means, and that it sometimes has to be a very conscious decision.  We have learned that we really did mean the vow we gave to one another on our wedding day–“in good times and in bad…in sickness and in health”.  We are learning that it is more important to follow God’s will than man’s will for us.

All of these things really do describe how I have felt over the past year—it has been an absolute emotional roller coaster.  I can honestly say that, although I will never, ever, ever be happy about losing my precious daughter to childhood cancer, I have learned so much through this journey.  And the journey is far from over.  I have a strong feeling that this will be a life of learning to live by faith.  I mean REALLY living by faith.  Not just saying it, but acting on it.  God has shown me more of Himself than ever before…or is it that I have sought Him more than ever before?

 

And so our faith and hope is summed up in the words of my new favorite song, “Oceans” (this is not to downplay scripture, because there are so many words that have spoken to me through the verses of the Bible this year).  Anyways, I have quoted it before, but I think it’s worth another listen…here it is:

“Oceans” (listen to it here)

You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.

And there I find You in the mystery.  In oceans deep my faith will stand.

 
And I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.

So I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

I will call upon Your Name, and keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in Your embrace.

I am Yours and You are mine.

 

 

2013 has been one for the books.  Nevermind the latter part of 2012, which is one big blur.  I joke about kissing it goodbye, but there have been some valuable truths learned.  So, here’s to 2014.  Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good.  Let’s find some more redemption in this story.  We need it.  We long for it.  We know it is there.

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