Life transitions are challenging because they force us to let go of the familiar and face the future with a feeling of vulnerability.
That is where we are at right now. Been here before but now……well we have moved from August to February in a blink of an eye. March 2009 completely changed the map of our lives. My beautiful, vibrant and funny mother in law had a stroke. God’s hand was upon her, her deficits are not visible, but insidious they lay in her memory and thought processes. She has devotedly taken care of her husband, my father in law over the last few years who is ravaged by Parkinson’s.
Any significant loss makes most people feel fearful and anxious. My future is filled with questions, and I’m afraid. I am anxious and my life is disrupted. Behind is the familiar, present… the very unfamiliar. There is an awareness of feeling completely unprepared, unqualified, shocked, sad, and confused. I want to learn to identify and express my feelings. It's normal for me to try to push away feelings of fear and anxiety.
This transition however gives me…gives us, a chance to discover our family’s strengths and a chance to explore a new life with new adventures. We now are caring for our children and our parents. God has orchestrated in all His Majesty and omniscience an opportunity for us to serve and care for family in such a way I never thought possible.
The positive side I see right now is an opportunity to assess the direction our lives in the path we are taking. This is a chance to grow and learn. I pray this time of reflection will result in a sense of renewal, stability, and a new equilibrium.
I have a sense to rush through this transition, to get back to the norm. To get my in-laws moved in…to get back to the norm. But this is the norm now and I sense the Holy Spirit saying “Don't be in a rush”. I don’t excel at feeling insecure, anxious or vulnerable. Come Holy Spirit; come with Your quiet rustlings. Help me hear all that you are whispering to me... ”Be still and know that I am God!”
What does God promise his people?
He promises us relief from all troubles in the next world and relief from some troubles in this life. Faithful people throughout the centuries witness to dramatic deliverances from sickness, from financial woes, from all manner of troubles. Flesh-and-blood human beings have testified to our Father’s healing presence in times of troubles with a supernatural peace that passes all understanding.
Sometimes we aren't relieved by God. Sometimes we merely endure through faith. This isn't such a bad thing. We are never nearer to God than when we are troubled. In times of comfort and ease we forget Him. In the worst of times, we suddenly remember, "Ah, what if I asked God for help?"
Sometimes the answer is the help we pray for. Sometimes the answer is "Lean on me, and you will survive and thrive."
As I journal, and as I seek the Lord I am continually reminded of His promises. I hunger and thirst for His Word….for more of Him. Lord I hold Your hand ever so tightly through these changing seasons!
Psalm 73:25-26 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalm 119:50 Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.
Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. .
Psalm 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Psalm 71:20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.
Isaiah 41:10 "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
Isaiah 43:2 "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Matthew 10:29-31 "Not even a sparrow, worth less than a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows."
Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
2 Corinthians 4:8, 16-17
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!