Thousand Reasons Thursdays, Part 7
Here’s another snippet from the first couple of chapters of my memoir:
The days again began to bleed into one another, the only thing breaking them up were visits and phone calls from friends and family. Yet, even these became monotonous. I moved in and out of the second and fourth stages of grief - anger and depression. There was no point in the third stage, Bargaining, because there was no bargaining in my situation. It was what it was. This thought would catapult me back into anger. Soon any variance in my “routine” would give anger a foothold, and some poor, undeserving nurse or orderly would be the brunt of a sarcastic remark. This would result in their sending in the social worker and the “clergy” on duty. And I would have to explain to them, for what seemed the thousandth time, that I was fine and I spoke to my own pastor regularly.
Life was still happening out in the real world. Bills still needed to be paid, work still called to see if I needed to extend my disability status, the insurance called to let me know I was approaching my max limits for coverage. Wasn’t my situation already stressful enough? Did I really need these things to compound it?
My father-in-law walked in just then. I clicked off the tv and secretly wiped my eyes with the bedsheet.
“Oh! Were you sleeping? I can come back.”
“What? No, I’m just a little sleepy,” I lied.
“Oh, well I won’t stay long then. I was in the City and just wanted to check in on you. How are you holding up?”
I was so grateful for this man who was my husband’s father. He loved the Lord so much. He studied God’s word so fervently. I admired his dedication to the furthering of his understanding of Scripture. I loved that every margin of his Bible was literally filled with notes and little drawings inspired by the passage it was next to, and I deeply hoped that my Bible, mind, and heart would be as full as his. So, I couldn’t lie any more because he genuinely wanted to know how I was.
“Oh, well, you know…” I threw my hands up in a gesture of surrender. “This really stinks and I don’t think I can do it for much longer - even though I know I need to!”
“Well, you know, this life is full of trials and tribulations. God said it would never be perfect, but Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ You can rely on God’s promise to work this out for good somehow.”
Years later I would run across a passage in Luke that said “Mary pondered these things in her heart.” I didn’t know that’s what I was doing in this situation, but I did “ponder this in my heart” over the next few years. This was the first time I had heard the verse quoted and applied, and it would come up again and again in the future.
“It’s hard to see how it can be good right now,” I stammered. “I just don’t understand why all this is happening. Am I being punished?!”
“I can’t answer that, only God can, but you can find comfort in His Word. Have you been reading your Bible,” he asked, as he motioned toward the stack of books and tapes on my nightstand.
“A little,” I said sheepishly. I was back to lying - that didn’t take long!
“You have plenty of time here, that’s for sure. Every time you’re feeling a little sad or confused, you can go to His word or simply cry out to Him. He’s faithful to hear your prayers!”
“Ok, Dad,” I said, placating him. I didn’t want to talk about this anymore. I was tired and upset and I had to use the bathroom. I implied that I needed some privacy, and he took the hint, came over and gave me a kiss on the forehead, and graciously said he needed to get back to work.
Do you ever feel like you’re losing hope? Do you ever feel like going to God’s word isn’t enough? Oh, Sister, I was there! I DID ponder these things in my heart, and the verses my father-in-law shared with me through this trial are the ones that have stayed with me all through the years. I keep going back to them now like old friends and each time, they have deeper and deeper meaning for me.
I hope you were encouraged today!