What a difference a year makes!
I’ve been thinking about the long journey I’ve been on, of helping my aged parents navigate their way through serious illness, lasting disability, and an unwelcome but necessary move.
A little over 12 months ago I was called away from my world to step into their world and assist them, all the while trying to work through the twists and turns of under-employment and all its impacts on my own family.
I was nothing I would have normally volunteered for–being more like a summons, a call of duty arising out of a deep conviction centered on the command, “Honor your father and your mother, that you may live long upon the earth.”
Had I been rested up and in fighting form, it would have been a daunting challenge. But to come off three years of turmoil and the deepest heartbreak, and then do it, was like…
Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Which is why this time of reflection and gratitude is so appropriate.
There’s so much to be thankful for!
We have become part of a healthier, grace-filled church family.
The Lord has given enough part-time, temporary jobs to sustain us.
The many trips down south have been fruitful.
My dad is cancer-free again. My mom has stopped losing weight and is just starting to socialize again on this side of the two strokes.
They are settled in, content, and enjoying the assisted living center. They sound good–stronger and more hopeful.
Huge strides have been made towards settling their possessions, cleaning out their house, and preparing it for the market.
I can look with deep satisfaction at how God’s grace was much more than enough for this huge, ongoing job.
My own soul feels more rooted in Christ, and the after-effects of sorrow and trauma are diminishing while joy is growing.
I feel ready for new adventures again.
I see a new level of compassion and wisdom in dealing with senior saints.
Call it an expensive education.
When your body is breaking down and everything you hold dear is being lost, we long for an anchor, for something that won’t ever change.
And when it does we protest and object, raising our voice in complaint and refusing to take no for an answer.
Our mistake is to think we’ve found the key to security in a familiar institution, a cherished person, or a fondly remembered program.
For when everything is breaking down and being lost, it is Person of infinite, unchangeable perfection is who we most need to hold us.
To build a whole life around keeping everything static is impossible. It is a quest that must disappoint us in the end.
While the young seek novelty, something of infinite interest and variety to captivate them, the old seek security and enduring bedrock.
Both can find what they are looking for in the same Person.
And only in this Person.
He is both ever new, and ever the same. And there’s a shoreless ocean of limitless excellence that can satisfy the deepest cravings to a degree planet Earth cannot.
It’s in holding onto Him, and freely letting go of what we normally cling to, that true serenity and peace is found.
I have found Him to be the tried and true port in the storm. The serene center in the eye of the hurricane. The pillow on whom I can rest my weary head. The best consolation when life is tragic and inconsolable.
So thanks, Lord Jesus, for this amazing year!