Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Seasons

Yes, we all hear about them-the seasons of our lives. Going through seasons, good or bad. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. NIV So popular have the Ecclesiastes verses been, that it not only inspired the Byrds song, that song has remained popular for several generations.

Today's post is hard for me to write. It's about the most challenging season of my life. Yet God emphatically laid this on my heart two days ago as something I needed to share. Since that almost never happens, I knew I had to follow through.

The time was January 2001. We'd just started a new year. Life wasn't perfect, but the waters were relatively calm. Our oldest daughter was a senior in high school (a challenge in and of itself), youngest daughter bravely faced her first year in middle school, and our oldest boy plodded through kindergarten. Then we learned our oldest daughter was pregnant. My comfortable little world shattered.

Almost immediately, I began trying to fix things. "We can do this," I thought. I conjured up scenarios of her and the baby living with us. How we'd configure rooms. It wouldn't be easy, but we'd manage. But that wasn't my decision to make.

We found out the baby's father was in the county jail. She intended to marry him when he got out. Hopes, dreams I'd had for my daughter, gone. I think I cried for two days. Depression wrapped itself around me like cold, wet blanket. How could this happen? How could God allow this to happen? Finally, in a fit of anger, I yelled at God, "I can't do this! I don't want to do this! You have to take this from me!"

Funny thing happened. He did. Oh, the cup didn't pass, but He gladly, willingly carried the burden for me. I could breath again. We would get through.

Little did I know, this was just the tip of the iceberg. The months following the baby's birth were marked by one trial after another. So much so that our Sunday school class needed weekly updates so they'd now how to pray. Each new struggle that landed in my hands, I'd look at, think "I don't want to deal with this," then toss it up. And every time, God caught it.

By the end of that year, as we made our way into 2002, we hoped, prayed, it would be a better year. But it wasn't meant to be. Our daughter had a second baby on the way. In April my mother had a stroke. Nothing debilitating, but enough to cast her into a world of dementia that, while not bad at the time, would increasingly get worse. With my father deceased, and me being an only child, this too fell on me.

May came, and my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The dreaded "C" word. But you know what? God had already prepared me. Trained me, so to speak, to pass each and every challenge off to Him. There were never too many. Time and time again, He'd be there, wiggling His fingers, saying "Come on, give me that one, too."

Through a bone scan, we learned the cancer had not spread. I remember leaving the doctor's office with my husband, and on the way to the car we looked at each other and said, "whoo-hoo, it's only prostate cancer." We were able to find victory in the little things. Surgery came, along with another grandson. Cancer was confined to the prostate. No further treatments.

By the time 2003 rolled around, we were holding our breath. SIL went to jail again. Daughter struggled to hold things together. My mother decided, at the urging of her neurologist, to move to Texas and in with us. We bought a new house to accommodate the change in family structure. But life had begun looking up. Or had it.

Let's face it. Life is hard. What may seem earth-shattering to one person, may be a cake-walk for another. But no matter how big or small those little blips on life's radar may be, we've got a heavenly air traffic controller who will guide us to safety. That doesn't mean there might not be some turbulence along the way, that an air pocket might not drop you ten thousand feet, but guess what? He's still in control. Nothing surprises God. Lean on Him. Better yet, lean into Him. Let Him wrap His loving arms around you and walk with you, maybe even carry you, through this journey we call life.

7 comments:

  1. Mindy,
    I thought '01 (and on) had been hard years for my family.

    Thanks for sharing this, although I know it was not easy. But we all need to be reminded to give over control to that Air Traffic Controller in the sky.

    You're a strong woman, but more a survivor.

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  2. Wow, Mindy. I didn't know you all went through all that. What a testimony to your faith!!

    Missy

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  3. Hey Mindy,

    Wow, girl. I can certainly empathize. This whole spring, summer, and fall have been a constant leaning on the Lord. There's a lesson: keep leaning - even when things are looking better. I feel like right now, God keeps allowing things to happen to keep me plastered to His side.

    Jen

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  4. Mindy,

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. God is so faithful when we grow weak and weary. That's the wonderful thing about the faith He has given us.

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  5. Yes Jen, stay plastered. This post was meant to show God's faithfulness. He loves us so very much.
    Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Mindy,
    Thanks for sharing this part of your life. It is a true testimony to His faithfulness--and I'm blessed that you could see it through all the trials---and share it with us. We're always being prepared....

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  7. Mindy,

    It's Cousin Wendy - I don't normally respond to posts, but you made me cry ! What a woman you are, keep on keeping on, I'm sure your family is lucky to have you. I wish I had your strength !

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