When I wrote my last post on April 17th little did I know that just two days later I would be on a plane to spend Easter Sunday with my Dad in the CICU room and that on the following day, April 21, 2014, I would be saying goodbye to him as he left his earthly home to be in the arms of Jesus. I know I will see him again but the pain and grief I felt and still feel at times has only been eased by knowing he no longer has Alzheimer’s, or is suffering in his almost 90-year-old body.
This past year has been a year marked with suffering and pain both physical and emotional. May of 2013 I had several months when I dealt with a painful physical condition. In June, still not feeling well I spent the month helping my Mom and Dad move from their 15 acre, 3 bedroom home in the country to a retirement community to a small 2 bedroom duplex. I think I have shared most of this in previous posts but as this year unfolded one after another sad or difficult time came. Less than 3 weeks after Mom and Dad moved my Mom was hospitalized and on August 6 she was dancing with Jesus. We never anticipated that she, our one who always remembered all of the family history on her side and my Dad’s would be the first to go. She was a step-mom of 34 years after losing my mother while in my 30’s but I loved her dearly and she was not just Mom but friend. I was back to see Dad for a visit in January and then he had a fall and things went downhill from there. I miss them both so much! My brother said as he did at my mother’s service, “Let’s not focus on what we have lost but what she has gained.” That has resonated in my heart and mind through the loss of both of these so dear to me.
I thought things would begin to settle into a sort of normal after I got home but there were a couple of incidents since then that said that wasn’t to be. I live 1,500 miles from my Dad’s and couldn’t take very much from his home but had packed up a small box of things I wanted of his and Mom’s. I mailed it to my home and the day I got a notice that it was at the post office for pick up I eagerly went to pick it up. I was floored that the box had been destroyed in shipping and half of the contents were gone. I had it sent regular mail and didn’t insure it as nothing was of physical value, but all were of sentimental value. There wouldn’t even be any way of trying to retrieve the missing items. I cried for a couple of days. It seemed such a great loss to me! My Dad’s Bible, some of the costume jewelry I had seen Mom wear, an album I had made my Dad on his life with pictures of places he had lived and events throughout his life. God finally let me see that He was God and could either bring the items back to me or I didn’t need to have them.
To top off the year and the most recent trial…in some of my travels I brought home bed bugs. I know you just scratched!!! What a yucky, horrible thing to deal with. Praise the Lord He allowed me to see them early and they were confined to only our box springs. We had just had a repair on our car for $500. and the extermination fee was $2,286. plus an extra $20. a month on our exterminator’s monthly billing to monitor this. But, our God is an awesome God! In preparation for the extermination we had to prepare the whole house. God gave me an opportunity to de-clutter our home of over 40 years. We also had no bites. That is because my God loves me so.
This has been a lengthy post I know and if you have read it to this point then you will see why I have listed all of these things from this past year. Yes, it was hard. Yes it was painful. Yes it was overwhelming. BUT, I have no doubt at all that I am who God says I am. He allowed these things to touch my life and it has been His will that I walk through them. The reality is He has carried me through most of them. He has loved and comforted me as I grieved. He has healed my physical ailments. He has been the lifter of my head and gave me hope in each new day. No, I don’t want to have another year like this one but I really would not have wanted to miss the sweet times I have had with the Lord as I leaned in and clung to and taken refuge in Him.
I don’t know when I will be back to posting but I hope it is soon and will continue to believe I am who He says I am, precious child, adopted daughter, fully known and fully loved, apple of His eye, clean, holy, redeemed and made new through the blood of Christ, gifted for service, freed from all bondage. Now I want to turn the focus of this blog back to its original purpose, growing in knowing God. I choose to take my eyes off of me and place them on Him. I pray you will join me as we open His Word to find the treasures He has for us there. Love to you my sweet friend! May God give you clear vision as to who He is and who you are in Him.