my flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- psalm 73:26
two nights ago, i wrote hope-filled words of a new, somewhat unfamiliar season of health and life for us. i felt so full of peace and encouraged at the thought of green pastures before us, ready and waiting to be explored--family outings, date nights, long conversations filled with shared hopes and dreams that might be realized sooner than later.
four hours later, i woke to the familiar and unwanted sound of my husband in pain.
it's funny how quickly you go back there. to breathing every detail of years of pain and sickness as if it were still your daily reality. as if you'd never left the side of the hospital bed two years ago.
and then the fear comes. because you know what comes of those groans too well.
as life has been getting easier around here, i've secretly been waiting for the other shoe to drop. as if i was sure that this life we've been given--that we've made together--is too sweet, too good, to not be riddled with pain and end in disaster.
this man that i have is the air i breathe. and if i'm honest with myself, sometimes i'm afraid he'll be taken away because i love him too much and because i know i don't deserve him.
and yet he is a living, tangible evidence of grace realized in front of my eyes on a daily basis. because a person like me, broken and sinful with bags of filth and pain and cold-hearted days shouldn't be loved, let alone cherished, by someone like him. someone who has shown me love sweeter than i knew existed. who has given me the children that make my heart ache in the best way.
with such an obvious reminder of the gospel working out in my life every day, i should be easily reminded of the larger truth of the love of God that has redeemed me and keeps me.
and yet, i've found myself living in a state of fear pretty often throughout the past year. fearing that these people i love most will be scooped up and taken from my arms in this life. i fear the unknown of the future and the inevitable pain and loss that will come eventually. because in this life, all things end.
yesterday we sat in a darkened ER room and waited for consults, CT scans, tests and answers. the quiet was a welcome sound and i was aware and thankful of the blessing of medicine as i watched the chest of the man i love rise and fall in a peaceful rhythm.
and in that moment, i remembered that our God is faithful. and i could believe it with the fibers of myself. he is good, and he cares for this man of mine more than i can fathom, even with him having the devotion of my entire heart and soul.
and we can rest in the character of the one that does not change whether we are in the valleys or on the lush high grounds of our lives. this God that is faithful, and that is good.
we can persevere in the midst of pain because, as he has shown us time and time again, he will see us through.
there is something in the raw, helpless moments of the unknowns and the what ifs that can allow the presence of God to slip in and calm the anxious heart, in the middle of having to face the realization of our darkest fears.
how quickly i forget these moments when the storms pass. when the fullness of life crowds my view again and somehow i put my trust in the temporal and physical that breaks so easily and leaves me wanting over and over.
but those moments come again. those tastes of the goodness and sweetness and the glory of God are so constant as they slip in and out of our awareness. they are so real that when they are seen they cause this life and the troubles in it to seem dim.
life seemed a little bit dim as i sat in the empty hospital room waiting for the bed to roll in holding my husband. as i thought of my babies safe in their beds and missed their smells and sounds and smiles, it was as if the spiritual and the physical found themselves at an intersect and i understood.
that when this life seems dim, it's at it's brightest. there is hope in the darkest crevices of fear of loss and pain in this life. because of the hope we have in christ and the promises of a faithful father to see us through this fleeting time here together and uphold us until we are with him in glory.
this life of ours is thin and dim.
this life of ours is sweet and precious.
last night i remembered that the more i hold this life in the perspective of eternity, the dimness replaces fear with gratitude and joy. and as i look forward, afraid of losing babies and losing cherished ones and pain and brokeness, i can look back on lost babies and lost cherished ones and pain and brokenness and see the grace of God sustaining us. and taste the sweetness of the surety of my faith realized in the darkest of times.
tonight as i sit in this darkened hospital room and think about the future and the uncertainty of it all i can remember. that it will be okay, and when the storms come, the grace will be there, too. and i can remember that this life of mine is thin and dim and sweet and precious.
and i want to savor every moment of it, before it slips away.