July 10, 2012 Seasonal Transitions
I never intended to take a break from writing on my blog. It’s pretty sad really. You go to the home page and the newest post is from Dec. 28 of last year.
It’s not that I have had nothing to say, but this year has been quite different for us. I recently realized that this year has been a year of transitions. Before I get to all of that, I feel the need to do a little reflecting on what the year of 2011 was for us.
Beginning in March of last year, Alan and I experienced a season of grief and loss. On the same morning we both had a loved one that was very dear to us pass away. His uncle lost to a long battle with cancer. I lost my last grandmother. As we were working through our grief, we both separately came to the same verses in the Bible from 2 Corinthians.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. . .16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Our lives, our bodies are a fragile, temporary vessel. In another passage the Bible says that we are nothing but a fading vapor. But inside this fragile jar is a treasure from God. Our salvation from sin, from the influences of this world, and ultimately the effects of sin i.e. death and disease.
A couple of months after we both grieved the loss of our dear ones, we found ourselves once again in loss. This time my uncle passed away from a heart attack, and his last grandmother passed away. She was 92. Again we fell on this same passage. I particularly found comfort here. This life is temporary. No matter how healthy you are, how stress free you live, how much love you show to others, one day you will die. Your time will come. What really matters is what you have done with what you were given, and more specifically where your faith is found.
The rest of 2011 was better, but still we carried in our hearts the loss we shared.
As 2012 began, I had little idea about how much of a transition this year would bring.
We knew that there would be some major adjustments. We were working and planning for the move of both Alan’s mother and brother to OK. With that comes stress of selling a house, moving your entire life and welfare, and many other little adventures. (I will not be sharing all of the details as to why, but “adjustments” is a little understated.)
To our surprise, however, 2012 began with a HUGE adjustment to our family. We unexpectedly found out that there would be a new addition to our wonderful family. Baby #5 is due at the end of August. This has a big part in why I stopped blogging. The first 3-4 months of the year I was sick and tired, and the rest I have been playing catch up. I’ve not quite caught up yet, but there is always next year to do that. The baby is a boy, by the way, which we are all extremely excited about. The Oldest said, “I have enough sisters.”
And so 2012 has not ended yet, and we have found out of one final transition. A few weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with the big “C” word.
He is absolutely amazing, however, because of his firm faith in the Lord. I find it a little ironic that my last post about his faith in God, and here we are in a time of testing and trust. He is an amazing person who has gone through many trials, and with each one received the prize of greater faith. There is no doubt that this will be another one of those unbelievable moments. The kind that you find yourself at the end of and have nothing to say but “The Lord is good.”
As a testimony to his faith I thought I would include a quote from him. After hearing the news, he replied,
“I do not feel sad or scared or down for I know that I am in the Lord’s hands and He knew all about this from the beginning. I see this as a part of life and I intend to Live it and not run from it or try to escape it. I believe that there is somewhere in it a blessing and I intend to find it. My prayer is that the Lord will find me faithful to stand strong and properly represent Him in this part of my journey through this world. I have much to do yet and I don’t believe my work here is done. Life is for living and way to short so I don’t intend to miss any of it.”
In a way, I find myself right back at 2 Corinthians 4 again. Clinging to the promises and comfort that we are hard-pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, struck down but not destroyed. I can’t lie. I look forward to a year from now when all of this is behind us and we get to look back and see. . .feel . . .and remember how the Lord is good and his love endures forever. The transitions of life are like seasons. They come and go, never slowing down or stopping. I think I have realized is that they are not transitions or seasons, but they are what life is. It is these moments that make us (and show us) who we really are.