|Photo courtesy of Melodi2 at morguefile.com|
The full heat of the Arizona summer is upon us, so working outdoors is out of question. Even working inside can be hard as the room we're currently hitting has no heat or cooling. Ugh. So work on our house has slowed to a crawl. At least it's still easing forward, even if very slowly.
I've been too distracted to write lately. Through the first week of June, I haven't had much success sitting down to edit either. Even as I'm preparing for the release of my third book, I can't seem to maintain my momentum. I'm spending a lot of time in prayer and contemplation instead, as well as seeking the stillness of mind that comes with crocheting (working on a couple of large projects). Sometimes I escape into old TV show re-runs on Netflix, something I can do while crocheting.
With many of life's difficulties, I find writing to be a good escape, or therapy to work through the emotional struggles that come with so many situations. But this time, one of my aunts lies dying in hospice from metastatic cancer. I've waited to receive the call any moment of each day for the last several days to tell me that she's gone. Still I wait, and she continues to slip away in painful fashion.
None of this is unexpected, but that doesn't make the reality any less difficult in some ways. I pray for the Lord to show mercy and take her quickly to end the suffering. I pray for her children and grandchildren to be ready in their hearts for her inevitable death. Some of them are believers, some aren't. I pray for my grandmother as she watches one of her children die. She's already lost two children, as well as a grandchild. Now she's losing a third. It's taken a toll.
In the last few days, I've also dealt with the loss of a beloved pet. Salt in an already raw wound of sorrow.
Life gets interrupted. By life. It really is that simple. I take comfort in knowing none of it catches God by surprise, even on the occasions it totally blindsides us. He saw it all coming. He knew the pain I and others would feel. He prepared our hearts to reach this moment in time. I wrap myself in the knowledge that He promises comfort to those who mourn (Matt. 5:4), so there's no shame in grieving the losses that come with life in a fallen, sinful world.
And as always, life will go on. Time doesn't stop under the weight of loss. It marches step-by-step ever forward. And thus it will do until God brings an end to this world and all its sufferings. Times like now, I crave that time. No more illness. No more death. No more sorrow.
And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death; here shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. - Rev. 21:4But that time is not here yet. So I keep moving forward with life, walking the path God has laid before me (or at least trying to), performing the tasks He has for me, giving thanks for His loving, faithful presence through all of life's difficulties.
Lord, help me hold to the narrow way and perform the tasks You've assigned to me. Help me hold true to You, no matter what. Amen.