When you can find joy…

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Part of the crew while we waited
for the nurses to change my mom’s IV

Well, it’s not been for lack of content that I haven’t written. Trust me. It’s because life has been replete with content that finding a moment to reflect has escaped me. My mom is being transferred to an assisted care facility tomorrow after quite a time in the hospital. So much to process and I believe it’s worthy of sharing but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. This I know for sure, our journey is one you shouldn’t do without Jesus. 

Sometimes we make a mess of things
and only God can make something good come out of it.

Strange as it seems, there has been joy. Not a synthetic eudaimonia either. The circumstances surrounding my mom’s long recovery and complications aren’t particularly pleasant. Had someone told me I would be laughing and silly with all the mess going on, I would have been incredulous. My family has been united. We have loved my mom and each other with honesty and courage. Whether it’s the orange hair freckle face OS’s tender cards of encouragement for his grandma or the middle OS trekking to faithfully see her; manifold blessings bloom in the spring air. Aaron has pastoral aspirations and I have witnessed the gifting the Lord has placed on his life as he visits my mom with his ukulele or guitar and always his Bible close at hand. He even went to another woman’s hospital room (the grandma of one of his friends) and ministered to her aching soul. The Hubs has been my hero. My baby sister who lives nearby has been strong and hilarious showing power when I had none. Extended family has rallied behind us. Really, friends, don’t do this journey if you can avoid it (and really don’t do it without Jesus, seriously). I still remain thankful despite the fact that my mom isn’t doing back-springs and cartwheels out of the hospital. Ok, that’s a funny word picture. So as I was sitting in church on Sunday, tears streaming from my eyes, anxiety looming, heart breaking; there was still an undercurrent of contentment. How could that be?

Message from a freckle face,
orange hair OS to his grandma

One of the women in church was praying out loud. Reject any notion that might pop into your head of a person in a trance or losing her mind. Even if you aren’t a church-going person, my hunch is you wouldn’t have been creeped out. Sincerity flowed from her lips and I loved her prayer because she quoted Old Testament Scripture.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
Hearing those timeless words was a balm to my spirit. Lacking a prophet’s eloquence and wisdom, my own Habakkuk prayer would go something like this…  
Make a joyful noise my sweet and precious child
Though the circumstances of my mom’s struggles are yucky; though I am not in control of all the variables; though I am sad and tired; though I would like to not know so many nurses; though my car instinctively knows how to get to the hospital, though I had text-finger (which by the way, is painful) because of my nearly constant communication with others; though my mom really needs to find more motivation and umph; yea though there is still laundry and meals, yet I will rejoice in God my Savior. What choice do I have? My arthritic knee creaks and bends in humble praise of the One who can do immeasurably more than I could ever expect or imagine. Amen
My writer friend, the recently published, soon to be immensely famous Cara McLaughlin recently shared, “believing is the hardest part but it’s also the best part.”
Today I’m embracing the believing part of this journey satisfied with what God is doing even if it’s not as I imagined it. More soon…
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