In the summer of 2018, I was reading a great book by Graham Cooke, “Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior.” Kicked. My. Butt. Ouch! I was also listening to a lot of Graham’s teachings. Somewhere in there I heard him say, “when you find yourself in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death, this is not the time for a pity party. Instead, keep walking, one foot in front of the other, until you walk out the other end.” I grabbed onto that saying like my life depended on it.
The past year has consisted of all things parental. My parents are aging and an accident last summer for my mom, changed all our lives. We moved them to our town. Not easy. We sold their house. Not fun. We’ve attempted to encourage them as they came to grips with leaving their independent life behind and learned to depend on us. Again, not easy.
A year has passed. I love having my parents nearby. Prior to this, I spent 40+ years away from my childhood home and family. I am now here to help; to transport, make appointments, oversee their health issues, take care of their finances, and attempt to soothe them in times of turmoil at all these changes. I’ve realized that losing one’s independence is like nothing else in our lives. Hard. Humiliating. All encompassing. Nothing is as it was. Nothing.
If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been writing, this is it. I’ve experienced doubt, angst, joy, sorrow, love, and countless other emotions over this past year. I’ve felt extreme highs…and sorrowful lows, at having my parents here, in an assisted living facility, ten minutes from our home. And for all my own feelings, my parents’ have had a bucket load of their own. Some days I am their comforter. Some days I’m their demon, forcing them to face things and decisions they’d much rather avoid. It has felt like a hurricane has blown through our lives, leaving chaos and disorder in its wake.
The Lord recently reminded me that writing has always been my comfort. From my days as a young girl forward, I’ve always written. Mostly about my feelings. I’ve come to realize that all those days spent spilling my feelings onto a page were in fact a healthy release of frustrations and doubts, helping me cope with the long, dusty roads of my past.
My heart is hoping for some time to spend writing again. Soon. I’m reminded of a verse in Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NASB77). “I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said, ” Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
The vision is for a time, not yet come, but it will not fail. God has not forsaken you or me. His Word of life will not fail. Do you find yourself, like me, on a long, dusty road of life? Are you making your way through hurricane debris? Please be encouraged. God is here, right now, right next to us. Do not succumb to the “pity parties” the enemy intends to swamp us with. Instead, keep walking. One. Step. At. A. Time. One day, in the not so distant future, you will see the dawning of a new day. O glorious day, when we realize we’ve walked out of the valley and into His glorious Light!
Travel mercies my friends. The “more” of God is waiting to unfold. Ask Him to revive your weary soul. And don’t forget to look up! He’s still smiling down on us all.