But crazily enough, sometimes life gets so bad, so traumatic, so painful that the only thing you can do is either give up or, like the song says, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. ("Pick Yourself Up" by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.)
My father went from mild dementia to late stages of Alzheimer's in the blink of an eye.
The last two years have been difficult for me for many reasons. But if you're a believer, you can see God's goodness in it all. The little signs He sends to comfort you. The people who go out of their way to be kind just when you need it the most. There have been so many upsides in every downside.
I was raised in faith. It's a blessing to be able to talk about God with my family. We live in such a broken, decayed world, and I don't question why my wonderful, smart, kind dad has this disease. I know he still believes. I know he's going to heaven. And I know that God is with him every second of every day.
So many times I've doubted my calling, my decisions about pursuing writing as a career. But those doubts have never been from God. They've been from my own feeling of inadequacy, my impatience, my desire to contribute to our family's income, my deflated pride.
God's strength IS made perfect in weakness. I'm still excited to write. I'm still thrilled to spend time with my dad.
Last week I had a good day. Then a series of ridiculousness bombarded me, starting with a call from the high school's trainer, moving to a flat tire, and ending with feeling like a moron at a mandatory high school meeting. And you know what? I laughed. It didn't seem so bad. That's what God can do. He can take the weight of life and fill you with peace that surpasses all understanding. By the way, Peace is my word for 2014. God is faithful.
Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Next time you're overwhelmed, pray for God's peace. It really does transcend all understanding.
Thank you so much for all the kind words and support.