Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Last Wednesday night, I sat in our car and held my not so baby girl as she wept on my shoulder.
What had started out as a fun ride home from skating practice turned into a melt-down of epic proportions by the time we pulled into our home.
All the pressures of the past few months were finally catching up with her and even her way more mature than almost 16 composure couldn't hold back the tsunami that crashed in on her that night.
You see, my Mother is dying.
Her Grandmother is dying.
She has Leukemia. And Congestive Heart Failure. And Diabetes. And a host of other issues, but it hit our family in the face like a harsh Winter wind earlier this year. Now, as we face the end, my girl is learning just how much life can hurt. It's not easy having to draw on adult emotions that at almost 16 are so difficult to understand.
And my precious girl is a 'stuffer'.
Of the true Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll think about that tomorrow" breed.
She pushes any negative, any stress down deep in her soul to deal with 'later'.
Then tomorrow becomes tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, until it all catches up with her, in an explosion that Mt. Vesuvius could envy.
Sometimes horrible grief, in great gasping sobs that take her so by surprise that she cries all the harder because of them.
All I can do is just hold her tight and love her and let the storm pass.
Last Wednesday night, my Mom's illness hit close to home for her as we were talking with excitement about her upcoming Homecoming Dance and her special date.
In an awful window of reality, she's realized that Mom most likely will not be around to see her in her prom dress, pass her Senior Moves test, or graduate high-school or college. She will not witness her wedding day, will not hold her babies and love them the way she loves my girl. And she will miss all the little moments of her life that mean so much to her.
What hurts me the most is that all I can do is just hold her and let her cry it out.
I have no answers for her. No words of wisdom that can make this better.
Because it's the truth.
Some people say they wish they knew the future, but I disagree.
It's times like this when we can mentally fast forward to events that are likely part of the plan for our lives and see the missing pieces, that I'm sure I don't want more of a birds-eye view of tomorrow.
What's known always hurts more than the unknown.
With one bright exception.
The one thing we do have to hold on to when life hurts us so bad is the bedrock of our faith in Jesus Christ and the future glory we have to look forward to.
Romans 5:1-5 says this:
"Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith,
we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege
where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials,
for we know that they help us develop endurance.
And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us,
because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
God's word is so full of amazing promises, but none so rich as these which promise that even in our trials, we have hope.
A confident hope.
A hope that will not lead to disappointment.
Because in Christ, we are sure that our tomorrow has been claimed for us.
Bought by Him with the price of His life in exchange for ours.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
- Romans 5:8
He sent His only son to die to claim the future that we can't earn on our own.
So even though I have nothing but a Mother's love to offer my daughter, the One who loves her more than I ever could hope or imagine offers her everything.
The knowledge that even though the hours lost here on earth will hurt her deeply, that pain is nothing in comparison to the beautiful eternity she is promised with Christ Jesus and her loved ones who go before her.
That's the tomorrow that I long for.
With a Courageous Heart,