I realized that I haven’t really blogged since April. There’s a reason: my mom died (funeral number one), then I had to lay off some of my good friends the week after her funeral (felt like funeral number two), our now son-in-law went into the hospital for bile duct/gall bladder surgery, my daughter graduated from Baylor (celebrated and moved her), my son graduated from high school (with honors—yeah!), Kathy’s dad died (funeral number three), my daughter got married (a glorious wedding celebration—awesome!), and then my mom’s sister died (funeral four)—literally four funerals and a wedding (and two graduations, two moves, 3 cases of identity theft we discovered, and many more highs and lows than I feel like listing)—all since I last blogged.
So I think I’m just going to ramble a little about life and my observations. I’m actually doing really well in my soul right now—which is a little surprising, even to me! I’ve been living what I previously blogged about, which is practicing Jesus’ unburdened way. I’ve cried tears of grief and tears of joy, and both are important for our souls to stay healthy. At the same time, I’m praising God and staying connected to Him moment by moment, and He’s keeping me in a good place in my spirit through it all.
It’s All a Test – that’s not new to me, but it feels much more compressed right now. Life is full of highs and lows, but love remains—it’s the lesson through it all. It’s the eternal scoreboard we need to keep our eyes on when it feels like we’re losing (even more when winning) in the game of life. I long ago let go of the myth that my plans and my ways are the point of life. I’ve realized that God in His sovereignty allows a world of disruption to our plans, so that we won’t think our plans are the point (and we will if left to ourselves for 5 minutes).
God is the point, and His love is what remains and counts through the highs and lows. “Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer,” Jesus said in Revelation 2, “the devil will throw some of you in prison to test you…but if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” My prayer has been, “Help me be faithful to You through this, Lord. Help me demonstrate the fruit of Your Spirit to the people around me as we go through this sadness, or this celebration. Help me take life, not as I would have it, but as it comes to me—being faithful to love You by doing Your will.” Sometimes I’ve failed at living that way and the circumstances got the best of me, but mostly, I’ve found that this constant prayer of surrender and faithfulness is really helpful.
In the midst of the trials, I enjoyed and celebrated. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). I celebrated the moments of my kids’ graduations with gratitude to God for what a gift they are to me—both my kids. My daughter’s wedding felt like a taste of Heaven. My heart felt full of life and love and joy and such great gratitude to God—for my beautiful daughter (as beautiful inside as out), and for all our prayers for her being answered. She loves God, she loves her family, and she’s found the man I’ve prayed for since she was a baby—God is SO faithful and good (when we clearly see it like this, but even when we don’t see yet—we will!). So we can give thanks in everything because in Christ all things will work out in the end.