Good morning, my dear ones,
It has been several months since I last sat at my computer to write to you. My messages have always been entitled Joy in the Morning as inspired by God many decades ago. And if you are one of my followers, you know I always try to keep it real, telling stories and trying to help you find inspiration and encouragement to experience joy in your life.
As such, I am sharing my very personal struggle to find glimpses of light in my season of sorrow. I have had three different types of cancer in the last two years, two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation and continue on meds. Jim was my rock as he always has been. I could not have traveled on this journey without his support. He was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and a bacterial infection in his lungs about the same time so we were both fighting serious illnesses. And just when we both appeared to be recovering and gaining strength, Jim’s body could take no more treatment and within two weeks, he was gone. Oh, God, help me continue to write. It’s so painful to share but if it helps one person to know that they are not suffering alone and that God has not abandoned them and is, in fact, very near holding you tenderly in his arms, I’ll continue on with my story.
Losing my dear Jim, my partner of 56 years, well, the pain is excruciating. I struggle to be functional. I also understood that I desperately needed help to begin healing. Grief is not a problem to be fixed, but a journey one has to travel step by stumbling step for the rest of life. I knew I needed guidance so I found, with I am sure God’s help, a grief counselor who spent most of his career helping cancer patients and their families. What an amazing fit! I joined a weekly support group. I bought recommended books and a study guide and began the hard work of facing my uncertain future. I would be remiss if I did not mention my close friends who provided little glimpses of sunlight by carefully and lovingly listening and not judging. My oldest son and his wife put their house on the market and moved in with every animal in Noah’s ark. Just kidding, it only seems like it, but activity and bustle have returned to this so silent house. My youngest keeps me busy with lunches, dinners, and outlet shopping. In these ways, God has blessed me and I am grateful.
My faith in a good God has not wavered. In fact, I am so comforted by Jesus’ words, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). My Jim has a new healthy spiritual body, have no idea what that looks like, but I believe. The Holy Spirit is my comforter reminding me of God’s promises.
This weeping season is a daily struggle even with all the amazing support. My message to you is: Whatever you are currently going through, you are not alone. I could not pretend that I was okay. As difficult as it may be, be real. Christians suffer greatly on this earthly journey. Don’t walk alone. Reach out for help. Please don’t give up. Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation. . .” (John 16:33). The “be of good cheer” part reminds us to look for glimpses of sunlight, to seek The Light. Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Prayer: Lord, in this season of darkness, help us, your children, embrace you as our Loving Father trusting in your protection and guidance. Be the lifter of our heads. Amen and amen.
Your, keeping it real, friend,