I am often asked, "How are you?" If you know me, I am hardly ever at a loss for words. I am a Meador through and through. I am talker. I love to talk & share what's on my heart.
But lately, I've been almost at a lost for words. It is hard to put into words how I am or what I feel. The fact that I can't wrap my head around or form thoughts to convey how I feel is hard. For me anyway.
Normally my response to the question above is "I'm okay. But it's hard, so hard."
The truth is I am okay and I will be okay. Yes this is hard, but I'd be a fool to think I'd walk this earth without hard times.
The hard in life are the places where I find out where my strength comes from. It is the place where He refines. The place where sweet worship takes place. The place where trust builds.
It's during the hard that I've been given the precious gift of praying with and over my mom. To share in the goodness of God. I can chose to look at her frail body and see death or I can look at it and see how much life she's given to all of us. Because it is so much. She is the one who gave me life and poured her life into each of us kids.
Her body represents the sacrifice that Jesus took for us. He died so we could live and live life to the fullest. For her to die, would be to gain in the supernatural. She gains everlasting life in the presence of her Maker. Heaven is what every believer strives for and while I selfishly want her her with us for many more years, I have to trust God's ways are higher and better.
To think God loves my mom more than we do is almost unfathomable. But the reality is He does and my mom was His before she was ours. He graciously lent her to us for the last 56 years and I can't help but me forever grateful for such a gift.
She has given me and my siblings such life. She has raised us into strong, independent individuals. She has loved us so well. She has loved my dad and in return taught us what marriage should look like. She has lifted us up when we were sad, when life was hard, and when we wanted to give up. So to be able to return that to her now really is a treasured gift.
We have been by her bedside since she came home from the hospital on January 7th. The day before when we were told hospice was the only available option left we gathered around mom's bed. All piled in bed with her and she told us it would be hard, the holidays would be the hardest but that we'd get through it and it would get better. She also told us this isn't the end. So like her to speak wisdom to us and assure us that no matter what happens, we'd be okay. So much of who we are is because of her and what a gift she's given us.
When we think of death we often think of sadness and darkness, but really for a believer it means none of those things. Of course, we'll be incredibly sad if she goes but just like the song says, "there's no sorrow that heaven can't heal." And what JOY to know she is in the presence of our God- that is a praise report all in itself!
Jesus already conquered death on the Cross. And there is nothing on this earth that we will walk that we can't overcome with His help.
The hard places is where He meets us. It's where He shines His goodness and mercy on us. It's where we have no choice but to be still and trust.
I only thought I trusted Him with my mom's life...but when you have no other option to hand over your best friend, your person, the one who you call for everything & even just for no reason at all...you learn you really didn't trust Him like you thought you did.
Trust is like a bridge that allows us to cross over into a new place in our relationship with Christ. A place that no matter what we know He will come through. Life is a forward motion of actively believing and trusting. That bridge builds as we continue to trust and move forward regardless of what may be on the other side.
We have no idea what it means to trust Him with everything. I mean everything. The little things sure, but the big things we tend to hold a tight grip on them. I remember when my mom was first diagnosed and she told us, "this is where the rubber meets the road concerning our faith." Boy, was she right!
It's one thing to say it...than actually do it. When standing knee-deep in the hard, we can either allow Him to take over or we can try to do it ourselves. We can let His truth over take us or we can let our circumstances drown us in our despair.
I love how He knows when we need humbling. That He knows us so well and knows what we need in order to keep building that bridge. To fully relish control over to Him.
There really are no words to describe this journey other than hard. And I'm not sure hard at times even does it justice. The emotional roller coaster, the what if's, the unknowns, the doubt, the no sleep, the wondering. It's like a vacuum, life at a stand still.
BUT...there is also such much goodness in the hard. So much!
I've never felt closer to the Lord. I've got to spend the last month with my brothers & sisters under one roof like when we were kids. I've got to hold my mom and tell her all the things I love about her and her the same to me. I've had countless opportunities to pray over her, hold her hand, and just sit and be with her. And she has cracked us up time & time again with her jokes. We never knew she was so funny! I've seen neighbors offer such kindness by bringing by food. Family & friends come to offer love to my mom. My friends have loved me so well from afar & I know when I return home, they will continue to be there for me. I learned just how amazing of a husband I have and just how much he'd move heaven & earth to make me happy.
I've learned that in the hard is where the good lies. While I'd never wish this upon anyone, I am very grateful for the way it has changed and challenged me. And the way God will continue to change me and use this hard place for His glory. I feel honored He'd use my mom and family in such a way. We've grown closer to each other & grown in our faith. We've spent time reading Mark out loud with mom, reading scriptures together, praying over mom together, and as our close family friend told me what she sees here with us & my mom is something so beautiful.
I know there is purpose in all of this and I don't want to waste it with what ifs, doubts, and wondering. If I say He is King over all then I have to believe and trust that even THIS - is for good.
And that He is good.
If there is where He wants me to be, then this is where I'll be. Fully trusting.
Whether I sink or swim it makes no difference...when I'm beautifully in over my head.
When we are forced into the hard places, we have no choice but to let go and let Him. We have no choice in the outcome or how it happens. But we do have the choice to trust Him...I'm talking about fully trust Him. To be the bridge maker.
I know He is good and that this hard place won't last forever. I'm sure I'll look back on this time and want this time back so while it is hard...I want to be fully here. Present in the hard. In the now. Fully trusting.
Knowing that the hard is where heaven meets the earth for me and that no matter the outcome...I'll be okay. We'll be okay. And actually better than before because of it because that's just the kind of God we serve.