Pain has a way of shifting our perspective.
A once great tasting meal transitions into a bite that you can taste.
A cool breeze is suddenly noticed.
The endurance to take a walk becomes a great feat for the day.
It’s odd how quickly life can change.
One minute we’re working and striving so hard we can’t see straight when suddenly we’re practicing a new rhythm of rest.
This past week has been an incline in our climb out of this valley as I’ve been fighting my own sickness one that visits me when my body gets worn down and weary.
Because the truth is sometimes our bodies break down and require some love of their own…
And in these times I want so badly to go back a few days and change my pace and breathe a little more through the hard anything that would change the course of having to go through something else that’s hard.
But I believe it’s in these moments we see the blessings and lessons God has gathered up for years get scattered more generously over us.
And this is the miraculous connection that occurs with us and God that somehow changes what at first feels overwhelming and sad into something indescribably beautiful.
When Joe got his diagnosis and we started lining up family and friends to help him with preaching he asked if he could try and speak on Easter, his Drs felt that was a doable request and approved it.
So when we found out that would also be his first week of chemo we leaned into God and asked him for what he would be needing.
And our staff and church were so sweet to pray alongside of us and encourage throughout the journey to get there.
It felt like he was going to be able to do it even as he struggled to have the strength and mental capacity to type out the words God was laying on his heart but he continued trusting that God would give him what he needed.
So Saturday night when he couldn’t sleep due to a great deal of pain that begun a new fight as well as the nausea, I wondered how he’d get through it.
But we knew we had been fighting this battle with prayer and worship,
so we prayed through the wee hours of the night and into the morning, trusting God to do his mighty work.
And even the steps to and from the stage the next morning were difficult ones that made us rely on the help of God alone to get him through…and you know what happened
-God was so gracious to provide.
He not only allowed Joe to preach but he showed up in so many ways that morning.
God continues teaching me so much…
How I want to be that person who reminds others that getting through a struggle might come with some wounds but the blessings will always outweigh them.
I want to be that person who encourages others to keep going, to push through the uncomfortable, the silence and the difficult because what you will find on the other side is always better than what you’ve ever had before.
I want to be that person that leads others to lay their worries aside and chooses worship every time because when our eyes are on God they don’t see what’s overwhelming and sad beside us.
I want to be that person because I think there’s too much silence spoken in our hard and holy times that we forget it is possible…
As a sweet little boy wrote to Joe in a card…
‘It might get way better.’
There’s so much truth in that seemingly simple statement, isn’t there?
Because sometimes you need those words to remind you there is better days than the ones you’re in.
I know this because I’ve been there this week.
Because I’ve been the one who’s laid flat out on the floor of my closet crying and telling God how much I longed to have my parents still around to talk through these hard moments and how I deeply ached to hear for their strong words of faith spilled over me even one more time.
I’m the one who’s cried over feelings of ‘not enough’ this week and the one doing more falling than walking lately.
Yet, I’m also the one who’s been reminding herself that God makes all things new…
even the likes of us!
I’ve had to see what happens when one sits too long in that place of pain and how it only leads to heart full of despair.
And if I want to continue in the fulfilling life God has for me I need to change my perspective and really see the beauty God has so graciously been scattering for me…
Like the cooler full of food delivered to our porch to feed our weary souls.
Or the text that lit up my phone early one morning as I was wrestling out demons with God…it beautifully read,
‘Cinnamon rolls are on your porch.’
(Because I truly believe food is a spiritual gift!)
Or my two friends who so graciously came and cleaned my house today.
Or the countless gifts we’ve been given that have been purposefully and personally handcrafted reminding us to trade in our worries for worship and
‘It might get way better’
You see life is hard and everywhere we turn can be something harder to face but it’s not what happens in life but what we do through it
-that really matters.
The truth is sometimes I’m utterly overwhelmed by God’s redeeming grace that he graciously rains down on us.
This pull towards what is beautiful which surrounds us,
the kindness that emerges,
the compassion that reaches out
are all reminders for us to shift our focus toward God.
Friend there is hope which searches for beauty in the cracks of what is so hard,
that chooses to find blessings and call them by name…
because finding God in the places we visit allows us to know just how much God really desires to be found and to be seen.
So for now I’m doing just that,
I’m seeing him in the the seemingly insignificant as well as the big that lays in our steps and somehow
-I’m feeling God and experiencing the simply beautiful piece of him that lives inside of me.