Strength in Trials

It’s been a long time since I ruminated on this site so let me catch you up.

In July, after many months of surgeries and hospital stays my mother passed away. The same week as my youngest son’s wedding. Yes, it was a roller coaster of emotions. I woke up at 4 am the morning of the wedding and just sobbed because, she should’ve been there. She would have loved it and her face would have been beaming as she watched our youngest marry his junior high/high school sweetheart.

Six weeks later I got the phone call that my dad was in the emergency room with what would turn out to be COVID, one week before a scheduled heart surgery. Oh, and my sister, Rhonda, was in another emergency room with what would be eventually diagnosed, with much trial and error, a burst appendix. That turned into another wild six weeks as Rhonda almost died twice not only riding in an ambulance once but was life flighted in a helicopter a week and a half later. All due to her burst appendix not being diagnosed for 10 days.

During this time, Dad was ambulanced to the hospital where his cardiologist was and could keep an eye on him. He did a week in the hospital, another week in a swing bed facility closer to home and then two weeks (?) later, had his aortic valve replaced. He spent some time in the hospital and then a nursing home to fully recover from the surgery, COVID and the vertebrae he had cracked between the two major events. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

That takes us up to November where I started a new job! Why at this time? The opportunity arose in a nearby community for me to move to a supervisory position in their library. Being a big library, it is a promotion even if the title seems like I downgraded. It also came with a big pay raise and less stress/responsibility.

The holidays were rough for all as they were our first without Mom. Philip’s mom, who has been having her own struggles with cancer the past two years was also not doing well.

In January we received some distressing news about our dad that I’m not free to share here which has led to many phone calls, interventions, and trips back to my hometown. At the end of the month, Philip’s mother also passed.

So, here we are. Whew! Today’s sermon was on how God strengthens us. Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. He is always there and strengthens us from His vast strength when we call on Him and trust Him to do so. I could feel that over these past few months. I felt the sustaining prayers of fellow saints as we traveled the week of Mom’s death and Ben’s wedding. Those prayers and texts of encouragement at just the right times strengthened us. When we could not do it in our own strength, God strengthened us. I know that is the only reason we have made it through these past several months.

It doesn’t mean we haven’t struggled. Recently, I could tell I was depleted. There were no more reserves left to tap. Walking another loved one through the valley of the shadow of death was the final thing. I could do no more. My counselor told me I needed sleep. Sleep is how our body heals. Including our brain which is affected when we go through so much trauma. God created our bodies to work with a balance of rest and work which I have not been getting.

So I’ve been sleeping. Going to bed earlier, skipping workouts so I can sleep later. Doing the bare minimum in housekeeping and cooking. Anything to let my body and mind rest and heal. This is also strength. To trust people God puts in your life for wise counsel. To trust that my house can be a little messy. That I don’t need gourmet meals on the table every night. Sometimes we just need to survive. We’ll do that with God’s strength too.

Have you accepted God’s free gift of salvation? Do you rely on His strength daily? Do you have questions about how to do this? Message me and I’ll point you to some good resources.

Dillon Lake, Colorado

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