I have been reminiscing to my youth this past week. It started when I was helping my dad move some boxes around and came across a few pictures from my childhood. Then my Aunt Sarah was sharing her memories of one of my (now) favorite places of peace. There are many life events that have brought me to the place that I am now. Some are memories filled with laughter, some tears, and others are filled with fear.
Do you ever hit a moment in your life where it seems as though you will never get through the trial? How do you make it through? What motivates a person to keep persisting through each moment of the day that seems endless? There are days when I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and then there are those days that I do not even want to lift the covers for fear of what the day will entail.
My mother was very ill as I grew up. She had terminal brain cancer. It was spread like a cobweb throughout her brain stem. The doctors gave her a death sentence of 6 months. If she was “lucky”, she would be alive but bedridden. When I heard this as a child I felt as though my life was over. Much like now I could not imagine the next year, much less the future. This is where the fear began to strike my heart.
I recall coming home from school and the first thing I would do is run up the driveway to find my mom. I wanted to find her not to tell her how my day was, but to make sure she was alive and well. In those days, I never imagined making it through a year of school much less making it through to graduation. My fear did come to pass one night when my mom went to be with Jesus. She passed away just a day before my high school graduation.
Then again I felt it, the fear of a new kind. Fear that I would not make it through her services, fear that I would not make it through graduation, fear that my life was over because I lost my mom and my hero. I had made her my reason for living. I had lost the person on earth that meant the most to me. The person that loved on me, rubbed my back to sleep, sheltered me, encouraged me, and laughed through her pain with me. How did I make it through ten years of this?
Although she did not opt for treatment, she LIVED ten years! If you had met my mom on the street you would not have any idea of how the cancer was swarming through her brain. My mom did not complain. It was rare that she would even share with us that she was in pain. She wanted to LIVE life abundantly. Instead of being consumed with her illness she opened up her heart to those around her. Am I living life abundantly? Do I love those that need love or am I becoming consumed with the day to day trials of TBI?
That is when it started to make sense to me. God is using all of these circumstances in my life to mold me and make me stronger. I needed to go back to the beginning. That was no coincidence. God had a plan in me seeing those pictures and revisiting the place of my youth. He knew I needed a refresher of sorts. I needed to recall what I have made it through because of His love for me. I need to LIVE as my mom lived and give GLORY TO GOD for what He has seen me through! Most of all I need to love those around me and be an encourager to others facing their fears! There is so much more I want to write, but that will have to wait for another day.