When hardships become grace.

Today when we finished a late breakfast I went in to use the restroom and found myself evaluating the state of the wheelchair accessible stall. It was actually quite impressive. Then I realized how gracious the Lord was to allow us to experience so much more.

We didn’t just experience the ” cancer battle”. Because Alan’s battle was with glioblastoma, brain cancer our experience was quite diverse.  We walked through dementia symptoms ( memory , reasoning and mood changes) as well as loss of mobility requiring the use of a wheelchair. We had good days and bad days. This is the part of our journey that is the most difficult to share. But it is my desire that the Lord use all of it to be glorified, so we might be encouraged that in the most difficult trials of our lives we are comforted that we are NOT alone. Even more that as we  press in to the Father in the hard we  begin to see his Hand even more.
As I was examining the impressive bathroom, this is the thought that came to my mind, “This is what it looks like to be cared for by the King. ” Does that sound crazy? It isn’t. We serve a mighty and loving Father! Our Savior wept when he heard that Lazarus had died even though he knew he would raise him from the dead. This personal story of our Savior and the loss of his dear friend  has been so comforting to me this past week. Realizing that my Savior is Sovereign and yet fully cares that we are human and ” feel” all the feelings! He works ALL things for our good. In his graciousness he allows us to experience things that later help us to empathize with others or even serve them better.  He has allowed my children and I to experience the ” hard”, AND the beautiful! I say AND because in the “hard” the beautiful also exists. They are not mutually exclusive.
There is a laying down that occurs. We begin to see the world with new eyes. Our hopes, dreams and even priorities change.  You begin to examine the people around you and wonder at each story behind their eyes.  You start to hear the Father’s heart for them and hunger to have them KNOW Him! He makes all things new! To be honest, today was one of my ” hard days”.  I woke up around 4:30 a.m. from a disturbing dream and couldn’t sleep. I missed Alan multiple times today. I miss him all the time ,and at moments, even more deeply. Today was that kind of day… And I laughed with Ava, saw a beautiful sunrise and sunset, cried, prayed, ate gelato, paid a bill  walked the beach with my children and just lived!  Life is hard AND beautiful! While these experiences have been so hard and I  constantly,  prayerfully consider even sharing them, I believe that it is important to be able to fully recognize the depths of ” hard” so that we might see the fullness of the 
” beautiful.”
The Holy Spirit allowed me to see this morning that he has given us the gift of experiencing  so that we might identify with others, comfort them, and remind them and ourselves of God’s great faithfulness through it all. We don’t LIKE to be weak. And yet…  it is only when we are, that He is SO mighty!

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