Friday, November 30, 2007

Ruminations and Reflections

I received the following in a note from a friend this morning:
"Four weeks ago, you and your family were thrust into a new and unexpected course, and today, David is home. Hope you both will be able to reflect on that wonder today, and look ahead to more expectations of recovery."
Yes, I have been doing some reflecting today. It seems like a century ago that Jacob was waking me up saying, "Mommy, Daddy fell down and he can't get up," but it has been exactly four weeks to the day. We have come so far.

It's unfortunate that it can often take something like this to jar us out of our routine and to cause us to look at the bigger picture.

I've been thinking a lot about TIME, what it is, how it works, how it feels.

I think earlier in life I would have wished to be able to see what was ahead. As a 42-year old with some life experience, I'm very glad we can't see the future. I'm thankful that God gives us our lives second by second, and that as things happen, things we would never have thought we could handle, God gives us the grace in that moment to deal with it.

Throughout this experience I can't help but think back to our wedding day, and not for reasons you might expect. What my mind keeps going back to is David's dad (who performed the ceremony) - how he was somewhat taken aback by our choice of scripture for the message. I remember him expressing during the ceremony itself how surprised he had been by our choice and what a challenge it had been to come up with a wedding message to go with that scripture.

Our passage was Psalm 34:1-10.

I guess he was surprised both because it was not a "traditional" wedding text, but also because although it contains a lot of joy, those verses also contain a lot of pain and struggle - a seemingly strange thing to be talking about on a wedding day. What Dad ended up doing was to weave that passage with John Bunyan's story Pilgrim's Progress and to talk about what a journey life is - a journey composed of many elements, some easy, some hard, some joyful, some painful, some clear, some confusing. He ended by admonishing us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good," that with God we would make the journey well, and that "happy is the 'couple' that takes their refuge in Him."

During this experience particularly, even 20 years after that message was given, it has come to mind for me and for David, and we have commented on how particularly appropriate that passage has been to our life together.

All lives have ups and downs, and we've certainly had ours - on the down side my four year struggle with deep depression, losing two babies to miscarriage, diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, David's stroke and issues with his heart - on the up side (so much that I can't list it!) loving friends and family, 3 WONDERFUL boys, jobs that not only provide financially but are also sources of joy and pleasure to both of us, opportunity to travel, twenty years of happy marriage, ETC!

Our lives are so rich! We have so much to be thankful for, especially for our faithful God who has made the journey with us in the good times and in the bad, who has been our refuge, and who so wisely gives us our lives, not all at once, but moment by moment and who gives the grace for each moment.

David and I had no idea what lay ahead when we chose that scripture as our wedding text. We just thought it sounded nice, that's all. But God knew.

Those are my thoughts today in this time of reflection when, because of current circumstances, our vision seems broader and life as a whole seems spread out before our eyes in a way that it typically is not.

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