It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written. I try to keep my posts upbeat, or at the very least positive in nature and it’s been rather hard the past few weeks. I have found myself missing my Lizy so much that sometimes it’s excruciating and I have to remember to breathe. But, while I miss her, I also find and have joy in my five wonderful, living children and my most amazing husband.
To say life these last two months has been a roller coaster ride is a bit of an understatement. Paul is starting a new job – it’s wonderful, an answer to prayers. He will have better hours, better pay, more vacation, more holidays, better benefits. Such a blessing, and the change will be a good thing, especially for him, helping him to take another step to “moving on”.
I have a new calling at church – I am the Young Women’s president (that means I work with the 12-18 year-old girls at church- planning activities, etc.). While I am a bit overwhelmed, and feel completely inadequate, I love these girls. I can’t help but think, while Heavenly Father had to bring my Lizy home to him, he gave me eleven beautiful young women to watch over in her place. I will be busy, and busy is good.
Lastly, my father, who has been battling brain cancer, passed away this past Friday. I will miss him, I already have been missing him these past few months, but I know he is with Lizy and so many more family members. I smile as I picture the joyous return and reunion he must have had. I am grateful he didn’t suffer longer than he had to. I am grateful family has been able to be there to help him and my mother through this time. And I am so grateful to be going to Oregon for his funeral. It will be the first time in 13 years (do to geographical locations) that all of kids will be together.
It’s hard to describe how I feel about things. So much has been happening, life altering things and I go from being happy one minute to in tears the next. But one thing I do know, and that is that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of what we are going through and showers us with tender loving mercies. I saw a saying recently that I have come to love:
“Sometimes God calms the storm…sometimes God lets the storm rage and calms His child.”
I feel at peace. I feel His love. I know families are eternal and that while the years ahead will be hard without Lizy and my Father, I know I’ll be with them again at length. Some might say life is unfair. That too much has hit our family. I say life isn’t about fair or unfair. It’s a series of challenges that will help us to learn what we need to know and to develop the strength we need to prepare us for the next stage of our eternal existence. Each of us is different, and our challenges and tests are different. Only He knows what we need to reach our full potential. I think often of this quote by C.S. Lewis:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.”
The challenges we are given are uniquely fit for us, and just because ours may be more visible than others, they are no more important than the many trials and challenges faced by others. Heavenly Father will give us all the strength we need to overcome our personal challenges in life, no matter how unbearable they feel. We can learn from them and find beautiful things admist the thorns. Each of us has the potential to become that beautiful palace if we let the Master do His work.
And, even in the dark hours, there are many beautiful things. Today is Paul’s and my anniversary. We have had fourteen wonderful, marvelous years together and look forward to so many more. Paul is my rock, my strength. When I flounder and feel weak, I can lean on him. He loves unconditionally, and is a marvelous father to our amazing children. I love him with all my heart and admire all that he is.
Even in the hard dark moments, I am surrounded by many beautiful things –