The worst is different things to different people. It’s the loss of a child, a spouse, a best friend, a job, physical ability…you name it. We hold some things sacred and we protect them to the best of our abilities, trying to cherish them and control the outcomes around them. That is my biggest weakness. Control. I worry and fret about things that I can’t control.
Yesterday I had physical therapy and as I came out of the restroom, I ran into a man who has become a friend. He and his wife Anne have kept me company many times during pt and their loving and playful jeering of each other, their humor, and genuine love for each other just shine. They talk about their adventures and their kids. They have asked about me and prayed for me and cheered me on through the last few years. I have stood outside physical therapy chatting with Anne, long enough to make me late for my appointment and after therapy, long after my appointment is over. She told me what grabber to invest in for my back and she always brightened my day. I saw them about a month ago and talked to her in the parking lot. I remember her smile as I waved bye.
As I came out of the restroom yesterday and ran into Bill, he opened his arms up wide for a hug and I gladly accepted it. He said “Hey sweetie, how are you?” I told him I was pretty good. I asked how he was and his face smiled painfully. He stuck out his chin and could barely get out the words, “My wife died…” I reacted so stupidly. I didn’t mean too. It just took my breath away. I gasped and put my hand over my heart and groaned. “Ohhhh Bill…I am so sorry. I can’t believe it. Anne…ahhhh…(I could barely think.) “What happened?” He said, “She had surgery and got an infection and she passed away.” Then as I stood stunned. This broken hearted beautiful soul of this man, teared up and as he said with a huge breath in, “I’m here to be babied.” With that he walked toward Jeff, my brother from another mother and also my physical therapist.
I left the clinic just in time to fall apart in the parking lot. I couldn’t believe she was gone. I can still hear her laugh in my head. I cried all the way home. Some for me and for the shock, and that I will really miss this beautiful soul. But mainly I cried for Bill. His best friend, his life adventure buddy, his love…has gone on and he is still stuck here. I could almost feel his broken heart and how he could barely breathe the words out. I wish I could rescue him from this. This huge trial has just split his world. I can’t rescue him I can only pray him through it. This is often all we can do. That, and be there. Be there when they need to talk and even be there when they don’t.
I know they believe in God and that gives me peace. I also know that God still has a plan for Bill if he is still alive. We go on. Somehow we go on, even through the worst.
Faith. Faith is the driving force to go on and faith is a belief that this isn’t all for nothing. Faith is believing that God somehow works a plan for our soul’s good, even in the hardest of trials and the lowest of rock bottoms. Faith means nothing, if we lose it during the times that test it the most.
For nearly 7 years, I’ve gone through some horrific physical trials. I’ve had 20 surgeries as my joints and spine fell apart and a few unruly internal organs revolted. I’ve had moments I could only hobble a few steps and 9 weeks after a dislocated jaw when I couldn’t talk of eat any solid foods. I’ve questioned a piece of my identity through the transition of becoming handicapped, and I have begged God for night after night for years…to fix it. I am doing so much better, but that just recently has begun. This faith trial has sought to suck my faith out and extinguish it. God won’t allow that to my destruction for as long as I fight to preserve this faith. I am still fighting for faith every day, but I have many many miracles and blessings to reflect on and it helps a whole lot.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The substance of things hoped for. Substance is proof. Don’t we want something of substance? Proof and Evidence of things not seen. Evidence is proof of things we can’t see. The substance of things hoped for. That is what gets us through these dark times. The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen…is our testimonies.
Anyone can have faith until they face a failure, a challenge, or a heartbreak. That is easy. You can have faith in your home team until they lose game after game. It’s faith that is truly decided here. These are the moments, you really learn if you have faith. Faithful Cubs fans, who stuck through seasons of loss, but then witnessed them winning the world series…reaped reward for their faith and investment in this team. This life is a world series. We have faith as we deal with loss and frustrations and heartbreaks…that at the end of this…there is a huge win. The very HUGEST of wins. The last win that ever needs to be won. This faith is worth it. This faith has to be proved and we prove it in the hardest of times, even the worst times. Keep marching on. Keep your eye on the prize.