I’m struggling to write this post. There’s a battle going on inside me. To write of loss, of struggle, of hardship, of pain, of grief, of despair. Or to write of peace, of faithfulness, of provision, of joy, of growth, of praise. I suppose to appreciate the second list you must first acknowledge that the first is also very real, and very much in existence.
Because I have lost, I have known comfort.
Because I have struggled, I have found true strength
Because I have known hardships, I have seen provision.
Because I have felt pain, I have also tasted restoration and healing.
Because I have grieved, I appreciate joy and have learnt how to choose it.
Because I have been in despair, I know the wonder and amazement of new hope.
A year ago today this bout of illness began. I had no idea then how serious it was, how far it would go, how long it would endure, nor the journey it would take me on. I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year, though the days and the months have dragged, although I have been lost in it all, the year has flown by. And oh, what a journey it has been. What I have learnt, and experienced; how I have grown, and changed; and the things I now know because of it.
I never would have planned my past year. I don’t believe anyone in their right mind would have planned such a year. And although I feel writing about the pain, the struggle, the grief, the tough times would be more captivating; the truth is all that pales in comparison to the comfort, strength, love, and faithfulness I have been able to know. It is so much more intimate to be carried than to walk beside, and this year, God has been carrying me, each day, each hour.
I wonder if this will continue on such a level for another year. Certainly that is what the doctors have braced me for. Yes, the thought of it it hard, yes it saddens me, yes I wonder what is going on. Yet I have a deep peace, for I have known His faithfulness. I know that on this long journey He has taught me invaluable lessons, He has given me humbling grace to endure, He has given me unspeakable joy, He has loved me so well, He has used this for good. He has been faithful, and I know He will continue to be so.
So as I sit and wonder about the year ahead, fear no longer grips me as it did in the past. Instead I am braced for horror, yet expectant for and curious to see the ways in which God will teach me, grow me, love me, and reveal Himself to me. I am excited to see how He will use these next 365 days, how He will make beauty out of ashes, for I know He will.
As I reflect on my doctors consultations this past week my reaction surprises me. I am not filled with grief, and fear, and the desire to call it quits; as I know I would have been in the past. My soul is not angry, nor is it eager to run from the one person who will save me; as it would have been even months ago. Instead I know peace, I am curious, and I am expectant. My heart is heavy yet it rests its burden on the one who carries me. My soul asks of God in a willing and eager way, what now? What’s the plan? My spirit is expectant for the ways in which my life will become richer in being more intimate with my saviour.
My reaction is strange even to myself. That is when I realize what a journey this year has indeed been. I am full of praise for the one who turns these destructive flames into refining fires, for the one who saves and loves, the one who remains faithful.