This summer has also been filled with a lot of personal deep thinking, seeking and alone time with God... I've wanted to write about things before, but never felt it was the right time. I didn't have the right words to express what I was thinking and feeling. Everything felt jumbled and confusing. But today is different. Today, I'd like to share with you all some of what's been going on. (I will tell you this will be one of those "open and honest" posts...)
There are times when I really wonder what God is doing... What He's thinking. It comes in forms of how He could ever trust someone like me with four beautiful amazing boys. Sometimes it's more wondering what His plan is for me and my family and those I love. Lately, it's been more serious, like how some people can be healed from cancer, while other's (no matter how hard they fight) cannot. Or how families like mine can have a child with significant Spectrum issues progress in such a way that it is barely noticeable to strangers, while other families never get to hear their child mutter a single word or receive a single hug. I find myself struggling with the idea of fairness. It's not fair that people get sick, and others don't. It's not fair that some families struggle with Special Needs, while other families are never impacted by it. It's not fair that some people struggle every day to get out of bed, while others are living the dream.
But, is my struggle really about fairness, or lack there of? I have come to the realization that although I hate how unfair things can be, that's not ultimately what keeps me up at night. Sure, it might not be fair, but life in general is never fair. No matter what's happening, who's fighting for certain rights, LIFE IS NOT FAIR. It's just not. And as a realist, I accept that (for the most part).
For me, it's more about the heart wrenching truth that there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix life's unfairness. When I watch the families who are a part of our Special Needs ministry struggle, besides listening and lending a shoulder to cry on, there is nothing I can do to help them. I can't change what is. When I connect with families who have lost someone way too soon or who are facing insurmountable obstacles, I feel their pain, I hear their cries but am left with nothing that can change the radical unfairness in their lives.
None rings more true for me than right now as I watch my sister and her husband face the cruel and brutal reality of cancer. He was diagnosed years ago, went through treatment, thought he was on the mend, only to learn it was back with a vengeance. A few months ago they were faced with the decision of either pursuing more grueling treatment that could cause even more issues, or to pretty much surrender to cancer. And with all the love they had in them, they made the mutual decision to surrender so that he could spend his time on earth enjoying the time he had. This morning I learned that the cancer is spreading rather quickly, and is now in his lungs and in his liver. The doctor said he has maybe six months... THIS is UNFAIR. It's unfair to my sister to witness her husband getting sicker. It's unfair to her husband that he ever got cancer in the first place.
All of it is unfair. And yet, here I am struggling more with the fact that there is NOTHING I CAN DO. The only ONE who has the ability to change any of this is God, and although there is still the possibility of a miracle, I am thinking He has a different plan. And He promises it's a good one in the end.
As I struggle with the sense of helplessness for my sister and her husband and the many families I connect with and work with, I am left with the realization that all I can give is my faith in a God who loves them dearly. No matter what the situation, no matter what the pain, God deeply loves them and call them His own. I can pray for them. I can remind them of the goodness and blessings amidst the pain and ugliness. It's not always enough, but it's something. There is HOPE beyond the pain and tears and loss and struggles. More accurately, there is hope DURING the pain and tears and loss and struggles. And, I guess, despite my desire to make things better (or to make it less "unfair"), I am here to share His hope and His love.
There's been a new song playing on the radio (and now on repeat on my cellphone) by MercyMe called "Even If". It's left me feeling a lot of things that I can't quite put my finger on. But I so definitely feel it is pertinent for this time and place... It talks of pretty much the unfairness and junk in life, but how even if God doesn't change anything going on, He is still good and faithful and is our Hope. The chorus goes:
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone.
Even If by Mercy Me