It's Thanksgiving morning in Nolensville, TN. I am enjoying the sounds of the house waking up around me ... boys playing in the hall, breakfast being prepared downstairs. As I sit in the quiet and listen I reflect on Thanksgivings past. I think about how the kids have grown. The oldest kids in Burt's extended families are adults now. As I came in from walking the dog earlier I could not help but think that in just a few short years even the youngest ones won't be children any more.
I think about how I have changed. About how weary I am. The last 9 years have been a battlefield as my life has taken turns that I never would have anticipated. I have been blessed beyond measure with an amazing son, a great job (two, really), an enduring marriage, wonderful family and friends and an incredibly supportive church community. I want so much to dwell in the positive and I think that most of the time I do. At the same time, I struggle and lately I have been realizing that, in the last two or three years I think I have lost some of my ability to be patient and forgiving of others. I am bothered by this.
I know that my life is not what I expected. Having a chronically ill spouse with no answers to the physical issues and no end in sight is draining. I have had to let go of many of my dreams and ideas of what my life would be like. Mostly they are silly little things ... like going camping on weekends and taking road trips and serving together with my husband ... but those little things seem to touch every area of my life.
This month I have been surrounded by grief and, although it has only touched me in a somewhat peripheral way, it has permeated my life the last few weeks and brought my own grief over what I have "lost" into sharper focus. Even in the midst of this heavy and unpleasant angst, however, I am inspired to be better; to do better. I am inspired by Becky Milligan who, in spite of the loss of her mother to a long struggle with cancer, is positive and encouraging. I am inspired by Veronica King who has been so open in her grief over the loss of her husband and, without realizing it, is ministering to so many people as they grieve his loss also. I am inspired by Jeremy King and by Katie Kirkpatrick who left this life so early ... far before we were ready let them go ... and who left such amazing examples of living for Christ.
I am here. I have good health and am blessed in so many ways. Katie and Jeremy are not. They have no more opportunities in the flesh. I cannot waste my life wishing that things were different. I must move forward and embrace all that is good and do what I can to make the world better for those in my immediate circle and those who the Lord puts in my path.
So, on this Thanksgiving day, 2010, in spite of a heavy heart, I will move forward with thankfulness and endeavor to make the most of every moment. The Lord is my strength and my comfort. He will provide the way and He will bring joy out of sorrow.