Photo Credit: Elizabeth May, Copyright 2010
October 2001. My world turned upside down. A miscarriage, a husband without a job and no good prospects in sight, and a mom with an illness no-one could seem to diagnose. Despite the riot of fall color surrounding me, the world seemed dark.
As the days grew shorter, and the weather colder, I drew closer to God.
You've heard of fair-weather fans--I'm a foul-weather worshiper. I don't turn to God as often as I should, especially when things are going well, but when the going gets tough, He is my solace. I slow down and contemplate. I write in my journal. I read my Bible. I find specific comfort in verses that seem tailored to me and my situation.
Sickness, loss of a loved one, marriage problems, financial stresses--there are many heart-breaking situations we all face at some time in our lives, times that our world is turned on its end, and all we want is for some gentle giant to right it. Now.
I was impatient that fall, nine years ago. I wanted my husband to find a job. Now. I wanted my mom to get better. Now. I wanted to get pregnant. Now. And, I prayed for all those things, earnestly, daily.
God said, in time.
By Christmas, my husband had consulting work (which eventually turned into a full-time job). Around that time, too, my mother was able to come to Pittsburgh to see a new doctor who was able to diagnose and start treatment for her condition. And, finally, by July, I found out I was pregnant again.
Today, I'm stealing a bit of quiet time to write this, as my six-month-old naps upstairs and my girls are off at kindergarten and second grade. My concerns these days are typically what to make for dinner, or how I'm going to fit a work assignment into between school and activities and caring for my family.
I too often forget how lucky I am to have these "lite" concerns.
I too often forget the fall my world tipped over.
I too often forget to get on my knees and thank God for how lucky I am.
I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Dear Lord: Thank you for being there for me, and for all those who seek you when times are tough. When we face worries and concerns and sorrows so huge they threaten to engulf us, you fold us into your arms. You listen to our cries; you feel our distress; you minister to our wounds. Please comfort those who are hurting now, help them to find you in their time of need. And, for those of us who aren't facing troubles today, help us to praise you earnestly for all we have. Amen.