My dad lost his battle to ALS at the age of 32. When you're a 9 year old child, 32 sounds so, well, old. I remember the words 'He was so young...' swirling around me, but never being able to grasp the depth of how true that statement was. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I ever understood the way ALS stole the young, vibrant, and fruitful life of my father. Until this past May.
I'm not one to put a huge weight on dates or numbers. So you can imagine my surprise when, the week before my precious husband turned 32, I found my heart to be solemn and even anxious.
He was so young...
I let my mind go there, just for a bit. (Every once in a while, we must let our mind go there...) How would I be able to function if I lost my husband? How on earth would I survive watching my husband's life being robbed by terminal illness?
I couldn't. I wouldn't.
One man who has had one of the strongest influences on my life spirituality, Pastor Tim, has often talked about this. I've heard him talk countless times about his Abba Father and how, even if he lost his entire family and his world as he knows it came crashing in, Jesus would be enough. And I struggled through it every time.
He couldn't. He wouldn't.
The day I left for my mission trip to Lesotho, Danny gave me an envelope of notes. 12 of them, to be exact. So I could be reminded of his love every day. (Swoon! Oh I love him!) I put them next to my passport (the thing one takes the best care of while traveling abroad) and fought the urge to read all of them on my first flight.
But then I fell in love. Again. Through writing, through reading, through experiencing Him in every interaction, I fell in love with Jesus as the lover of my soul. I was so immersed in His Word and Presence that I experienced this crazy, radical contentment. Even as I type this I know I can't possibly put words to what I experience.
He was enough.
And because why stop being honest now, I can tell you that I forgot about the other 11 notes from my beloved husband. The love of my Abba was enough and I was dependent on Him alone. Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He takes great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."
So 32, terminal illness, accidents and disease and every other scary thing in this world... if it took everything away and all I had left was the love of my Abba Father (because Romans 8:38), I'd not only survive, for the first time ever, I know I'd be okay.
I could. I would.
I recently went on a trip. You know those B.C./A.D. moments of your life? The ones where the experience was so life-altering that the before-you feels like a somewhat different person than the after-you? We've all had them. Falling in love, having children, taking a career risk... and I'll add to my timeline my trip to Lesotho, Africa.
So much happened there, far too much to talk about over one cup of coffee, much less a blog post. But I will certainly make an attempt to explain.
One such happening was an awakening of my love for writing. While on my trip I woke early, which is not an abnormality for my everyday life. Rather, I woke alone. Just me, a cup of instant coffee, my Bible, and my journal. And I wrote. Oh, did I write. The pen flowed and the pages flipped and I felt like my heart and mind woke up from a deep sleep- one that I kept slumbering for far too long.
So I'm going to write (blog) again. I'm going to do it because I feel God working and teaching me and I know I have a responsibility to share these things. I'm both excited and terrified, as fear itself is the thing that stopped me over a year ago. But more than that, I'm ready. God has given us all a voice and a mind and a heart, and for that reason alone whatever we have to say (write) is worth it. So here I go!
Thanks for joining me for the ride!