This week has been a time of reflection. Monday was supposed to be my 41st wedding anniversary. Instead, it marked the sixth week of separation from my husband. I’d dreaded that day, knowing the reality of it all would hit on that observance that was just ours as a couple– not a family holiday or national celebration like July 4th. It was a day of thinking back over the years, remembering all the good in spite of how things have ended.
I’d decided I would not sit home that night and instead organized friends meeting for dinner and dancing. That evening turned out better than expected; I was glad I’d chosen not to be a victim of my circumstances.
But feeling momentarily victorious for not being a victim, was followed by more of the realities of this new chapter of life. This sudden change continues to wash over me, like an ocean wave that you didn’t hear behind you, feeling it’s forceful impact when you’re knocked under. I thought back, again, to the similarities of when I went through cancer and the toxic job.
A year ago, I wrote a post about that struggle entitled, “It’s About the Future.” Like going back in your diary, I read that post and felt the same truth applies today; I’m just having to revisit and relearn that truth.
Back then, I was overwhelmed like I am now. When I was in the midst of breast cancer treatment and trying to make it in that job, it was hard to see beyond my present struggle. I wondered how I could see the future when I was filled with such dread– knowing the months of treatment I had to trudge through. I talk about that in detail in my memoir, He Heard My Voice.
Over the years, I’ve found comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
As I described in that blog post, the message, “It’s about the future” had come to me that morning as I sat looking out on the fog clinging to the Smokie Mountains. Contemplating how to see hope while dealing with my reality, it came to me: Be present in the moment but moving toward the future. That was how I’d navigate cancer treatment while maintaining my job.
Now, I have to keep stepping forward on this path of grief, moving along the fork in the road produced by this unexpected change. Following my therapist’s counsel, I must allow myself to feel all the emotions and work through them instead of trying to step around them.
Years after my experience in the Smokies, I sat on the shore of Lake Champlain on my solo journey in July 2015. Looking back on my life since the cancer and job struggle in 2001, I realized that in those fourteen years, I’d come to see being present from a broader perspective: Stay in God’s presence each moment and He will lead you to the Future, one that is filled with Hope.
I keep rereading my statement from Lake Champlain and it’s as true today as then.
I write this now, on Friday evening, before I’ll send it out to you on Saturday. I’m worn down from my week, yet aware that God has given me all I’ve needed to make it through to another post. I’ve caught glimpses of hope and a future in the midst of experiencing loss.
Before I write each post, and maybe more so when tired, I think, “What do I have that will benefit others when I feel so depleted, God?” And then I just write down what comes to my heart. I hope that you will receive some morsel that is manna for you this day.
Peace to You
Referenced Blog Post:
Memoir available in Paperback and Ebook on Amazon
13 thoughts on “It’s Still About the Future”
.. .and Peace to you as well, MJ
Thanks a lot, MJ. I hope you’re doing well.
Best to you,
My marriage ended after 25 years, five children, yes we were together since high school, an indescribable loss. That happened over 30 years ago, still hurts today to think of what might have/ should have been. Staying in the present moment and trusting that God is always with me is the way I live each day. Watch for angels to surround you & help you when you need them the most. I. Am praying for you and know that God is holding you in the Palm of His hand. Peace!
Thanks so much. I really appreciate your kindness.
I’m sorry that you went through that experience. My two sons are in their thirties- so it helps that while we’re still changing our family, they’re older and have a greater understanding.
I thought about what you said about angels in your last response and tried to envision them the other morning when I walked. It means a lot to know you’re praying for me. When I’ve felt surprised by my calm, I’ve remembered that many people are praying for me. That is no small blessing.
Best to you,
“Be present in the moment but moving toward the future” is a great mantra to live by in any circumstance, Connie. Sending much love, and wishing Peace to you too. ❤
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Yes, I felt like it certainly applied to cancer treatment and imagine you’ve experienced that, too. Thanks for your love and support.
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Connie. I may have received a different message in this post with the importance of the past. When one takes a trek on any trail the three most important task is just three things, “Leave only footprints, Take only pictures, Steal only memories”. Where many of us get caught up in the “Mire, others seem to slide over the Mire to accept another experience. There may be a misunderstanding between ” Hang in there”, and “Hang on”. The choice is yours. Blessing to you, as you know what to do.
I like what you say about choosing between ‘Hanging In’ and ‘Hanging On.’ It’s worth pondering the difference and discerning what behaviors go with each response.
Thinking of a trek, we know the journey is just for a while– not an indefinite period.
You’ve given me more to think about, John.
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You are welcome. 💖
Aw Connie, my heart aches for you but once again I am filled with gratitude that you are writing honestly through this season of grief and sharing the experience with us.
Thanks so much, Marie. Moving along this path is not easy, but there has been so much support along the way. To share my struggle makes it easier for me, and I hope, better for someone else. We’re all on this life journey together and we need the support of fellow sojourners.
Best to you,
This is Barbara Harvey.
I would love to have lunch with you sometime soon.
I’m sending love and prayers your way.
Your faith and your willingness to feel rather than stuff your pain will heal.
I’ve been on a healing journey many decades. You can and you are healing!
All the best,
Thanks so much, Barbara. I hear you, when you say you’ve been on a “healing journey many decades.” There are pains in our lives that take that long.
Look forward to seeing you soon,