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