When I brushed up against eternity with a hemorrhage after miscarrying, I came home from the ER and every day was a breath-taking realization that life was a gift. For about two weeks.
Then I was exhausted and depressed and weighed down by all the things that weren’t getting done and the piles of laundry and my messy house.
So I should know the drill. I should understand thankfulness and that it takes work to remember but I’m forgetful. Maybe you understand that.
Last year, my friend Connie invited us to hot turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. She and her husband adopted 12 children from different parts of the world over the last twenty years and all of our children have a friend at their house. We had a great time as always.
But a few months later, she began to feel very tired. We were leaving town and she asked me to pray for an appointment with her naturopath. I should have known that if my very tough friend asked me to pray, it was serious. I didn’t realize how weak she was. Eventually she could hardly climb the stairs in her house and the diagnosis was shocking.
This year, she had chemo on her birthday this week, just before Thanksgiving, and doctors recommend a further brutal treatment plan begin soon, fighting for her health.
God brings her to mind in the morning and when we gather as a family at night and sometimes in the middle of the night if I can’t get back to sleep. Her youngest is not yet 10. I pray for her often.
Last week I wanted to take her something. Since I had some congestion I didn’t want to share with Connie, I scoured the yard in a chill sunny autumn morning and found maple leaves, hydrangeas and rose hips that recent windstorms hadn’t whipped away. Next to the house I was amazed to find feverfew blooming—little daisy like flowers—it’s November!
I threw it in with all the fall beauty and thought of my brave friend Connie who is like the feverfew to me. She is beautiful right through this cold hard season of suffering. She sends me (and others have told me the same) thoughtful notes and prays for my concerns. Surrounded by fears and concerns and statistics, she trusts her God.
Praying for her I am reminded to take one day at a time. When I weep with her, I feel the heart of our Father who is afflicted with the same afflictions we suffer. As I face into the turbulent possibilities of her holiday season, I think how silly my worries and troubles look in the light of real suffering.
Thank you, my friend.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18