Life's Bumpy Roads
How many times have we hit a bump in the road called life? Sometimes the bumps are little almost unnoticeable, maybe even annoying. We drive on without another thought to it. A small change we can manage on our own. But what about those bumps that knock us all the way over to the opposite side of the road, going the wrong direction during rush hour?
My husband and I found ourselves in that very situation two and a half years ago. It was a normal Sunday evening. We had our traditional “Nazarene naps” followed by something quick and easy for dinner. We had just settled in for a night of TV when that bump in the road knocked us onto the other lane.
They called it a massive bleeding stroke. It was one of the more violent ones that they had ever seen. My husband’s life changed in a split second and ultimately it claimed his life. When this happened, my husband and I were very active in the church. We were involved in almost every ministry and were considered respected leaders in the church. Yet, my heart was far away from it. I played church better than anyone, all the while becoming more and more bitter towards a God I never knew and a life I hated.
It’s amazing to me how easily I was able to brush aside my relationship with God. As if He was simply a friend I didn’t really need anymore.
until I did…
Out of sheer desperation I started making all kinds of deals with God, like He was a genie in a bottle. I always thought that was stupid, and yet here I am doing the very thing I said I’d never do. I’ll be a “real” Christian this time. I’ll read my bible more often and I’ll even say a few prayers, just bring my husband home to me. How naive I was.
Several months had passed and though I held on to the hope that my husband would come home to me, his body slowly shut down. My husband held on for eight months. It was a long good bye but he fought the good fight and it was time to move on. All the while this garden of despair I had worked so hard to nurture and maintain was slowly wilting away. Something different was starting to grow inside of me. Kindness replaced bitterness, peace replaced anger and joy replaced resentment.
How did this happen? Usually when we face a life changing crisis our instinct is to turn away from God. Perhaps even blame Him for what went wrong in our life. Certainly, Job’s wife could attest to that. I honestly can’t tell you why I didn’t go down that well-travelled road. Maybe it was the prayers of my family and friends, the prayers of a mom who never gave up. Whatever the reason, when I found myself on my knees, I found myself looking up.
This road that I am now travelling on is full of bumps, detours, and wrong ways. I often have to stop and remind myself of my destination. I get lost, turned around, sidetracked, you name it… Yet, my mom often reminds me that in my moments of confusion or sadness through the tears and the sorrow, all I have to do is look up. So here I am looking up because through the tears and the sorrow, I have learned that He is my rock and my fortress, my God in whom I will trust, and surely He will deliver me.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:26