Surprises. Some are wonderful, marvelous and dreamed about, while others are tragic and devastating.
Life tends to come in bunches; too often it takes you off-guard in negative ways. We are unprepared for tragedy and hard times. It knocks the wind out of our sails and makes us question what we did to deserve such devastating news. In this day and age of instant news reports and sensationalism on television and social media, we get to view multiple miseries experienced by other people every single day. In order to protect ourselves emotional burnout, we tend to desensitize our emotions, become calloused to the horrific images that bombard our eyes. It is sad but it is self-preservation.
Wouldn’t it be grand if all the surprises in life were fun and uplifting? I know it is unrealistic to expect this because life is not always about roses and chocolate. I have been on both sides of this fence multiple times, but two stick out in my memory. First, was the day that we received the news that my husband had cancer; and within a week we learned that it was very aggressive and they could only offer palliative measures for treatment. How do you deal with news like this without losing your soul in the process? I turned immediately to the only One Who could get me through it all. I Prayed to My Heavenly Father to give me the ability to breathe through every moment while my husband was still with us; and sadly it was less than a month from diagnosis till he went to be with the Lord. God was Faithful and True to His Promises and never let me down through it all.
It has been almost four and a half years since my beloved husband passed away. I will not pretend that the journey has been easy. There have been extreme lows along the way. I have learned a lot about people, what I am capable of handling on my own and most importantly, Who is my Strength when I do not have the energy to make one more decision or do one more chore. I am never alone even in the quietest moments, the hardest days, listening to the most hurtful and insensitive comments by people who have never walked the path onto which I have been thrust. I have spoken the Word of God over my circumstances countless times and in every one Jesus has been there for me as my Counsellor and Partner in my new life.
So what about the wonderful surprises? A little over three weeks ago our family was tremendously Blessed with the sweetest little baby boy. He is beautiful and so very loved. His parents love each other have added this little guy to their blended family. It is such an exciting time for our family after the tragedy and change of the last four years.
Have the last four years been tough? You have no idea unless you have walked that path yourself. I can attest to experiencing the lowest, darkest moments that anyone into which anyone should be ever be plunged. Although feeling abandoned and hopeless emotionally, I know every moment in that blackness, Jesus was always waiting for me to reach out and take His Hand. He posted His angels around me to lift me up out the pit I was in and lead me to a much higher, brighter place. I just had to Trust Him when all the things around me became foreign and murky. He was the Sureness in my life and still is today.
Will life continue to bring surprises, both good and bad. Absolutely. However, it is all about where I put my Trust and Reliance for my self-esteem and Confidence. It is not about who I am in times of trouble or times of great Joy. It is about Whose I am and in Whom I am. I am not alone. I am in Christ and He is in the Father, so I am never alone, never left without Provision or Protection. I have a Big BIG GOD and I can face all challenges with Him!
Judith Utman is the author of Voices in the Wilderness.