I told my husband that I just wished the whole month of August could fall off the calendar. And I meant it! It seems that every bad thing in our lives circulates around this time of year. It was 9 years ago this month that my Daddy committed suicide; just less than a year later my grandfather died; two weeks after that I did a chest x-ray on my father-in-law and found a lung mass; we buried him six weeks later. Now, August rolls around again, and I am sending one grandmother by ambulance to the hospital, and diagnosing my Papa with a chest mass that will be biopsied this week. Oh, and I forgot to mention the day to day “mom stuff” of crying as I pull off from the drop-off line while my 6-year-old is dragged into school crying and begging for me AND cleaning up puppy vomit from the rug at 4:30am.
I know it could be worse, but life isn’t always easy for any of us. Can I get an “Amen!”? Geez, sometimes I just need a break! Come on, God, haven’t I done enough? Shouldn’t this be easier?! Why does it all have to happen at once?!
One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in life is that we don’t always understand the whys of what happens in life. We don’t always have the answers, and there are some questions to which we will never know the answers. And you can either let that drive you crazy, or you can put your faith into practice. I know a good many people who don’t really like Joel Osteen’s messages or the whole “prosperity gospel”. I get it–Jesus TOLD us we would have hard times. Just because you are a believer and try to hear and heed the will of God for your life does NOT mean you will wake up wealthy!
But I don’t think that’s exactly the point. Jesus said, as recorded in the book of John (16:33), “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We WILL face trials and hard times this side of glory. People we love will die. We will struggle financially and with addiction. Loved ones will betray us and friends will lie about us. Life won’t always be a bed of roses.
(That’ s probably one of the best words in the English language and one of the most important parts of the Gospel as I like to tell it.) Life isn’t always easy or fair, BUT Jesus has already conquered this world. All those trials and temptations and heartaches will come, BUT we don’t have to let them control us or determine our fate, because that was determined 2,000 years ago on a cross. To know that THIS life isn’t really the game, it’s just the warm up, changes things. It changes our perspective. It changes our hearts and minds, and it gives us hope. And it gives me the strength to walk through the next patient’s door, not knowing what we will face together. BUT, no matter what we face, we know our King has already gone before us, and with us, and behind us, and we WILL be alright!
I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have had a Daddy who loved me like he did. And through his suicide, I learned a great deal that has enabled me to help others. I am SO blessed to have known all my grandparents and to still have most of them, to have them as an integral part of my daily life and the lives of my children. What they have brought to my life is immeasurable, and I would go to the ends of the world for them. And as I cried and pulled away from the school yesterday morning, I called my best friend/sister-in-law and asked if my nephews could ride with us to school today. There were only giggles as they all piled out of the backseat this morning.
Life isn’t always easy, but God is always good.
God bless, Allison Key, MD