Today is day two of the posts about “a time to weep and a time to laugh!” We have all heard the statement–God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle….well, I believe the statement should read a little more like this, “God gives you what you can’t handle so that you HAVE TO LEAN ON HIM!” That is exactly what happened to me a little over two weeks ago now! Allow me to share….
I was in Athens visiting our daughter, Collins. It was a short overnight, but something I needed desperately…..mother/daughter relationships are so special and, in light of knowing that my mother’s passing was imminent……my daughter was a TREMENDOUS comfort to me in this…..gloomy process…..so I was in Athens having “great therapy” with Collins when the call came from my sister that my mom had “fallen off the cliff”. We were warned with her rare brain disease that there would be a sudden day when things would take a nose dive……and that Sunday afternoon the dreaded call came. Just giving a short reflection on that day…..God had me only an hour away from my parents…He had given me much love and strength with my medicine “Collins” for the last 24 hours to prepare me to make that dreaded trip home. Today, I am thankful as I see God’s perfect timing!
I drove to my sister’s house to have a short conference call with the hospice nurse and then headed next door to my parents’ house……to help move my mother to a hospital bed in which I knew she would never leave until she died. It was a horrible feeling. The pit and sickness I felt in my stomach was and is the grossest feeling I have ever had. We finished the conference call and then headed in my car 200 yards to “walk the walk”. As we drove, slowly my mind was spread out over a thousand thoughts when suddenly I felt a huge thud!!! I thought I had blown a tire….the next thing I remember is my sister….shrieking….I had run over their beloved black lab, Sammie! (I love that dog too!) My sister flung open the door and there lay Sammie shivering and blood streaming out of her nose! I was frozen…..hanging on the steering wheel motionless…I could not move nor say a word.
After I don’t know how long…I finally could vaguely hear her say, “Call the vet”….We have a few personal friends in Seneca who are vets…but I had none of their numbers so I just started calling Brewer and Thomas….everything got blurry, but somehow I moved out of the car and held Sammie in my arms as my sister went for her car….the last thing I remember is her taillights driving out of the driveway as she headed to the ER with Sammie! She later said I was screaming but I have no memory of that!!!
The next memory I have is walking into my parents’ house with the hospice nurse to pick my mother up and move her to the bed…among other things that were not pleasant included having to explain to my dad what was happening to his wife. Plus I had to tell him about Sammie who had been his therapy and company in the midst of this terrible “life storm.” Looking back, I know I was in shock….because to this day…I cannot recall one minute of that day after seeing the hospice nurse get out of the car. I don’t remember talking to my dad, seeing my mom….and the transition….nothing….there is a complete…..blank….a black out…..no MEMORY WHATSOEVER……..
I recently sat down with my sister to recount that day…..because it has really bothered me that I can’t remember talking with my dad. which I know I did, or comforting my mom, which I know I did….but have no memory….I had to do it alone without my sister!!! As I have thought and prayed……I realize that it was God!! HE took over….He is always in control…but HE took over completely of my memory and physical actions and words….it has been so eerie but now I am starting to see……only one set of footprints……the next memory I have is later, much later that night…my brother-in-law…Tim calling me to reassure me Sammie was going to be ok and letting me know it wasn’t my fault. You see, to my brother-in-law Sammie is his third child. My sister now rides in the back seat as Sammie rides shotgun with Tim. LOL……….He will never know what that phone call meant to me!
As we all reflect now…..we laugh….yes, thank God we laugh. Sammie was scratched up but he laid at my mom’s bedside in her last days and brought us all comfort! I also look back and, I know God is always in control, for whatever reason….He allowed this…I think so that I could look back and SEE ONLY HIM AND HIS LOVING ARMS CARRYING ME!!! I have a testimony and I want you to know…..HE WILL CARRY YOU IN THE STORM….HE WILL….. HE CARRIED ME! Not only will HE carry you……HE may even give you laughter and joy after the fact. HE has me!
I want to leave you with powerful words from scripture that I have experienced. Psalm 68:19, “Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” And Isaiah 40:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lamb in his arms and carries them close to his heart…he gently leads those that have young…” I cannot begin to describe how much I have felt like a “lamb” in the Father’s arms. My prayer for you as you face your own storm is that you would experience the arms of the Father who gathers the lamb and carries him close to His heart!