Give thanks whatever happens…

We made it through another weekend.

As I glanced at the calendar this morning, it struck me.  Two short months ago, Mark had his “routine” surgery.  Little did we know then that we were beginning the countdown to the end of his earthly life.  In some respects, it seems like only yesterday.  In others, it seems like a lifetime ago. 

In my faith journey, it seems like eons have passed since that July 25th date.  I’m embarrassed to say that before the fateful event which turned my family’s life upside down, I wasn’t the Christian that I could have been.  It is easy to become complacent in your faith, especially whenever you’ve got the world on a string.  Two beautiful children, an adoring husband, great friends, good jobs, and anything I could possibly want or need.  We had it all.  I didn’t think that I took any of those things for granted, and God knew I was thankful for all of the bounty He’d bestowed upon me. 

But was I thirsting after God’s word?  Was I actively pursuing a closer relationship with God?  I ashamedly have to admit that the answer to those questions is most probably “no”.  It pains me to type that, but the truth sometimes hurts.  I was “busy”….busy with a perfect life that I thought would continue on indefinitely.  I took for granted that we would continue to prosper, watch our children grow, work at our jobs, count down to retirement, sell our house, move to Kansas, and live “happily ever after” as a new exciting chapter of our lives opened up. 

Funny how our plans and God plans can be so very different.  Instead of our imagined “happily ever after,” I’m now a single mother to those two wonderful boys.  I still have great friends, a good job (if I want it), and an abundance of material things at my fingertips.  But the future?  Well, that’s for God to know and me to find out. 

And how do I find out?  Well, by actively pursuing that closer walk with God, and by studying His word, I can maybe begin to figure those things out.  Do I think things would’ve gone differently had I come to this realization earlier?  Nope.  I don’t think God took my husband because I wasn’t reading my Bible as often as I should have been.  Sometimes bad things happen.  Bad things happen to all kinds of people…what does it say in the Bible, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust”?  It’s called life.  We were never promised smooth sailing on this journey…..only that we would have a constant companion sailing along beside us.

Prayers with the boys tonight were hard.  As I’ve mentioned before, bedtime is one of the most difficult times of the day, especially for Andrew.  He mentions to me on an almost daily basis that he believes God has something special in store for us, and he tells me now that it involves bringing someone into our lives.  I’m afraid to ask more, because whenever I do ask specifics, he tells me that “God and Dad are telling him.”  Who am I to question a 9 year old’s faith?  He seems to have it more together than I do most days. 

So I continue to write, and pray, and read God’s word, and hope for better days.  And I will never take any of these many blessings for granted again.

“Always be joyful.  Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens.  That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.”    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NCV)

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