the precarious balance of life

Regardless of the outcome,
God can bring about eternal good from every trial.

In a hundred years, the eternal good that comes from our trial will be the
only thing that matters.
Bill Sweeney
Unshakeable Hope


(the gardinas are in bloom / Julie Cook / 2018)

I have to confess that I am about to have a broken heart.

Not a literal broken heart mind you but rather more figuratively…
yet broken none the less.

For as much as I know that God’s word has always taught me that I am not to worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will take care of itself…I can’t help but think about tomorrow…or truthfully
it’s the day after tomorrow I’m thinking about.

Those of you who know me know that my daughter-n-law and new young granddaughter came to stay
with us almost two months ago when our daughter-n-law had to go back to finish out the school year following her maternity leave.

Someone had to care for the baby…
My hand went up.

Since they actually live in Atlanta, while the school where our daughter-n-law teaches
is in our area which is a good hour or so away from their home—with a new baby,
commuting was out of the question.

And as our course of prayer has been that she can find a school and school system closer to their
world rather than our world–we learned late yesterday afternoon that that prayer has
actually been fulfilled.

She has been offered a wonderful position at a private Catholic school in Atlanta.
Our son has finally gotten a good job with a large Atlanta based company so moving, again,
was simply not an option….nor was living life in two different places.

So for these nearly two months, I’ve been chief cook and bottle washer…literally.
Throw in diaper changer, entertainer, errand runner and grandmother…the list goes on.
And whereas my body reminds me daily why God intended younger folks to have babies versus us
older folks, I have been dutiful to my labor of love.

Starting late last week, as the thoughts of their departure came looming to the forefront of
my senses and as I’d feel the hot tears bubbling upwards, I’d push it all back down..trying
not to think about it while just living in the moment of now.

And that’s the thing, I’ve never been good about living in the moment
as I’ve always been one to fret about tomorrow.

I know in my head what is the best and the right thing…and that is for mom, dad, and baby
to be all together, as they should be under one roof, as this has been a difficult time for my son.
He misses them terribly.

And with a baby…missing those little day to day changes and milestones is to any new parent,
gut-wrenching.

They have been together on weekends, as time has afforded…but the weeks have been long for
all of them…especially Alice, their black lab.

And so yes, I will be sad.

Very very sad.

All of which I will address later… because today, I don’t want to talk about it…
because, tears remember, are bubbling upward all the while as I’m being mindful that enjoying
the moment is the true importance rather than dreading the future.

So it was with this all in mind and on heart that I happened upon a most timely post
from my friend Tricia over on Truth Through Empowerment
(https://freedomthroughempowerment.wordpress.com)

Tricia was actually sharing the post from another blogger.
A post from a fellow named Bill Sweeney over on Unshakable Hope.

Bill has ALS…a disease that he has lived with now since 1996.
Of which is pretty amazing if you know anything about ALS.
To most folks diagnosed with such, it is an immediate sort of torturous death sentence.

At the time of diagnosis, Bill was given only 2 to 5 years to live.
Bill lost all movement and speech shortly following his diagnosis but he has pressed
forward since.

Bill is also an ardent Christian.

Bill could have chosen to rile at an unseen God in rage…living his remaining life in
constant anger and resentment…
rather Bill has chosen to live this life he has been given by looking through the lens
of a great and powerful God.

It was something Bill wrote yesterday in his post “Unshakable Hope” that really hit a chord
in me…

“Regardless of the outcome,
God can bring about eternal good from every trial.

In a hundred years, the eternal good that comes from our trial will be the
only thing that matters.”

The eternal Good…

And so obviously, I get that my broken heart pales in comparison to the struggles Bill
and others face on a daily basis while living with debilitating illnesses or uncurable
disease—not to mention the trials faced by the loved ones and caregivers who work to support,
love and provide for those with such overwhelming circumstances.

Yet that’s the thing…
we all have our trials…be they physical, emotional, mental, spiritual…
and those trials will ebb and flow throughout our lives…
And during the course of a life, those trials will vary in intensity and severity.

But the key will always be found in our ability to look at said trials as events
far greater than ourselves.

We, humans, tend to be narrow in our scope of vision…
with that vision being through the lens of self.

Selfish, egotistically, self-indulgent, self-wallowing, self-pity…the me-first mentality that
life and the world pretty much evolves around us and us alone.

Much how my 3-month-old granddaughter thinks and feels…it’s all about needs, wants and comfort…
but at 58, such thoughts are not as cute, attractive nor inviting but are rather toxic.

So it’s always good to be reminded that life is bigger than ourselves.
It’s also good to be reminded that God is so much bigger than we are…
and that life is an extension of His greatness.

And that the eternal good from the trials we currently experience will bear
needed fruit long after we are gone…and that’s what truly matters…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may
be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Please read Bill’s offering:

https://unshakablehope.com

11 comments on “the precarious balance of life

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    I so get what you’re saying, Julie. I try hard to maintain a positive attitude, but somehow, I worry too. I think it has something to do with being a woman and a mother. As we go through life, we try to maintain a steady gait, but things get in the way. We struggle to deal with them. We think we can do it alone, but we need
    God’s wrapped around us constantly. It would be so much easier to surrender to that safety, but we still try to solve the problems of the world on our own. I know this change in your life is going to be difficult at first, but as with all things, God has it all under control. Your heart will ache for a little while, but you’ll find great joy in the visits with Autumn, because you can look forward to them. Hugs and love.

    • I think you’re right Kathy. It’s definitely a mom thing— moms carry so much within the framework of a family… just jumping in, sleeves rolled up, ready to meet any challenge head on— multitasking while seeing the big picture as well as the details— they don’t say super mom for nothing…
      so yes— being reminded God is bigger and has our back so to speak is a huge component to our own wellbeing

  2. Tricia says:

    Thanks Julie for linking to my post pointing to Bill’s. His phrase about nothing mattering except the eternal things really stuck out for me as well. The stark truth of it is heart stopping.

    I’m sorry for the loss about to come your way. You’re a good and dutiful grandmother who has done her job well, but it sure doesn’t make it any easier to pass the baton along. Prayers for you my friend in the coming days.

  3. Lynda Clayton says:

    Julie, you will miss Autumn and Abbey very much. I understand as I miss my younger daughter and family very deeply since they moved further away in September. These are our feelings and feelings are valid. I know you will make the trek to Atlanta quite frequently and will keep the family close in prayer. And you are very happy that prayers have been answered for both your son and daughter-in-law regarding employment. They are really going to be able to relax and get on their feet. How wonderful for them! But it isn’t easy for you. I also know that you are grateful for this time that you have had with Autumn. What a blessing it has been to be able to bond so closely to her!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Congrats to your daughter-in-law on getting the job. I’m sure you will get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that their little family can now start getting settled. I’m sorry you have to be separated from them. 😦 Having moved to a different country from all my relatives I have an inkling what that’s like, although I’ve never had to part from an adorable sweetie like Autumn. I hope you’ll be able to travel to see them often.

  5. Oh such a bitter-sweet time in your lives… Love you, dear Julie! ❤

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