This time of year is really tough around our house. I may have mentioned that before, but my short-term memory is kinda shot since Mia passed away. In all honesty, I think it’s related to PTSD. In any event, from about December to March, it’s just plain tough. Mia was born on December 6th. Then Christmas comes, then New Year’s Day, then…March. She passed away on March 19th.
I say all that to tell you that even though it is almost a daily struggle to fight through the negativity and sadness and grief and loss, He somehow gives us the strength. He gives us moments of peace and laughter and snippets of happiness. We cherish those when they come. We try to build on them. Hopefully, one day soon, we’ll be able to find our joy again. Until then, we will simply have to persevere.
Hmmm…that’s a strong word. To persevere. According to Webster (what would we do without Webster???), it means to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter-influences, opposition, or discouragement. To gut it out. To hang in there. Yup. That about sums it up.
I’m writing this at 3:30 in the morning because I’m wide awake. Something woke me at 2:30. True, it could have been the German Shepherd or the Bug (Boston Terrier/Pug) needing to go out. I don’t think it was, however. Usually when that happens, I can go back to sleep. This time I’m up. That’s usually the Spirit moving in me. So here I am. Trying to put down in this post what He would have me write. And I think it’s about digging in and “hanging in there”.
To me, perseverance also means fighting through something when you really don’t want to. Think of a new runner trying to make that last mile. It burns in their lungs and their back. Their legs feel like jelly, and their muscles are knotting up. It would be a lot simpler to just quit. It would feel a lot better physically if they just gave up.
A runner doesn’t, though. They fight through the burn. They fight through the pain. They fight through the fatigue and add some peanut butter to that jelly and make a sandwich!
That’s what we’re doing. We’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and giving them out where we can.
Lena was at work the other day when a conversation started about being ready for Jesus to come back. They were talking about whether they were ready for that day. Most of them said they weren’t because of the things they would miss out on: children’s proms, ball games, birthdays, etc. And they are all noble points. Lena’s answer gave them pause, though. She told them she was ready. She said that 1) she would get to see Mia again and 2) that she would much rather do that than have to bury me or another one of her children. She said that she hopes that all of us are together at the cemetery visiting Mia when He comes and calls us to Him. A family reunion.
And no matter how low things get, we know there is brightness in the future. We know that we will continue to honor God and share His strength and blessings with others that we come into contact with. On our jobs. With our foundation. In life. We are to persevere.
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God- the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.”
– Revelation 3:10-12
Lena shared this conversation she was in with a patient of hers. When she told the patient about the day Jesus would come and that she was ready, her patient said that they never thought of it that way. That night, she got a message on Facebook from her patient. It said that they were praying for us, and that they were saved that night. Praise God!
I thank Him for the strength He gave Lena that day. We struggle…shoot, we all struggle. We get tired. We go through pain. We have trials. We want to give up the fight sometimes. But that’s not what He wants us to do. He wants us to be His hands and feet while we’re here. And He proves time and again that no matter what you do or how you feel, He can use you for His honor and His glory.
Be that blessing He is calling you to be.
I’ll see you in a little while Baby Butterfly…