Memories are often attached to dates or seasons. Joyful memories such as a wedding, can turn to sorrow after a divorce. Or the joy of a birthday, until that person is no longer with us can sometimes turn to great pain.
Without warning certain days and seasons can be laced with dread.
Have you had a date on the calendar that is painful or that you actually dread? We all have areas where things have happened and when the anniversary roles around it can be hard.
I had that this week.
One year ago this week I received a call from my mom, who was in so much pain that she asked me to take her to the emergency room.
She had been experiencing back pain for a few weeks which we attributed to the fact that she was the primary care-giver to my step dad. At 81 she was helping him in ways that would have exhausted someone my age or younger.
So when I took her to the emergency room that morning, we thought it was for her back. It was never with the inkling that I would return home five days later without her.
That quickly she was gone.
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As the one-year anniversary approached, I thought of her more and more and those five days in the hospital with her. It’s hard not to.
But then something happened that reveals how God redeems, restores and can bring life into hard places.
Last Saturday my daughter delivered her first child and my first grandchild—three weeks early. The birth took place in the same hospital where my mom had passed away one year earlier.
From the same location where we had experienced great loss came new life. The same week that brought sorrow, now brought joy.
I reflect over this past week and am reminded that this is how God works. He wants to redeem every area of sorrow in our lives and every painful memory and bring something new, joyful and life-giving.
Because that is Who He is. And that is what He does.
Isaiah 58:11 reflects this as He tells us, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Today as you read this, you may feel like you are in a sun-scorched land. But the Lord said He would strengthen your frame and someday in the future, you will once again be a well-watered garden.
I am praying for you and the painful places in your life that you will see Him in those times and seasons and that you, too, will experience new birth and new life in place of loss.
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