He searched my eyes for the answer, for comfort as he asked, “Is my mom going to die?” I heaved a heavy sigh, the pain tender still from my dad’s death that blindsided everyone, “I don’t know, but I’d say goodbye like it’s the last time.”
How? How do you follow God, how do you trust God with the heavy details completely outside your control? How do you trust God enough to leave when a loved one could die? Some would say, “It’s a sign you need to stay.” Honestly, I wondered and grew confused. We’re being obedient to the direction God is leading. Why all the struggle?
A story from Mrs. Nay who we met on our prayer road trip came back to my mind. Their move took a crazy turn leaving everyone in their home incredibly sick. Without friends in their new community they should have been sunk, but strangers who heard of their plight came and brought meals and help. One neighbor looked Mrs. Nay in the eyes and said, “What did you expect? You followed God so you have a target on your back!”
Christians often forget or dismiss the reality of the spiritual world. We reflect on the book of Job as subjective creative non-fiction, a moral suggestion rather than the reality a God-fearing man faced. We even gloss over our Saviors words, “In this world you will have trouble.” Especially as Americans we do everything to keep trouble at bay because we have an antiquated view that trouble is bad. We would do well to consider trouble as part of trusting and obeying.
In times of confusion it’s most important to return to the altars and wells dug through agony along the way. Writing Through the Wait significantly helped to hone my perspective. Already I was processing what God was working. The evidence was tangible and undeniable. God clearly directed our family, opened opportunities, provided a job and even a home. All this should not be tossed aside for a moment, as difficult and heart wrenching as it was. When life gets messy we must return to the faithful acts of God and find courage, hope and strength to continue.
The movers finished packing everything they could into the trailer and even a bit more into the moving truck with room to boot for the precious mattresses hugging our hardwood floors.
Packed and ready to go and my mother-in-law’s health kept us grounded. Limited news taught us that leaking bile was causing the threatening infection. The doctors also speculated that gallstones had fallen out during the procedure and needed to be removed. Doctors intended to perform another surgery in the morning to fix the leak. Another surgery the following to remove the rogue gallstones should set her on the path of healing. The second of the week they believed was the most important for stabilizing her immediate health and getting the infection under control.
The clock five days rental ticked away as we waited for answers. Again, we made plans to move, this time far more tentative than ever before. Friday was our new Monday.