I am leaving for vacation tomorrow. Glenn and I are going to NYC and then on to Ireland for a week to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I should be elated, and in many ways I am. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. And I will adore having that time with my hubby and experienicng this with him. A time to celebrate our love and express our gratefulness to one another and to God for these 30 years together.
But it’s not the carefree, excited feeling I used to get when planning a vacation. It comes with other contrary emotions, that were never a part of the equation before when anticipating a great adventure. When suffering, there are always other emotions running in the background.
It’s hard not to look at things now as futile activity, temporary amusement, when the heart is breaking. Even as the pieces begin to inch back together you know they will never fit as they used to. As a broken vase can be glued back together but will never be the same, it is forever changed. The heart, this life, all future events, forever changed.
And as I plan for fun events, evidences of life going on, the little things still bring sobs up to my throat, and sadness threatens to crush any sense of normalcy in my life. But there is something within us, God given, that plots for survival, so I plan vacations, and celebrate important mile stones. I suppose those things are no less important now, and in some ways probably more important. But they must be done now in the shadow of the cross and with an eye on Heaven’s horizon, or they lose their meaning and make no sense.
And for that, I can thank suffering. Maybe perhaps that is the silver lining to this thing called suffering. It brings all of life into perspective, it forces us to see things the way God sees them. We tend to think of life as being for us, about us. But suffering teaches you that life is broken, and it is certainly not about us and our plans. But it also teaches that there is still beauty here, if we stand in the shadow of the cross.
So I will stand in the shadow and grieve with hope…