Recently we had the privilege of attending online, the funeral of a dear brother. Funerals are a time of immeasurable grief for both family and friends and yet loaded with hope also as the deceased persons next waking moment will be in the kingdom at the feet of Jesus with pain and suffering being a thing of the past. One of the reflections was that a funeral gives us the opportunity to take stock of our own lives – the journey that we are on and whether we need to make changes in the way we live our lives. Have we made the most of our lives thus far or could we do better at or be a better person in the sight of God.
After the funeral service, I took some time out to reflect. To look inward and evaluate my life and my purpose in life and to pray for help with the changes. The power of God’s mercy to our family is unsurmountable. To me, our little family is our biggest and richest blessing and despite all the trials we have had in our lives we still have a purpose to hold on to. Never give up is the message! Whatever we are going through in life, God is always there for us.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
When I emigrated to Canada I felt I became closer to God as I had left all my family and friends behind to start a new life and the one constant in my life at that time was God – my rock. As the years have rolled by our lives have been peppered with family illness. Cancer entered our home 4 years ago and we have been so grateful to our Heavenly Father as He has carried us on this journey which sometimes feels like being on a massive rollercoaster that you cannot stop. We have felt closer to God on this journey as a family – we didn’t think this could be possible as He was already the centre of our family life. The connection is very real and emotional.
"As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And You set me in Your presence forever." (Psalm 41:12)
In January 2023 we entered the hospital system with a broken hip and due to a chain of unfortunate circumstances we remained in hospital for 17 weeks. Once again, an even deeper relationship has ensued between our Heavenly Father and our family. We stand in awe at the love showered upon us, the guidance provided daily and the feeling that He has been with us, close to us, each and every day.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5)
A relationship of intimacy and security is what is unfolding on this journey. Having the faith to know that God is there for us and His word is our guide in life which has taught us how to love and respect others, how to live our lives and how to embrace God’s goodness.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 'The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
If we are struggling, there is no better place than to turn to the Bible as it contains so much wisdom. God created us, He loves us and wants us to grow to know him.
This verse springs to mind:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Allowing God to take charge of our lives is so refreshing – not always easy! We need to remember that we are still growing each and every day in our relationship with Him. Sometimes we make personal plans which do not always go the way we want them to go yet God is always active in our plans.
"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)
As our hospital journey unfolds, we are not sure where the journey will go or where it will take us. One thing is for sure that to keep us focused we trust in God’s love for us. Reading or reciting bible verses is another way to keep us on track; especially on the car journeys in the dark, to and fro the hospital in the snow and ice; even saying them out loud as I go. Mindset is key – endeavoring to remain positive in a dark place and living mindfully – in the present time and remaining focus on the end goal. The best is yet to come is one of our family phrases. What a hope!
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)
Since writing this blog our lives have taken another twist on the rollercoaster of life and we will share how we are managing that by God’s grace, soon in the hope that we can offer you some positivity and hope for your future.