I remember coming home afterwards. It was late at night. I don’t know what time. I drove as far as I could, and then stopped about 30 minutes before we got home. I couldn’t drive anymore. I was shutting down. I didn’t know what to think, how to feel, I had never experienced my dad dying before. Did that just happen? And now, I am driving a stupid car down the road? His life ended and I am driving.
I remember leaving the hotel where we left him off. I utterly broke down. For the first time in my life I completely lost it. I had reasons to before, like my husband’s extra-marital affair, but this was different. My youngest son said, mom, stop, people are looking they can hear you. I cried all the way home, and that night. I had never had a son leave for boot camp. In the instant he walked away, our relationship changed. He was no longer my little boy. He was a man and we would no longer be involved in each others daily lives.
I remember the moment God made it clear. It was time for me to leave the ministry that I had devoted my life to for 7 years. It was time. I cried. I would be obedient, but I cried. I absolutely loved leading a para-church ministry. It was the job of a lifetime. God made me to do that, gave me the grace to lead, serve and love others. An excruciating 6 months later my last day came. As that last day ended I knew it was time to go. My time was done and it was time for the new Director to lead. I left physically, spiritually and mentally exhausted, and appreciative beyond measure. I have been in shock ever since trying to grasp not serving God in that way any longer.
Life. It’s hard. It’s in those moments that you try to figure out how in the world does Scripture help me right now. We try to remember God’s promises and figure out how and if they help us in difficult moments. Knowing that God is with us doesn’t actually take away the pain, and tears. We know we need to pray, read the Bible, and trust God, but then what?
Well life goes on. No matter how difficult any day is life just keeps going on. Life didn’t stop the day my dad died. Life didn’t stop the day my son left for boot camp. Life hasn’t stopped because I no longer serve in full time ministry. Life just keeps moving on, and in that is a blessing.
Every day things are good medicine for times of trial, and life change. We pay bills, work, do the dishes, fold clothes, clean, get groceries and live everyday life. These things keep us going. When we stop doing them we are prone to serious depression. We won’t feel like doing these things so will have to make ourselves for a while, but they are good for us. It’s these things that will keep us moving forward.
Not long after my dad passed away I went through major life and career transitions. Pretty much my entire life has changed. I have struggled with these changes for the past three years. At first everyday things kept me going, but I struggled to do them, and after a while fell into a serious depression. The whole time fighting to believe God, read His Word, and keep a strong prayer life going.
Over time God has brought healing. I am not like I used to be before the changes, but perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps I am not supposed to be like I was but how God wants me to now be. I can complete everyday things with ease, and am starting to get interested in decorating my home again, and going above and beyond everyday chores.
While we believe and trust God, we must also live. The everyday things in life are good medicine for us during times of trial, suffering and transition. God wants us to keep going. He expects us to live. Doing everyday things is His way of seeing that we trust Him and that we believe one day we will do those things again with joy.
So if you have to, do the dishes crying, fold the towels when you are angry, write the bills out when you are confused, and get groceries when you look like a train just ran over you. When you do God will be pleased. Did He not make this world with everyday things in it for us? To help us be constructive, as a way to serve others, and as a tool for helping us move forward in life.
With God we can do this. One step at a time.