“Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.” ~Victor Hugo
This week will be a big week. Not only will my grandfather’s funeral be on this Thursday, February 20th, but it will also mark 40 days since our home was flooded and we have been displaced as a family.
Home flood? Yes that’s right. Our home was flooded on January 11th, as I woke up to walking on wet carpet at around 2:00am. Currently our home is unlivable as the floors, ceilings and walls have been torn apart. The source of the flood seemed to stem from our clothes washer, which is located on the second floor, so when it leaked everything got hit. Our insurance placed us in a hotel for a month and then recently transferred us last week into an apartment, which doesn’t bode well as it tells me that these repairs are going to take a lot of time.
Many tears have been shed as frustrations continue to mount. Caity and I recognize that so many things have been systematically taken away from us in this last year. Currently we are without internet at our apartment, and so even being able to do something so simply as check email, write a blog post, or even apply for a new job have become that much more challenging. We finally recognize the reason for it all: we are being trained to trust and rely solely on Jesus Christ and his provision and direction for our lives.
Then this last week I received the news that my grandfather, Donald Patten, was not doing well and certain to be on his way into the arms of Jesus. I hadn’t seen grandpa in quite some time. Truth be told, he had been mentally absent for quite some time due to alzheimer’s and so visiting him just seemed burdensome. Then to place on top of that some of the hard feelings I had carried over the years toward him for certain scars made it even more difficult. It wasn’t until I walked into his room, and I could see how fragile he’d become, withered to bones, that my heart melted and I was reminded how fragile we all are. I sat next to his bed and I did the unexpected…I asked for his forgiveness for my anger toward him, and then I thanked him for the many, many things that he did well during his life. Grandpa taught me how to work hard, to believe in my creativity, and he imparted a strong spiritual heritage to his children and grandchildren.
And then on the morning of February 11th, grandpa passed away into glory.
It feels like we are in the center of a spiritual struggle. Every area of our lives feels pressed in upon. Emotionally. Physically. Financially. Relationally. Exhaustion is our regular state of existence. Yet as for Caity and me, it is our response that reveals the standing of our hearts. We are weary but we are willing to follow Jesus…no matter where He goes. He is the way, and will be the only way to guiding us through the dark paths of our current valley.
Caity and I have committed to do God’s will His way, however meandering the path. To stop complaining and submit to His authority in every circumstance will be our mark. To show up and do our daily tasks with a steadfast determination, no matter now humiliating, will be done only with the strength of Christ, who empowers us both to endure and do all things. Alone and on our own, we can do nothing and will remain stuck. Jesus Christ is calling out. He is saying “I am the way…”
SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM