I lie here in the silence, darkness surrounding me. Only moments ago I was sleeping soundly. No dreams. No restlessness. From a deep sleep to wide awake, nothing but seconds separating the two. I steal a glance at the clock … 4 a.m. Why am I suddenly awake?
My mind immediately goes to Elijah. Oh, our precious boy, how I’ve missed you! A lingering cough has kept me away from the hospital for a week now. That’s a long time to go without a hug from my boy. I lift a prayer up on his behalf, just as I’ve done so many times before.
My thoughts quickly shift to my husband and children, to other family members, to friends who’ve become family. I ponder the blessing of each one.
I thank God for another day.
I haven’t always been as thankful as I am this morning. Experiences gained through years of twists and turns and ups and downs have a way of changing your perspective. Loss has a way of helping you appreciate those people and things still present with you.
I think of the past.
We encounter so many goodbyes in this life, don’t we? Some of them by choice. Others not. A steady stream of change woven within our days. Some so common we barely notice. Other, larger goodbyes, bring adventure and excitement to our lives. Then there are those unwelcome goodbyes. The ones that tear at our hearts, interrupting our normal, comfortable way of doing life.
I remember my own painful goodbyes.
I would have never chosen a single one of them. If I’m being honest, I likely still wouldn’t. I am not brave enough -or tough enough- to knowingly place myself in the middle of that kind of heartache.
Yet like it or not, adversity will find us. And when it does, what will be our response? Will we cling tightly to God? Will we surround ourselves with those who love us well? Will we determine to survive? Will we choose to be better because of it? I sure hope so.
While we may not look forward to the struggles of this life, may we be attentive as we pass through them. May we notice the gifts that surround us. May we be thankful for another day – another opportunity – to behold the beauty in this life. It’s there, waiting to be noticed, waiting to be uncovered.
If only we’ll choose to see.