My dear readers:
It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've written anything and I've let you down. I don't even think I have readers anymore. I have no good reasons for being away from this woefully neglected blog apart from the usual day-to-day busyness. That busyness always leads to small bouts of depression that leaves me feeling as though I'm not living my deepest purpose. Depression runs in my family and I've struggled with it to some extent ever since puberty. Mine has never become so intense where I require medication, for which I am truly thankful to the Lord. Generally mine is a sign that I haven't been pursuing the things that matter to me, i.e. drawing, painting, reading, writing, composing letters to dear friends, and spending time in God's expansive creation. The ache runs deep within my soul during these times and I can feel it as we speak. Pushing away my desperate need to create something has left me dry and empty. Yearning to express myself, I've turned back to this blog with the hope that I'm left newly inspired to make time for my passions.
Along with a nook to create and express myself, this blog has become a journal to aid in catharsis. I have long known that I tend to write when I'm experiencing an extreme emotion--depression, anxiety, elation, love, and deep sadness. Today it is the shoulder of a friend as I weep for one battling for her life.
Cheryl is one of my mom's dearest, oldest friends. I have known her since the day I was born, quite literally. She and my mom had their children at the same time, providing built in playmates for us. Visiting Cheryl and her family was always a total blast. She let us play outside for HOURS while she would fix us sandwiches made of Wonderbread and grape jelly. I remember thinking she was such a beautiful woman with a genuine smile that helped my shy little girl of a self feel comfortable and somehow less of a child.
I got to know Cheryl as an adult after my mom founded an online e-mail group called The Sisterhood of Weather, or The 'Hood for short. The group is made up of about 20 ladies, most of whom have known each other since they were children. We share prayer requests, recipes, advice, and provide a sounding board and emotional support for each member. When Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990's, she has been in our constant prayer.
Slowly, Cheryl's condition has worsened and she no longer has the strength to sit at the computer to write to the 'Hood, so we hear from Cheryl's mom Billie who has come out from Arkansas to take care of her. We learned tonight that she's not eating or drinking and had to be hydrated by the emergency room doctor. The doctors have brought up the subject of hospice care, so we know that the end is near. I am so very thankful that Cheryl knows the Lord--she is His child and will get to spend an eternity in Heaven with Him. Even while there is a great sense of relief that she will be in the awesome presence of the Lord at last, there will be enormous grief here on Earth while we mourn the loss of our sweet sister in Christ.
If I still have any readers out there, please pray for Cheryl and her family. She has three sons, two of whom have young families. Please pray for her husband Mike. They have been married for almost 40 years. My heart is breaking for their loss. Please pray that the Lord provides them with every comfort necessary and that He surrounds them with His peace and joy in the blessed assurance that they will see her again someday.
Losing a loved one is a heart-wrenching difficulty. It's the hardest thing we as humans ever experience. I will never understand death, but am so thankful that through death, His children will be with our Savior God for the rest of eternity if only we trust in Him for our salvation. I am so thankful that the Lord has redeemed me and has given me something greater for which to live. I am immensely grateful that Cheryl shares in that salvation. Our Lord is so merciful and loving.
Lord, help us to rest in your mercy and love. You have pulled us from the muck and mire and given us a firm place to stand. Hallelujah.