-Written by Katy (edited by Anna)
As Stan was helping me dress the other morning, I turned to him and said, “We have tried to imagine that time in our lives when we could be disabled and dependent on each other, but never could we have imagined it happening so soon, so early.” We thought maybe in our eighties, but never in our early sixties. I realized that a very large fear, the fear of a disabled and dependent lifestyle, had become a reality for us. And after hearing from others who honestly shared with me, we are not alone in this fear. It has led me to realize that our greatest fear has become reality. Has the affect on our lives been drastic? Yes! But are we okay? Yes!
On the morning of my lung surgery last December, I woke with the Christmas song All is Well on my heart and in my mind. I remember wondering if I would still be singing it by the end of the day. Needless to say I was not singing at the end of the day as all was not well. Yet I can say that throughout this post surgery/post stroke journey ultimately all has been well – just as mother can tell an inconsolable child that everything is going to be ok, not knowing the future herself. I would like the message of this journey to be one of hope for all those who share this fear, even if healing this side of heaven is not complete for me or for you.
The hope I can share is because God has been present through this entire journey. If He is there and His grace and provision, as promised, are sufficient for us, they will be for you as well. We have no reason to believe otherwise. He has no favorites and yet He has provided for us as if we were.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
These words were written by hymn writer, William Cowper, who suffered from depression all his life. Actually, I don’t believe he could have written these words without knowing true suffering. It is not ‘all good’, as some like to say. But God brings good out of all things, for those who look to Him, and put their trust in Him again. If you, like me, find yourself disabled and dependent before your time, you will be amazed by His loving provision for you, as I have been for me. This is not to say I like being in this place of need at 63. I don’t like depending on others and having to schedule people to come and care for me each day. And yet He has made a way for me, step by painful step, and I am better for it. And while He has brought good out of it, the good does not neutralize or diminish the bad. The bad is still bad. The pain is still pain, but it’s not in vain, and I can live with that! I can declare that All Is Well, the same way that a man who lost his family to the waves of the sea on a transatlantic cruise could write these words:
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, with my soul.
And it is! It is well with my soul when I am in right relationship with Him. And like Job, not charging Him with wrong-doing, but recognizing His love and mercy even when I can’t feel it or understand it! I don’t need to fear because He is with me and because of that All is Well.