We have many moments and chapters in our lives. Some of these chapters in our lives are joyful ones. Some are them are difficult and challenging. We tend to look at special dates on the calendar and reflect about the past moments of our lives. I especially tend to do this.
Seven decades ago on August 24, 1947 a little baby girl was born. Her parents named her Sharon Lynn. She was her parents first child, and she was born two weeks earlier than expected. As you may have guessed this little girl is the author of this blog post.
The chapters in my life included my birth in IA and my growing up years in MN and SD. I was a quiet introvert type child. Later came the early adult chapter of my life. I moved to WI, taught first grade for three years at a Christian school, met and married my husband, and raised a family of three sons. Later chapters in my life included the marriages of my sons and wonderful grandchildren. One of the difficult chapters of my life was the diagnosis of my husband's rare neurological disease (Multiple Systems Atrophy) in 2006, my breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, and my husband's death in early 2011.
Yet all these chapters in my life were ordained by God. Psalm 139:16 says, "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." God has ordained all the days and chapters of your life as well, dear caregiver. If I had been able to chose, I would have not chosen the care-giving chapter of my life or perhaps even difficult moments which occurred before that chapter in my life. I certainly would not have chosen the chapter of widow.
Yet God truly does bring beauty from the ashes of the difficult chapters of our lives. God says in John 16:33b, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." He has overcome the world, and He will use our heartaches to advance His kingdom and for our spiritual growth and even joy.
Dear caregiver, the Lord is using your care-giving experience to stretch and grow you in dependence on Him and in love for Him. He is using it to bring new spiritual fruit in your life. Finally, He is using it in His kingdom both now and in the days ahead. Dear caregiver, I understand how difficult the care-giving chapter of your life can be. I lived it. Yet God wants you to walk with Him holding His hand during this chapter of your life. He wants you to rest in Him trusting that He will lead you through this time in your life with purpose for now and the future. If you belong to Him; He delights in you, dear caregiver!