Well, I'm back in Nashville. It's been awhile since I have written on my blog, but I feel the Lord calling me to start writing again. On life. On motherhood. On marriage. On my love of Jesus. On the adventure I'm about to embark on with homeschooling. On suffering.
Today and this week and really over the past year and a half I have been reflecting on the suffering accompanied with dying. We could get into a huge theological/philosophical conversation about suffering, death and dying... healing... the why's and why nots, but my energy isn't there today. Bottom line, we have original sin and we are all going to die. But, what I'm realizing more and more is that people completely forget Jesus, his cross, redemptive suffering and ETERNITY! How do you suffer alone without these things?
How do you suffer without purpose? At Easter time I came down with something... I'm still not sure what. It may have been part of a terrible detox I was doing, although one doctor said severe inflammation in my intestinal tract and another said 3 different viruses hit me at once. Well, whatever you would call it, I have never suffered that much in a physical nature in my lifetime (only 33 years, but still). I was taken to the emergency room and had every test in the book run on me, but still nothing definitive. It offered me a chance to reflect on people who suffer. Without Jesus, I would've said, please someone give me the drugs that will make this end. I could not sleep, hold still or eat with the pain I suffered. It lasted without any relief for 3 days. After 3 days, it was still minor pain for another week. It was an opportunity to ask, beg, and offer myself as a prayer. What the Lord needed me for that week, can't wait to ask Him! But, I know, without a doubt, He used my suffering... graces fell from my tears, my pain, my sleepless nights, my missing my kids. Redemptive suffering is something I hope I can teach my children well. A hard feat.
I have been reflecting on my uncle in his suffering. He has cancer. It started with his thyroid, then to his lungs, liver, etc. It has been painful to watch. Chemotherapy. Losing hair. No appetite. Fatigue. And the list goes on. A difficult journey for my grandmother, my mom, my aunts and uncle, my uncles closest friends and of course, all of those who love him. But, the immense beauty that has transpired... His suffering has had great purpose. You can see the people around him put on their life glasses and focus in on the important and flush out the nonsense.
If only those who support the terrible act of euthanasia could see the beauty in suffering, death and dying. The way people have opened up. The way people have given of themselves. The way people have learned to love in the hardest way. The way the family has come together and been a team. It has been indescribably beautiful. They have even made t-shirts to support him! The way they have treated my uncle with such dignity during this time and how he has fought to help each person mourn and understand. I'm impressed, I'm learning, I'm praying that more people recognize the great beauty suffering carries with it.