Everything in Time & Always in God's Time.... How I Know This to be True

Friday, February 5, 2016

During a crisis, people have a multitude of words....words they share to help ease your pain.  I'm sure you've heard many of them yourself:  When God closes a door, He opens a window.....Everything happens for a reason....... If God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it........God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  You've heard them all, right?  At the hour of our need, at our deepest and darkest hour, that moment when we feel life can't get any worse, that we might never feel better, none of these poetic, intended to be comforting words do much to ease our pain. Sometimes they even make us feel worse.  Sometimes we just want to scream, because inside we are sure that all of these statements are just BS and untrue, life will not go on, it won't get better, if God will bring us through it, why did He bring us here in the first place.  Sometimes life brings us to a point when we feel every door is closed and nothing and no amount of time will fix things.  I think most of you have experienced this feeling at least once in your life, and many have experienced it more than once. Lucky for us, those statements do prove to be true with time and God does answer our prayers and bring us through our hours of need.....in His own time, but He always does.   I've experienced that many times in my lifetime and am grateful to once again have been blessed with another answer to my prayers.

I was recently cleaning out digital files and came across this photo.  One look brought me back in time....just over three years in time....and the emotions came rushing back, so powerful it felt like yesterday.  Why, you ask?  It looks like a perfectly happy photo, but beyond a child's look of wonder, an evening turned from Christmas magic to what felt to me like the end of the world.  No....nobody died that night, although it felt like I had.  And moments later, I almost wished I had....the pain was that bad.  I remember the moments and hours that followed this sweet moment as if it were yesterday. Three years have done nothing to erase the vivid memory I have of that night, not even as I sit here today.  There are a few other such moments that remain that bright and vivid in my mind, moments I might never forget. One is the moment in Ellis Hospital in March of 1981 when the doctor came to us and told us our nearly comatose 10 1/2 month daughter had insulin dependent diabetes.  I remember everything about that moment and the hours that preceded it as they did a multitude of diagnostic tests including a spinal tap trying to figure out why our baby was so sick.  Certainly the diagnosis brought some sense of relief - it wasn't a death sentence of childhood cancer, but my picture of diabetes included old people blind and missing limbs, so it wasn't really a good diagnosis either.  But....realizing how lucky we were, we moved forward and took a matter-of-fact approach in dealing with this animal people call diabetes. Another moment, or series of moments, was the night my Dad died.  I vividly remember the call from my Mom saying he died, and then seeing him lying on the floor while we waited for the Coroner.  Life is filled with these types of life-changing moments, moments we wish we could forget, moments that have altered life that followed them.

That night, a night that began as a fun evening viewing Christmas lights with our granddaughter, daughter and our daughter's mother-in-law quickly changed directions.  I had noticed our daughter seemed a little off, not her usual bright and vivacious self, but didn't really think too hard about it. Soon enough I'd learn the reason for her mood.  A few moments into dinner Laura announced she'd been offered a big promotion with her company for a job she'd worked hard to land.....(brief moment of excitement and pride) followed by the rest of the sentence....she would have to relocate to Indiana where the company had its home base.  Now, many of you have children living all over the country, so for you or for those of you who raised independent boys, I know this doesn't sound like anything big or devastating.   But I raised girls and this particular girl was a homebody, a girl who couldn't even go on sleep-overs and survive the night away.  She was the girl who phoned home everyday in college just to chat. This girl was moving to Indiana and taking her 2 1/2 yr. old daughter (and husband) half way across the country.  To us, it felt the same as if she said she was moving to Antarctica.   Except for college when Laura was less than two hours away, Laura had either lived home or just 15 minutes away.  Since our granddaughter's birth, we saw them several days each week and had babysit a few days a week.  In fact, just a month prior to this announcement, I had retired so I could babysit more and also enjoy John's retirement.  And now in the blink of an eye our lives changed and these precious people in our lives, this little piece of our heart, was ripped away.  So many thoughts rushed through my mind that night.  Having grown up so close to my grandmothers, I treasured the idea my grandchildren would have the same experience.  But now....would she even remember me once she moved?  How could I go from seeing her almost daily to seeing her a few times a year?  We'd miss birthdays and holidays, outings and just typical days doing grandma/granddaughter things.  Life just ended with one sentence, one life-changing announcement, words I'll never forget, a night still so vivid I still cry when I think of it.

Well, it's been almost three years since the move to Indiana took place.  At first it was pure and utter devastation and heartache.  For a time I truly felt dead inside, so heartbroken I didn't think I'd survive. Silly as it sounds to those of you who are perfectly fine with your family being hours and states away, for us it was nearly unbearable.  Thankfully in time, God did open a window.  He did bring us through our pain and we discovered God didn't give us more than we could handle, things do happen for a reason.  We learned to enjoy our retirement (just the two of us), we found hobbies and I rediscovered my love of photography, we explored our state and beyond and I began my blog and eventually we figured out Indiana was not Antarctica and was accessible to anyone.  We visited and they came home - much more than I expected and Elena never forgot us.  Two years ago at Christmas when Laura told us she was expecting their second child I faced another moment of devastation because I knew this grandbaby would be different.  This one wouldn't know me as intimately as Elena did and that made me so sad.  That sadness was magnified a billion times when we had to come back to NY when baby Braelyn was only two days old.  I cried for the first few hours of our drive back.  These three years have been filled with a  myriad of emotions, some good, some not, but we've grown and survived and in the end we've all thrived.  Being 14 hours away was a growing experience for all of us.

Like most of life's tragedies, we were blessed enough to move forward and create a new chapter. Today I'm here to tell you that a new chapter lies ahead and this one includes my Indiana family who next week will be coming back to NY!!!!!!!  It turns out, there is no place like home!  After ten years with her company, Laura felt it was time for a change, time to spread her wings and challenge herself with something new.  Beginning later this month Laura will be working for the American Diabetes Association as Director of Development.  Once again, God works in mysterious ways and as I always say, things happen for a reason. I can't believe He didn't have a hand in bringing Laura to this particular job.  Diabetes has been an unwelcome but ever-present part of this family for 35 years. We've cursed it, rallied for it, raised money for it - both of us serving as co-presidents of the local Juvenile Diabetes Foundation chapter at one time.  It has always been the 'elephant in the room' since that first vivid moment of diagnosis in 1981 and now Laura will be working for one of its biggest supporters and cheerleaders.  Destiny?  Fate? God's work?  Absolutely.  For each of these I say thank you.

God has always answered our prayers....in His own time, sometimes 3 years later.....but as always in the perfect time.  It may not have felt so over these last three years.  At times we just embraced this way of life, resigned to the fact we had no choice, but in my heart I always hoped and prayed that at some point, my family would return. And now they will!  Hallelujah and thanks be to God!  So the next time life deals you a devastating blow, when everyone throws you one of the lines at the beginning of this blog, take a second and remind yourself.....when God closes a door, He WILL open a window.  It may not be when you hoped and it may not seem like enough, but eventually you'll know it's right and life will go on - exactly as it should!

Thanks for reading!  Please come back soon to Life As I See It!  

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