I received a gift some time ago that I just could not unwrap, I let it sit around, stared at it and knew it was there…but I just didn’t want to pick it up, unwrap it and peer into it’s contents.
In some ways, it was a gift I never wanted.
Sometimes….. I really just wanted to give it back or even throw it off my deck into the woods hoping it would roll down our hill into the creek and be washed away never to be seen again.
The more I stared at it, the more I despised it, but the more I thought about it, I slowly broached it and began to open it purposely and deliberately. It was a slow, I began to peel away the layers of wrapping paper to slowly catch of glimpse of this Gift.
It’s been six LONG years since Curt was diagnosed at age 46 with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.
It has taken me six years to just now begin to see the glory of The Gift we have been given. It was not easy to see during those first few years. There was some anger, bitterness, grief all piled together.
But as the years have dragged on and I continued to plead with God for wisdom, healing, help, provision, financial stability, care, friendship, guidance….. I have finally come to realize He has provided us all those things on this journey. We have been able to look back and see how God has used our community, friends and family to bless us in big ways. What a treasure it has been to see God’s hand moving to provide.
It’s been a Gift!
A true Gift… a gift few receive.
I have had a privilege of seeing the kindness of strangers, the provision provided to us by friends, our needs met in ways I never could imagine, sweet notes of encouraging words sent our way, surprises of kindness and care for our needs.
I remember that first Christmas after Curt was diagnosed, someone anonymously gave us this note:
Experiences…….it’s what our lives are made of……We would like you to accept this gift and experience something fun…..something relaxing and enjoyable away from your daily worries and duties…..we know how important this is and how seldom we make the time to do it.
Funny how many times we are not even aware of how many people we touch throughout our lives…..sometimes directly……..sometimes indirectly…….sometimes through actions……..sometimes through words…….sometimes by the smallest thing that we don’t even see…….So please accept this small gift from people of lives both of you have touched…….some that you know……..some that you don’t……and each time you look at this angel…..know that someone is thinking of you and someone is praying for you………………
Enclosed was a check that pretty much covered our upcoming ski trip. We had not told anyone about our trip. But God knew….He orchestrated it all. He provided. He brought others to us at the right time.
One spring I was in need of a lawn mower. A few days later a friend of a friend shows up at our door and says, “God told me to give my lawn mower to you!!” What!?!!!! Another example of our Gift. I could go on and on, there have been many examples of seeing first hand God’s care provided to us through friends and our community.
People often look at me, and say they are sorry, sorry that bad things happen to good people. They wonder how God could allow this.
But the Gift in all of this is seeing first hand the amazing way God has provided and blessed us IN the storm. I would have never chosen this journey but I do have the choice on how I handle it. And that choice involves truly seeing the Gift in all of it. My trust in the Lord to provide is forever changed, my faith, a fortress I cling to in this storm. I have seen the hand of God provide for us in amazing ways financially, I have seen first hand people care for us and give us hope……do you see a glimpse of this Gift my friends?
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
When you pass through the water, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned….
Yes when going through the trials of pain, heartache and heartbreak, discouragement and grief it is then that you too get to experience His Gift of seeing you through it and using others to bless you in it.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, at first my emotions did not want to see God seeing me through the storm, I just wanted the nightmare to GO AWAY.
But now as a seasoned sojourner blazing the trail of grief and heartache I do see how God has provided in amazing ways and I have come to see the true Gift of difficult trials.
If you are currently enduring a crisis, or living out the grief of a loss of a loved one, or experiencing the heartache of a broken relationship, or financial uncertainty, loss of a job, loss of something or someone dear to you or a serious health struggle………I do know this…. God may not take away your pain friends. I am so sorry. But…. He will see you through it all and maybe, just maybe someday you too will be able to truly see the Gift in all of it. Hang in there dear one.
It has taken me six years, but I see it now and am thankful. ❤
This Christmas, my favorite Gift is not one I will find wrapped under the tree.
After all as the song says, you must go Dashing Through the Snow in that one horse open sleigh, in order to be laughing ALL the way. 🙂
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays my friends!!
P.S. The picture of the gifts at the top of this page……the gift with the zip ties is the gift Madi gave Tyler last year at Christmas. 🙂 A fun sense of humor is another thing that has gotten us through all of this…..but that will have to be a post for another day.
~Also as an update on Curt, he is struggling a bit lately……all things we anticipated during End Stage Alzheimer’s and they are a typical sign of the long journey of a disease that offers no cure or positive treatment plan. However, he does still maintain his contagious laugh and humor. Just yesterday I was showing him the pizza scene clip from Home Alone, he laughed so hard I had to remind him to breath! 🙂 We are thankful for that!!~