Tonight I came across a picture of myself, Linley and Piper from St. Jude's...and I smiled while I wept while I grieved while I chose, once again, to be joyful.
And it struck me as I was remembering the exhaustion and fear and worry that raising and treating a child with cancer brings, it struck me that those were such beautiful moments. Moments that I struggled to smile for Piper while scratching her back for hours. Moments that I encouraged Linley to join myself and Piper in our tiny little room to play and be silly. Moments when I just wanted to curl up in a corner and shut down...to hide in the shower...to run screaming down the halls in a panic because THIS WAS MY LIFE and IT WAS HARD.
So hard, my friends.
But I didn't. Gods grace kept me moving. He rested my soul when I was living on 3 hours of sleep a night. He gave
me a peace when I walked out of that hospital to join Linley and leave Piper for the night. He focused my attentions not on the depths of despair that I so wanted to fall into and wrap myself up in and give way to...my God kept me.
I am thankful that even now, more than a year since Piper left this world, that He continues to show his nature to me...that tonight while just browsing pictures he showed me the beauty in a season I lump together sometimes as simply ugly. That sometimes when I am overwhelm with what he required of me, I forget that He was making moments that were beautiful.
And I would be a fool to not use this reminder in my little life today. No struggle I wrangle with will not blessed with an aspect of beauty if I allow myself to trust the author. I have to. I must. I am thankful that God continues to teach me...that Pipers life was not meaningless and that our struggles were not minuscule.
There was beauty. She was beautiful and my God will remind me of this when I fail to chose joy.
The picture is from less than a month before Piper died. And the song is one that has rattled me and resounded in my soul more deeply than I ever have been rattled.
(Shane and Shane "though you slay me" featuring John Piper)