Funny how things change. In a blink of an eye the Bible writes. One day, we are thinking and planning our day and then something happens. The phone call. The missed turn. The chance encounter.
Almost two weeks ago, on a Wednesday morning I had prayed, "use me Lord in whatever, whenever, wherever way you can." Little would I know that when I prayed that prayer, everything that has transpired since would be a testimony to God, His provision of strength and the witness of so much care and support that friends and community can provide.
From a single phone call that my mom was going to the emergency room our family has been propelled into a whirlwind. From the ER, my mom had an overnight hospitalization. She was released home with a treatment plan for an acute illness. She was home for two days when she died suddenly.
Shocking to all of us as she was "indestructible" as one cousin said to me. She had ailments related to aging but overall she was always a vibrant, energetic, active woman. Sad as we all are, we know that she did not suffer, her passing was painless, she had the love of her life, my dad and her husband of 63 years, right next to her and she is in Heaven.
It does feel as if time has stopped. We are all going through the motions of planning the memorial service, contacting out of town family and friends as well as having to work through the aftermath "to do" list (contacting Social Security, pension, etc.) I have lost track of the days. Some days it seems as if the day is spread out so long before me and I don't know what to do next. But once we get working on things, it seems as if there is not enough time in the day. Even though the change in our daily lives happened so quickly, we are developing a new routine. These early weeks almost seem to be a freeze frame for acute grief and regrouping. I do think that this "time stoppage" is a protective mechanism for us. It allows us to concentrate on the immediate. We do recognize that it is not going to be the permanent. I know that after the service and all the to-do things are accomplished, there will be another"normal" for us. Then time will restart.
I am also amazed at how much God has provided an inner strength and calmness to do what needs to be done. So many little things that have happened have demonstrated how, even in the midst of our loss, God cares for each of us. I am more and more convinced that life consists of these little events; that one's life is really a series of small dramas and actions that are interwoven into a larger composition. I find great comfort in knowing that the One who has designed the larger composition cares about each of the little elements that go into it.
I am grateful that I did pray that prayer that Wednesday morning. Of course, I was not expecting a death. Yet I do feel that because I was open to be used in whatever way I needed to be, God was/is able to work with me. I like this new state of openness. It does take a lot of stress off my plate. I don't have to be in control, God is.
How about you? Have you ever had the feeling that time stopped due to an unexpected action? How did you handle it? When did time restart? In what ways did/can you see God at work? Have you ever prayed to be used by God? What happened?