Since January I have been a women longing for Sunday. This Sunday, Easter. I have been residing in a deep, dark puddle and I wasn’t sure I would make it to this Sunday. I hoped and I prayed and put practices in place to help with the dark and to hold on one more day, take one more step, but honestly I was afraid. Afraid of this dark and afraid it would overtake me.
January brought the unexpected diagnose of Lymphoma to one of the many precious gifts that God has given me. Annie, our golden retriever was such a surprise and beautiful gift in another dark season. A gift that was not only for myself but our whole family. Annie, brought laughter and joy in a time where we had forgotten how to laugh and have a good time. She was a cuddle on a dark day, a smile when our hearts felt tender, a nudge when we forgot to look up. God, our Father was so good to give us such a gift that we didn’t even know we needed.
Annie girl was only 5 years old. It was hard to believe that she had cancer and a cancer that was so close to Tim’s cancer. We had celebrated on Christmas that we only had 9 more months to go till Tim ended the daily battle with cancer. This diagnose of Lymphoma seemed to be cruel and heartbreaking, as this life is at times. So I began the walk of heartache and grieving when we loose something we love. As hard as this was I wanted to live these last days with Annie, enjoying the time with her before the cancer overtook her. But to live with her was to walk in suffering as everyday I knew was a gift but not a promise of tomorrow.
I joked to a friend that it felt like someone had signed me up for a Degree in Suffering, unbeknownst to me. Apparently this is a class that I need to keep taking as the last eight years have been full of advanced classes with this theme. Leaning into the hard, the painful, the suffering is not something that we in America are really good at and I am no exception.
But all this hard, all this suffering is reminiscent of Good Friday. Jesus has been there and back in the suffering department. In the dying department. He knows it all well and how very fortunate for us that He doesn’t leave us alone in it. As Barbara Brown Taylor says in Learning To Walk in the Dark, “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”
And so with longing for Easter, I also sit in the angst of Good Friday and I am becoming less afraid. I have almost made it to Easter when I really wondered a few months ago whether I would. God has me, no matter how deep the puddle and there is grace….