Posted in focus on faith

Perfect Timing

Sitting outside Jasmine’s hospital room early Monday morning I waited for the text from Christine that says, “We are awake. Breakfast?” That is the cue for me to go to the cafeteria and order “The Albertan” for Christine and a pancake for Jasmine.

But it had been several days since Jasmine had eaten anything at all. She wasn’t drinking much either so everything was being administered through her IV. Frankly, She had been through a week of intense suffering and the day before, Sunday, had been the worst.

When I left them Sunday night I was so broken-hearted I thought my chest would explode. Watching that precious girl battling strep and pneumonia without the benefit of any white blood cells was horrific. I lost count of the number of IV bags and needles as the medical staff tried to stop her plummeting blood pressure, reduce the fever, dull the pain and fight the infections.

Monday morning I was emotionally raw.

I opened my Bible as I waited and looked to Psalm 91 where God had met me in other crises. I found nothing. So I turned to the traditional favourite, Psalm 23. Nothing.

So I began to leaf forward, looking for anything previously underlined. My eyes fell on some green lines beneath these words in Psalm 27:

Wait for the Lord: be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the Lord. 

It grabbed my attention. No one likes waiting but it’s bearable when the outcome we await is good news. So I read it again and then noticed the words just above and found the promise I desperately needed in verse 13:

I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

After all the suffering I had witnessed in the previous days, this was good news. I clung to this promise and, lacking note paper, I removed the cardboard thingy (I lost my nouns years ago) from my coffee cup and wrote it out.

Moments later I got the text. I stepped into the hospital room and could see instantly that Jasmine, while still very sick, had turned a corner and was headed back toward the “land of the living.”

This does not happen to me often but at key moments during my life God has met me through His Word and given me promises moments before life confirms their truth. He knows. He cares.

Posted in focus on faith

No Matter What

July 3, 2013. A typical day. Gram in her apron taking a break with her little helper, 7 year old Jasmine.

It’s easy to believe in a good outcome when signs indicate victory.

I’m a hockey fan. I get very tense when my team plays and the score is tight. However, if we get a three-goal lead I relax a little because winning seems more likely. (does the word pessimist come to mind?)

However, if my team is down a goal in the third, I am definitely a glass-half-empty person. I lose hope.

Two weeks ago, I felt like victory was within our grasp in regards to Jasmine’s leukaemia battle. She had made it through her second round of chemo, we were officially halfway toward the cure, she was feeling good, and we were celebrating.

Then the other shoe dropped.

I got my second bad cold since her diagnosis two months ago. My first cold kept me from seeing Jasmine for three weeks. My current virus has barred me for a week and it’s far from over.

Meanwhile, Jasmine took a turn for the worse. She is fighting a bacterial infection, a mysterious cough, a reactionary rash, headache, nausea, loss of appetite and all at a time when she has no white blood cells to fight for her.

Oct 14, 2016. One of the times Jasmine traveled with me to a women’s event.

Once again, my heart was gripped with fear.

Jasmine’s my first grandchild. Her arrival ushered me into a season that completely caught me by surprise. I was 50 and not yet an empty nester when Jasmine was born. Our youngest son was still at home and I had not had the opportunity to “long for” a new season of nurturing. Frankly, I was looking forward to a reprieve!

So when I saw that tiny little face as she was pulled/pushed into my world, I was astonished at my reaction. My heart burst wide open. It was love at first sight. A rare and beautiful gift.

Jasmine has been a huge part of my everyday life. She lives nearby so it’s easy to be together and we enjoy many of the same things.

Still smiling in the midst of suffering.

It was a long and stressful week as I waited for news from a distance.

Early Saturday morning I drove east into the rising sun to attend a women’s conference. I fished out my sunglasses, pulled down the visor and squinted into the glare. It was glorious, as most sunrises are.

And suddenly it occurred to me that the sun does not rise. Nor set. Sunrise and sunset are misnomers. The sun never moves. It sits in place in the heavens while the earth moves toward it or away from it.

It’s an exact replica of the relationship between God and His creation. God, like the sun, is in His heaven. Never moving. We, like the planets, move around Him. Sometimes tilting toward Him and sometimes shying away.

All last week I tilted toward darkness, afraid and alone.

As of today, nothing has changed in Jasmine’s condition. But I have. I am tilting toward the light.

Today’s early morning reading in John 20 caught my attention because in a few verses Jesus said “Peace to you” three times to His disciples. Something twigged in my brain. I looked up “peace” in the concordance at the back of my Bible and found it.

John 14: 27.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.

That great big God spoke personally to me. About my pain. He cares. He knows. I can trust Him.