~By Debbie Christopher and Faith Greenwell
A few years back, I was blessed to discover a ‘long lost cousin’ in our family tree. What thrilled me the most was reading the testimony of her strong faith as a follower of Christ.
Having the opportunity to meet Faith in person a bit more than three years ago was, indeed, a blessing as well. Faith, we need to hook up again!
During the initial contact, her husband had recently received a much needed lung transplant, and her praise to our faithful Father was exciting to follow. Sadly, Faith’s beloved husband passed away 18 months ago.
Recently, Faith posted the following on her social media page. I knew right away that this had to become a guest blog post for ’Bumps are Okay’.
Many of our posts at this blog site refer to maneuvering through the bumps we face along the way. My dear cousin demonstrated that sometimes it’s the huge waves in life that overwhelm us. So, if the circumstances of life feel more like a wave than a bump, Faith and I encourage you to ride the wave with grace and faithfulness.
Here is my cousin’s story as she shares her heart regarding this overwhelming journey:
Walking thru the roller coaster of John’s double lung transplant and illnesses, there were days and seasons that I thought the loneliness as a caretaker that accompanies chronic, terminal illness would engulf me. I felt like I was truly drowning in sorrow and popping back up to the surface to take a quick deep breath, rest a bit and then plunge back to the deep pit. I think God gave me spiritual floaties disguised as angels to keep me from truly going under or staying there too long, and perhaps giving in to being completely emerged. There were days it felt so hopeless, if not impossible, to dream and carry hope on the scale I would have liked. If not for my relationship with God (and a great group of friends and family who held me up), I would be in a much different place today.
No one truly understands what daily life looks like where there is constant medical issues. For us, it lasted 23 years. But God understood and that’s the relationship I intentionally developed, particularly the last five years and that is what carried me thru. Waiting is so very difficult - He kept saying to wait and wait patiently. Uggg. He even gave me snippets of what life would look like and how it would unfold. I’m so grateful that I hung in there even when it didn’t look a certain way and when hopes and dreams were deferred.
Lately, I feel myself emerging from a wilderness, a little at a time and some big steps to living with an open, hopeful heart in the land of the living and experiencing promises God spoke to my heart along my journey.
If you’re in the wilderness season, hold on. Keep going. Don’t quit. Continue to be obedient in the wait, especially on those days when you internally scream. The days where your eyes fill with tears in the magnitude of loneliness, sadness and grief. Be strong. Take heart. He’s got you. Keep moving. He’s not done. He makes ALL things new. He restores what the enemy stole. His timing is always perfect. The best is yet to come.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. - Psalm 27:12
As her name suggests, Faith has chosen to begin this new year with grace and faithfulness. What an encouragement to those who are traveling a bumpy road or trying to stay afloat amongst the waves. Let’s all learn from her precious words!
If you are facing overwhelming waves, please grab your floaties and, in addition to the verse Faith shared, consider the words in this passage from Psalm 61 as well: