It was 2014. There were protests in the Ukraine. There were bombings in Russia ahead of the Olympics. A chemical spill in West Virginia caused a water ban and President Obama was in office. While the world was raging with chaos my little part of the world seemed to humming right along. My daughter was getting married! The house was full of wedding chatter and every conversation was consumed with the details. My father, who was a pastor, was going to be marrying her just as he did my sister and me and the legacy seemed pretty well set. But, as the wedding date approached we realized that something just wasn’t right. Daddy didn’t seem well. The wedding went off without a hitch and my daughter and her new husband started their lives. And, then the world changed.
Daddy’s doctor appointments were numerous and long and as the year progressed we learned he had cancer. There wasn’t anything anyone could do and it was just a matter of time. Everyone’s minds shifted to making the most out of the days we had left and while I would love to sit here and say I remember every single moment and every single detail I can’t. It’s all a blur. But, I do remember him laughing and enjoying all the attention. I remember his words of wisdom that he tried to pour out on every person he saw. And, then, October came. It was his time and he was ushered from this world to heaven in the most precious, sweetest, beautiful way possible. The chaos stopped for one brief moment.
The next day my sister and I noticed Momma didn’t seem right. She seemed to struggle to breathe. I called the doctor, made an appointment and sat completely stunned as I heard the doctor tell me her lungs were full of fluid.
One massive decision after the other led us to a long hospital stay with no answers and many procedures. The chaos was worse than before and seemed to be never ending. Someone told me that when you’re grieving you shouldn’t make life changing decisions but it seemed those were the only decisions I was being forced to make. Wind and rain, lightening and thunder roared every way we turned.
And, then, we sat in yet another doctor’s office to only be told Momma too had cancer. However, there was a chance, a small one, and we took it. And, God, in his divine wisdom, saw fit to heal my Momma this side of heaven.
I wish I could tell you how strong my faith was during that tornado of a year. I wish I could tell you that I walked so closely with Jesus in 2014 that my face shone with his glory. But, I can’t. I struggled. I struggled to get out of bed every day. I struggled to make sense of the chaos around me. I was angry. My son was a senior in high school and I was missing those milestone events. My daughter was a newlywed who needed her momma to lean on and I was absent.
A friend saw me drowning and took me to dinner. We sat there while I cried and poured out the deep, dark, ugly truths of my heart. I told her that my life had never been easy, but it had never been like this. I tried to paint a picture for her of the ache that was within me and I said “The rug…it was just pulled out from under me and I am falling.” She patiently listened, never interrupting. She handed me napkins for my tears and reached across the table a few times. And, when I finally took a breath and she knew I had reached the end of all of my words she said, “Lori, you’ve been standing on the wrong rug.” Y’all, I felt like the air had been sucked out of the room as she continued to explain to me that all this time, all these years, I had been standing on the comfort of things I could see. Everything I held so tightly was tangible. I had never trusted God enough to say that no matter what happened, no matter what storm brewed in my life I would know that I was firmly planted on the solid rock. I knew my salvation was secure, but in that moment I also knew that I had built my house on the sand and had built my life standing on the wrong rug.
It’s 2022 now and life has been a little challenging, but nothing like 2014. Life has thrown me some curve balls and some days I’ve stared in the mirror and asked myself which rug I’m standing on. I’ve had to pick myself up, dust myself off and remind myself who I belong to many times over. Each time I stand back up I’m reminded that God is the best foundation. He’s a foundation that never cracks and one that can never be pulled out from under me. So, sister, if you’re feeling a little shaky, stand up! Dust those feet off and plant them firmly on the rug that never moves!
God is so good. He reminds me of His promises in the coolest ways possible, and I share them all on my personal blog Twenty-Nine Thirteen. I would love for you to join the journey! You can find me at http://www.twentyninethirteen.com and on Facebook @twentynine13.