July 24, 2011

Everywhere, and in all things...

There are times when God seems to shake you awake out of your daily life and say, "Stop what you're doing! It's time to pay attention to what is important!" My grandpa is still fighting to regain consciousness after his heart suffered cardiac arrest, last Tuesday. I've been feeling God reminding me to slow down, pay attention, and depend on Him through this hard time of waiting.

When I received the phone call last Tuesday, I was in a dressing room, hoping to find a dress to wear to a close friend's wedding. "Don't you already have some dresses you could wear?" Steve had asked that day. But I didn't want to wear an old dress. I wanted a new one. I tried to convince him that paying some crazy amount at Anthropologie wasn't a big deal, and in the back of my mind, secretly wondered if I would have time to find a new pair of shoes too. But when I got the phone call about my grandpa, it was as if God took me by the shoulders and gave me a firm shake. For a split second I glanced at the dresses on the hangers. You need to go! Now! I piled them quickly into a heap over my arm, dropped them on the counter, and ran out of the store.

Over these past few days, I've spent most hours of the day at the hospital with my grandpa. I watched in hope as he started to open his eyes and seemed to recognize us, and then felt my heart drop when he had to be placed on a strong sedative again. I've been struck by how closely I'm paying attention to everything, and how quickly the moments of joy, fear, and disappointment come and go. I've tried to depend on the one thing that I know is constant--the encouragement and hope of turning to God, reading scripture, and lifting up my fears and doubts in prayer.

Since Tuesday, so much has changed. Last night, my sister, Robin came back to the states for good, and will be staying with us until she gets married. We've already started working on some last-few-months-before-the-wedding tasks. I can't believe her wedding day is exactly 2 months from today.

On Wednesday, Steve left for Rhode Island to watch his best friend, Chris, marry the love of his life, Hope. I've gotten glimpses of their wedding day (today) via text messages and photos, and just heard that Steve "nailed" his groomsman speech.

And a just few hours ago, our good friends Susan and Stephen announced the birth of their daughter (born today), Abigail Olivia-Jeanne. Reunions, marriages, birth--these are life's greatest moments. It's amazing how, during a slow difficult time, God inserts moments that you wish would never end.

Today's contrasts of joy and pain remind me that in all circumstances, God is teaching me. He's teaching me to remember what is important, because inevitably there will be hard times. God sustains us in the difficult times, and the same God also gives us our happiest moments in life. I am thankful that in all of these times, God is there too.

I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. Everywhere, and in all things, I have learned to endure both fullness and hunger, both to have plenty and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:12-13


  1. Rachel, I love your perspective. You've always just "gotten it" =) I'm so impressed by your faith in the hard times and how much you show your thankfulness for the good times too. Still praying for you, your family, and grandpa jack.

  2. Great thoughts, rach. It is so true, life is full of moments, thoughts, and impressions that help us realize what is truly important. Thinking about you and your grandpa.

  3. Love you Rach. Thinking of you and praying for you and Grandpa Jack.

  4. Thanks for this beautiful post, it really encouraged me today. I'm praying for your Grandpa and your family during this time of waiting.

  5. I loved your post.Thanks for sharing this.