I climbed the steps to the kitchen door, the baby in one arm and the other child holding my hand. Releasing the toddler’s grip, I quickly unlocked the door to let us in. It was lunch time and they were hungry. As I entered the back door, I noticed a paper on the table. The script was my husband’s and the note was addressed to me. Apprehensive, I put the baby down and turned it over to read.
One minute later I knew my life would never be the same. I had joined the ranks of the abandoned, wives whose husbands have left them. In shock, scared, and destroyed, I made a call to my folks using the wall phone in the dining room. My voice sounded strange even to me. Family came, his and mine, but I was alone in a world of disbelief. How had it come to this? It would be several weeks before I knew the whereabouts of my husband.
Almost every negative experience delivers some form of loss. We may not recognize it as such, but it is. These often send us in a tailspin. We wander about trying to find a way to deal with it. There are counselors and advisors in every field who can be accessed. They are helpful. But, in reality, the choice is up to us–how we will react–deal or avoid–relative to the event or loss.
The human will is key to overcoming any situation and bearing any form of loss. We must want to deal with it in a proactive way–even if we know the way out will take years rather than months. Some situations require ongoing support especially when our lives are affected by another person’s struggles as with mental illness, addictions, or dependency needs. There are books and resources we can apprise ourselves of, but they often smack of a band-aid approach. Although they bring understanding and protection, they fail to do the healing and restoring.
Some people’s struggles read like the book of Job. They have lost almost everything i.e. family members, employment, health and well-being, like my friend who lost family members to cancer including a beloved wife, and others to substance abuse and mental illness besides other things in his life. He bears up but just barely. It was too much. He works at climbing out but is broken inside. I long for his healing and know it is possible. But he needs to know and believe it is possible.
Lois Faith Brumbaugh at age 20.
Lois is my sister, and she was my friend. Today I honor her memory with Lois’ Song written by my cousin a decade before her death. The words are apropos for I’m thinking of her. It is September. I always think about her in September because that is when we lost her. I was a little mommy to her when she was a baby. We would play house together, me, the big sis, and she, the little sister. She was born in September. She died in September. I am not very fond of September.
Lois as a baby, and with me holding her in the bottom two photos.
The way of the cross is a call to love. Christians rarely see it as such, but it is. Love God, love each other, love our neighbor, and love our enemy and those who persecute us…that is a call to love, which removes us from safe places and comfortable enclosures.
God often calls us to leave what is safe–to let go of our prejudices, our biases, limited parameters, and well-defined boxes. God calls us to love. We don’t get to choose. He chooses for us. There are lines we must cross out of obedience to His teachings and message.