Monday, August 30, 2010

Choices

Life is full of choices. Big choices. Small choices. If there is any one thing that all of our choices have in common, it is that they all have the capacity to be life-altering. We make numerous choices each day on which foods we consume, what we drink, what we wear, what we watch, what we buy. Sometimes we make choices on a subconscious level, unaware that we sometimes choose sadness over happiness or fear over joy.

When we returned home from church yesterday, my husband and I both noticed numerous missed calls from my sister and mother. A voicemail from my sister said to call back asap... while a text from my mother said the same. We knew something was amiss and my heart knew it would be my terminally ill grandfather. He is suffering from end-stage prostate and colon cancer that has spread to his lungs, kidney, liver and lymph nodes.

Initially, they had believed that he had had a heart attack at home. My parents had found him slumped in a chair and very ill. After running several tests, they determined that he was suffering from an abnormal heart rate that could be controlled with the use of medication and that the pain was stemming from the fluid that was accumulating in his lungs, also controllable with medication.

I cried. Cried, cried and cried. Then, I cried some more. I cried so much that it was borderline embarrassing passing other people in the car on the way over to my grandfather's house. I cried because of the week we had had with annoying food allergies, the stress of starting school and now with the weeks of suffering I know that still lie ahead for my beloved grandfather. Life simply did not seem fair and I found myself asking, why can't we just be happy??

But, what is happiness? Is it a feeling.... is it a state of well-being.... or is it a CHOICE?

After a bit of introspection, it became clear that I was choosing despair over joy. I was choosing to carry these burdens on my own instead of handing them over to the Lord. I had allowed the wordly truth of suffering to eat away at my faith. My grandfather's suffering isn't a certainty. And no amount of suffering can take away the peace that His faith in Christ has given him.

The TRUTH says that we'll all leave this world and return home to our Father one blessed day. The TRUTH says this is a day to be rejoiced, not mourned. The TRUTH says that all things, good and bad, are used for His good and that His peace is forever with us. The TRUTH says to cast our burdens and cares on the Lord, and HE will sustain us. But sometimes I allow my feelings to cloud my vision and I lose sight of HIS truth.

But it's His truth that brings TRUE joy. TRUE happiness.

It's at times like these that I wonder... how do people survive without Jesus? Do we realize just how blessed we are to know Him? Do we wake every morning and retire every evening singing His praises? Do our actions and choices scream to the world-- I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I accept the love, joy and peace that He so greatly wants to give me?

Today I choose to accept His joy and to feel it reverberating throughout my soul.

Thanks for reading,

3 comments:

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Lou,
It is difficult to see a love one sick . . . God is amazing and HE will help you to endure. Happiness is knowing HE WILL . . .
Hugs and blessings,
Bren

Lloyd said...

Lou: I will be praying for you and your grandfather. I know when my mom died a few months ago the grief hit me pretty hard, but after I was able to be alone with God, it all seemed to be okay because I then realized that my mom had no more pain and that I would be seeing her again in God's timing. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

RCUBEs said...

Sorry sister to hear about what you had gone through. I believe that the Lord uses suffering and trials to strip us more and more away from this worldly things/ways...So that we can emerge more pure. Only by His grace. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. And I am choosing to remain joyful with you sister, no matter what circumstances are going on around me. God bless you and may His comfort, healing, strength and provisions cover you and your family.