There is an appointed time for everything. And, there is a time for every event under heaven; a time to give birth and a time to die. The hope of a new birth arrived at our door on Mother’s Day, and then yesterday – in the blink of an eye – it died. The bird who nested at our front door for weeks, cradling her unborn eggs, chose to abandon what remained, after one fell from the nest.
The sadness I felt mirrored a string of unfortunate circumstances my family and friends have faced since my mother died two months ago. A season of loss has parked itself at our doorstep for longer than we could have ever envisioned. Our tolerance meter is past the full mark (or so we think). Daily, I tell my hurting heart, this too shall pass. The book of Ecclesiastes lays it out, like a firm foundation of hope for our lives; I read it time and time again.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. [Now, that’s a tough one as we see it play out in this hurting world, anxiously awaiting peace.]
I take heart in those verses, especially the reassurance of a time for every purpose and for every work. Caring for my ailing father just after watching my mother die of Alzheimer’s, watching and praying from afar as another family member battles a mysterious infection, seeing a friend cope with complications of cancer treatment, and still others I am holding in steady prayer. Big misfortunes and small mishaps keep piling up. I hesitate to speak it aloud. “Think positive” shouts from within! What if we all threw our problems in a pile? It has been said that we’d likely grab ours back. So I just keep swimming, embracing every opportunity for rest and recovery. Naps aren’t just for toddlers anymore. 😉
“This is your time to receive and not to give,” the words of wise friends fill my heart and mind. I am perfectly broken. “I surrender, grief wash over me,” I reminisce in the depth of my own words written for the Anti-Cancer Club. Indeed, it is time to break things down so I can build back up; time to cast away and time to keep; time to weep and time to laugh – all in preparation to dance again.
In the fatigue of my circumstances, I take heart in knowing there is a time for every purpose and for every work. In the words of Henry Ward Beecher, “We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.”
While I take some much needed quiet time, comfort arrived in a bowl. My favorite among the healing stones from a dear friend reads: “There is more room in a broken heart.” I welcome an abundant fill of faith, love, hope and renewed purpose. What gifts have you seen emerge after a season of brokenness?