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Lately we have been inundated with pain, leaving us waving the white flag of surrender. First came my devastating diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic cancer in May, then a gut wrenching break up for Trent with a girlfriend of two years, and then Peter’s mother, Jean Newman, just weeks ago, had a massive stroke. We dropped everything and flew to Florida. Jean was left paralyzed on one side of her body, unable to swallow. She refused a feeding tube and we honored her choice. Watching someone die is hard, especially when they are pleading with their eyes for water and you can’t give it because if you do, they will choke.  Squeezing drops of water into her mouth one by one to ease the thirst was the best we could do. Still, we are the lucky ones. We got to say “I love you”, “goodbye” and thank-you” .  How many others don’t get that gift? My call of action today is: don’t wait to repair relationships.  Forgive and watch God transform your life.  I remember years ago asking God to help me love my mother in law. I didn’t think it was possible. She was difficult, critical. I never measured up. She triggered old wounds and made fresh ones. Blessedly, God is in the business of healing. He answered my prayer in a powerful way by giving me a dream. In it, I saw Jean as a baby in a crib crying for her mother who peered at her and walked right by. It gutted me. I woke up and knew that Jean had a hole in her heart that only God could fill. No matter what I did, I could never fill that part of her. From my new perspective, everything changed. All the trials of our past were washed away and I forgave everything. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but it does free us. We had many years finding beauty in our relationship. When I said “I love you” in that hospice room, I meant it with every cell in my being. She  felt it, looked at me with a tear in her eye, and with her very best effort managed to say, “I love you too”. I will hold this memory forever. Jesus welcomed her home the next day and I know that hole no longer exists.   Time is fleeting. Don’t wait to repair wounds. Today is a new day. Invite God and those who are His hands and feet into your pain. It is in that courageous place of vulnerability that our tears are replaced with triumph.

beach rainbow stetsons


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