Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Speaks to Me Today

2 Cor 9:6-10:
Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.
The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Jn 12:24-26:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Encouragement comes from the promises in the first passage; acknowledgment of the truth arises from the second.

God is providing for us
AND
Our life has fallen into the ground and died.

We have all we need in this moment
AND
We lost our life, as we knew it, loved it and preferred it - life as a family of four.

There is an abundant harvest. This new life appears to be producing fruit, but it's not the fruit I was expecting to gather from my labor at the end of this growing season. I'm grateful for all that is given, but as the third year of living without Katie draws to a close, awareness of the pain of what is lost arises afresh.

I thought I would be moving into parenting an "only" child - the high school years with my daughter. We would have - all four of us - driven David to college, toured and experienced the orientation, celebrated with him, and driven home - as a threesome. I would have spent the next three years with my girl, as a stay-at-home mother, bonding, supporting, loving and launching her. But this grain of wheat has fallen into the ground and died.

I'm gathering sheaves of a different kind - of an empty nest, a broken heart, expectations changed, hopes fulfilled (David goes to college) and unfulfilled (no more Katie), dreams realized (David goes to college) and dreams dead (no more Katie). Celebrating David's new life with him, I am also warily considering my own new life. Gregg returns to his familiar job, but I cannot. I am faced with a new job now - what will it be? Part-time? Full-time? At home? In the city? Writing a book?

Some other fruit flourishes here: hope, worry, patience, frustration, joy, hurt, humility, confidence, humor, anger, understanding, mystery, resignation, gratitude, honesty.

Dear Lord, my life is not my own. It has fallen into the ground and died.
My life is Yours. I pray You will inhabit me fully, and enable me to use every talent You have given me, for Your purposes, Your Love and Your glory.

8 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I pray for this for you, too. Peace and blessings, strength and courage to you and your family, Karen. And love.

Kay said...

Amen. Praying for you as you work your way through the days ahead. Hugs. : )

Anonymous said...

Do you ever look at the beautiful water and want to just walk out into it and never return? Does it draw you in? How can you be so strong with so much sorrow in your life?

Karen said...

Dear Precious Karen,
Your words spoke to me today. I know this is a sad time--on a couple of levels. You are facing the sad anniversary of Katie's departure, with all its multiplied loss, and the additional loss of David getting ready to leave for college. The empty nest is a disorienting thing on its own, and causes a mom to really question her place in the world. I already had my empty nest when Joey left, but I do know the feeling of having the life I loved die before my eyes. I'm praying the Lord opens new doors for you to touch others with your love and wisdom.
If you are taking a poll, I vote for you to undertake the book. I think you write with so much emotion, I rarely leave your blog without tears running down my cheeks. Today is no exception.
Much love and prayers,
Karen

deb said...

I was thinking of you Karen.
We brought my oldest to her new school, further from home but a good transfer opportunity,
and tomorrow I take another daughter to her first year away at University. It will be so different with only two home. ( my son returns to his college at the end of the month).

Prayers sweet Karen. I hope you can continue to trust and find peace in however this plays out. Get to the other side of the seeing David transition and then give yourself some time.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful prayer. When I pray for you, I often don't know how to intercede because I can't imagine how to help, but I rely on the Holy Spirit to intercede in the best possible way. I will continue to do that as you live through David's final few weeks at home, and the beginning of your new "job", however that shapes up to be.

Karen B.

Karla said...

Beautiful photos and wonderful passages. How wonderful and exciting for David to be off to school (is it really that time already?). I can only imagine how hard it would be to be an empty nester before your time. Praying for you and sending hugs.

AnnDeO said...

Thinking of you this time of the year. You are in my prayers.