Every family has their times of stress and adversity. Some can overcome
the challenges and come out better in the end. Yet others become broken and
need to find the strength to begin again.
Our family is struggling to become better in the end.
The past three years have created challenges and heartache for many, and we
are no exception. We have had to adjust and wait patiently before moving forward
on many of our plans. There didn’t seem to be a break from the continual
After two years of caregiving, we moved my mom to my sister’s home in the
spring of 2021. I’m grateful my sister was willing to care for mom in ways I
could not. She passed in November 2021, just after her 93rd
Yet, as we moved into 2022, we looked forward to the adventures and
accomplishments ahead. Our two sons are entering adulthood. My husband and I
are making plans as he nears retirement in law enforcement.
Then in August 2022, we were gripped with sadness by the loss of my husband’s
father due to cancer. My father-in-law was the kind, loving patriarch that kept
us all together. His death rocked the family of three brothers, their wives,
and three grandchildren.
Afterward, everyone rallied to care for my husband’s mom, who was already
suffering complications from diabetes.
We lost her unexpectantly on March 24.
Since that time, my husband and I have been preparing his mom’s home ready to sell. It is a slow process as it is a house full of treasures. With each photo we find, every cabinet we empty, we encounter another story from my in-law’s over 50 years together. Some memories are known, others quiet confidences we discover after they are gone.
With the constant stress of deadlines on closing out the home of beloved
parents, it can be challenging to look ahead and see anything other than
sadness and unaccomplished plans.
Stress has been creeping into every crevice. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the disruptions and discouragement.
Just lately, I told my husband that I found the perfect word to explain how I feel: weary.
This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m tired (although some days I am physically exhausted!), it is the best word to describe the season that I’m currently struggling through.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has the best definitions of my kind of “weary”:
Exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness;
having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted.
Synonyms: burned-out, drained, jaded, tapped out.
I can’t seem to do it anymore. Peace and joy seem elusive.
Many self-help gurus promote changing your routine, doing self-care, and taking some things off your plate, but that isn’t really the answer to the weariness some of us face.
King Solomon experienced the same weariness and strain as the king of Israel. In fact, some of his writing in the book of Ecclesiastes can be downright depressing. The book begins with his musings of how life is futile, and how there is an emptiness in pleasure and possessions. You wonder why this book is even included in the Bible.
However, Solomon was considered the wisest man in the world, so there must be a reason his contemplations and ponderings are there for us to read today.
By chapter three, we read his thoughts about seasons.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
Yet [emphasis mine] God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
When we experience hardships or successes, happiness, or grief, increase or loss – that is normal. And while we may groan under the weight of some burdens we currently have to bear, there is something else.
We can experience the “yet.”
Burdens can come with blessings, and hardship can deliver promise. God has made everything beautiful for its own time, even if we cannot see what God is planning for us in the future.
The Apostle Paul experienced this too. He writes in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” God can use anything in our lives for our benefit — or for someone else.
God’s promises give us hope. Jesus said: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Things are hard right now. The only way that I get through the tough times is that I have hope in the promises that God has spoken through the generations. From King Solomon’s times through to Apostle Paul in a new millennium. I have hope because I have seen what God has done for me in the past, and I am confident He will continue to do remarkable things for me in the future.
So, we don’t give up. We keep doing the next right thing. We look for the blessings that God promises will come.
Texas is currently experiencing a lovely spring. It is the time of bluebonnets and the many other wildflowers that cover fields and roadways. Temperatures are comfortable, and farm fresh strawberries are ready to pick. It’s a time to refresh the backyard garden and enjoy long walks before summer.
Seasons change. Some seasons may feel much longer than others — like a Texas Summer — but they will change. Look for the “yet.”