There’s a reason why the rear view mirror is only a very small portion of the size of my windshield. The rear view mirror is best used for a quick glance to see what's happening behind me. Looking back at 2008 should also only be a quick look back in the past. My rear view mirror does little to help me navigate the road before me. Every second my eyes are off the road ahead, is another chance I can get offtrack. The past is past. It’s behind me, I need to let it stay there.
Starting in the fall of 2007 my husband of 40+ years was diagnosed with viral pneumonia that just wouldn't seem to respond fully to medications. Early Good Friday morning of 2008, he had trouble keeping his balance. He was with friends at a horse show several hours away and they drove at breakneck speed to get home to check into the hospital. In a moment our world crashed. He had lung cancer that had spread to his brain. Neither he nor I ever smoked and this seemed impossible to us. It turned out that the pneumonia hid the underlying lung cancer all those months.
Unfortunately one of the experimental drugs had an extreme reaction and it took John quickly. I recall thinking back on that word: Mercy. I prayed to God on how I could see this disease and death as merciful. In the days of living on the oncology floor I came to know the patients and their families. My husband was a handsome man that was always very careful in his appearance. He worked out nearly every day. I realized the long-term fight for life as a recovering cancer patient would be extremely difficult for him. Being a physician also has its issues when he became the patient. Many of the hospital employees were his patients and I would see the extreme sadness as they saw him so critically ill. Yes....it was the profound mercy of God that his was a short illness. Now, he is perfectly at peace and I so look forward to seeing him one day.
Now, I have the responsibility to live. I write a blog titled "Thrive Christians" because as I reinvent myself as a single widow I feel an intense responsibility not to waste a single moment of precious life. I saw all those wonderful patients on that floor valiantly fighting to live. When sorrow or disappointment pulls on me; I make the conscious decision to live with the best in me for all of those patients and my husband who fought with all they had.
I come to the end of 2008 and say that this year has shown me the mercy, goodness and grace of God Himself. This past week I looked back for too long and had many regrets that brought me to tears. We talk much of God's grace, mercy and love, but I honestly believe we talk more than we believe. My prayer for all of us believers is that we will pray daily for God to help our unbelief. I'm looking forward with joyful expectation of what God has in store for me and all His children in 2009.