Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 is a very familiar passage of Scripture dealing with virtually every season of life. It has been read at funerals and a song was even created using some of the wording of this particular passage.
The KJV reads: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the 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 (emphasis mine);
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
In the past year, I have experienced a good number of these “seasons.” The following run-down will give a glimpse into why I have been silent for quite a while….
August 2017-My Mother (who had been battling cancer for 3 years) was scheduled for a procedure, and my parents asked me to drive them. After discovering that she would not be put to sleep for the procedure, we cancelled the appointment. I made her another appointment with a different doctor, and we went to her doctor’s office to pick up some records. Her oncologist seemed reluctant at the time to have us go elsewhere, which I found strange. But after seeing her medical records, I understood why. My Mother’s cancer had spread and neither of my parents knew. My Mother suspected, but had not actually been told the progression of her disease. That week consisted of another doctor’s appointment with a different doctor, and a procedure at the end of the week. After the procedure and at her follow-up visit, she was told that her cancer had spread across her body via lymph nodes.
September 2017-After an appointment with her oncologist, my parents had to decide which course of treatment my Mother would take. In the span of 3 years, she had already had major surgery, developed a major blood clot and had a filter placed, had a port put in, had chemo through IV port, chemo beads placed on the tumors, pinpoint radiation treatment on tumors (twice), and 2 different chemos through pill form. She also had fallen two different times, resulting once in a broken and dislocated elbow, and once in a broken humorous. To say that she had been through a lot would be the understatement of the century. She truly only had one more type of chemo available to try, and it had horrible side effects and only a 20% chance of working. She chose to begin hospice, and services started on September 28th.
October 2017-I was homeschooling my kids, teaching at our co-op, and running kids to all their various activities (piano, co-op, soccer, etc). My Mother had been through the very same type situation with her Mother, and wanted us to live our lives as normally as possible. But, I offered to help them, and did so. My Mother’s disease progressed quickly, and by the end of October, she did not need to be left alone. I picked up medicine, helped with personal hygiene needs, and tried to give my Daddy breaks when I could. But, then I got sick. My youngest daughter and I both got strep and for a week, the only thing I could do was call and check on her. When I got better, I realized how incredibly exhausted my Daddy was and offered to stay at night, administering her medicines, and just being with her in case she needed someone while he slept. So, I would arrive around 9:30 PM, and sleep on their couch, waking every 2 hours to administer her medications. I would leave around 6 in the morning and go home to try to sleep. I still homeschooled my children during the day and tried to catch a nap in the afternoon. This time in my life was a big blur. I am incredibly thankful for an understanding husband who picked up the slack and told me to “go” any time I was needed.
November 2017- My Mother passed away on November 14th. That weekend, our vehicles were robbed and many things were stolen from us. The following week was Thanksgiving.
December 2017-December 3rd was my Mother’s birthday. Then, we had Christmas. A couple of days after Christmas, my husband’s grandma passed away. Two days later, his cousin lost her baby at 37 weeks. In the span of about 6 weeks, my husband preached the services for my Mother, his Grandma, and his cousin’s baby.
During this time, I started pulling away from any activity that I felt was using too much of my energy. I quit teaching a class at my church. For the first time in nearly 11 years, I seriously considered putting my children into brick-and-mortar school. I quit writing (for the most part.) It seemed that every single thing I wrote had to do with death and grief, and while I know those are worthwhile subjects to discuss, I didn’t want the “season” of my life to overshadow every single thing in it.
This is a pretty detailed list of a brief period in my life, but I want you readers to understand why I took a break. I am not writing this to illicit pity, but to explain my absence. At the time, I felt entirely too raw to discuss the things that I was facing, and I knew that at some point they would end.
Those hard times did not end with the close of 2017. No, 2018 has brought enough trouble of its own: learning to live without my Mother (my best friend), more illness, the stress of finishing a home we have been working on for over 2 years, moving, kidney stones, another vehicle robbery (no, I am not kidding!), and a diagnosis of learning disability (and/or disabilities) in my youngest child.
But, here’s the deal….just as the verses say, there is a “time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” My time for silence has passed (for now anyway!), and I feel that it is now time for me to speak again.
I know, undoubtedly, that God has allowed these things…yes, even these gut-wrenching, hurtful things into my life to shape me, to mold me, and to teach me. He has held me close and been my Comfort and my Shield. He has been my Healer, my Redeemer, my Rock, and my Salvation. I am so undeserving, yet He is with me always. I don’t know how I could have survived without His comfort the past year. He is SO GOOD, and I will continue to praise Him all my days.
***In the comments, have you had a time in your life where you just had to pull away and re-group?
How did you recover during this time?
What did God teach you about Himself?***