When the plan is not coming together. That is a hard concept to explore. We all make plans and we have our preferences of how we want things to go, and we base our plans on our preferences. We also base our expectations on our preferred plan.
This posting is not about Bud, but about my aunt.
I have a wonderful aunt, Judy. I have admired her and her family for my whole life. Whenever we would visit she was so welcoming. She always talked to me in a “grown-up” way. I truly loved observing her with her husband, Elwin. They have always seemed like a great match. I have lately learned that she has some “snark” as well. I would have never guessed it, but I suppose we all need some of that to get through life on this earth.
My dear Aunt Judy has pancreatic cancer. I know that people the country over are praying for her. I would ask you to remember her as well. My heart is so sad that I haven’t known her better. But what I do know is this: she loves her family. She and Elwin have three grown children and several grandchildren. And they have taught that family how to love one another.
Isn’t that the main thing? We can get so caught up in chasing after stuff that we lose sight of the main thing. They stayed in one area and rarely moved. I can remember visiting them in one house all through my growing up years. After Elwin retired (?) they built a lovely house way out in the country and that is where they now live. I admire that they understood the value of belonging to a place, and they gave that sense of belonging to their children.
As I keep track of Judy’s struggles, I think of things that I would like to know, to do. Mostly, I just want to say, “I love you. Thank you for being such a great role model for me. I watched you even through our sporadic visits and I saw a woman who worked hard to grow her family in the important things. I see a woman who loves her husband and her family. I appreciate that you have spent your life serving and helping each one of them.”
I remember one summer thinking how selfless she was. She had just redecorated her bedroom and she actually considered my uncle’s taste when she chose the color. The room was very masculine. At that point in my growing up years, I just did not get it that she would lay aside her preference for his and actually choose a brown bedroom!
My Aunt Judy had plans to grow old with her husband; to watch her grandchildren grow up and marry; to not be beaten down by pancreatic cancer. But her plan is not coming together. Even when our plan does not come together, God is there, and all the more.
What I have learned recently is this … God wants us to be in Heaven with Him a whole lot more than we want to be there. We forget that we are spiritual beings on a journey home. God has waited these sixty plus years for Judy to live her life on earth and He has waited patiently. He knows that she will be with Him someday. And He knows that the “someday” is coming much sooner than she would have planned. The time He has had to wait for her companionship has been a gift to her and a sacrifice for Him. Even though “time” has a different meaning for Him, there has been a space of it where Judy has not been with Him.
And still He waits. I am so thankful for the time that her family still has with her, to love her and to show her that love. I know that God is hurting for her sweet family and for the loss that they will one day face—He is the God of compassion. He is moved by our pain.
I will continue to pray for my aunt. I know that her journey is so hard right now. I will pray for my uncle. His great love for Judy is so evident. His sorrow and pain in walking this path beside her, instead of for her, is heart breaking to observe. I will pray for my cousins and their children. That God loves each one of them is no mystery.
As Judy moves along her journey, I pray that she continues to point them all to love: her love for them as his wife, their mom, their grandmother; her love for the Lord who she invited into her life years ago; God’s love for her as He waits to enfold her in His tender embrace; ultimately God’s love for each one of her family.
When plans don’t come together, God is there, and all the more.