It’s amazing how heavy your heart becomes when you hear the sad news of another’s difficulty in life. I walked away from such a conversation just yesterday. It weighed so heavy on my heart I couldn’t sleep last night. I awoke at 2:00 a.m. just wishing I could talk to her, hold her hand and reassure her with comforting words. She would probably think me weird since we’re not that close of friends. But such intimate heartfelt hope and prayers seem to stand worthy in that time of morning regardless of relation. She is one of the many that stood beside us when Grace was writing her own story. She and her son offered us great love, solid connection and I’m sure many pure and wondrous prayers during our time of difficulty.
Eric and I have wondered at the complexity of Grace’s life being an uplifting and inspirational story but at the same time, being a difficult journey. But, isn’t that where inspiration and hope lie? Inspiration is found in the light beam of hope as it shines brightly during the darkness of stormy weather. The lighthouse can be a majestic sight during the day and one might wonder at its grandeur. But it is only the haggard and wayward sailors, saved by its direction and light when dark clouds cover the stars and no other light can be seen, who truly know of the magnificence and significance of its light. It is the heart, who in great difficulty finds hope, peace and love to stand strong, not bent by the damaging winds, who offers the great light of inspiration. It is that heart, through difficulty and challenge that can truly inspire and encourage others. Grace’s life and story is inspiring because of the great challenge she not only endured, but overcame. Just yesterday Eric was told it takes great courage to read Grace’s story, but you always leave inspired.
It is on my friend’s behalf that I write this today. This dear heart, who is finding a very difficult chapter added to her life story. It is she who is keeping me up at night. I am wondering how she is handling having her life story altered and changed without her permission, without her consent and against her will. Don’t we all adore the surprises in our life chapters that bring elation? What is better than chapters added to our story that bring happiness we never thought possible? The twists and turns even we didn’t expect but find ourselves marveling upon in the warmth of the sun as we sit in the garden bloom of our pages. Coffee in hand we smile as we recall each glorious internal revelation of elation. But, where is the inspiration in those memories? What strength does it take to live or read the chapters of happiness and perfection? It is in the quiet of our heart as our coffee cools that we hear the whisper, “Who we are, who we truly are, cannot be revealed through only those light airy chapters.
We find we are dangling preposterously within the unfinished paragraph as unexpected pages are added to our story, pages that describe the sun as it fades behind dark clouds and the chill we feel as its warmth of life separates itself from us. In our suspension we are haunted by the grueling question, “What now?” But, within those pages of uncertainty, and doubt, when we are living a life unscripted and unknown, it is our faith that valiantly confronts the vapors of doubt and discouragement. It is strength of courage that arises from the dark words as they are being etched within our soul or on our body. It is within these fog filled chapters that our true character is revealed. And inspiration erupts.
We must remember these chapters of darkness and uncertainty, which are added while we were busy making other plans, remain incomplete. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves, what is written is not the whole story, just a portion of the outline. It is up to us to fill in the missing gaps with faith, peace and hope. Yes, we are responsible for our own story, but we also know when others need our hope filled words of encouragement and strength. What an honor it is to be able to write, in our own hand, upon the heart of another. Sometimes the gaps in our story aren’t for us to fill in alone, but rather a precious opportunity for others to play a vital role in our story. It is amazing to watch the seeds of inspiration and love we plant in another’s heart to germinate, grow and bloom in our own.
At 2:00 in the morning I would hold this lovely mother close and tell her to hold on to hope, laughter and love. With heartfelt support I would whisper into her heart that she is not alone, that she does not face any of this alone. She would hear that the strength she needs to endure what is to come is already inside her, she brims with the wonder of courage yet untold and faith yet unrevealed. She would know she and her family are covered in the support, love, care and prayers of many. She did not ask for this chapter to be added to her life and she certainly would not have chosen it for herself, but never the less, the truest of her wonderful self will be revealed. And we will all marvel at the revelation.