So many things happen that we don't expect, never planned for, would never have believed possible for us and those we love. But we have to find a way forward or add to the challenges for everyone else who is struggling. And, no matter how devastating the new normal feels, if we look with even a small amount of effort we can find folks who have survived worse.
And I have found it helpful to consider how they do that when I have needed to adjust to unwanted changes. Some people withdraw, not just for a season to consider, ponder, evaluate, heal as is often needed, but they seem to drop out of life, failing to "be there" for their children, siblings, parents, friends for years and decades. They are so afraid of being hurt again, they cause great pain as they crouch behind a wall of indifference or, worse, anger.
Others simply deny that they must accept what is happening. Sometimes this has good results, such as when passionately looking for new treatments or finding a second option leads to different ideas on treatment. Truly innocent people have been released from prison because people believed and worked to find the real perpetrator or proof of innocence. Figuring out when to encourage a loved one to accept a situation and work to achieve the best possible life in the face of significant limitations and when to encourage them to "keep the faith" that something will restore something closer to life as it was, is such a challenging, painful and enduring challenge.
Others turn to platitudes, demand God "fix" things in the way they have in mind, try to be "good enough" to have God give in to their demands for the outcome they see as desirable. They can not or will not accept that there could be any "good" come through what so distresses them and their loved ones. They become distant and judgmental and demand others handle things in the same way that they are, even slipping into blaming others for the challenges they face.
But there are also folks who light a path of growing patience, deepening faith, enduring trust that God is God is God and God is good all the time, indeed, all the time God is good. They give their broken hearts to God and ask that God show mercy to them and to those they love, trusting that God has a broader (perfect) understanding of the situation and has already cleared a path through for them, so they choose to follow. They are kind to themselves and to others on the journey with them. They believe they will be given strength, wisdom and peace, and share those things, confident that they will never run out because they are supplied by the source of all love, truth and joy.
I have tried all these ways of coping and often paid a high price by turning my frustration and fear inward and on those I love. Neither isolation nor rage has served me well. And I have certainly never been successful at telling God how to do things better.
So I thank those folks who have lighted my way, comforted me, prayed for me and with me and those I love. I am so grateful that God sends good people into my life to speak wisdom and kindness and hope into my life.
Loving and wise God, remove from my heart and soul all that keeps me from being Your light and love and truth in a dark and aching world. Keep my words sweet, my thoughts calm, my choices wise and my actions demonstrating that with You, change is not only possible, but filled with possibilities for better outcomes than we can ever imagine on our own. You are a generous, wise, amazing God. Thank you for walking with me at all times and in all places. AMEN