This week I am looking forward to coffee with an old friend, attending the kindy farm excursion and hopefully having a whole day - well 5 1/2 hours anyway - with the house to myself while the girls are at school and Murray is at Tafe.
If I look a bit further ahead to the next couple of years I am looking forward - God willing - to seeing my girls grow and learn and mature. I'm looking forward to seeing Ashlea make progress at school and with her walking. I look forward to hopefully a long period of good health for her now that she's had her transplant.
I am also looking forward to the resolution of the whole mess that is Murray's brain injury. I want to fast forward through the recovery period (now) to see the end of the road (a few years away). Will Murray be able to return to work? If so let's get there now. If he is going to be declared totally and permanently disabled (in regard to work) then lets do it now - another 18 months of 'waiting to see' is going to drown us financially. I'm looking forward to 'all that' being resolved.
When I look still further down the road even though there is much to be hopeful for there is not really going to be a 100% satisfactory resolution to any of these issues. Ashlea will still have CP and constant kidney monitoring. Emma may still have anxiety. Murray will still have a brain injury. We will probably still struggle to pay the bills. In some ways it is overwhelming to think of 'all this' stretching on for years to come.
Thank God there is more to the story.
Thank God this world is not all there is. Thank God that one day there will be a satisfactory resolution to all the stresses of life on earth. A resolution that involves no more cerebral palsy, no need for organ transplants and definitely no brain injuries. Thank God there is heaven to look forward to, where:
God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Before having Ashlea I found it hard to look forward to heaven as it seemed so abstract and the things of this life seemed so appealing. Having Ashlea has made it easy to know what to look forward to. Yes there are many things in this life that are wonderful but they pale into insignificance compared to what it will be like in heaven. We will all be free from disease and decay in heaven, but sometimes because most of us 'don't look so bad' on the outside it is difficult to imagine what heaven might be like for us. Not so with Ashlea. It is easy to picture what heaven will be like for her. Her physical limitations will be a thing of the past. Her body and mind will be perfect. Take a moment to picture that! Take another moment to picture the moment she realises that! Now picture the moment I get to see her healed and whole!
Ultimately heaven is what I am looking forward to - it is what helps me get through each day and is what makes 'all this' bearable.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
Writing Prompt by Ellen Stumbo