I can only begin to imagine a mother’s (or father’s) grief over losing a child. Fortunately I have never had that experience and hope I never will. How does one go on? Yet Eve, the first mother, not only lost one child but really two, since Cain killed Abel and then “went away from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.” I have just finished writing my next novel, The Jealous Son, which explores this question, how do we go on in the face of overwhelming tragedy and grief? Yet people lose loved ones, even children, every day and do continue to live, putting one foot in front of the other in this journey we call life. The only answer I can come up with is that these same people have faith in God – in His ways, His will, His plan. For Eve, that faith came to fruition in that she eventually, in her old age but nevertheless, had another son named Seth, who was to become the next member in the royal bloodline of Jesus, the Messiah. Eve had probably been ready to give up hope when Abel died and Cain, burdened by his sin, left his home and family, turning away from God in shame. Imagine Eve’s joy in having her hope fulfilled in Seth.
Although I haven’t lost a child, I have come to that place of almost giving up hope from time to time…sinking into grief or despair over the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, a dream…and yet I have moved on with the every day business of living life in hope and faith that something new must be waiting for me down the line, that God does have a plan for me too. In 12-Step recovery programs, you’ll hear people say “don’t quit before the miracle happens,” which means don’t give up your sobriety, no matter how much pain you might be suffering, because good things in life will happen, miracles even, and life will eventually be “beyond your wildest dreams.”
Sometimes Mondays are especially hard…we have enjoyed a fun or relaxing weekend and now it is back to business as usual…which is why I write this for you and for myself, reminding me that today is a new day of a new week just waiting to unfold…with miracles waiting for us to discover. For me, today is also the first day of a “new year” – I quit my day job and began my full-time author career exactly a year ago today. And while it has been a struggle and I am no where near where I want to be on this journey as far as material things go…book sales, recognition, money…I have to look back and see the good – another novel completed, a growing belief I’m on the right path, the ways I’ve helped other writers – and see that while slow and painful, I have moved forward in my journey. I know the road ahead is long and fraught with even more obstacles and challenges, and no, I can’t see what’s ahead on the horizon – yet I believe there also must be rewards ahead as well. If I quit today, I will never know the possibilities, rewards, miracles, that lie ahead. And the only way to “get there” is to keep moving, one day at a time, praying to know and do God’s will, believing He has a plan for me.
“Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters…Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.…to give drink to My chosen people…” (Isaiah 43:17-19)