Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
TITLE: Double-edged Sword.
By Karen Vlantis
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On the one hand, I never, ever, ever want my 90 year old mother (with dementia) to die but, on the other hand, until she crosses over the Jordan, I have lost my freedom: I am her full-time carer. I am stuck here in this situation; stuck here in this house; stuck here in this country… Just plain ‘stuck in the mud’!
Being a rolling stone - of the world-travelling variety and not that of music, I hanker after the adventure of exploring different lands. The more I am house-bound - the itchier my feet get – and boy, are they itchy! The restless jiggling of my feet has caused the tickly rash to spread up over my legs: they just want to get walking!
I know that this season will pass, but sometimes I lose hope. There are days when, drenched in frustration and self-pity, I beg God to allow me to travel to that distant place called Heaven. I know it is Paradise! I can picture myself, skipping and dancing on streets of gold and frolicking in crystal clear water. After day-dreaming for a while, I become clear-headed and reckon that if Jeremiah didn’t get his wish with the same line of petition that I probably wouldn’t either. God in His wisdom (and goodness), has obviously blocked my imminent passage from time into eternity and into the land of perfect freedom and abundant joy.
The funny thing about life is that when one hits rock bottom, one tends to embark on a frantic search for a salve: something to ease the pain. Instead of hitting the bottle, I hit the bookshelf. Not literally, mind you, as the bruised knuckles would cause more pain; rather I scan the bookshelf for any book that might afforded me pain-relief related to my situation.
I am a slow learner and it’s taken much reading and countless moons to discover that my sense of bondage isn’t physical but instead directly related to my miserable attitude. With new-found knowledge, I extracted my one foot out of the miry clay.
Emboldened, I continued my exploration, and reached for other books that would assist me on my journey. After reading numerous words of encouragement, I re-discovered the Hope that saturated the Bible. A message became clear to me: God has promised in His word that ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. His grace is sufficient for us and in all these trials we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Enjoying my adventure into the Kingdom of God, I spent many still moments pondering His words: peacefulness settled over my restless soul. I realized that if I replaced my resentful thoughts with His promises; and if I recognized that His words on life were the most sound advice I could embrace; and if I could overcome my sense of bondage and grasp that I was in the center of His will - that I would find an abundance of freedom without leaving my house. The one sharp edge of the sword had been blunted.
My exploration into this other world unearthed more treasure: Mom would NEVER die! Once she had left her earthly body and had gone to be at home with the Lord - she would be more alive than she ever was on planet earth. She would be in perfect health and joy and peace. We would reunite in time to come.
The double-edge sword had become completely blunt.
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