I am strong. Life is good. I am grateful. I am filled with joy. I am blessed. And I am embracing these moments, because life can be uncertain, unpredictable, un-easy. My prayer time has turned to those who are “in it”. This short power packed phrase refers to the trenches of life that are ugly and difficult. Those days which are filled with angst, suffering, trials and hardships. We all have them. For I have been brought to my knees on many occasions in my life circumstances and found myself flat on my face in darkness… I have been “there”. But for this moment, I stand tall and use my strength to serve others in both deeds and prayers. It’s that circle and cycle of life and love for the ones we desperately care about as each takes their turn in the valley, and the other triumphs on the mountaintop.
It’s just how it goes.
So as my world glows with all that is good, and I dance in the light. I pray for all those who crawl in the darkness. So much darkness… A friend who seems to live in the boxing ring of life, taking blow after blow, another friend bearing the burden of a horrible divorce and trying to comfort her aching children, another friend trying to find answers for her medically fragile child, another friend whose son has lost his soul to addiction, another mom who is drowning in the depths of her precious child’s untimely death…
When I was suffering greatly with my new baby having all sorts of medical issues, my husband would say in his secure, yet seemingly dismissive tone…
“You know-This too, shall pass.”
I looked at him in despair and anger and screamed in my heart, “How dare you say that!!”
I always received his statement as a superficial cliché and was outraged. How could he say something so contrite and trivial at a time like this!! When our firstborn baby was in the hospital with RSV and we were hundreds of miles away from home and I was holding her, as she struggled to put air in her lungs. This too, shall pass???? I just couldn’t hear it.
It always stung so badly, that I seriously considered if our marriage would endure all these trials. I was face down in darkness and fear, and the one with whom I hold sacred vows “In sickness and in health”… just seemed to walk right by, with a nod and a shrug. It was almost worse than the nightmare of my child suffering. I was in pure shock, and completely shaken.
Years later, having been through countless nightmares, traumas, and crises, I now consider his phrase both profoundly motivating and cautiously inspiring. As our lives continued through many valleys (and mountaintops…but focusing on the valleys for now!), my husband’s words echoed through each turn, and I started to understand more clearly what this seemingly trivial and superficial phrase really revealed. It has developed into our “theme” for our family in finding strength and hope in confronting head-on, the monster trials that we knew loomed ahead. His words of wisdom that years ago were rejected and scorned…now lie in my heart and the heart of this home with endearing light that often pulls us through.
“This too, shall pass.”
What does this really mean?
Look at your life, to discover its meaning…
You have survived. There are faded memories of years gone by where you endured some of your most difficult days. And it passed…
You may have a permanent “limp” as my new friend Ashley Taylor wrote, but my guess is you are that much stronger for having survived. We all limp around with scars and broken dreams. However, it’s those unique wounds on the fiber of our being that make us all the more special. Significant. Strong. Victorious.
The people I find most alluring and heroic, are the ones that have endured the dark days and rose to newer heights. It seems with our limps and scars, we still stand taller with each fall…slowly rising in triumph.
You can spot those tall ones anywhere you go. How tall are you? How big is your limp? How mighty is your strength?
If you are in darkness, please take these words as a light to soak in.
“This too, shall pass…”
It may not feel like it now…but somehow it will. It may not pass in a way that is pleasing to you. It may stick around for years. But in some way, it will pass into something that transforms you. And the darkness will lighten into an acceptable, and adaptive new world.
You will walk a little taller.
You will limp a little harder.
You will shine a little brighter for having been through the darkness.
And if you let Him, God will strengthen you along the way. And with each new corner you turn…
You can look back at all the winding roads of your life and remember, realize, and recognize your strength.
“This too, shall pass” may be a whisper in your weary mind. Yet in that phrase, may you truly see it’s meaning…
And may it empower you to go on.