The Upside

For most of my life, I have been happy.  I'm a "glass half full" kind of person.  My parents were great examples of living life with a positive outlook.  But life is not always rosy; along with this almost genetic love of life, came the dark days of feeling overwhelmed by difficult times or circumstances.

For the past three years, our little family has experienced so many of those dark days.  We have worked hard at seeing the good, being thankful for what we have.  Every day is a blessing.  It's pretty easy right now to keep that mindset.  Lacy is doing well in many ways.  He interacts, walks with assistance, enjoys people and good times.   Darker days will come.

During the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, I read Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer.  The book blurb reads in part, "A beautifully drawn study of what is at risk when you lose control of your own life."  Two characters' lives, loosely intertwined, are at risk of falling apart.  One of the characters, a woman named Mara, loses her independence as she experiences the increasingly frightening progression of HD.  For her, the end of the five days also marks the end of her life.

I came away from reading that book with this thought running through my mind.  There is no "upside."  There is no hope for a respite from this disease.  There is no cure.  I remained in this depressing funk for a couple of days.  A reality check is not bad in and of itself, but this went beyond a reality check to a sense of hopelessness that remained over me like a black rain cloud.  I kept thinking the fog would lift but it didn't.

Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.  I finally gave it to God one night, asking that the fog be lifted from me and that He show me His perspective.  I fell asleep praying and woke up with this thought running through my head:  There is no upside.  Yet with the same thought, there was an assurance of the strength to endure, the grace to see blessings along the way.  The promise of eternal life free from suffering.  I am content with that perspective.  There is no upside to this life, but there never was.  That was an illusion.  Jesus is the only upside in the universe, and that is more than enough.


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