Saturday, 12 October 2013

Strength - Creating in Faith

Creating in Faith - Strength
Physical strength is something that we all possess to varying degrees and we can build upon it through training and exercise.  Inner strength is something far different built up from the trials we have been through and calls on reserves from a place that at times can be tested to the limit, and we can find ourselves wondering if we can make it through, whatever the situation, ready to throw in the towel one minute to the next being able to see some rays of sunshine and hope.

I have had my inner strength tested to varying degrees over the past 15 years and seen the strength of others tested in different ways.  Having looked after my mother and shared her journey on my blog, there have been moments where I wasn't sure if I could cope, or if I wanted to carry on.  In April early this year she suffered from a mini stroke and then another one in July while we were away on holiday.  As she ventures on the road to some form of recovery I am thankful that she is still here.  

We have shared our joy, laughter and pain as we venture into still unknown dementia territory, as her main carer I try and find things that will make her life more comfortable and look at ways to make her environment safe.  At the moment she has trouble walking, and her vision is very poor, so we have to look at alternative accommodation and preempt things that may arise and try and make her remaining years as comfortable as possible. 

In March 2011, Barbara my fellow artist and best friend of over 30 years passed away suddenly, no warning, no sickness, nothing leaving behind a husband and 5 children.  Our worlds were turned upside down.  I admired the strength that her husband showed, whilst in his pain he was there for everyone else, always asking how you were, giving you encouragement or seeing if there was anything he could do for you.  He pulled the family together, he had to, he was tested in the fire, there were some very dark times and it seemed inconceivable that he would ever see a glimmer of light, but on 4th October this year 2 ½ years after Barbara’s death he met someone that showed him how to laugh again and they celebrated their wedding along with family and friends.

On 2nd June this year, my brother passed after fighting multiple myeloma for 4 years, I am still trying to be strong calling on the experiences that I have been through, it doesn't feel like he is gone sometimes, I sometimes shaking my head in disbelief that this could have happened.  I look at the strength that Frances his wife has to call on to be there for their 3 children, to carry on doing the routines that used to be shared.  I wonder how I would have coped, with every corner a reminder of the loss. 

I was at the hospital right before he went to be with the Lord, not ever imagining that it could ever happen, hoping that it was a nightmare or to be able to flick the switch and change the channel.  Robert had said to me in 1992 when my father passed away that we had to be strong for my mother and we were.  Through my tears on the 2nd June I knew that I had to find the strength, I was not alone in my grief and as we shared our memories and experiences our pain was and will be eased.
God says that he will never leave or forsake us, and that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength and I must say that despite the past few years my strength has truly come from God.  There is nothing that we can do on our own; we know others who have suffered things that we don’t even want to contemplate.  I talk to my son talk about Robert and the times we shared as children and growing up.  I also tell him about all those who risked their lives, fought and died so that he could be free and in his soon to be 18th years allowed to vote and to be able to enjoy a life where his views and thoughts can make a difference – the generation of tomorrow.

Whatever you are going through remember that you are not on your own.  There are others who are praying for you, reaching out to you, lifting you up, and hearing your story, hearing your voice.  You will see that you are not on the journey alone, for in our strength we will begin to breathe again one day at a time.

Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you... 2 Corinthians 13:11

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away... Matthew 24:35

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