Friday, March 26, 2010

Army Nurse Corps

My little girl is leaving. As many of you know my youngest daughter signed up for the Army Nurse Corps. She leaves for her initial training in a couple of days.

People have asked me how I feel about this. There are many emotions I feel. I think the prevailing one is that I am very proud of her. After the initial possibility of this pursuit came up, she and her husband thought and prayed hard about this and decided that this would/could be a very positive step for them and their lives together long term. I’m proud of them for the way they worked through this decision that hugely affects their lives in so many ways. It was not an easy choice I’m sure.

At the same time, with her moving so far away, I can easily let myself fall into the feeling that I am losing another very dear loved one. I know I am not “losing” her but she is going to be vary far from home. It has brought some of the grief of losing Carol back to mind. I am trying not to dwell on that. Sometimes I wonder if Sara’s decision might have played out differently if her mother was still here. Hypothetical. . .

As someone said, we as parents raise our children to spread their wings and fly, but when that happens we miss them being close and want to hold on. I know that this experience will change her, but that’s ok. This seems to be God’s plan for the path of her life. I believe He can use this experience to develop Sara into an even more incredible young lady.

“As a member of the Army Nurse Corps, you'll be given opportunities of a lifetime!” This is a quote from the Nurse Corps web site. I pray that this will be so for my precious daughter.

Stay strong, dear Sara, remember that you are loved by all who know you and especially your Heavenly Father.

Monday, March 22, 2010

OK one last entry regarding the book “SAILING BETWEEN THE STARS by Steven James

Following is an excerpt from where he has written about “joy”:

“There aren’t any easy answers to the big questions that haunt us and hunt us down. Friends commit suicide. Grandparents die awkwardly and alone in nursing homes. We get fired. We have affairs. Our kids get hooked on drugs. Time and gravity wear is down as we travel across this vale of tears.
Yet when we have hope, we have refuge. I like how Paul put it: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV). Or, as Eugene Peterson paraphrases it in The Message, “we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” And grace is always stronger than my circumstances.
Every day we’re both wasting away and being renewed. When God’s Spirit moves, joy is reborn, and our lives, once new, can continually be renewed through faith and the promises of faith.
Here is what I have to keep reminding myself: pain is real, but so is joy. Every moment, hope is available. Even now peace can be mine. And the sparkling moments of joy that make life worth living are just as much a part of our world as the speeding tickets and funerals. When you take the time to look at both sides of the equation, you realize that life is both more depressing and more delightful that you thought.”

Then later he writes:

There is a heaviness to the lightness of Christianity, a somberness to the joy, a depth to the levity, because for every Easter there is a Good Friday.” . . . “Christians are enmeshed in a terrible, glorious, light and airy, deep and troubling joy”

James states it far better than I could ever hope to but what strikes me is that in the midst of tears and loss and pain and struggles it is possible and even Biblical to have and experience joy. That is an amazing aspect of Christianity that I think is very profound.