A year ago today, my life was flipped perfectly upside down.
I was sitting on my couch, cozy in my living room, and my dad called me from another city, and spoke a phrase that I have since clung to.
“Anna Bliss, I’m going to need you to be strong.”
And in the past 365 days since, there isn’t one break of daylight that I haven’t fought for strength and pled for grace.
I dropped my binder to the floor and sped to the hospital in my 4Runner to see my mom for what we thought, at the time, was just a minor stroke. Not a primary brain tumor. And since then, we’ve been leaping MRI to MRI like lily pads over fire and holding our breath, ducking in and out of doctor’s appointments, disappointments, and more treasure than I could have ever dreamed to discover.
It’s become our normal. And I never thought it would. But it has. And I’m grateful.
We’ve learned about sanctity and putting others first, and trusting not on MRI results but that our Creator holds all the answers whether we deem them good or bad. The value of time. The beauty of not having the answer. The rest only found in admitting weakness.
We’ve since read people’s theories for suffering. That it’s a part of the world and so to accept it and move on and not consider it more than once, or to weigh it heavily and shift your worldview and wreck your world, the Western man’s refusal to be refined by suffering, and the ancient being’s reveling in the sanctification of this tight crucible.
We’ve seen people turn from Christ, because how could he offer this? We’ve seen the arguments for a good God in a bad world, and the theology of evidence against unquantifiable suffering enough to make a wavering man stumble. I’ve seen them shut their eyes in disbelief and refuse His problem of pain. But in shutting their eyes, they are blind to His glory.
So wider our eyes stretch, deeper our gaze fixes, tighter we cling to one another.
And we soak in His promise not of this Earth, but of eternal value. If we choose to receive his undeterminable and incomprehensible grace, his mysterious workings must also be found there in these gifts. This, too, is grace.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18