From my journal: Thursday, August 15
I am taking off my shoes.
It’s holy ground time.
The decision of our Ft. Wayne doctors to move Josh into Palliative Care magnifies the preciousness of every moment.
Life and living will take on new dimensions. Attentiveness will become the norm—an attentativeness to beauty, pain, process, the Presence of God.
Pray for us as we prepare our children for this place—for the taking off of their own shoes to tread on this terrain. Pray for us as we help Josh remove his shoes to travel this road where we will walk with him until his final step. There, with pounding hearts, we will witness him walk alone across the finish line into the arms of the Living God. It’s a victory won by the beaten body and undying obedience of Jesus God’s only Son.
We don’t know. This may be the beginning of the end — or Josh may stabilize. There is no way to know. There is no need to know. Each day will be a gift, a grace poured out before us. We will drink it t the full.
Today, my eyes sting over the thought of telling our kids. Sam and Joe know. Noah asks questions. The tone in Anna’s voice is changing as she inquires about Josh and how he’s feeling. They all know….but the saying it out loud will be the most holy territory we’ve ever walked as a family. Pray for the work of God in each of their lives. Pray they are not afraid.
Yesterday I told our pastor, in tears, that I was ready to say goodbye to Josh, but that I was not ready to watch him suffer. My biggest fear — air hunger. Will he be gasping for breath, eyes wide and wild with fear. That is is the fear that stands before me. It makes me cower.
“I don’t want to be afraid!” “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear….” I John 4 shouts out. The whole chapter is crazy on love because God is in crazy love with us. I don’t want to be afraid. I’ve been wrestling with it. I want it defeated.
This morning, in the light that came peeking through our window blinds, I read a few more pages of Ann Voskamp’s book… pages 37-41. I was blessed, challenged, touched…then 40 words from the end of this chapter — there it was.
“A word to seize…fearless dying.’
Fearlessness. That was the focus of my prayers throughout the night.
God is here.
God is here! Speaking. Coaxing. Calling.
Do you see Him? With me? With us? With Josh?
Fear has lost its power today. (It may return. God can handle that.) But right now, it’s been dismantled — it’s ugly, life-depleting energy sucked dry. God’s foot is on its chest.
We embark on a journey.
Some we love are taken from us in a flash. We are left stunned, gasping, heaving. Life as we know it lies shattered in a thousand pieces.
Some we love embark on a journey. We are invited to travel along to the edge of Glory.
The boat is readied. The anchor lifted. We set out into unchartered territory.
The sails billow in the wind. Life as we know it slowly disappears behind us.
The voyage we take together is an intimate one. It is unknown. There is a vastness before us.
The waters, at times, will rage. Wave will stack upon wave. The wind will seek to destroy.
The waters, at times, will grow gentle and still. In the quiet, a sea gull’s call might be heard.
Just as the sun is trusted to rise and set on the horizon each day, God can be trusted to make his presence known through whispers, wonders and great hope.
God is at the rudder.
We don’t have to be afraid.
God is very near. He is preparing us, with tremendous care, to embark on a voyage of fearless dying, love unleashed and hope soaring to new heights.
We are Glory bound.