The journey home

For Jennifer, and all of us in the middle of the story

We did some traveling this past week, and we drove through Durham and right past the exit for Duke where Marissa spent so many days. Where we fought and some would say lost. So much happened there, and I feel such a tumble of emotion–and not just for the physical battle.

No, the battle was much more than that.

Floods of memory rush in with a growing thickness in the throat. A sigh for all the ways the battle changed us. And a heaviness. For Marissa, the horrific fight but then a full transformation into glory. For us left behind, some growth. Some faith. A new realization of God.

But many scars. Fear. And a struggle moving forward some days.

I suppose this is how soldiers feel after a great battle. Where do we go from here?

A friend has finished her cancer treatment and is searching for a new normal. She knows Marissa and knows the end of that story and wonders about her own.

And wonders how to trust God with all the stories.

Because all the stories are different. All the stories are His. Short or long, peaceful or battle-filled, joyful or laced with sorrow, they are His. He writes them. He fills each line.

Some are filled with excitement and wonder. Some are funny and light-hearted. Some are settled and beautiful. Some have one great battle and then peace. And some, endless conflict.

What is there to do but trust the Author? To remember His skill and His purpose and His love. To keep moving through the pages with faith. To be patient. To wait expectantly for Him to resolve, renew, and restore. To believe that He will direct each step and give strength for each new fight.

To stop looking at the words on the page and to trust in the proven One.

To believe in His plan, His beauty, His grace. To settle our hearts in truth.

To believe that it ends well.

That our journey ends with the warmth and joy of home.

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:68

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces. Isaiah 25:8