dsc01090.jpgNine years ago today, I sat with my best friend as he passed from this life to the next.  His passage was long and arduous, his breathing being laboured and difficult for many hours.  I know that his efforts were worth it.  He died the same way that he had lived – full out for Christ.  He closed his eyes for the last time on this earth but I know that he opened them to behold the Saviour that he had served so faithfully.  He is now free of the disease that tormented him the last few months of the time allotted him here.  Nine years ago today began everlasting bliss for him.  Nine years ago today started a very difficult part of the journey for me.

The way marked out for me has been an uphill battle, at times almost an impossible one.  There were many crying sessions along the way and more than once the question “Why?” has been whispered out of my mouth.  I now feel that I have an answer for that question.  God designed this way for me that I might become strong.  He has made my feet like hinds’ feet that I might walk in the high places.  I am at a higher place than I have been for a very long time.  I can see back down the trail I have climbed with such difficulty.  There are pools of water along its sides where I have cried until I felt there was no more water in me that could be squeezed out.  If God has kept all my tears in a bottle, that bottle is at least the size of an Olympic swimming pool I think.  There are also two sets of footprints along that path.  God has been faithful.  He has never left me or forsaken me no matter how alone I may have felt over the years.  At times, there are only one set of footprints.  Another weary travellor has penned it well when he/she wrote that “it was then that He carried me”.

I am also looking ahead on this special day.  In years past the road that lay ahead of me looked very much like the road I had already travelled.  I have wondered more than once if the way would ever level out and get more enjoyable.  There was a time when it seemed I would never laugh again.  God has promised that He would turn my sorrow into dancing and my mourning into joy.  I am laughing more these days.  It seems that the weary chapter I have passed through is just that – a chapter.  I am now embarking on a new chapter in my life.  It promises to hold adventure and maybe even a few surprises for this pilgrim.  Nine years of sadness have passed.  I am expectant today for many more years of happiness to come.