We are all going to face hard days. If you haven’t yet you will. I remember being moved when I first heard Nightbirde sing and tell her story. As we have followed her story, until she passed away this weekend, she showed courage and hope in the face overwhelming odds.
About a decade ago I remember sitting in a doctor’s office looking at x-rays of my lungs. Without skipping a beat he told me I either had lung cancer or some other disease called sarcoidosis.
Leading up to this moment I had begun to have trouble walking, uncontrollable night sweats, bruising, and strange pains in my body. I don’t wish this kind of experience on anyone but I have to admit I learned some things through the process. For a period of time I did not know if I would be ok. With how quickly I had deteriorated there was certainly worry about what the next days and weeks could look like. I had lots of time to think about life and what this would mean.
The last two year’s had been difficult as well. The struggle to stay above the despair and the constant negativity has been a battle.I know lots are wondering if we will be ok.
Looking back I recognize it has been the same few things that have given me the strength to be the person I am today. To live with some level of hope and joy.When faced with what may be a short future I had to time to think about what I have done with the time I did have up to that point.
It is here, I recognized I have never been alone. I have been loved. I had Shirley, my kids, my parents, and siblings, and so many more. I recognized I had a bigger family. We have given away our time and resources to others. It has never led to less, but always more.
At the end these was not despair but a level of contentment. It may be hard to explain but I remember thinking if this is the end, I am happy with what we have done with the time and gifts we had.
Yet there was more. I was reminded of a scripture I have heard, read, and used when helping other’s who are facing pain. In 1 Thes 4:13 we are told about our future ‘so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.’ This has been something to stand on when I have lost family and friends.
However, after going through a time when I faced my own issues, it took on an additional meaning. What changed me the most is the realization I need to live like someone who has hope. This is something Nightbirde’s journey reminded me of. Yes, you can live through adversity and still be a hope and joy giver. It is a beautiful things when we see it.
It is sometimes hard to explain what faith is, or why would I give my life to following Jesus. A piece of it, for me, is to simply know, ‘it will be ok’. To know I am loved, that I have family, and that there is always hope. That there is always joy, peace, and love to be found in faith.
Yes life will be hard at times. However, there is an invitation for everyone to have hope. To have purpose. To be part of a family. To start new. To be ok.
‘You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore, before you to decide to be happy.’ – Nightbirde