This year’s blessings have propelled me to heights of happiness which could be no more welcome after the pits of despair in 2014. Last October I was still reeling from the sudden loss of my father earlier in the year. Almost overnight a suspected rare heart cancer took a healthy man on no medication off the tennis courts and out of our lives forever. In those awful last days I missed an important audition so I could sit at my father’s bedside despite the contrary urging of my sister and mother. My response was simple, “If I’m meant to be on that stage, God will give me the opportunity later.” Everything in life stopped when Dad was gone except comforting my mother and teaching her to live in a world she had never navigated on her own. There was little time to work and less time to write, so I watched my bank account plummet. In the meantime amidst the grief, I received constant messages from my tenants leading to one expensive repair after another on my home which they were renting. I continued to live between my mother’s home and that of a friend. I cried more tears than I thought possible holding onto that day when I knew happiness and peace would return. That’s the thing about faith. It’s the life preserver which saves those who have it and the one missing for those I’ve seen drown in the troubled waters of this world. There was a Bible verse posted on my vision board last year which I read almost every day. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Earlier this year I experienced a series of events which I call miracles, precious pearls of the proof of His promise. As each gift came I felt God’s wish for me, as if he was declaring, “I have not forgotten you. This gift is for you and you are worthy.” A play I had written was accepted for a staged reading by a local playwright’s group. My house sold after one day listed on the market. A small, affordable newly renovated condo with a river view appeared on the market. It has become my urban haven and is more “me” than anything I could have conjured up on my own. The theater I was eyeing posted their upcoming season. It included a non-musical comedy which is rarely done; featuring a favorite role I had previously played at the only other theater in town to have ever produced it. Coincidence, some might say, but I think not. In fact, I did not consider what followed as an audition. I went over there and CLAIMED my part. See, it didn’t matter if more talented people showed up or that I didn’t know anyone. It didn’t matter if I had minimal experience or how many people read for the role. I knew this was arranged by God especially for me. All of these above mentioned things flowed into my life as if ordained, consecutively with relative ease. As long as I received them (which I did, of course) I believed it would be impossible to mess it up. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to go play in traffic or anything, but you know what I’m saying. In Peter 5:10 it says, “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” Sign me up for the latter half of that. I’m ready. We can count on the fact that we will have pain in this life and there will always be things outside of our control. We have a choice, however, how we view, face, and manage these things.
It’s amazing how quickly things have changed form me in such a short time. Today I witness my mother, because of her faith, blossoming into a different person as her life transforms into something still unknown but wonderful. She is independent and confident with new friendships. She displays aspects of her personality I’ve never seen. It’s like watching a child play in the ocean for the first time as she discovers the woman she is without my father. My bank account is fairly restored. I sit on my terrace drinking coffee as I watch the rising sun turn the sky and river beautifully pink and purple, thinking about the show opening this week. I never stop feeling gratitude these days for every sweet experience. I’ve dedicated my upcoming performances to the memory of my father who greatly enjoyed me in this role three years ago. My earthly father, this wonderfully smart, dependable and loving man I thought we could not survive without is certainly still with us in spirit. We are, however, not only surviving without him here, we are thriving in the hands of our heavenly Father.