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God’s Grace in a Weird Month

Well, it’s been over a month since I last posted (Why do I feel like I’m starting off a confessional?) and it’s been one heck of a month.  Life has totally gotten in the way — but that’s a good thing.  It’s taught me to appreciate the grace we’ve been given and the many blessings we have.  But let me explain…

Over the last little while we’ve seen lots of things going on:

  • My mother-in-law has settled into her new life at the retirement home around the corner from us.  She’s done remarkably well, but her memory is very erratic.  She remembers the oddest things, and forgets whether she went to an activity at the centre after a couple of hours.
  • Her house in London was put up for sale about 6 weeks ago (see my post, “End of an Era“), and after a couple of varied offers we can now say that the house is sold with a closing date of July 3rd, so there’s now lots to do on that front.
  • We rejoiced as our daughter-in-law got a new job at a nursing home facility downtown that will have her dealing with dementia patients in a new, refreshing, and more natural way.
  • We cried as we mourned with friends at the church who lost their first-born son just 6 hours after it was born.  The funeral was last Saturday, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including yours truly (whose wife will tell you he’s a real softie at heart).  Only the coldest of cold-hearted people wouldn’t have wept as the young father spoke and then carried the casket down the aisle at the end.
  • Work has been absolutely crazy, and I finally reached a breaking point last week after being off sick, when I told them that I need assistance…. badly.
  • Just the other day we noted that it would have been my wife’s sister’s 60th birthday if she hadn’t taken her own life two and half years ago.
  • I’ve been sleeping poorly for the last few weeks suffering from coughing fits to the point of considering trips to emergency.
  • My wife’s Aunt and Uncle have been in a nursing home for some time now, and while the Aunt has health issues she is also suffering from confusion and dementia.  Her husband just recently (he’d been quite frail before this) contracted some form of a cold or virus, and hasn’t bounced back and is now slowly deteriorating.
  • Our Life Group and another group got together a couple Sunday’s ago and descended on a low-income community and dug and planted around 8 to 10 gardens for handicapped adults, just as a way of making their homes and community look better and helping them out with something they couldn’t possibly do on their own.

But I tell you this, not to garner your pity (“Oh wow, look how much has fallen on them recently!”) or to make you think what wonderful people we are (“Look how they gathered round that mourning family and those disadvantaged folks!”).  I tell you this so you’ll allow me to show you how Grace works.

You see, God has been working in each and every one of those situations.  Sometimes it’s easy to see — the new job; the sale of the house; the way the weather was perfect for gardening, which is great since I like to keep a beautiful garden all the time, I even got some great glowing decoration for it, you could find more about this here and get them for your garden too.

On the surface it’s hard to see how God can be working in situations where a baby dies; as loved ones slowly deteriorate; when work gets totally consuming.  But coming out the other side I’m sure we’ll see how God has taken those situations and worked miracles in those who are in it.

A couple of years ago we were in the midst of a dark time.  We were mourning the loss of Brenda, and the loss of our old church.  But just this past year we were able to share the story in a group at our new church dealing with grief and loss.  We shared how not only were we grieving the loss of a loved one, but also the loss of future happy times at the cottage; of family get togethers and vacations; of watching Brenda be a doting grandmother, etc.

Little did we know that in the room that night was a woman who was going through her own loss and was considering committing suicide.  After hearing all the ways in which the loss of Brenda had affected those around her she reconsidered and decided not to go through with it.

God is amazing!  God didn’t cause the bad things to happen, but he did use the situations and redeemed the situation for His good.

We don’t know how God will use all the situations that have happened these past few weeks.  We don’t know what good He will bring from the mourning and the loss.  We don’t know how He will use the new situations to impact those we come in contact with.  But we do know that He will use them.  In whatever way He wants.  And for Good.

God is a god of redemption.  That’s the whole message of the Bible.  That’s why Jesus came.  That’s why He died.  That’s why he rose again.

God will redeem these situations and will use us for His glory.  But we have to let Him, and that’s my prayer for us all.



  1. Cathie Proulx

    A baby death is incredibly sad… my niece still grieves her little one 4 years later, and he never even got to breathe! The twins probably wouldn’t be here otherwise, but that’s a hard thing to think about…

  2. Karen Steward

    I haven’t looked at your blog for awhile and on a sunny BC morning I thought it would be good to see what you are up to. I too celebrated Brenda’s 60th birthday. It is one of those milestone birthdays. Most of my friends turn 60 this year. I had a visit with Brenda’s friend Linda Bachmann this week. Her son is now living in Hazelton and is expecting their 2nd child. Linda is here to help care for the active 2 year old until the baby arrives. We had a good talk about joint memories, Nursing school at UWO, Moose Factory and of course Brenda. She was a good friend to both of us. I am so pleased that you share Brenda’s story and that it has helped someone. I still find it difficult to believe that Brenda wasn’t stopped by thoughts of how her death would affect the future of those who loved her.That simply reinforces for me how much pain she was in. Life goes on for the rest of us as you so eloquently express in your ‘musings’. Brenda will always be remembered by those who loved her. Say hi to Nancy and Mrs Clarke. It feels strange that 414 Baker Street is no longer the Clarke house:) Karen

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