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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Difficult Lessons Learned During 2009?

At the end of every new year, I make a list.  Prayers answered, memorable moments, and last but not least, lessons learned.

I learned more lessons in 2009 than I care to write about.  Yes, it was one of those “character building” years. 

At the top of my list?  Watching my father battle a debilitating illness.

Many of us are raising young children while we’re doing our best to help care for our aging parents.  We’re making lots of long-distance calls, waiting for second opinions, and fighting insurance companies.  And we’re also praying more than usual.

My friend Shelly likes to refer to us the “Sandwich Generation.”  She should know.  She’s working full time, raising four kids, and battling again with her mother’s rare cancer that just reared its ugly head again in 2009.  Like me, she’s trying to do her best, but she always feels like someone is getting the short end of the stick.

This past year, my father’s illness has robbed him of a lifestyle he once knew – a lifestyle of golf, travel, and independence.  Yet in the midst of the loss, he and my mother have taught me a few lessons I’d like to share in the coming days. 

What lessons have you learned from illness and pain?  God often uses those difficult circumstances as a teacher, and while we wouldn’t wish them on anyone, we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

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