Friday, February 27, 2009

Holding Up My Arms

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Exodus 17:8-13

The ironic thing about me writing a blog is that I am a very private person. I started this whole thing just to keep a record of what the girls were doing. I was going to write in a journal, but my friend Jacquie said, "Just write a blog! No one will read it!" And that's how Guilford Road: IloveyouI'mcrying happened.

I didn't really think ahead that I might be writing about hard times we would go through. But through this experience with my mom, I see it as imperative that I act as a recorder of events so that Lucy and Elaine will have it all written down for them when they're old enough to read through it. I want them to know who their family is, who their mom is, and my heart for them--our history together.

Living through these last two weeks has been some of the hardest living I've had to do. Writing the last two posts completely drained me. There was one point where I sat in a dark corner in the basement and cried and said, "God, I'm too tired and broken to get up and do anything anymore. You've got to help me."

Somehow, I was able to get up and keep working, taking care of the girls, making supper, waiting in the carpool lane, folding the laundry. I know how I was able to do that...because of all of those who have been praying for me, for my mom, for our family.

I've gotten notes, such as this one from my friend Katie, who is also my parents' pastor's wife: "I want so badly to ask God to spare Lois any suffering. But, in my heart, I know that that is not how he operates. So I want you to know that while every human ounce in me wants her to not feel any pain, I am asking our Father to help her to stand firm to the very end, whenever it may be. Your mother has been a mighty warrior, even in her little frame. I'm also praying for you and Chuck and your families to hope in God through this. His ways may be mysterious, but he is good. Please let me know if there is anything else specific I can be praying for. Alice, I'm writing through tears. I love your dear mother. I think the only possible way she could be dearer to me is if she were my own. What a blessing it is to know her and Charlie. I just wanted you to know that while there is no way that I or anyone else outside your family can feel your exact pain right now, I am standing with you.With love, Katie."

I know I've had Kirsten in California, Melanie in Minnesota, Laura in London, Becky in South Carolina (sorry, Becky, you ruined the alliteration pattern there!), Mae in Canada, Jill in Michigan, Juliet and Ann-Marie here in my area, and more (I'm sorry if I'm forgetting anyone), gathering around to stand with us and pray.

I've had my dear friends, Jack and Alysa, praying together. They know the pain of losing a beloved mom and grandma. Alysa's been with me each step of the way on this. I read this on her blog yesterday and just cried. No words. Thank you, guys.

As my managing editor and friend, Peg, wrote to me, "Now, I reflect that I’m rejoicing, but we still have miles to go. Your mom may wonder why all the joy. But I feel God has given us a precious gift: Hope. So we will pray for tomorrow and take each precious day as He gives it to us."

So to all of you, my friends, those I've met and those I haven't, thank you too--for all your kind words, most of all your prayers, for joining with me on this little blog that no one was going to see, and for holding up my arms.

"Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD." Exodus 17:15-16


Juliet said...

What a very beautiful post by your dear friend Alysa. Her prayers were so specific. And the priviledge she has in knowing your mother and dad when she attended Moody.

I'm so very glad that you started blogging. We never know how God can use this tool for His Glory.

May I be counted as one who is holding you up through prayer.

Ann-Marie said...

I hope you know how very much you are loved by all of us. We consider ourselves blessed to be your friends! And, heaven knows, you've helped me through some really tough times.

Laura Brown said...

Alice, I'm so glad to help bring you strength in any way I can. I will continue praying for all of you.

I wanted to thank you, too, for praying for my friend -- I'm sure you've got way too much on your plate right now to keep up with blogs, but we found out last week that he doesn't have cancer; he has another condition from which he's expected to recover fully.