From Bone-Chilling Fear to Love’s Deep Healing

Typically I don’t make an effort to review my year past, and I suspect I’m no different than most of you. But having started this blog, I thought it a good idea to make this year an exception.  

As I scanned back over three months of weekly posts, I was surprised.  

I was surprised by the pattern that emerged. My intention had been to share certain takeaways from our family’s story but in no particular order. 

Yet in hindsight I see a defining arc. From my first post to the latest conversation with myself, there’s a distinct movement. 

If you’ve followed my posts from the start, you know that my wife Martha was told at 50 years of age she likely has Alzheimer’s disease. We felt as though we’d been tossed out into a hostile wilderness, left to die.

That’s where my blog opens, but that’s not where our story leads. 

From that bizarre news our story weaves through good times and bad, more often bad. The path opening before us, however, led us to a place that somehow transcended this insidious disease. 

Yet it was more a presence than a place. 

This presence, which I came to know as Christ Jesus, somehow kept picking us up and drawing us along the way. I began to see that we were being led toward some kind of healing ground. 

The closer we stepped, the less I feared. As did Martha, I think.   

That’s the defining arc of our story—from bone-chilling fear to what I can describe only as God’s deep warmth and healing.   

Call it a redemptive arc. 

If you’d like to review these earlier posts, or see them for the first time, I link them here in ascending order, from September through December 2015:

  1. Where’s the Joy in an Unimaginable Tragedy? 
  2. Finding Unexpected Gifts Deep in a Crisis
  3. At 52, I learned What Real Fear Is
  4. The Power of Art and Poetry in a Crisis
  5. Why I Started a Blog-Newsletter
  6. How Keeping a Journal Helped Save My Life
  7. Why I Spent 300 Days in a Monastery
  8. We Were On This Path All Along, but I Didn’t Realize It
  9. What Would I, at 70, Tell Me at 40?
  10. My One Regret
  11. A Thanksgiving Memory
  12. The Latest News on My Book
  13. The Hardest Thing I Ever Had to Do

May you give with all your heart this New Year. And may 2016 bring all you need, and nothing more.