I reached the point where it seemed like I was spending all my time dwelling on the "What Ifs". And God had to gently remind me that this was not how I should be spending my time. Instead, I needed to give him the "What Ifs" and begin savoring every moment I had with Hannah. Not that it was easy...it was not easy at all...and it required a continual, conscious decision to put the "What Ifs" into His hands and live one day at a time. I had never really understood the concept of "one day at a time", and had certainly never lived it, until that point. As Hannah's health deteriorated, it became one hour at a time, and sometimes even one minute at a time. I really think it was that focus that made the last couple of months of Hannah's life not only survivable, but even, at times, enjoyable for us.
People often commented on our "strength" during Hannah's illness and death, but as I've said before, this is a misunderstanding of God's grace. What appeared to be strength was actually human weakness bolstered by total dependence on God. A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege to share Hannah's story at a church in Mountain Home, and after the service we visited with a gentleman who had lost his wife to cancer after many years of marriage. Our visit was brief, because there were many others waiting to speak to us that night, and a few days later, he emailed us to share a little more of his story. He ended his email with this statement:
"God in His infinite wisdom created us with the ability to survive these heartaches."
What a simple, yet profound statement! And I am daily discovering that it is true. More on this thought tomorrow....