“You will forget your misery; you will remember it is as waters that have passed away. and your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. and you will feel secure because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security…” Job 11:16-18 ESV
For all my followers, I know that I seem to have disappeared, but I assure you that my thoughts and prayers have never left you. This year has brought many of us trials, struggles and hardships. As, I read the news the other day, I was extremely sad to discover that more people have lost their lives to suicide than to the virus itself. I believe the reason is because many of us seem to have lost something vital –HOPE.
When this year began, I commenced the study of Job (it’s customary for me to begin new biblical study each year and each time has been something that has helped me deal with the present circumstances)– never has this story rang so true to me as it does today. As the year unfolded, I found myself thinking more and more about this man’s life. I like so many of you was reminded how precious life is and how priorities can change from one second to the next.
At the beginning of the year my entire focus was on Parkinson’s. I wrote about how excited I was about all the new genetic, gender and diversity initiatives occurring in our community across the globe and how honored I felt to be part of this global awakening even if my part was minuscule. Then the pandemic began and turned my world as it did all of ours upside down. Although, I have continued to play an active role behind the scenes and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of many new firsts. My focus has shifted to bringing hope and encouragement to those living with Parkinson’s and other chronic illnesses. I like most of you have had to reach deep while relearning how to survive but also thrive during this pandemic, which I assure you has been no easy task.
Many of us have learned firsthand what real fear is as we have watched a love one become ill and whisked away by an ambulance or through the emergency room doors wondering if and when we might be able to hold our loved one in our arms again. Some of us might have gotten lucky to see the return of said loved one to our homes and be thankful for that . But some of us may not feel as blessed having lost one or more friends, family or loved ones. I have had my share of Parkinson’s friends , and other close friends lose their battles. Many due to the virus others perhaps precipitated by the current conditions which heightened the stress or decreased their ability to get appropriate care for their underlying conditions.
My continued prayer during these challenging times especially when my husband was in ICU near deaths door was for me to have faith greater the fear I was experiencing. I tied to remind myself that things could always be worse. Although the fear of losing my husband, my partner, my caregiver was very real. I thought of my best friend who had just lost her husband suddenly and my heart saddened but regained courage as I had watched her try to remain strong in the face of adversity. I too was feeling vulnerable both physically and emotionally compounded by the fact that my husband illness was on the anniversary of my father’s death.
Again, I turned to Book of Job and was comforted by the words that are the backbone of the advocacy work I do. “you will be secured because there is hope…” (Job11:18)
Today I am grateful for the great friends that I have in this community, friends that sit quietly next to me (and you) during the storm.
During these difficult times I like for all of you to remember, as I do, the story of Job who lost everything his family, his friends, his fortune and even his health but he never lost his grateful heart nor his faith. I pray that goodness, kindness, hope, and faith prevail as we continue to make sense of the losses we have had and the personal trials we are still enduring. I am confident that as in the story of Job that if we manage to hang on for one more day eventually there will be healing, peace and love once more.