I recently met with a dear friend of mine for coffee.
“How are you doing?” I greeted her, expecting the usual “Great! So tell me what’s going on with you!”
Instead, I was greeted with: “Not good.”
We spent the next hour discussing life and love. My friend has been divorced for several years. She walks her path as a single mom with two children. Her ex-husband is fiscally supportive, and so is her immediate family.
Her biggest burden, however, is one of loneliness. She is now going through the ending of a recent relationship. And she experiences this as fear: fear of missing out on sharing life with a caring partner, of being without back-up, of getting old alone.
I understand her fear, but in a different way. And I think that if we’re honest with ourselves, we all experience that kind of fear as well.
I first heard this articulated, at least when I was paying full attention, at a sermon given by Tim Keller in NYC:
The truth is that we all have a little trap-door under us.
The truth is that we’re all ultimately alone.
(Here’s where my friend looked at me through her tears and said, “I thought you were going to cheer me up.”)
Yes, I realize this is not a pick-me-up! But it’s something we all must face.
It’s true in my life. No matter how much I want to rely on my husband, my children, my family or friends, my health, my mind: ultimately, I cannot. Ultimately, all those foundations will be removed from me: whether by distance, or simply by the passage of time.
There is a foundation for us. There is “a river whose streams make glad the city of God.”
I believe this foundation, based on Christ’s love for us, can never be shaken.
So when the mountains threaten to fall into the sea, when I’m confronted by loss or loneliness, when I face the realities of a broken world, I am still able to be like a tree planted by the water. And from there, I am given the strength to step forward, for another day.
The lives we lead will be, at some point, fraught with trial and travail.
We need to grasp that reality, yet be grounded in a firm foundation.
For me, that foundation is the hope and faith I have as a Christian.
Question: What about you? How do you face the trials that life inevitably brings? Do you feel you have a firm foundation?
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The best way we learn is from each other. You have a unique wisdom and insight that can truly bless others. So jump in and add your voice!
Dr. Ann is a Christian M.D., wife to a wonderful husband, and mom to a terrific gang of three. At The Marriage Checklist Ann blogs about life, work, and faith! She is syndicated on Crosswalk.com, and has been featured on BlogHer.com,MichaelHyatt.com, Fox news, and Good Morning America.
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Copyright Dr. Ann 2012
(photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/nuchylee)