Posts Tagged ‘providence’

It was Thanksgiving 1996.  Things were the same but not the same.  Michael’s family had spent many Thanksgivings together in the years since I came into the mix by marriage in 1982.  But, the siblings had always before gathered at the folks’.  This time, one of Michael’s sisters was the hostess.  We were festive together…but not quite.  You see, Tony was dying.

My brother-in-law (husband of Michael’s other sister) had been diagonosed earlier that fall with a malignant brain tumor.  Surgery and treatment had slowed things down a bit, but they had left Tony changed in many ways and had left the entire family with a verdict that ended with a death sentence.  As it was, Tony had highs and lows over the first half of the next year and he died late that summer.

I have two memories of the Thanksgiving I’m recalling: One is that before and during dinner, we were trying very hard to be normal–but things weren’t normal, so it was awkward.  The other is that things totally changed after dinner.  As we began to share around the table, words and emotions and sentiments tumbled out that should have been a regular, steady trickle of love and affection over many years before.  But, it was a case of better late than never in some respects, and I believe some new good things in the family began that day that have been sustaining in times since then.  The culminating expression of that table time was some singing together.  I’m not sure what else we sang, but I do remember this one:

God will make a way, when there seems to be no way.
He works in ways we cannot see; He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.
With love and strength for each new day–He will make a way…
He will make a way.

And He did. 

Fast forward to the winter after Tony died.  Michael was starting a second masters degree.  He thought he was done with his schooling when he got his library degree in the late 70’s.  But the tenure process at his job demanded another degree and, in the library world, unless you want to teach librarians, a second masters degree is more practical than a doctorate.  So, not knowing entirely how it would be paid for or how the course work would be juggled with the daily on-the-job and with parenting three young children, we began the journey.  Our theme song for the trip was, “God will make a way, when there seems to be no way…”

And He did.

Now it is 2008.  We know that a year from now, Michael will not be working at the same job he has currently (his is likely ending in May, 2009).  What we don’t know is what he will be doing.  That means we also don’t know if we will be living where we live now and have for the past 18 years, or whether we will be somewhere else.  In fact, there is a great deal we don’t know about life on the road ahead (always true for all of us, but moreso in the face of the current uncertainties.)  But there is one thing we do know:  “God will make a way when there seems to be no way…”

He did–and He will.



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