A voice in the wilderness: Rainbows
Most experiences in my life have been educational, exciting, and positive. For example, when I left home to attend college it was the first time I had been away from home to be on my own. Like walking through a wilderness, I was unsure what my experiences would be. I learned much and had fun along the way. And although there were bumps in the road, with the guidance of good friends, teachers, my church, and my parents, it was mostly a positive experience and I grew to make a love for learning part of my personality. The voice that guided me encouraged me to stay on the path when distractions tried to pull me away, and to stay in touch with my faith even though I felt overwhelmed with the burdens of academic and social pressures.
I graduated, found a career in education, married, and raised a family. The wilderness in this part of my life wasn’t that different compared to the environment of which I was raised; however, there was one particular challenge that made this part of my life’s adventure difficult: balancing a career with that of a mother, wife, and homemaker. I wanted to do everything perfectly. But again, through all the years of ups and downs I kept hearing a voice…and I believe it was the voice of God working through others to keep me going when I got discouraged. I could always talk with my husband, and he listened. As a family we had enjoyed many trips and other gatherings that still make us smile when we reflect upon them. Two of our parents are still with us today; and two are not…but all of them are still guiding my thoughts daily as I think about things that affect my life.
About six years ago, I got a call from my doctor who said I had cancer. The support from my friends, family, and medical staff was wonderful. It gave me hope, peace, and strength. Again, I felt it was God working through everyone during this new “wilderness” I was traversing. Today I am cancer-free and have learned how important it is to give support to others who are going through difficult times.
One of the voices I heard often was that of my mother. We talked every week for years since that walk through the wilderness of cancer. She was so uplifting and helped to turn my negative thoughts into positives. She died last year and in the early morning after she passed, there was a storm followed by a beautiful rainbow. My sister and both of my daughters saw more that same week. And on our way home a week later there was another rainbow. Unbelievable, but true. Coincidental, but it makes one wonder. Whenever I see a rainbow it is like a voice from my mother…actually from God…reminding me to stay on the path as I walk through the wilderness of the rest of my life.
As we light the candles of Advent, like a rainbow reminding me of the love of God, may we find hope and peace from the birth of Christ.