Margie has been a part of our family since I was a child. She was my mother’s best friend and the grandmother I never had.
She was a big woman with a round face encircled with tight gray curls. She was most frequently seen in public with a wig pulled neatly on her head, short brown hair going in every direction. Yet in the comfort of her home, her wig would be quickly pulled off and tossed on the kitchen table.
I think Margie was my mom’s only friend, the one she would call sister. She was a confidant, the person my mother could rely on when everything around her was falling apart.
When my father lost himself over another love, Margie helped to bring justice – an icepick does wonders to car tires and the angry wrath of a dishonored wife. When it was time to celebrate birthdays, Margie helped to plan surprises, wrestling oversized birthday cakes in the back of her small car. And when my dad found his senses, Margie was the first to encourage mom to forgive.
Margie was a stable force in my family.
Reflections of her through the eyes of my childhood mind always bring memories of her hands. I know it is a strange focal point but you have to understand, her hands represented so much to me…
They were large and powerful from years of manual work, wrinkled and weathered from time spent in the sun. They told her story, each line, freckle, and crack.
She would envelop you when she gave you a hug but those hands…
They provided direction, one placed on each shoulder, making certain you were not losing track – carried off your path. Their strength helped to reassure you when you were off balance. They were weighty and a constant reminder that she was available, ready to support, a fixture in your life.
Margie raised her children alone, worked hard to provide for her family and her children’s families. She scratched, saved, and sacrificed to make ends meet, and yet each day she woke early, faithfully, determined to make the most of each minute.
Her life was not easy. Yet, she had an inner joy. A peace that was consistently visible, even during sickness, recurrent delays, and frequent hardships.
As a young woman, I spent time with Margie. We would sit on her front porch, drinking tea from her favorite plastic glasses, and she would teach. Not the type of stuff you learn from the halls of academia but the curriculum that life experience brings, suffering brings, the lessons that you can only know when you’ve been pushed beyond yourself.
One afternoon while she was shelling peas, recently picked form her garden, I asked Margie, how do you do it? How do you get up every day, face the struggles you do, and still have a smile?
She looked up from the bowl nestled between her legs, peaked from under her sunhat, and said,
God never promised easy!
He told me He would be with me, through it all, and that’s all I need.
Sisters, life can be so hard at times. Whether from personal crises, poor choices, or natural catastrophes.
It is hard being human.
But we have to be honest, God never promised easy. He never promised our dreams or desires were going to materialize. He never guaranteed wealth, status, or professional success. He promised us that he would be with us through our lives, despite personal disappointments, in the face of our struggles. And, He assured us that he would never leave us, never forsake us.
John 16:33 tells us,
I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!…
New International Version (NIV)
And Matthew 28:20 adds,
… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Margie trusted that God’s power would prevail in her circumstances. Her faith was demonstrated in her attitude, the way she walked through the world.
But how about you and me? Do we believe that God will provide? Do we trust that His power is sufficient for our challenges, that He loves us enough to come through, that His plans are the best?
I encourage you to take time this week to search your heart and determine what you believe about your Father. Challenge yourself to face what you are placing your trust in and wrestle with what you’re allowing to direct your life. You may be surprised at what you discover.
BeLOVED, God never promised easy but please don’t forget,
You are loved,
You are His daughter,
You are His BeLOVED!