Last summer my mom had to have her hip replaced. I really wanted to be there for the procedure, but she was in so much pain, she didn’t want to wait until my planned trip home a couple of months later. The surgery seemed to go well. She completed physical therapy and was walking around with a walker in no time.
However, a few months down the road she still wasn’t feeling the relief she had hoped, so the doctor brought her in and prescribed twelve more sessions of therapy. During that time the doctor also met with her monthly to run blood work. He noticed that her counts weren’t at the level they should be, so he suggested that she go in and have a procedure done to check for infection.
Last Friday, she went in for her pre-op work and they noticed something irregular on her chest x-rays, specifically in her lungs. Did I mention this happened on a Friday, the worst possible day to get news like that because, lo and behold, we had to wait until Monday to find out more information? Today is Monday and as I’m typing this I am getting updates from my dad at the doctor’s office. Currently they are waiting on her CT scan to come back.
I share this with you because I am an only child. Moments like these make my singleness that much more palpable. I have no siblings. I have no husband. Thankfully both my parents are still living, but I have often thought about what I will do when something happens to one or both of them.
Who will be there to hold my hand, to let me cry on their shoulder, to help me make all the hard decisions that I know nothing about? I know the Lord calls me to not be afraid. I know that He will be there, but what about someone to physically stand beside me?
And then he reminds me with this:
This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. (Ephesians 2:19-22, The Message)
I will be okay because my family goes beyond my mom and dad. Christ is my cornerstone and He has given me a community of believers that hems me in on all sides with prayer and words of encouragement.
Yes, it would be nice to have siblings to share the burden of aging parents and a husband to hold my hand when things are hard, but I have to trust that the community He’s using to surround me will stand in that gap and support me.
I just have to let them.
Photo credit: M Car