Yesterday was a rough one. No need to sugar-coat it.
It started with a phone call from the monument company needing some verification on the engraving for dad’s gravestone. I just couldn’t seem to get my ideas across – even though we had visited in person a few months ago, and I thought we were on the same page.
Apparently, we weren’t.
And nothing quite makes things “get real” like discussing your dad’s eternal monument.
Then a phone call from my grandma, needing a simple little errand run. On its own? Absolutely no big deal at all.
But then the kids got off the bus. One was struggling with a situation with a classmate. The other was just tired and, well, being a kid. I started to feel myself crumbling a bit.
No time for that, though.
I loaded up the kids, headed to town for grandma’s errand, and then we stopped in and visited her for a bit at her assisted living facility. It was just one of those days when the kids weren’t, ahem, in the best of moods. I was trying my darndest to stay positive. And I felt myself failing miserably.
The sandwich generation is tough.
On that drive, it all just hit me. Being in this sandwich generation sucks. (That’s a “bad word” in our house. So don’t tell the kids I said it. Deal?)
Studies show that one in eight Americans in their 40s and 50s are caring for both an aging parent (or now my grandparent, in my case) and their own children. One in eight.
I’m not sure whether I’m comforted or concerned that I’m not alone.
Either role is exhausting on its own.
Being a parent? Well, any mom or dad knows the stress and worry and plain exhaustion that comes from making sure homework is done; playing taxi for student council meetings and sports and band and show choir; and in general, raising decent human beings.
Being a caretaker? You never know when the next emergency phone call will come – needing you to drop everything and get to your loved one. It comes with heart-wrenching decisions and ensuring the final years for your loved one are filled with the dignity and love they deserve. No small task.
Put them together? It’s nearly more than I can handle on some days.
The Good News is more than good.
On this Good Friday, however, I’m seeing my situation – every situation – through new eyes.
Can you imagine being Mary? As a mom, seeing your son carrying that cross? Dying for the world? Dying for YOU?
Can you imagine the love Jesus has for each of us? To know He was destined to die a horrible death to save the lives of so many sinners like you and me?
On that Friday when Jesus died on that cross, no one knew what was coming in three short days.
That very first Good Friday didn’t seem good at all. No, it was filled with darkness and the deepest grief. They were full of despair for the loss of their friend, their son.
They had no idea what was coming in three short days.
But I do know the end of the story – at least as it relates to Jesus and his resurrection. I do know the glorious news to come. And I know that no matter what challenges I may face in my life – no matter how dark it may seem – the brightness is coming again.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
I miss my dad dearly here on earth – but I know we will see each other again because of Jesus’ wounds. Because of that glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday.
I may struggle at times with choices for our children, for my nearly 93-year-old grandma. And there are many days when I don’t know how the situations will resolve – and truly, it’s not my place to know. God shares what He knows we can handle.
But on those dark days, I can choose to have faith knowing the light is coming again. That things will work out for His good, whether or not I can see it today.
Yes, it’s Friday. But Sunday is coming.