Giving up.

Over the past year, the pandemic from hell has tried to wipe us out. Lives have been lost. Businesses and ministries have suffered. Community has all but dissolved. We’ve been isolated and confused, wanting to do the “right thing” and not knowing exactly what that is. Despair seeped in like fog on a damp day.

Real life loss.

As a full-time caregiver, wife, mom and medical assistant, my friend, Alicia was quickly becoming overwhelmed BEFORE the pandemic. Her mother had been suffering with multiple medical issues including heart failure and dementia. Alicia wanted to keep her mom at home as long as possible, even if it meant practically moving in with her, but ultimately, the decision to place her in an assisted care facility had to be made.

In the midst of the pandemic with all the restrictions and lockdowns, Alicia was unable to see, hug, kiss, or whisper assurances to her mom. Standing outside her mom’s window, their hands pressed against the glass, desperate for connection, tears rolled down both their cheeks.

When her mom passed away, she was alone in her room. No funeral or memorial service was permitted to help Alicia ease the pain of her loss or celebrate her mom’s good life. 

It. Was. Awful.

Alicia, an extrovert by nature, now alone in her grief, was swallowed up by discouragement in her isolation.

Months rolled by, the snow melted, robins appeared and crocuses sprouted. Restrictions on travel eased and Alicia’s four daughters conspired a simultaneous visit. They stood in front of the garage door at the top of the drive, waving streamers and bopping balloons as Alicia pulled into her driveway.

Oh Friend, I wish I had a picture of the visible relief on their radiant faces as happy tears streamed during the jubilant reunion.

Good news revives us.

In Genesis 45, Jacob has suffered the loss of his favorite wife, Rachel, and their son, Joseph. Jacob’s grief was so heavy it contaminated his joy for decades. On top of that, there was a famine in the land the likes of which had never been seen. Jacob was distraught and ready to die.

When his sons returned from a second trip to Egypt where they had gone to buy food, they brought with them the news that Jacob’s long lost son, Joseph, was alive and in charge. Verse 45:27 says, … “the spirit of Jacob revived.”

Can you imagine?

Finding out the son you’d given up for lost, was alive and eagerly waiting to see you! Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12. Good news revives our spirits.

The past year has been tough for many of us. I don’t know what have you given up hope of ever doing, or seeing or experiencing again, but I do know that God sees you, hears you and has good news for you. You are not alone and you are not forgotten.

Leave me a comment or zip me an email if you’d like me to pray for your good news to arrive and for your spirit to be revived.

Verse of the day: How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”    Isaiah 52:7 NIV

Prayer: Lord, your Son is Good News and we thank you for Jesus gift of salvation. As we wait for His triumphant return or our departure from this world, sprinkle good news into our everyday lives to refresh our hope and deepen our trust in you. In Jesus Name. amen.

8 Comments

  1. Lisa on March 28, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    It was an ok year. Lost a moose member to pneumonia but she also had covid. Pneumonia is what took her and a cousin to cancer,
    My Dad sisters and l are fully vaccinated. I was sick Thursday night and Friday.. worked yesterday and church this morning.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 29, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      Lisa,
      So sorry. Any loss is significant!
      So glad you and your family are fully vaccinated.

  2. Anne Johnson on March 28, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Robyn, I’m on the other side of a very traumatic 18 months. Between April 2019 and December 2020, I became a full time caregiver for my only sibling, a sister, who took her last breath, with me at her side, on Sept 2019. During the next year, my husband and I remodeled her house, put it up for sale, sold it, bought another house about 110 miles away (during the Covid 19 crisis, no less!) inherited her dog and cat, both of which became very sick after her death and both had to be put down. I had foot surgery and was unable to walk for 5 weeks, After moving, I was unable to find a job so I was forced into early retirement. I walked away from my hometown upon moving, knowing I was seldom going to have an opportunity to return. And while cleaning out her house, I ran across things from each member of my family, all of which have now passed away, forcing me to relive a rather dysfunctional childhood. But through it all, my eyes have been opened to the origin of many of my problems and I’m finally emerging stronger and more confident than I’ve ever thought possible. I’m actually finally understanding what Paul meant when he said,” I’ve learned the secret of being content in any circumstance.” I haven’t”arrived” yet, but I’m further down that road and I’m ever so thankful!! God bless you and your ministry my friend!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 29, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      Wow, Anne. What a season! So grateful to you for being the caregiver and cleaner-upper. From experience I know that is BIG responsibility. And double WOW WOW, so delighted to hear about the revelation God’s given you to press into the future without dragging past baggage with you! Keep pressing on!

    • Donna on March 30, 2021 at 11:34 am

      Anne, know that you are loved, here in your former home town. We miss you and want only the best for you and your husband in your new “reset” life.

  3. Donna Hanson on March 28, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you so for your continued emails. I look forward to reading them. We have actually been blessed this past year, as we have been way more fortunate than alot of people. Did lose a brother in law and dear friend to Covid, but in spite of that, God has blessed us with the gift of family and our church and our health.
    Blessings.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 29, 2021 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Donna,
      I am delighted to hear that you haven’t been undone by the virus and its effects. Be blessed!

  4. Judith Greene on March 29, 2021 at 1:21 am

    The year of the pandemic was a year of great change for my husband and myself. For 12 years I have been the director and president of a nonprofit charity called ‘Son Day in the Park Ministries’. For twelve years I have spent most of my time working to raise money for an annual event that is an outreach to an area that has been hard hit economically. We event filled with Christ based music, crafts, fun and lots, and lots of food…totally absolutely free. But last year was different. There would be no fundraisers to raise money, no working on advertising or looking for performers. No music in the park. It was a sad day for me and many others.

    Had it not been for the fact that my husband and I were moving from one town to another in order to prepare for his retirement at the end of the year, I think it would have been a very difficult time for me. But it seems God always knows the ways to fill in the gaps that open up ahead of us in order to keep us from being swallowed up in that deep chasm of emptiness. I was so busy packing and preparing for the move and then unpacking and settling in that I barely noticed all I was missing until that day…..the day that normally would be Son Day in the Park. I can’t even describe the feelings….a sense of emptiness mixed with the realization that God had to have known that I would never have been able to do it all….Having suffered a heart attack at Son Day in the Park several years ago, I believe that God knew that doing both the move and the event would be too much…..He knew and He gave me the time I needed to pack at my own pace and to rest afterward.

    While I questioned if perhaps it was time to bring an end to these events since we couldn’t even do any fundraising, God answered my questions with a resounding answer….a very large, unsolicited contribution that made me realize that God has always provided and He always will. While I started this event with from a $50 Christmas gift that my in-laws had given me, He was now providing me with 100 times that amount! When we listen to His voice and are obedient, God will always provide what we need to fulfill what He wants us to do. I have started plans for this year’s event….it may not be exactly the same, but there will be an event and the people will come.

Leave a Comment