Hey, all! Today's Friday post is a bit different. My friend Katie Ganshert's Debut Novel, Wildflowers from Winter is only days away from release, and in an effort to spread the word, she's asked some of her friends to share their own Wildflowers from Winter posts. When bad things happen (winter) good things can come of them (wildflowers.) Be sure to click on the links at the end of the post to find out more about what's written here and about Katie's new book.
The truth is, I've had a wonderful and blessed life. The times of winter have been, for the most part, short, and the wildflowers abundant.
When I read some of the posts on this blog hop, I thought, "I can't compete with that. Divorce, the loss of a child, the loss of your home." Then I realized, I don't have to compete. Everyone's story is different, everyone experiences loss.
My greatest loss and darkest time of winter came in 2008-2009. My much-loved mother-in-law was battling cancer, and she needed more and more care. My sister-in-law (also much loved!) and I were splitting the bulk of the duties. Those were the hardest weeks and months of my life, days where I felt stretched so thin, so afraid that I would do something wrong, or that I would forget medications, or that I wouldn't be there when she needed me. I worried about my kids, how were they taking all of this, how could I be there for them when I had to be at Grandma's side so much? And what about my husband? This was his mother.
But every time I thought I couldn't go on, or that God wasn't hearing my prayers, my sister-in-law or my husband or my kids or someone from my church would encourage me, lift me up, help me take a few more steps.
In June of 2009, my mother-in-law, Lorraine Vetsch, lost her fight with cancer. Through that journey, my faith was strengthened every day, my relationship with my husband and children became stronger and took on new meaning, and my sister-in-law, Linda, became the sister of my heart.
I'm still seeing wildflowers blooming from that time of winter in my life. God is good to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
You can read more about Lorraine HERE (click on the obituary tab) and see a lovely picture of her, too.
Wildflowers from Winter book page