Good Monday Morning.
Today I’m talking about rocks. Not the stones that you find on the ground. No, I’m talking about people who are strong, steady and dependable. The kind of person you can count on to be there to support you through the storms of life.
On the southern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lie the Pictured Rocks. The name comes from the streaks of mineral stain on the sandstone cliffs. The rocks include unusual formations including a row of cliffs that are known as Battleship Row.
Years ago, we went on a cruise that took us around the Pictured Rocks shoreline. It was fascinating to me. I was reminded how amazing God’s creation is.
Despite many storms that crashed against their shores, the rocks had stood the test of time. They were strong and steady and created a natural beauty that drew attention to them.
Do you know anyone in your life who reminds you of these rocks?
There was someone very special to me who was like a rock in my life.
My late husband.
I’ve shared much of my story through my diagnosis of bipolar disorder to present-day management. I haven’t shared previously my husband’s role in it.
When I was first diagnosed, a coworker mentioned to my husband that his wife had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Keep her on her medication,” was that man’s advice.
My husband took it seriously. In the beginning, my copays for the various medications I was on cost over $200 a month. We could hardly afford them, but he made it a priority.
He never wavered in supporting me, either financially or emotionally, as I rediscovered my footing in life. Like the rock formations that stand on Lake Superior, my husband was strong and steady. I knew he could be counted on to take care of me.
So when he had a tragic work accident in 2010 and passed away, I remember mentioning to the hospital chaplain that Pat had been my rock and I didn’t know what I would do without him.
The chaplain told me, “Sometimes you have to become like a little rock.”
At the time, I didn’t think I would survive the loss. A big chunk of who I was died with my husband. I had to find my way as a single parent through the grieving process.
Fortunately, my husband had life insurance. Even in his death, he provided for me.
While I didn’t think I could move forward without him, step by step I grew more independent and stronger. I had an amazing support system in my family and friends, but I had to do the hard work of the grieving process on my own.
During that first winter without my husband, a very interesting event occurred. I had a CD playing in the kitchen. I looked through the window and saw a cardinal sitting in the branches of the bush outside.
At the same time as I saw the cardinal, a song played on my CD called, “These are the Words I would say” by Sidewalk Prophets.
Without quoting the song here, because I don’t know if that is allowed, I will say that the song felt like a message to me directly from my husband. You can follow along with the lyrics in the video link below.
The words, “God’s got his hand on you, so don’t live life in fear,” sound much like something my husband would say to me.
I’ve gained confidence in time in my ability to thrive in life, not just merely survive. Having the remembrance of my husband’s support of me has helped me through the rough times.
His unconditional love for me is the foundation for the books that I write.
And speaking of rocks:
Pat was my rock in life, but Jesus is my Rock, capital “R.” I can depend on Jesus to be the strong and steady presence as I go through life’s challenges.
In my stories, I like to write about characters who struggle with their faith and how they find healing in God’s grace and love that endures through time, much like those cliffs on Pictured Rocks. The storms might crash against them, but their love stands firm, like a rock, in the midst of it all.