Already getting better


I’m the type of person who doesn’t ask for help until it’s too late because I’m smart, I’m resourceful; I should be able to figure out whatever “it” is on my own. Charge it to pride, fear of embarrassment, not wanting to have my life and career choices thrown back in my face…

“See, that’s your problem. You try to do everything yourself. Don’t you know you’ve never done anything by yourself? You only have what you have because people are praying for you. You don’t have what you need because you don’t pray.”

My dad says some version of this every time we talk. Every single time.

It’s been years (a decade plus?) since I went to church or read my Bible with any regularity. And I’ve struggled over the years with guilt over the idea of turning to God when I’m in a bind, because I’ve not been faithful. I don’t wanna be the spiritual equivalent of the friend you only hear from when she needs to hold a little sumthin’.

But I really need to hold sumthin’.

So, I’ve been working over the last months on shedding that guilt and repairing my relationship with Him, and asking for help, and trusting that it will come, and trying my best not to ask “when?” and “how?” Because Matthew 6: 25-27:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

But it’s a struggle. There are so many things that need fixing.

I’ve been going to a new church, and on the first Sunday I visited, the pastor’s sermon was entitled, “I Know God Can Do It. But Why Won’t He Do It For Me?” It was to be a three-part lesson and spoke to exactly where I am in life. It kept me coming back and it reminded me of the song below, that my friend Jason sent me a few years ago when I was really sick.

I believe it’s going to get better, that it’s already getting better. And I know, with Him, it’s never too late. In case there’s anyone else who needed to hear it, this is for us:


I was fast asleep in my aisle seat when she woke me up, fumbling for the button that would recline hers. Annoyed, I cut my eyes at her, then tried to get back to sleep.

“Do you fly this route often?” she asked.

I told her that I fly a lot, but this was my first trip to Montana.

“Do you take out travel insurance when you fly?”

I told her I’d never bought it.

“This was my first time getting the insurance. My husband Jim and I flew out to Great Falls last weekend.”

I really wished she’d leave me be.

“He died on Tuesday.”

She went on to tell me how the insurance company covered her hotel stay for three nights, rescheduled her flights and covered the full cost of her husband’s cremation—his ashes were in an urn in the overhead compartment. Right next to my backpack.

“All that for $92. Can you believe it?”

Her name was Cindy and she was from Massachusetts. A couple for 14 years, she and Jim had been married for only four. He’d been in home hospice care on the east coast, but was still fiercely independent. Montana was Jim’s favorite place on earth.

He’d been her second husband. Her first had passed years earlier, after a car accident had left him paralyzed. He spent two years in a rehabilitation center, and she’d been with him nearly every day. Jim had promised her that he would never become a burden. “I’ll never do to you what [her first husband] did. You won’t have to take care of me.” He died peacefully in his sleep.

I covered her hand with mine and asked her how she was doing.

“I’m doing OK. God must think I have strong shoulders.”

Indeed, he must. We talked for the duration of the flight; she shared special moments from her lives with both men. The time she hired a belly dancer to perform for her first husband in the rehab center, and all the other patients crashed their private party. How she and Jim met while he was working on the Big Dig.

“No more husbands for me. But with my record, who’d marry me?”

She laughed.

I’ve never been good at finding the right words in situations like this. But I got the sense that she just needed someone to listen. I felt guilty for being so caught up in my own stuff and wanting to tune her out, but there’s no way I could have known what she’d been through. I just hope our conversation brought her even the tiniest bit of peace. I said a prayer for her when we landed, and I told her I would continue to pray for her.

God bless you, Cindy.

“In your life you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some that you wish you never have to think about again. But you do.” — C.S. Lewis