Last year on the Sunday before Lent, we heard the prophet Isaiah proclaim that God is “doing something new.” Those words caught my attention. God was definitely doing something new in my life at the time.
My best friend Jim was living with me, and he was dying from brain cancer. As he and I looked ahead to Lent, we talked about what “new” God was doing. We were fairly certain Jim would die before Easter, and he was looking at Lent as his final journey to Jerusalem; he was on his way home to God.
I was walking by Jim’s side, and every day brought something new—new symptoms, new issues and new ways to know my inadequacies. I had no prior medical experience, and nothing in my life to that point prepared me for caring for someone with end-stage brain cancer. Every day I learned something new.
Every day also brought little joys as we learned to let go and trust God. Family and friends helped us in many ways—shopping, cooking, doing laundry and working in the garden to name a few. I had a deep appreciation for people who responded to my calls for help without hesitation and who gave selflessly. Their generosity touched me and affirmed my faith.
Jim lived until the Tuesday of Holy Week and died at home and at peace. Since Jim’s death, I have continued to be aware that God is doing something new in my life. My old life is gone, and I am creating a new life.
I want to hold onto the lessons I learned during Jim’s illness and let them guide me into the next chapter of my life. I want to be open to whatever “new” God is doing in my life.