Certain moments in time stand out in my mind as red letter memories…those that are special beyond words. For me, the birth of my children, wedding days, sunsets over Lake Michigan, great dinners with special friends and family, laughter, days at the beach reading and doing nothing else, syrupy hugs from my small pajama clad blonde granddaughter Hannah after she has consumed more pancakes that would appear to fit inside of her warm my heart and my soul beyond words.

I feel a bit like Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” where she sings the song “My Favorite Things”…… some are big and some are little snippets in time- barely noticeable by others but treasured by me and me alone.

Other moments are those where time stands still and it usually comes with the incessant jangle of a a phone in the middle of the night.

The phone rings in the middle of the night with the beeping of heart monitors in the background and the muffled voice of your child- “mom, I’m in the hospital, I’ve been in a car accident.. I hear the words but my mind and heart are on pause- not totally absorbing what they mean and at the same time somehow completely knowing the weight of what each word contained.. broken leg, neck injury, semi truck, police were there. …. time stands still.

More words come on a different day- this time not the middle of the night, but still the phone rings. Another son, “mom, something is wrong, I don’t feel right, I am so weak, I can barely walk or stand…I’m scared.” I am afraid too… time stands still.

Another night,, another phone call cuts through the darkness- this time not from one of my children, but instead my son-in-law’s trembling voice “mom, the ambulance has taken her to the hospital- she can barely talk, and can’t move her left side. He speaks the word stroke. I hear it, but I can not absorb it. My mind thinks a million thoughts in that moment.How. Why. NO! She is 29, she is strong, she is healthy, she has four children, she is pregnant…time stands still.

The rest of the world continues to spin on its axis but the world as I know it becomes different- changed- altered-what was straight is now crooked. What was known becomes the unknown. I go to the store and a cashier, unawares, wishes me ” a good day”. I know she means well- but it brings tears to my eyes because on this day, I am not having a good day and it doesn’t feel like good days may be possible for a very long time.

I try to keep breathing. I pray. I wrestle. Time stands still. It is in these moments when I am able to do nothing else- when my heart and my soul fail- God is the strength of my life.

He never changes. He is the same yesterday and today and forever for my family. He is the same for you and your family and those we love. He carries us when we can not walk. He covers us when we are vulnerable and afraid.

He is with us. He is in the midst of our storm. When the wind blows and swirls around us He is peace that passes all understanding. In the chaos of fear and the unknown- he simply says “peace be still/” Lord, I am so thankful that you hold me close – even when time stands still.