Whatever Gets You Through
Years ago I accompanied a friend to her oncology appointment. As I sat in the waiting room, I overheard two waiting women introduce themselves to each other.
“Nice to meet you. I haven’t seen you here before.”
“My first radiation consultation.”
I heard the woman knock on the wood end table next to her, as if that would help. Then her voice said to the younger one, “Your…your dog looks so real.”
“Doesn’t she? Feel how soft she is.”
“Nice. You plan to take her in with you…for your radiation?”
“If they’ll let me. I named her Victory. Silly, I suppose. But it helps.”
I fought back tears as the older woman replied, “Whatever gets you through.”
What had gotten me through life’s traumas to that moment? What has gotten me through all that lay between that moment years ago and today? Friends. Family. Books.
The moms in When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Fiction) helped me express the times when my own mama heart lay broken and bruised. The main character in “Maybe Us,” my novella in Cedar Creek Seasons (Barbour) helped give me something soft but intangible to hug to my heart while I wrestled with the pain of letting my mother leave earth to go live with Jesus full-time. Libby in They Almost Always Come Home could say things I couldn’t say aloud about marriage.
But the deeper and truer answer to “Whatever gets you through?” is found in Psalm 121:1-3. The Message version, with my own addition, expresses it this way: “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains (or people, or stories, or stuffed animals, or anything made by humans)? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God…”
The answer to “Whatever gets you through?” is always “God.” Nothing else comes close to having the same kind of comforting, embracing and bracing effect.
Whatever gets you through. He does.
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, speaking for women’s events and retreats, writers’ events and retreats, nonfiction books and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry. In 2013, she will have a total of six books on the shelves, with more to come in 2014. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.