I stopped writing my blog for a while.
And, I don’t really know why, at least not exactly.
My daughter’s best friend lost her dad, suddenly, unexpectedly.
My good friend lost her mother, and I lost a friend - too quickly - with so much still to see and say.
Friends and friends that had been friends in another life, lost a parent, a husband, a brother, an unborn child. A teenage girl took too many pills and another wanted to.
It was too much for me.
I saw my words through their eyes, and although, there is truth for someday, I wondered if maybe my words were not truth for that day. And my mouth and my heart couldn’t find a way to say to one what is true for always. I wondered - is encouragement cruel, too hard to process, too heavy to bear?
Death has always been far away from me, but then suddenly, here it was - and it was real. And it wasn’t the kind of death I could celebrate - lives lived long and happy, filled with friends and family and legacy - it was the ugly kind, the kind that makes you think maybe the darkness in the world is winning.
There was no space in my heart to deal with that. It was a new possibility being created and I had to work through life all over again - its meaning - my place in it….God’s place in it, and everything took a different hue. I didn’t have any picture that I could draw, no art I could see that was worthy of that hue; a new mysterious color, rich because of what it cost to make.
My soul wrestled.
Father, I know You are Real, and I know in my heart, even against the worst pain, the deepest cuts, the most horrible outcome, You are still it. The reason. The hope. The life that still beats here, while we wait for there.
I see the unlikely union of grief and hope and they are in a tangled dance where one cannot live without the other. And Creator God, I see the hue - the richness of this new color and somewhere inside, where I don't yet have words, I know it makes Your love deeper and more personal than I could have imagined before. Showing me more of You. And Lord, will You use it to cover my own confusion and make it into something more beautiful, more redeemed, more alive?
Spirit, will You let us see? I so desperately want You for us - to know that Your love will reach the darkest places, the worst hurts - in a tangible way that matters for right now. Jesus, I know You saw this color and You lived the hurt that comes from the hard and cruel in this world. Shower us with your grace God - in ways we don't even know to ask; heal us, hold us, bring relief to our broken hearts. Catch our tears, because Savior, they cost us everything. Please don't let them spill like they are meaningless. Oh Good, Good Father, hear our cries and make a new tomorrow with this new color - this one that cost so much to make.
And Father, I do not believe You bring sickness, or accident, or death - I believe this failing world, our prideful hearts, I think those bring death. But, You - Father, King - You bring redemption. You bring life. You bring freedom. You bring tomorrow and You hold it and You walk us back to a new kind of whole - a whole that is broken and shattered into a thousand pieces. A whole that can retract and reflect Your light in a blinding, dazzling display. Hope that doesn’t replace grief, but joins it.
I don’t know what living has cost you, but I know if you are reading this, that it has indeed, cost you. And friend, God knows its cost - and He treasures it like He treasures You. He will not leave you, no matter how long it takes your tears to slow. No matter how many times you ask Him why. No matter how many prayers you utter where the only words you have are: “Please God make it not true.” He will not leave. He will wait, and every time you reach for Him, you will know that He has been there all along - and He has been taking every piece of pain you have had the courage to give to Him and He has been writing your story with its ink. And your story is not over. And your story is beautiful.
And friend, even if we don’t know it is true - our story is so wrapped up in His own story, His reflection bouncing right off of its pages. It is covered in love and truth and hope and freedom, and He has not stopped seeing - even if the tears have clouded your vision, or the scars have hardened your ability to feel.
He can handle your anger, your doubt, your deep, deep grief, your fear - and the deeper you let Him travel into those deep wounds - the deeper your healing will be.
You are His child. You are precious to Him. He chose you. I don’t know why He didn’t stop it from happening. Life is all tangled up in the weeds of a broken garden. But, He never stops being the point. And even in His glory, His justified demand to be worshiped, He has never stopped holding you - and will never stop reaching for you.
Run to the grief with Him. Brace yourself to feel, to engage the pain. Show Him how badly it hurts. Cry to Him and with Him. Friend - there is a future. And you are His beloved.
I am so sorry for your hurt. I am so sorry for your pain. I am so sorry for the loss and the confusion. And I am so confident that God knows, God cares, God sees and God loves. I stand in the gap and pray for you today and I trust Him to meet you right where you are, and to love you like a Father, a Husband, a Teacher, a Friend, a Counselor and the Almighty God He will forever be.