I'm sitting out on my front porch on this beautiful spring morning, watching the sunlight spread over the yard, listening to the birds chirp and sing. I am thankful.
Life has felt heavy lately. My prayer list grows longer every day with stuff that's hard to even take in. Two people very dear to me are walking through the scary waters of unemployment with their husbands. Having just experienced that for almost half of last year, I really get it when they express their struggles with anxiety.
Just a few weeks ago, we had a baby shower for a friend to prepare to welcome her little boy into this world. Just a few days after that little boy was born, God took his daddy to heaven. This week I attended his daddy's memorial service. It's not fair that we gathered together to remember his daddy's life and celebrate his faith in Jesus, when we were supposed to be celebrating this little boy's life and entrance into the world. My heart hurts deeply for his mother, my friend and coworker.
Yesterday the church held another memorial service for another father who went to heaven just as unexpectedly, leaving his wife stranded alone in another country where they were celebrating their anniversary.
A former coworker shared her recent news of cancer, while another has been in and out of the hospital with complications from what cancer has done to her own body.
A friend is navigating the waters of a new normal after God took her young son home to heaven within the last year, while another friend is finding a new normal after a tornado stole the home she'd built her life in. Another friend begs for prayer for her son as they admitted him to a hospital under suicide watch. Someone else just buried their teenage son after he died in his sleep.
Life is heavy, and hard. Every tragedy I hear of gives me one more reason to be thankful for the blessings in my life, blessings I too often take for granted. My home. My job. Consistent income. My husband. My family. My church. My relationship with Christ.
It all takes me back to my motto for the year. Live. Embrace life. Stop planning and start living each day to the fullest. You never know when it might be taken away.
Attending my friend's husband's memorial service was such a great reminder of what really matters in life--knowing and loving God, letting Christ take hold of your life and letting Him live through you.
He is all that matters.
Tragedies all around me tend to inflict great fear within me, fear of something similar happening in my own life. I am finally beginning to see that the only way to be prepared for any kind of tragedy is to have a solid, growing relationship with Christ. Without Him, we'd never survive. With Him, we'll find the grace to help us in our time of need.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.