I don't watch the news or read the paper. I don't because first of all, I'm lazy like that. And secondly, I just can't handle all the bad news. I figure if there's really something I need to know, Ryan will tell me. Sometimes he fills me in on the most appalling stories and then I want to kick him. But I don't. That wouldn't be very patient and kind. And I am always 100% patient and kind, just ask him.

Anyway, just because I don't watch the news or read the paper doesn't mean I can escape the sad stories of this life. I love reading blogs. Even blogs about really sad times in people's lives. When I feel a strong sense of empathy or sympathy, or simply some of the pain over someone's situation, it actually makes me feel good in the end. Because I do believe that we really can help someone carry their heavy load. Through feeling just a very small amount of what that person is feeling. Through experience I understand that knowing people are hurting with you somehow loosens the very thing that is strangling your heart, slowly but surely.

There are so many things that just don't make sense. I guess this is how it us for us, left here to muddle through and share in our times of extreme pain. It's a pretty beautiful thing that there can be any kind of redemption at all. It could have been that life is hard and that's that. But there is so much more to it. So much more grace and mercy, so much more love and connectedness. There is an unexplainable interweaving of all of our stories. A million ways one person's tragedy can change lives. What if that weren't so? What if it really was all for nothing?

Knowing that it isn't all for nothing doesn't take the pain away. But it changes the story at one point or another. The pain will never go away, especially for those who lose a loved one to death. But the feelings shift and flow, making room for new areas of our hearts to open that would have remained closed if not for the profound and tragic loss.

I think I'm writing this today as a reminder to myself. Because I have a tendency to live in fear of life's inevitable challenges and griefs. Most of us do. Even those of us who believe that God is good. We fear not what He may do to us, but what He might have to pull us through. There are so many things that I'm afraid I could never handle. Of course these fears intensified when I became a mother. And now with two boys, I think the fear factor doubled. I suppose that's normal. But I don't want to live out of that fear.

I need to remember what I say so often; "all things really do work together for good." Somehow. No matter how ugly or awful or hopeless. Somehow, over time there is freedom from the pain, new perspectives on life, and a growing of the courage of our souls. Yes, we'd give anything to end the pain, get someone back, claw our way out. But since that isn't possible, the only choice if any at all, may be to focus on how the lives and hearts around us are changing. Because we've survived something that seemed impossible to survive.

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Kimberly said...

That was beyond beautiful, Heather. It's a very mature faith that can look at the sorrows and trials we experience in this life and see the loving hand of God in them. We need opposition to grow, and this world of ours sure is able to provide it.

Thanks so much for that sweet reminder.

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