Monday, November 25, 2013

So many questions

I always promise myself I'll put some nice happy pictures of our family on my blog.  You could see fall pics of my kids outside playing and see Kristi's friends from Zambia visiting my parents' home in rural Nebraska.  I could have blogged about how harvest is OVER!  Or about how Ethan got his tonsils out on Friday. 
But instead right now, after this really hard week, is when the words can't bounce around in my head any longer.  So here goes...

Luke died this week.  It seems wrong that I have to write that sentence.  30 year old men are supposed to be in the prime of life - loving their wives, tickling their kids, working hard to support their families.  And Luke was doing all these things when cancer invaded his body and eventually after years of struggle, it won - at least here on earth. 
In my head Luke is 15, 16 years old.  Running and laughing with my brother and my future husband.  Those guys had so much fun together.  They were working, and they were fast, but it never looked like work when Luke was around.  I just sat and laughed at them most of the time - notice the part where I was not running.  =)  One of the benefits of having brothers and sisters so close in age to me was that their friends were my friends too.  And marrying my best friend from high school, I knew his friends too.  And so I knew Luke for such a short time.  Luke always had a funny story of something that had happened to him - usually that he had done to himself.  Like standing on the branch he was sawing out of a tree and falling.  I never was very sure whether those things actually happened to him or maybe he was exaggerating?  But I laughed. 
And now he's in heaven with Jesus, and I can only imagine the hole that leaves in the heart of his wife and kids.  And I fall asleep with Caleb's arms around me and am so thankful that he is here.  And feel guilty because her husband is not.  Why mine and not hers? 

And then, what seemed tragic before paled in the face of a sweet two year old baby girl going to be with Jesus so unexpectedly.  I don't really know this family, but many people that I love do.  And I put myself in the place of that mommy with her baby not breathing, and I can't stop crying.  For her. With her.  Because of all the hope for the future and all the love and all the sleepless nights and the temper tantrums and the sweet, perfect moments that make a mommy's heart break with love and sorrow are suddenly gone.  In one moment taken away.  And how will she get out of bed in the morning?

And why, Jesus?  Why? 

And I hold my kids tighter and remember that life is so short, and I have absolutely no control over whether they live or die.  And am I brave and strong enough to pry my clenched fingers off my kids and hold them with open hands and trust Jesus to be good? 

Because He doesn't feel good this week.  I know He is.  But it doesn't feel like it. 

And on top of all of that, it's Thanksgiving, and so many good people are shouting, "Be thankful! Be thankful!" while the world is shouting "Buy more!  Buy more!"  And all of it seems so hollow in the face of such great loss.  Be thankful for this, Jesus?  How do I be thankful for what I have been given and mourn the fact that it has been taken away from others at the same time?  And really, Black Friday is not going to mend our shattered hearts, Jesus.

And so we stand in church and sing, "You are good, You are good when there's nothing good in me."  And I ask, "Really?  Jesus?  Are you sure you're ALWAYS good?" 

And then, after all those questions, I choose to trust.
That when I can't see and when I don't know or understand and when I feel the pain of people around me feeling the deepest of sorrow, I choose faith because

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."  Psalm 27:13&14

And then I sit and cry with the hurting.  And I beg Jesus to hold them in His arms.

What else can I do?