Today, however, is a sad day. I woke up with an extremely sore throat, so much so that I was on the brink of tears and have felt awful all day (achey, fatigued, etc.). So when my sister called me a little while later, I didn't answer and let it go to voicemail. On the message she said there had been a death in the family, so of course I called her back immediately.
Well, this morning (November 8, 2011) her eldest daughter that had been 14 when she died (now 21) was found dead by her father in her bed. To say that it's sad or devastating or anything else is just an understatement. How can one family handle such heartache and pain?
At the retreat I was on, the retreat director (an amazing 77 year old woman of God and former therapist) said that when people would ask her why God allowed bad things to happen her response was always that the best gift that God could give us was free will. And sometimes people use that free will to make bad choices. Sometimes those bad choices affect other people. Free will is quite messy, but I think it's the best of the two options. I've often thought that same thing.
The other thing a friend of mine told me a few weeks ago is something her priest told her: "Life is hard, but life is good." True, too. We appreciate the good all the more after we experience the bad.
And the thing I always hold onto when bad things happen to good people and you want to ask, "Why did God allow that to happen," is that God never promised us that bad things wouldn't happen; in fact He promised us quite the opposite. He said we'd definitely have trouble in this world, but we can take heart in Him. He can be our comfort, our shelter, our peace, our kind, loving Father. And then there's Heaven....ah, Heaven, the ultimate place of peace for the weary soul.
This song sums up perfectly what I feel. I can't hear it without sobbing.
by Natalie Grant
Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior
Rest in the sweet peace of Christ in a place of which I can't even imagine the beauty and wonder, sweet, beautiful, little Jessie. I love you, and I long for Heaven to see you and your beautiful mother.
9/23/90 - 11/8/11