|Mom, Caleb, & me from their last visit to TN for Easter in '01|
BUT.... I am SO thankful that God has allowed this BECAUSE I can understand the pain of others. I know the agony. I have experienced the uncontrolled sobbing that happens at such random times, the feelings of self-pity, the sorrow that comes from losing someone close. Many of my friends have lost parents since I have lost mine. I wouldn't have known how to pray for Phoebe, Olivia, Leah, Patricia, Courtney, Nikki, Amanda, and so many others if I had not experienced, in some measure, their pain myself. Just today, when I got up I saw on facebook that my friend Susan's dad, who had been ill for a while passed away. I've been there. I know the mixed feelings: SO thankful that he is no longer suffering, SO sad that you'll never have a conversation with him again in this life, SO thankful that this life is NOT the end, the homesickness for Heaven that comes from having a loved one there.
I am so thankful for the broken people that ministered to me, especially Jaye and Robin, 9 years ago. I am also so thankful for the opportunity to, as a broken person, be able to minister to other broken people. The trials in my life HAVE been for my good and HAVE enabled me to do things that I would never have been able to do otherwise and have given me such a greater picture of who God is. I'm reminded of a quote from Ruth Stull that was quoted by Elisabeth Elliot in my mom's Bible: "If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a young lad."
So, today, I am having a party for my mom to celebrate the anniversary of the best day ever for her: the day she finally got to see her Savior face to face. I miss her so much. I long for the day when I too will see His beautiful face. Until that day may I be faithful with the blessing of brokenness that He has entrusted to me for His glory.
So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG)