I need to write. I need to write but I don’t have the words. I don’t know how to express what I’m feeling right now, how broken my heart is, this ache inside.
We are forty days out from my daughter’s wedding. Forty days. My father-in-law, a retired pastor who was planning to marry Sarah and Randy, now lies in the ICU after suffering a massive heart attack on April 2nd. I will not underestimate the power of God, but the prognosis is not good. Chances are, he may not be with us on May 25th.
How do I deal with this? How do I comfort my husband and my kids and my relatives who are all reeling from this devastating turn of events? My own heart is heavy with emotion. I have questions. I’m angry. We’re supposed to be joyfully anticipating a wedding, yet here we are in tears. I want to know why. I want it to not have happened. I understand that I am allowed to feel this way. I don’t believe God will smite me for questioning Him, but I’m not sure He’s going to give me any answers either. But, as in all things, He does give me a choice. I can choose to let this anger and bitterness fester. I can choose to wallow in my grief over the pain that my family is feeling. Or I can choose to walk through it in faith. I can choose to trust that even in this, God knows what is best. He has a plan, and it is good.
But this is so, so hard.
So hard to say goodbye to someone you love, knowing that you probably won’t see them again this side of eternity. As I left the hospital on Saturday and flew home Sunday, I couldn’t believe that this would be the case. Do I believe in miracles? Yes. But at this point, I don’t even know what to pray for. If you have ever watched a loved one suffer, you will understand my turmoil. I have been here before. When I lost my mom, in those final awful days, all I could pray was, “Lord, take her.” And then he did. This time it’s a little harder to let go. Sometimes it’s impossible to believe this is even happening. But it is and we are going to have to face whatever comes next with grace, conviction and faith that God works together for good, in all things. Oh, Lord give me the strength to do that. Because right now, I’m not feeling it.
To top it all off, I came home yesterday to hear about the bombings at the Boston marathon. My mind immediately flew to my son. Where was he? Was he there? Was he hurt? It’s almost too much to take. Thankfully, Chris is fine. He and his girlfriend were in The Prudential Center heading to watch the end of the race when the bombs went off.
A few blocks away. Close.
I am so grateful they had the fortitude to know something was wrong, exit the building onto a side street and head in the opposite direction, out of the city. I am so sad for those who did not have the time to escape the blasts. So many injured, three dead that I know of. But the fatalities could have been so much worse. Yet. Why? What do we do with this madness?
I don’t know. But I know what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to live in fear. I refuse to walk through each day thinking the worst is about to happen. I am going to pray. That’s really all I know to do at this point. I’m going to be grateful for the small things. The amazing things like my son not being there, not being hurt. I’m thankful that my sister and her family are visiting us this week. I’m going to treasure the times we have together, and make the most of them. I’m going to look forward to our daughter’s wedding and support them as much as we can.
Maybe one day I will understand this hard time in our lives. Maybe I won’t. But for now, for today, I’m reaching up. I’m holding on to hope, grasping my meagre faith, and trusting God to get us through.