In which I admit I don't understand. Except....I do.

Sometimes, I pretend not to understand this world. Sometimes, it feels good to just let myself feel the injustice of pain....and forget the rest.
We just got news of another sister who died young...the sister of a guy who was a youth leader with us in Durango, another lifetime ago. Bad car accident. The day we left Durango, my inlaws heard about a woman they know there who had gotten the news about a different car accident, that one in Wyoming...their daughter was gone. So was her boyfriend. Acquaintances from Durango, now relocated to Montana, lost their daughter at 30 weeks in utero...she had a heart condition; if she'd lived to 34 weeks they could have done surgery. But 30 weeks....she was too tiny. So she flew away, too....that was the day before Celine died.
Sometimes, I don't want to look any deeper than that; to try to understand it. Except, I already do understand it.
       I get frustrated with the way our world is right now. The pain, the sorrow, the cancer that takes young moms or dads away "too soon" in our eyes; the friends struggling to make ends meet; the teenage girl with internal pains no one seems to be able to solve. Those friends struggling with unfaithfulness in their marriage; the other ones who want a baby so very badly; the one struggling with depression. The school shootings, the bombings, the innocents abandoned and hurt...and there's so much hurt, so much grief, so much Ache.
      And then we get home and our baby, after a week of sleeping well, starts waking up 3 and 4 times at night and I'm so very weary from everything in the past few months, and I don't think I can do it.....and I get frustrated with his little one year old self (lame) and yell at God in my head that I JUST NEED A BREAK and for the kid to SLEEP and I know, I know that's the selfishly wrong response...that if that family in Montana just had their little girl here with them, they wouldn't care if she ever slept through the night....
Sin sucks. My selfishness is sin. Free will, free choice is a beautiful thing... But sin sucks. It's what made this world what it is, right now.

Please hear me...I am NOT saying these things happened because of something sinful these people
did. (Well, except for the unfaithfulness. That's obvious.) I am NOT trying to preach. I'm
telling you what I'm learning in the depths of my soul...things I need to write down so I don't forget;
so that someday, maybe, our kids will have some insight into this time. I AM saying that the reason these things hurt so much...the reason we cry out "Why, God??" and feel this Ache, this sense
of injustice is because...this wasn't the original design. And whether or not you believe in God, I 
know you still feel that, too. That something just isn't right here. 
I know it because you were created by Him, too, and deep inside there was placed in you a longing for the things of God. For God Himself.
          When God first created man it was to live in a perfect world...death wasn't part of it. Except He gave us the freedom to choose, because he wanted a relationship with us. Not a bunch of obediant puppets. And once they chose to sin (as we choose it, too. Ever lied?)...then death entered the picture. And things started fall apart...like bodies. And diseases came into the picture.  And pain. And grief. And babies who don't ever sleep through the night....
The beauty of all of this-everything spirling away from perfection and into chaos-is that, if we choose to see it, it shows us even more clearly that our God is all about restoration. About making the broken whole again.Thank goodness. This is part of what Adam talked about at Celine's service-how now, because of Christ's sacrifice, every death, every pain, every tearing of your heart can be redeemed. Turned into something beautiful, and whole, and restored. 
The scars don't ever go away. The ache is still there, at times, because we still live here. But although we long for the day when the ache will be gone for good and we will dance in His presence, somehow...even here, somehow He is using my scars-their scars-your scars- to form an even more beautiful, glorious tommorrow. And right now, that truth is what we are leaning on. "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning," Ps. 30:5 b


In which we grieve....and Hope.

       We're in Durango now. It was a whirlwind of road trips, flights, another road trip..but we're here.The kids did marvelously well, praise the Lord!
 It's heartbreaking to be here, of course-but there's peace here, too. And it's so much better being here in the midst of it all than being thousands of miles away from everyone. The light and the dark are standing side by side, everyday. Moments of laughter, followed by tears. We're so glad to be here with everyone..my folks are staying with us at the Blegers' house, which is wonderful for so many reasons. 
          Seeing friends at church yesterday, sitting beside my mother-in-law...hard. Lots of tears..and yet, Hope. Going through pictures for Celine's slide show with my sister-in-law last night..bittersweet. And yet so good to see her life, the people she loved, her smile. In so many of them she's holding one of her nieces or nephews..and that's just how it was. She loved them. They loved her.
        I have so much in my heart right now, but it's for later. Mostly just wanted to let far-away family and friends who are praying know we're here, we're safe, and we're so very thankful for your prayers. We can clearly feel the peace of God in this place-the strength of God flowing from your prayers. Please keep praying...there's still a long, long road ahead. And tomorrow morning is her celebration of Life service.