fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

still reeling {day 126}

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I still don’t have the right words. Are there right words?
As this blogger so honestly puts it “I need someone to say it, too, just once, just once out loud:  What in the actual fuck has happened here?” Is it just me, or do you, too, feel, that there is just no other word that actually comes close to describing the depth of the despair that you feel when you read the news, see the photos, read the names of those lives that were stolen FAR too soon? It can’t only be me, right?
And you know what? I think it’s okay. I might even venture to say it’s good, as Christians, to feel like that. How could something so horrendous not shake us to the very core of our beings? I believe, even, that God understands when we cry out in pain, anguish, or anger “What in the actual fuck has happened here?” because I believe that God’s heart is wrenched by this, too. We, who have limited vision of what could have been, what we were created for, feel so deeply within ourselves that this is absolutely, horrifically wrong. This cannot possibly be what we were meant for. You see it in the photos of those grieving on the news, hear it in the hearts of friends and family as they express their disgust…a deep disturbance and longing to be reminded that this is not what we were created for. And God, who knew every hair on those beautiful children’s heads, who watched each of the brave women who sacrificed their lives to save students grow into who He created them to be, who knows how good life should have been because He created paradise for us, that God understands my four-letter-words and isn’t phased by them, because His grief and anger is far deeper than mine. The God of love, Emmanuel-God with us, sees how deeply we grieve, holds each of those parents as they collapse in exhaustion and anguish, knows what could have been and His heart is deeply grieved too.
So, feel those feelings however you need to- cry, scream, talk, whatever you have to do in order to attempt to begin to process this tragic and horrific reminder that we live in a broken, fallen, dark world. Try to begin to work through the loss of innocence we all feel so deeply, the fear you might feel the next time you drop your kids off at school and the deep sigh of relief you feel every day when they walk through the front door, the anger you feel at God, at the shooter, at the world. It’s okay. Grieve. It’s important. Essential, even. And remember, grief looks and feels different for every person. Do yourself and those you love a favor, and honor their grief by not judging them if it looks very different from your own. Begin to process, feel the feelings (even if you don’t want to), and then, DO SOMETHING. pray. pray some more. send a letter of encouragement. hug your kids tighter. give a little extra grace to a stranger. blog. sing. make the world a little better somehow.
and please try not to allow yourself to hold on to hate. don’t hate because hate grieves the heart of God.  please love  more. I know it hurts. but love is the closest we can get to seeing God in this broken, dark world, and I don’t know about you but I NEED glimpses of God. I need beautiful to remind me that things like this are not all there are.

Today, for me, in my process of grieving, these are the thoughts that are constantly running through my head:
It can’t be true. No one can possibly be that angry. They were little kids.
“What in the actual fuck has happened here?”
Lord, please come quickly. I can’t handle much more of this.
Jesus, I need you to be Emmanuel-God with us. Be close.

How are you beginning to process through this?

my heart is still so heavy today, but I am grateful for a God who knows my heart, and understands the hurt behind my four-letter-words when it’s the only way I can find to express myself. I’m also thankful to know that He is near to the brokenhearted and His love, which never fails, will give peace that truly passes understanding, even if that just looks like making it through an absolutely impossible day.

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