Thursday, November 19, 2009
The invisible connections...
In sharing openly about our loss of Teagan and the sudden reality of trauma, grief, sorrow and heartache in our day-to-day lives our family has made connections in 'real life' and online that we never would have likely encountered had we not shared our story. This 'connection' is something that almost always invisible to the eye, but is powerful and felt so strongly by the heart. Now that it has been several years of sharing our story I am simply amazed at how many people do have this connection to us and we with them- a connection that I treasure and yet ache so deeply for all at the same time.
I recently heard it [death/heartache] described as an invisible knife that one carries in their heart forever. Those who also carry it within often sense it and can relate to others who share this same pain; those who can't 'see it' sometimes press up against it and make it worse (unknowingly many times) or are suddenly made aware of it, but at the same time they can't empathize in the same way because they do not know the depth of the ache and how it feels. I hurt when I learn of others who hurt. I ache on a whole new 'level' post-Teagan's death than I ever did prior to our tragedy. I have come to learn how my hugs and sympathies were so much more empty when life was going good for us, and now when I offer words of comfort or extend a hug, having experienced death and living without Teagan brings new meaning to my words and my hugs are more heartfelt with Teagan's spirit wrapped around them too. I don't know if this even 'makes sense' to anyone that reads it... or maybe it does. I'm still often at a loss of how to explain what my heart feels and then to put it into words is a task all it's own.
What I do know is that our family is not alone when it comes to heartache and loss. There are people everywhere who have stories and memories of loved ones that are etched on their hearts forever too. I know that our experiences and challenges are unique to each other's situations, but there is an invisible connection that ties us all together too.
I get several emails and facebook messages each week from some of you as readers, and also from friends and family who share stories of people that you know, or even you yourself are going through, as it relates to death, trauma, disability or other life challenges that are overwhelming and scary. I am constantly reminded and humbled that my life experiences can 'connect' with others and even encourage many too. I am always touched by the people behind these stories and my heart goes out to them in a very special way. I often find myself in prayer for those of you who are going through painful life (and death) circumstances and feel strongly that one of the purposes for my pain serves to be a comfort to others in theirs. I don't know that I will ever fully understand the purpose of pain and heartache this side of Heaven, but I do know that 'good' can come from it when we give it to God and allow Him to work in us and through us.
I guess all this is spilling over onto the pages of this blog for several reasons. Two of the most beautiful ones you see pictured above- the top photo is Kate and the second little girl is Ava. Their stories and photos were shared with me by friends of theirs and I find myself "instantly" connected- mostly because of my own bright-eyed, curly haired little girl that tugs at my heart to this day. There's something special about little girls, but even moreso when someone emails me and says, "follow this link to their story". I can't help but go and I encourage you to do the same.
Kate's story is one that is still unfolding. She is battling cancer and you can find ways to 'get involved' with her story- whether through prayers for her, by giving to her toy drive or even just being grateful on a new level for your own health and that of those around you.
Ava's story is one that even in her absence continues to touch people around the world through the way her family continues to share her photos and story. I have 'talked' with her mom, Sheye, via emails and I know she would be moved if you would take time to read Ava's story and in turn act accordingly as a result. It doesn't change the fact that they miss Ava, but the hope of never having another family feel the pain they do is one that drives them to share their hurt and invite others to be changed as a result.
There are so many more stories and people that I could highlight and invite you to enter in to their stories too. I hope that many of you are continuing to pray for Jaymun's family as their wounds and heartache are still so fresh and painful. I know they appreciate your care too! I oftentimes wonder why lives are cut so short and questions are left to be asked and pondered. I have yet to come to an understanding of why things happen the way they do, and yet if you have followed here for any length of time you hopefully can see that our family simply trusts God every step of the way- whether the answers are revealed to us or not. Trusting in Him is the very thing that sees us through and this 'invisible connection' to the One who holds the universe in place is the one that we turn to every single day.
To wrap up my thoughts today I want to share with you the short devotional that I read in my quiet time this morning. It's titled "Secure in God" and it comes from a little book called: One-Minute Promises of Comfort by Steve Miller.
The verse for this devotional is Joel 2:27 which simply says,
"I am the Lord your God".
When we are deeply unsettled and feeling unsure about our lot in life, the greatest comfort we have is that we can be sure about God.
Temptations may plague us, and doubts may assail us. Questions may haunt us, and fear may disturb us. We may even reach a point of questioning God's existence, or feel as though He is powerless to help us.
Yet no matter how are circumstances make us feel, there is nothing that can threaten the certainty of who God is and the security of our relationship with Him. To hear Him say, "I am the Lord your God" can give us a sense of restful calm and confidence even in the worst of earthly disasters.
God is God, and nothing can change that. He has committed Himself to caring for you. Doesn't that make you feel secure?