Tragedies and Miracles and Thankfulness
Yesterday, as I logged onto the Internet to read my daily news as normal, I was greeted by a story that just brought tears to my eyes and big ole' hurt in the pit of my stomach. A former Alabama football player who is actually the same age as I am and had played running back while I was in school had been injured in a car crash in the south of the state. He and his 3-year-old daughter were alive, but his wife and four of his children had all died in the accident. I immediately cried upon reading the news, my mind making an almost impossible attempt to grasp such sadness. How can he ever move on? How could you live with such sorrow? Still this morning, I am thinking about the unimaginable grief he must be experiencing.
And then, almost simultaneously, I read an email from my mother telling me such happy, happy news. My cousin, Clancy, is in very serious condition in a hospital in Texas. She has a myriad of problems; she is autistic, deaf, bound to a wheelchair, living in the mind of a 3-year-old although she is close to 30. She is having surgery on Friday morning to try and make it possible for her to eat again (right now she is only being fed via IV and she is withering away to almost nothing); she also has been suffering from pneumonia for weeks and weeks. I have been afraid for days that I would hear that she had passed away. I fear her passing, because the loss my aunt and uncle will feel will be profound; I also relish it, though, because I know she will finally be able to talk and run with abandon in heaven.
Amidst all of her sickness, my aunt (her Mom) had said that she didn't know what she will do when Clancy dies; she thinks she will just lose her will to live. And amidst all of this came the wonderful news. My other cousin, Lacy (Clancy's sister), has tried to become pregnant for years. She has had awful endemetriosis and has had grapefruit-sized tumors removed from her ovaries. She and her husband were now eagerly looking forward to the adoption process, ready to start their family. Mom let me know in this email that Lacy is pregnant. God has dropped a miracle into this family, just when it was needed the most. My aunt will have a new baby grandchild; a new family will begin; and we can rejoice in the lives of Clancy and a new baby alike.
I will never reside inside the mind of God, but I do have a sense of His love. I have a sense of His care at all times--even when things look as if they will never turn around.
I have learned that it's okay to keep on questioning and I know that there will always be fear, but I have also learned that I can have a comfort in NOT knowing. That's okay with me, because I have an assurance--based on times I have seen His hand at work--that there is joy and comfort and laughter, and God never ever leaves us.
I know that God is always here. He is here in those times of laughter and ease, but He is also there in doubt and sadness.
That doesn't make tragic circumstances easy. It DOES give me a chance to grow stronger because of them, and to be a living, tangible example of kindness.
God is in the tragedies.
God is in the miracles.
He was there when someone I loved left me...He was there when I felt so alone...He was there when I heard the word "cancer" and heard the word "stroke"...He was there when I wondered where money would come from...He was there when I held my daughter as she cried...He was there, even when I may not have realized it until later on.
He was there when I held a new life...He was there when I said "I do"...He was there when I did cartwheels on the beach...He was there when healing began...He was there when checks arrived in the mail...He was there for homeruns and straight A's and birthday parties...He was there in such happy moments.
And today is such a wonderful time to ponder on such things.
Because today and tomorrow and this week, I am taking a few extra moments to be thankful for the good things in my life...to treasure my parents more than I sometimes do...to hold my daughters a little bit tighter than usual...to say an extra prayer before the day is done...to say "Thank you" for getting me through the tragedies...and to say "Thank you" for the miracles big and small.