Monday, December 3, 2007

There are no words . . .

It has been four years since we lost our daughters, Ellie & Kate. Everything about that statement is unbelievable.

I am healing. My heart lives in a place where sadness meets joy. I am blessed with a marriage that provides me with incredible strength and love. We have been given the gifts of Davis and Meg who bring us much joy and hope. There are things I struggle with – there are pictures of Ellie and Kate that bring me to my knees and there are memories to painful to recall, but I know that I am growing… through adversity we grow in faith, we grow in strength, and we grow in love.

"There are no words" is a phrase I've heard a lot - I used to agree until I read a passage that was shared with me by my friend Sarah Batley from Carol Kent’s When I Lay My Isaac Down. I know these words - I have felt them, cried over them and spoken them to others - these words are true and helpful for anyone who has experienced any sort of pain:

"There are some tragedies that are too big for a heart to hold, and they defy any description that makes sense. Time weaves its way through the shock, the hurt, and the inexpressible feelings, and one day you discover that in the process of daily survival, you have instinctively made decisions (good and bad), defined your theology, formed an opinion about God, and determined that you will either curl up and die emotionally or you will choose life."

"The terrifying but truthful fact is that, in choosing life, you realize it will never match the kind of life that was in your carefully thought-out plan for your future. It will force you to view people around you differently. The brokenness will challenge you to new levels of personal compassion. It will melt your pride, diminish the importance of your carefully designed agenda, and it has the potential to develop an unshakable faith that defies rationality."

We can not always change our circumstances, but we can allow our circumstances to change us in a positive way. God has given us the ability to make choices and to choose how we react to all situations. I choose to live.


laurel said...

I read the first two sentences of this post and it felt like time stopped. I could not believe what I had read. The sorrow was palpable. I am so, so sorry for your loss...I can not even begin to comprehend it. However, in spite of the terrible sadness, this post was encouraging. I have reread it three times.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. I lost my only (adult)child over 5 years ago. Life will never be my carefully thought-out plan. I miss not having grandkids!


Anonymous said...

I had a choice between life- and death-living when my divorce happened. Certainly not "my" idea of how things would go.

My good and bad decisions have (and are still) defining my theology and forming my opinion about God.

I have chosen to live and at times (even 5 years later) I still have to make that choice.

Thanks for these words and for sharing your life. Both made a difference in my life today.

patgirl said...

You are an incredibly strong, graceful and insightful woman. My thoughts and prayers have been with you every day since first hearing about the unimaginable tragedy that hit your family just
4 years ago.

Having two girls of my own makes your reality hit close to home, and I feel such utter sadness if I allow myself to really think about how much you and Bob have been through. Your journey puts things in perspective for me, and is an inspiration for anyone who has had to weather tragedy or loss. You are blessed to have each other and your other three children to carry on Ellie and Kate’s memory.