You lose your job. Your marriage splits up. There's more money going out than coming in. Your child gets very sick. You get the idea. Our lives, our world, is full of tragic things.
When I was in high school, my sister died in a car accident. It was a pretty hefty curve ball at the impressionable and fragile age of fourteen. I didn't always handle it well. There were times of depression and times of anxiety. There were periods where I felt like I was losing hope. There were occasions that it consumed my life. Despite it being almost 14 years, despite growing up, despite starting my own family, it still hurts. A lot. Sometimes it hurts so badly my insides feel raw. Sometimes I am so broken hearted, I just want to crawl into bed and ignore the day. Sometimes I am just so incredibly sad. I have a hard time finding much to be thankful for from this part of my life.
When rotten things happen in our lives, it can be hard not to lose hope. It can be hard to trust that God knows what is best for us.
Writing this post has given me the opportunity to think of all the things I am truly thankful for having gone through this tragedy.
I am thankful for the time we did have with her. She was only seventeen when she died, but I have seen families lose babies and toddlers. I am reminded what a blessing seventeen years was.
I am thankful that God chose me and my family to be hers--what a blessing she was for our family!
I am thankful that God was there for us, and that he gave my family the strength to continue living even after death. I have seen families broken by tragedy and am so grateful that wasn't us.
I am thankful for how rock solid her faith was, that we never have any question where she is. She believed in Jesus.
I am thankful for having an experience such as this early in life, allowing me to have a different perspective while growing up.
I am thankful for the many, many awesome memories that I have.
I'll be honest. I am still not happy about it. I never will be. I don't think God expects us to be happy in times of tragedy. Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died. God expects us to look to Him for guidance, to look to Him for reassurance, to trust that His plan is better than our plans. If we are honest with ourselves, sometimes even "normal" days get in the way of our thankfulness and gratitude to our Savior.
Even though we may not always be happy, we can have joy. Joy in knowing that Jesus is our Savior.
Job 19: 27, "I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"
I have joy in knowing that my sister and I will meet again someday. Heaven is our home.
I'm but a stranger here; Heaven is my home. Earth is a desert drear; Heaven is my home. Danger and sorrow stand Round me on every hand. Heaven is my fatherland; Heaven is my home.
Therefore I murmur not; Heaven is my home. Whatever my earthly lot, Heaven is my home. And I shall surely stand There at my Lord's right hand. Heaven is my fatherland; Heaven is my home.