By Brie Gowen
This post has been on the tip of my brain for over a week, but I kept pushing it off. Some subjects are too hard to write about. Heck, some subjects are too hard to think about, and this was definitely the latter. A part of me likes to stay secluded in the apparent safety of my own little world, but access to social media confronts the senses. You see a woman your age in sustained mourning for a child taken by cancer, or you see a community mourn a young woman whose battle for life finally ended. You see these things and you’re reminded of a truth you don’t want to admit. Too often the good die young.
Last night I fell asleep with the knowledge of another tragedy that had befallen someone I did not know, but whose path had crossed mine due to shared networks. The unfair and heartbreaking circumstances honestly made me as a mother want to bury my head in the sand of my own heart, and I fell asleep feeling quite helpless beyond the sincere prayers I had uttered for the grieving.
Human hearts are tender, and it’s hard to fathom the inexplicable. After all, little boys are supposed to grow into fine young men, and then to husbands and fathers. Young women are supposed to grow old beside their husbands, and certainly not have their flame extinguished in the midst of their prime. So when these things don’t happen even those on the outskirts of tragedy are left shell shocked. In our faith we grapple for comfort and understanding, we utter prayers of comfort, and yes, even whispered prayers of “why.”
This morning I lay in the cool darkness of my early morning bedroom beside my infant daughter, and as I nursed her back to sleep my thoughts went to places of question.
Why Lord? I don’t understand why babies have to die.
Just as quickly as the honest thought escaped my brain I felt the Lord answer me.
My heart breaks also. I hurt for their hurt.
I knew this was true. I knew who captured every tear.
Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
You can’t understand, but you can trust.
John 16:33 (NLT)
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
And so I said, I trust you. When I don’t know why, I trust you. When I cannot explain things like why moms die before they’re old and gray, or even why sweet babies get called to heaven early, I trust.
When I am unable to fix a situation, quell grief and hurt, or even do much more than wring the hands of my aching soul, I trust. I trust that He can comfort where I fall short, and He can bring peace when all I can bring to the table is tears.
Sometimes I do wish I could catch a glimpse of heaven just so I could paint the picture of its glory for all those who grieve. If I could just catch a bit of its beauty in a butterfly net and pour it like a salve on hurting hearts, oh how I would. To capture the feeling of healing, to gather the peace like a river, to bring comfort to those who need comforting; that is what I would do.
Yet if I know anything it’s that I know nothing, but I can cling to this.
He had said this morning, “but you can trust me,” and I suppose sometimes that’s all we can do. We can’t find answers, solutions to problems, or even a light at the end of the tunnel. But you can know it’s there. Like a thin thread we can grasp for that final straw of faith, faith to save us all. Faith that calms fear. Faith that holds hurt. Faith that tells you all is well even when it doesn’t feel that way. Faith that tells you it’s ok to hurt, but one that also whispers, one day you won’t.
One day you won’t.
About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.