i don't read much in the spring or summer. unless i am at the beach.
but bring on the cold weather, and nothing is better than being cozied up in my basement,
with a good book in my hand.
i just finished choosing to see by mary beth chapman.
wife of singer/song writer stephen curtis chapman.
it tells the horrific story of their 17 year old son accidentally fatally
running over their youngest 5 year old daughter.
the tragedy. the sadness. is overwhelming.
i cried a lot.
and of course looked at my life a bit more.
some highlights i loved:
to set the stage:
the sky was bright, springtime blue that day. we were planning a wedding and graduation. we were happy. it was may 21, 2008. it didn't look like winter-yet. we were the parents of six beautiful children, blessed beyond our dreams. our 23 year old daughter, emily, had become engaged four days earlier. just the night before, we had bought her wedding dress. i had brought it home to show emily's three little sisters from china. shaoey was eight, stevey joy was five and maria had just turned five the week earlier...
then everything changed forever.
...when people ask how we are doing, the first thing i say is, "i want maria back. i want my son will franklin not to have this as a chapter in his story. i want my children to be healthy, my family secure. i don't really care whose life has been touched or changed because of our loss!"
...how would i have lived differently if i knew my time with maria was going to be so short? regretfully, i would have lived much differently. i would have purposely hugged and kissed more. i would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. i would have colored more and worked less. i would have laughed more and fussed less. bedtime wouldn't have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. the swimming pool wouldn't have been too cold to swim in. the flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definately more ice cream would have been consumed.
...here is some of what i heard: why? "because i am God and i know all and am in control and know what is best. even though it looks a mess...it is My mess". what now? " i am God...keep walking and keep trusting...love well the ones still in your charge and care...realize that time is short, life is hard, but I've given you so much, do not squander it!" How? "By remembering that I am God and your trust has to rely completely on Me...no striving of your own will to fix, heal, cure, help, calm any of what you see as a mess. i allow what i allow for reasons you can't even comprehend...rest. you won't figure this out, but He who holds maria holds you." "God can i just hear you audibly? About all of this?" as i was praying, tears streaming, eyes closed, all of a sudden-SMACK!- the loudest wave I'd heard all day, to the point where i jumped and it startled me. at once i heard God..."Hello, look at this ocean that i breathed and the waves that roll, but not too far, for it is My hand that keeps them off the shore."
We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. ~ c.s. lewis.
read the book. it's worth your time.
you will devour it. and what raw insight into tragedy. whatever form it takes.
pain is pain. that is all. plain and simple.