We, too, ache for change.
We, too, reel from the shock of what has happened.
We feel the never-ending ache. We stumble around in a daze. We drift through our days in a stupor of grief and loss.
Fear and worry drape our slouched shoulders. We wear those emotions like a heavy cloak on our backs.
Anger and resentment beat down on our heads like summer’s fiery heat.
It all feels so wrong, so unfair, so unbelievable. All of it.
But if you come in close, you can’t see our wounds. Our blood is spilled on the invisible soil of our hearts and souls.
I want to say some things to you who are reading these words:
I’m sorry for your pain.
I’m sorry for your loss.
I’m sorry for broken dreams.
I’m sorry for indescribable grief that never ends.
I’m sorry this world is full of way too much suffering and injustice that reminds you of your own.
I’m sorry for the trauma and chaos, the PTSD symptoms you bear.
I’m sorry for tormenting fear and worry, that you have no relief.
I’m sorry for the lack of answers, the unknowns and uncertainty.
I’m sorry the world isn’t a peaceful place for any of us. How I wish it was.
But it’s not.
Not. Even. Close.
I’m sorry for prejudice and misunderstandings of addiction and mental health; that our culture still sees these struggles as a fatal flaw.
I’m sorry for self-injury and eating disorders and how they take your strength.
I’m sorry for gender identity confusion and the shattering of your dreams.
I’m sorry if your child hates their life and sometimes hates you, too.
I’m sorry for cruel, angry words slung back and forth like weapons.
I’m sorry for suicidal inclinations and death threats against themselves; for those who live precariously on cliff’s edge, desperately longing to jump off.
I’m sorry they feel so terrible, so hopeless – do you?
When I was hopeless about my daughter, I turned to God – to the God of hope. If He created the universe, which I believe He did, then He could help me with anything. He could get me through this.
I may not have any guarantees for my child, but I can have this guarantee for myself:
God is with me now and He will be with me tomorrow and every day after that. Therefore, I will not give in to despair or fear. I will not let this take me down.
I will trust Him and I will choose joy – yes, joy – in the midst of all the craziness and pain of this world. Kay Warren, author and speaker, wrote exactly what I have on my heart. I pray you’ll take her words into yours.
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things. (Choose Joy: Because Happiness isn’t Enough, Grand Rapids: Revell, 2012, 32.)
I ‘ll wrap this up with a portion of the 23rd Psalm:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me . . . (Psalm 23:4).” Amen.