Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When Tragedy Strikes

It's not that I'm trying to forget. It's simply that this doesn't define me. At least not now in my present state. For awhile it became a joke. "Oh, I don't have (fill in the blank) because it got burned up in the fire." How could that ever be a joke, you might wonder, but at times you learn to find humor in the things that may be most tragic. Otherwise you may crumble. 

The reality is four years ago today a house fire destroyed a home and all its contents. In many ways I had already detached myself for more than a year from what had previously been my home. 

Oh yes, there are still memories from that house. The place where my knees wore a spot in the carpet pressed down in prayer daily as I wept tears pleading with the Lord. So many desires of my heart. So many moments just Him and me. 

It housed the room that would become a nursery, themed with Noah's ark representing the faithfulness of God. There was a hallway where my son took his first steps. I find the memories seem to be attached to special moments and people rather than a structure and an address. 

I couldn't see at the time in the midst of the ashes and mess how this would all work out, but I have said it before and will continue to make it publicly known that God does work everything - every single thing - for our good. The tragedy I was in was mich bigger than a house fire, and even that, even the heartache and heart break He saw fit to redeem and restore. 

I know someone right now trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after their own house fire. I know someone else struggling to know if their marriage will even survive. I know another fighting and clawing for every single ounce of hope in what seems like a desperate situation. I know what it's like to walk through tragedy. I also know what it's like to live with uncertainty, fear and anxiety. I also know what it's like to experience the mighty and sovereign hand of God working and holding you in the midst of your tragedy. I am living proof. You've seen it and read it and watched my story unfold. This blog was born out of that very fire four years ago for the sole purpose of proclaiming the goodness of a redemptive God. 

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5

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