I wrote a blog post last week, which finished, “I just really wish you had lived”. And that is it right there. That is, right now, my life summed up if I’m honest.
I just really wish that Elijah had lived.
I’m currently sat in our living room surrounded by memories. Memories of good times, memories of special, significant life moments, memories of the good things that we have been blessed with, memories of months spent in Uganda, reminders that we have been blessed with good jobs which means we have everything that we need materially. This living room has seen breast feeds and bottle feeds, nappy changes and potty accidents, in this room there have been first steps and first words, we have fought over homeworks and how long the TV has been on for. In this room all 4 of our children have played together and read stories together. We have laughed here, cried big heavy tears here, we’ve prayed here and rejoiced here. It has been the room in which I’ve been on my knees begging God that this would not be our story and the room in which I’ve danced, thanking Him that this is our story. It is in this room that I have come to know Him more, whether that be through the people who have been in this room with me or the times that it has been just me and Him. I have felt Him close.
And it is in this room I am reminded that even when the pain is too much, like it was the night I wrote that last blog post, even then, God is still good.
As the pain continues and the hurt remains, as the grief and the loss rages on, even then I still experience a joy and peace that surpasses all understanding. God takes that pain, that darkness and uses it to draw me closer and closer to Him. In those dark, dark hours I meet the true Comforter in a way that is so caring and loving that I cannot deny He is near.
But as you read this, and perhaps you too are in a dark place. Perhaps prayers seem to be left unanswered, the story is not the story that you wished for. Please know, that I am no different to you. I do not have it all sorted, nor is my faith what it should be. Despite all of that it doesn’t make the pain easy. My chest still hurts. I still find it difficult to breathe some days. There are days my head is foggy, when I feel that I cannot cope, that I will not make it in one piece to bedtime.
I don’t believe Jesus makes the pain easy. But what He does do – He makes it beautiful. God draws you under His arm, squeezes you real tight and comforts you. It is in those moments that you learn what real joy looks like; what it truly means to have hope. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again, what is true in the light is still true in the dark, (I’ve Rend Collective to thank for that reminder!) And part of Him making our story beautiful, I feel is in me sharing it here. The good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, that you too might see Jesus here, in our living room, in our pain, in our mess, in our brokenness and in our grief … in the hope that you too might discover the plan and the purpose, the hope and the joy in your mess and your brokenness too.