Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mourning with those who mourn...

As I sat yesterday, trying desperately but unable to process everything that happened in CT, I called my dad and tried to whole-heartedly wish him happy birthday and congratulate him for graduating from the academy he had just finished...what should have been a great day for him was shattered by the devastating news. I'm sure that's how most of the country felt...
 People everywhere going about their business, and then hit with this, like a blow to the stomach.
What my dad said resonated in me: It can't be called a tragedy. It's so far beyond that, there aren't words to convey what played out yesterday morning.

I am heartsick. Each time I think about it, I tear up again.
I'm so glad my babies are just babies and didn't notice their mom crying throughout the day as I kept going back to the television, watching in horror as details unfolded.
I don't think the sheer magnitude of how horrifying this truly is would have sunk in as deep, were I not a parent. There are a lot of things I didn't fully understand until the moment I held my first baby in my arms. Being able to feel another mother's pain when she loses a child is one of them. 
I haven't been there, but now that I have kids, I truly mourn with all these mommies who just lost their little ones.

My thoughts were a jumbled mess yesterday. They still are.
I tried to pray yesterday, and as I prayed for the families of the innocent children, I found myself questioning God. Do I have the right to do that? Not at all. None the less, my mind is full of questions.
How can it not be?
I'm not angry towards God. Some people would say everything that happens is God's will.
I don't believe that. It was not his will that 20 beautiful little children die at the hands of a senseless man. It just wasn't.

Here's what I struggle with right now. I have a hard time explaining this, but maybe someone out there feels the same way and will understand...
I live across the country, I don't know anyone personally that this affected. 
But my spirit is crushed over it. 
I found myself feeling guilty yesterday that I was working on our Christmas cards. 
I wanted to listen to holiday music while cooking, but felt like that would make me happy, which would also make me feel guilty. 
I felt shallow and silly that yesterday morning, probably while the shooting was happening, I was writing a post about hot chocolate. 
I waited until late last night to call my dad to say happy birthday, because yesterday by all accounts was certainly not happy, no matter whose birthday it was.
So how do I separate what has happened from what is currently happening here, now, in my home, in my family, etc?
Is it possible to mourn with those who mourn, as Romans 12:15 says, and still enjoy what's going on around me? 
How do I fully enjoy celebrating Christmas with my in-laws this weekend without thinking of all the moms and dads who won't be celebrating this year, but just trying to survive?
How do you get past something like this? 
I'm not asking how do you forget's something etched in my mind forever. But how do you keep life moving while mourning with these families?
I'm not sure, but I have to try.

I pray that for those who don't know Christ and just lost a child/husband/wife/mom/dad/grandchild/friend/etc...that they would be desperate and turn to him in their time of grief. That someone would pray with them and they would be able to receive the comfort that can only be found in Jesus at a time like this.
For those who already believe in Jesus and just lost a loved one, I pray they are able to cling to him like never before. That they wouldn't be angry with God, but thankful that he is forever a loving father who is the ultimate comforter in times of trouble.
And I pray for myself and my brothers and sisters in Christ...that as we continue on in our busy lives, because life must go on, that we wouldn't forget to pray. Not just for a couple of days and then forget in the midst of our holiday festivities, but that we would remember to keep these people in our prayers in the following months. That we would 'mourn with those who mourn.'
James 5:16 says "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
Hold on to that promise and remember to keep praying for comfort in their loss.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." 
Psalm 147:3

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles..." 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 
Psalm 34:18

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