I just checked on my kids. They're sleeping peacefully, snuggled up with bears and dolls and cats. The boys are under their soccer quilts and my daughter is under the pretty pink blanket. They are getting so big. Kids just seem to grow up too fast.
Being a mama has proven to be the best blessing in my life. And being able to parent alongside my husband has been beautiful. On this Mother's Day, I feel overwhelmed by the goodness of my life. And I feel encouraged because my family treasures me.
A couple days ago I heard the news that Brooke is dead. Brooke was 33...the same age as me. She was in the grade ahead of me in high school. We were on the JV Volleyball team together. She played "Liesel" and I "Mother Abbess" in "Sound of Music". We sang in choirs together, competed in vocal contests together. I loved her hair, the blonde and extra curly locks. She tried to teach me how to make mine do that to no avail.
We lost touch after she graduated. I guess that's kind of normal. I'd heard about her attempts at fame. I actually saw her appearance on "The Dating Game". Then I started hearing rumors about trouble. Jail time, failed relationships. I didn't know if everything I'd been told was true.
Then I saw her on Facebook. She wrote a few notes to people on their "walls". But I didn't send a friend request. I can't figure out why I didn't. And I feel badly about it. I'm not one to go on and on thinking "I could have made a difference..." I don't know if I really could have. But I feel badly that I didn't extend friendship to her.
And now she's gone. It's the strangest feeling in the world. She's my age. Something isn't as it should have been. I don't know what happened. Probably never will. I probably don't have the right to know. And that's okay. However, it saddens me that her life was so short.
And today I thought about her mom. Her mom must have had the worst Mother's Day she'll likely ever experience. I can't imagine her grief...and I really don't want to. How empty she must have felt today, knowing that one of her precious daughters was gone.
I know her mom loved her. She wanted the best for her daughter. She raised her to love Jesus and try to make good choices and provided for her needs.
Then how could this have happened?
I don't know. Why does anything bad happen? There are so many quick and easy answers to that...but none of them really work for me right now.
The world's broken. Yup. That's true. It's broken and painful and confusing. And sometimes it is a deep pit and it sure is hard to see the light.
But there is light. Yes. It is there. And in the moments when we can't see it we need to just remember that it is there. And sooner or later it will warm us, illuminate our way.
I hope that Brooke's mom...and dad....and sister are able to remember the light.
So, I think about my kids. They are so precious to me. And all I can do is be diligent, pray for them, love them, show them the ways of Christ.
And then I have to trust.
Even though sometimes that trust can seem impossible. Even though we don't understand early deaths, heartbreaks, disappointments, offenses; we must trust.
Every night right before our kids drift off to sleep, we sing a song that pulls its lyrics from Proverbs. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Don't worry about tomorrow, He's got it under control. Just trust in the Lord with all of you heart and He will carry you through."
Don't worry. Trust. He'll carry you through.
I believe. And I need help where I doubt.