I am mulling over the events of the past couple of months and decided to share my jumbled thoughts today about the terrible devastating fires in Colorado and the very recent tragedy of the Aurora Theater Shootings. It’s beyond comprehension how many people in this state are processing and grieving tremendous loss. The unexpected occurred. Some people lost everything they’d ever dreamed of as their properties and possessions went up in smoke. Others lost their loved ones to a senseless brutal crime from an individual all of us can’t understand.
I have noticed that no matter where I go, someone I know knows someone who was directly impacted by these difficult events. My daughter Robbin is friends with one of those who was shot and is now recovering from surgeries to his arm and leg. My other daughter Elise’s friend knew another girl who was shot and has gone through very long hours of surgery with a miraculous outcome. More on their stories here:
Here’s an updated interview that appeared on CBS 48 Hour with Pierce, Vehicle Donation Coordinator. Please take a few minutes to watch this interview – Pierce is a testimony of strength in the midst of chaos. We continue to pray for and all the victims!
Here is an amazing blog of how Petra is doing:
During a time like this, I find myself looking for answers just like everyone else. I find myself frustrated with the insensitivity of many who decide now is the time to address big political issues, or questioning parents who might allow a younger child to go to a movie. Respect, people. Maybe there will be a better time to discuss these issues, but now I believe that an outpouring of love and hope needs to be heaped upon those we know are hurting. An outpouring of support and thankfulness needs to be heaped upon those who are in the front lines fighting for lives as they battle flames or the aftermath of a crazed shooter. I am not even sure I know what that looks like in a practical sense – it may be in just sending encouragement to those we are close to who have been affected, it may be attending services or vigils, it may be allowing those who are traumatized by these events to share their hearts – to listen and share in their emotion.
On my runs the past few days I’ve had quite the conversations with God. But I am drawn back into His words in scripture that offer a peace that I can’t find from anyone else. I am so thankful to have a relationship with God who really is the source of hope and courage in a time like this. Here are few verses that have brought me perspective and comfort.
- Psalm 30:5 – Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
- Psalm 46:1-2 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
- Isaiah 40:18-31 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Rob and I drove to a concert up the Poudre Valley a few weeks ago. We saw the devastation of the fires as they swept in fury across the mountainsides. It was very disturbing, but I was reminded that soon (if not already) there would be tiny little sprouts of new growth. Death and destruction is so hard. It seems to be an end and so very hard to accept sometimes. I’ve been in that spot more times than I ever have wanted to be. But, though I still struggle with answers and am frustrated by the evil and heartache that seeps into every news story for hours on end as the detail of the tragedies unravel, I take a look back at other times when life seemed to come to an abrupt halt. I remember with familiarity the gut wrenching feelings of an awareness that life will never be the same. And that’s just it. It won’t be the same, BUT, just as there are beginning signs of new growth on the mountainsides, we don’t lose our hope. God restores God rebuilds. God instils courage and miracles and hope in places you least expected it. And time is a friend. I can remember days when I really thought I wouldn’t survive something that was going on in my life. I remember long walks and crying out to God – in anger, desperation, hope, fear, loss, bitterness…(by the way, he can take it, you know, if you need to really pour your heart to him, do it) and I remember those times ending with me being like a child who had a tantrum, crawling up on a parent’s lap, succumbing to the calm after the storm and the awareness that somehow, God had it under control. He wasn’t surprised and I wasn’t alone and with His presence in my life it would be okay. Now I look back and smile because most often things are even better than I imagined they would be. Does that mean I would welcome the heartache that I’ve been through all over again? No, but I am thankful that the darkness can’t win. That God prevails. That He is faithful and trustworthy.
So, somehow, despite the horror of all that has been going on, I know that God is the source of healing and hope. And I know that he wants to use me (and you) to bring hope to the hopeless, that He fills those who are empty, and rescues those in the valley – that through it all He calms your soul, healing the wounds of your heartache….don’t give up.