Until this violent storm is past.

No one ever thinks it’ll happen to them, their family. I was in this same boat three hours ago. I have a good, solid Christian family – immediate and extended on both sides. By God’s amazing grace, my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and cousins’ kids are almost all believers in Jesus Christ.

Which makes the word “suicide” that much more devastating.

When I got the call a few hours ago that my cousin’s boy had committed suicide on the way to school this morning, I had no words. I mean, what do you say? I burst into tears. I don’t know him – I met him when he was a baby and he’s 16 now. But, I know my cousin. And I’m a mom. Those are bonds that time and distance can’t touch.

I hung up the phone, tears streaming down my face, and reached for my 4yr old. I wrapped him in my arms and let my tears soak his blond head. He’s such a gentle boy, he didn’t mind. He held me back and let me cry, not saying anything. I held his face and kept repeating, “You are loved. You are special. God has a plan for you. You are loved! You are special! God has a plan for you!” over and over. What else can I do?

I snuggled my baby in my arms as I laid his wriggling little body down for a nap. He kissed me and I savored the moment longer than I usually do… because all of a sudden, moments are too short and the only image in my mind is my cousin’s arms, devoid of her son’s touch.

You aren’t meant to lose a child. Ever. But especially not like this.

A knot sits in the pit of my stomach. I can’t stop crying. I have been trying to continue with my routine, but I can’t. So, I did what I always do when looking for consolation: I grabbed my Bible.

Not the new one that’s still being “broken in.” The old one. The one that’s been everywhere with me and been through everything with me – except this. The one that’s marked, bent, stuffed with papers, and written all over. I held it to me like an old friend and begged God to speak again because I need something to hold onto besides grief.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!

I look to you for protection.

I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings 

until this violent storm is past.

I cry out to God Most High,

to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

He will send help from heaven to save me,

rescuing me from those who are out to get me.

My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

These words from Psalm 57 hold comfort right now. Being able to hide under God’s wings – His love and protection no matter what is going on. This is truly a violent storm like nothing I’ve experienced before. What do you do? What do you say? How do you process something like this?

I have nothing to offer. My hands, my heart, are empty. Right now, I’m just so thankful that my first instinct was to run to God and His Words because in them are life, hope, and our very breath.

God is still God; He has not forgotten us, this does not surprise Him, and He still loves us. It won’t ever make sense. The pain will never get all better. But, we are not abandoned.

There is no situation we can encounter where God’s grace cannot reign down and cover it all. May He truly send forth love, faithfulness, and grace to our family in the coming days.

Weighing In.

The world is mourning the loss of an icon. Not just an icon – someone that has been given the title of, “The Funniest Man in the World.” In a day and age when comedy is relative, it’s a huge thing to be considered “funny” by the entire world. To cross those cultural divides in humor is a big thing. 

And he’s gone. 

I believe it’s the irony of how “the funniest man in the world” died that is getting to everyone. The man who could make the world laugh could find no humor in his own life… and decided to end it all. 

Unexpectedly. Quietly. Abruptly. 

I’ve been watching a few debates online about the whole situation. Did he die from depression or suicide? Is depression similar to cancer or is it the result of sin? Was there hope for him or was he lost from the get-go? Was suicide his only way of escape? Is he really “free” from it all now? 

Honestly, I don’t want to get into all that. It’s too heavy for me. I, like you, am mourning this man who was such an integral part of my growing-up years. I have caught myself crying as if I was related to him. My husband officially thinks I’m insane as I sob through news reports and cry at the thought of never seeing him again. I suppose, for me, it’s a selfish cry. He made me laugh. But, at the same time, I find myself crying because the whole situation is just so. sad

We found out recently that the county we live in is one of the saddest counties in America. Meaning, the people within the county are just plain sad. Suicides among teens has been so high over recent years that public high schools are inviting in Christian youth pastors and counselors to meet for free with the teens just to help curb the trend. Now, they’re saying on the news that a huge percentage of the U.S. population is depressed and that there is a suicide every 13 minutes

In every tragedy, I watch to see how God is going to turn it around for good and focus all eyes on Him. This is no different. I firmly believe that Robin Williams’ suicide is a wake-up call to believers worldwide. We live in a world that is increasingly hopeless. The generation in high school today is clinically depressed and suicidal, hating themselves, hating each other, and growing up with a complete void of the sanctity of life. Abortions are as easy as an over-the-counter pill. Hope is fleeting. A mere word in our nation’s vocabulary that is quickly losing its meaning.

And what are we doing? We are literally sitting around watching it happen. We are debating amongst ourselves whether depression is sinful or clinical. We are judging and scorning those that have everything, yet suffer depression. We label the teens as a hopeless generation simply because we don’t understand them – and don’t want to. 

We are hoarding our hope in a time when hope means everything to humanity. 

Have you watched the news? We’re in crisis-mode out there! People are hopeless because they turn on the news and are bombarded with hopeless situations. 

It’s time for Christians to wake up and answer the call of, “What’s the point?” Quit sugar-coating Christianity and proclaim the truth to humanity!

God created you.

God loves you!

God has a purpose for you: To bring glory to HIM. 

God has a home prepared for you in heaven – for all eternity.

He desires a personal relationship with you. He longs to walk with you through the storms of life and to not only hold your head above water, but to allow you to walk on top of the waves with Him.

You are special. You are loved. You are unique. He has written down the days of your life in His book, He has plotted the course of your journey, and He collects your tears in a bottle. He leans from heaven to listen to your prayers and He watches over you while you sleep. 

Lay your burden down at His cross and leave it there. Exchange your sadness for His hope for life. Allow Him to breathe new meaning into your existence. 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today is the day of salvation. Share your faith with those around you. Let them laugh, scorn, mock, and reject. Your job is not to convince; your job is to share. Quit hoarding your hope. 

I mourn the loss of Mr. Williams and my heart aches for the family and friends he left behind. I just pray that this is an awakening for the rest of us that we need to share our hope – even with those who laugh the loudest – because we don’t know who needs it the most.

March 2017
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