Goodness...I'm tired. When I get tired, I get all emotionally analytical. I take things to heart so deeply. I'm a good tired - it's not a bad tired by any means. I was so hyped by sweet Nastia's win last night that I couldn't sleep. But today, my fatigue is pressing my emotions to think more deeply of some things.
I tend to get very engrossed in the sufferings of others. It's something that I have to be aware of and in general, I have gotten better at not allowing the pain of others overly affect me. It's a hard balance to do this because part of me feels like I am so deeply blessed with so many wonderful things and I wonder, why shouldn't I take on the burden that others feel? Why should I avoid the stories of pain just because I myself don't want to experience that pain? Part of my desire to keep up with those who hurt is because I want to help carry their burden. I guess that's a good thing, but it can lead to bad emotions for me and my family. A couple of years ago, an old high school friend lost his baby girl just three months after she was born. She was a very sick little girl when born and just never recovered. They had a little boy who was just a week younger than Sloan and this little girl was born a month after Tia, so the reality of their situation hit very close to home. When I attended that precious little girl's funeral, I felt like my soul had been lit by the fires of grief. It was so painful and heart wrenching and I prayed unceasingly for that dear family. I got so engrossed in their suffering, however, that I started to fear for my own children. I worried about their safety and their health. I feared losing one of them so much that I began to lose sleep at night. I finally had to distance myself from the updates of these friends a little to gain some perspective on how to grieve with others and suffer for others.
I feel the same way when I read the blogs of Audrey Caroline and Luke Sponberg and even my sister-in-law, Becke, who is dealing with the sudden loss of her sister 6 months ago. My heart aches so desperately for these people and I find myself hoping that if I pray hard enough for them, then perhaps their pain will just melt away. But in searching out my own heart over such matters, I've finally accepted the fact that no matter how much I personally grieve for others (and I don't even know some of these people!) I cannot ease the burden that they must bear. Only God can do that, and it takes time. Because I personally have never experienced the loss of a child, I truly don't know or understand how He carries people through such grief, but I know that He does. If any of you saw or read any of the recent interviews with Steven Curtis Chapman, you'll understand what I mean. He heals and He carries and He soothes and He gives those who are suffering the strength to make it through each moment, each day. So, while I will continue to grieve and hurt for them, I do so now with the attitude that I cannot change their circumstances. I cannot take away the hurt. But I can be a part of the healing as I lift them up and I get the beautiful opportunity of seeing God's grace in the lives of others. I also know that I am not immune to such grief and pain. Though I pray, as any parent does, that I never have to endure the trial of losing one of my dearest, I know that I must cling to them with loose fingers and trust in the provision of a Holy God. I cannot live in fear and I will not live grieving over that which has not happened.
So that is my heart today. Sorry for the random post, but it's what I'm pondering as I lift up the Sponberg family this week. They will be laying their precious son to rest next Thursday. Pray for them when you think about it. Let's all, together, be a part of God's glorious mercies in their lives.