Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moving Forward, Not Moving On

These last few weeks have been some of the hardest and darkest weeks of my life.

Today marks three weeks since the school that I attend experienced a school shooting where one of my classmates was killed and three others were left wounded and since that day I haven't been the same.

As much as I want to believe that what happened on that Thursday was just a bad nightmare and that it wasn't real, i'm forced to enter into a new reality because the events of that day were real and they fundamentally changed my life.

June 5th, 2014 will forever be marred with memories of sorrow; my friends crying, holding each other up, sleeping together because the thought of sleeping alone was too much to bear and my school gathering in corporate worship and prayer to mourn together.

Memories of grief.

These last five years (for me) have been filled with sorrow, with deep, deep sadness as i've lost family, friends and classmates, year after year without ceasing and not just to natural causes but to disease and car accidents, things that I just don't know how to make sense of.

So when I first heard news of the shooting my initial response was numbness; emotional desensitization and I was really good at it for a while.

I put on a brave face and I sat with my friends in their shock and their grief, listening to story after story about where people were when it all happened.

I can't do it anymore.

The reality is that the place that I have come to call home these last three years did experience this and no matter how much I want to remove that from my memory, to close my eyes and cover my ears, nothing will ever stop that from being true.

This week my baby cousin of eight months and two other family members of mine passed away.

And before I could even begin to be angry at God (like I have been) or to ask why, I learned news of something else: My aunt had her baby (my cousin) this week too.

You see, no matter how much I want to be cynical and bitter, she is a reminder to me of the gift of life.

Death comes and people pass away but life also comes and brings us newness of life.

So I hold on.

I take a deep breath and take heart because maybe, just maybe, that's my answer.

Though the events of that tragic Thursday shook me to the core and left me with many unanswered questions, I must not forget my history with God. I must remember how He saved me from death and called me into life and I must not forget that He is the Crucified and Risen King and that means that evil and death do not and will not have the final say.

I must remember that God is with me and for me and I must, must, must remember that life is fragile and a gift.

Not a privilege, not something that we deserve, but a gift.

At some point we have to begin to move forward and for me that time is now.

I will choose joy because I refuse to be eaten alive by grief. One day at a time, one step at a time, moving forward.

Not moving on, not forgetting what this circumstance has taught me but moving forward and remembering to never take anything for granted.

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior." (Psalm 27:4-9 NIV)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Starting over.

I need to start over. I feel like i'm trying too hard. I just want to process through words.

Welcome to my time capsule.