Sunday, December 16, 2012

by faith.

In memoriam...
Sandy Hook Elementary School
Newtown, CT
photo:  Allen Breed, Associated Press via {here}

Along with all of you, my heart is broken over the precious little children and courageous teachers and faculty that lost their lives in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at the hands of a madman.  My heart aches for the families left behind.  I cannot fathom what they are going through.  I pray and I cry and I pray and I cry and yet I know that even through these darkest of days, God is holding them in the palm of His hand.

Ten years ago today, I was left heartbroken, betrayed, and facing a possible breast cancer diagnosis all in a matter of weeks and just 9 days before Christmas.  My world as I knew it was shaken to its core.  In my 24 year old mind, I felt my life over. 

The images are still crystal clear in my mind even though they've been tucked away in a corner that doesn't see the light of day very frequently.  I remember crumbling to the floor in front of my washer & dryer the morning of Dec. 16, 2002, sobbing and barely being able to catch my breath as I made the phone calls to my mom and work to let them know what was going on.  I remember just going through the motions.

I remember going through every stage of grief.  I remember longing for the night so that if my dreams didn't betray me, I would at least have a couple of hours without my thoughts.  I remember dreading the sunshine coming through my bedroom window because it meant it was time to start another day full of pain.  Who knows if perhaps that is the reason I am not a morning person... 

The surgery {a lumpectomy} was the easy part, the diagnosis was favorable and I had been spared the ugly 6-letter word.  Yet it was the overwhelming sense of loss and betrayal surrounding the other happenings in my life that permeated my days for the better part of a year and a half.

And through it all, I can see God's unfailing love for me.  Even when I didn't feel Him close to me.  Even when I angrily asked why.  Even when I doubted His plan for me.  He sent very tangible angels to walk with me in the form of my beloved mom and loyal friends {you know who you are and I love you!} who continued to come around even when I wasn't very much fun to be around.  There is something to be said for true friends and loved ones who don't shy away when the road turns dark.  

One of the most comforting {and in retrospect, healing} moments happened when my dear friend Segi just sat and cried with me.  She didn't try to make things better by offering advice.  She simply said, "I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It's not fair.  I wish this didn't happen.  I love you and I'm here for you."  And then she really was there for me, over and over again.  And her sweet mama invited me to her home for dinner for the better part of a year.  So that by the time I would leave their home and get to mine, it would almost be bedtime.

There were so many angels around me.  Some I knew their names and some I still do not know to this day.  But they were there.  Looking back I can see so much love carrying me through what felt like the darkest of times.  And God was faithful.  He indeed restored what the locust had taken away.  Just two years later, He sent me a wonderful husband followed by precious little children who are my joy.

During the hardest of times, I remember saying, "If only I could see a glimpse into what it's going to be like 10 years from now, I think I could move on and be okay."  But you see God doesn't ask us to live by sight.  He asks us to walk by faith.  He spoke to my heart and gave me Proverbs 3:5-6. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

And now that a decade has passed, all that I can say is thank you sweet Jesus for seeing me through.  And that is how I KNOW that He has his arms firmly wrapped around each person who lost a loved one at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday.  I KNOW he is gently carrying each and every one of them.   

I share this with you not to draw attention to myself but to share with you how my Heavenly Father took care of me, a young 24 year old with a broken heart, and so as He is faithful to one, He is faithful to many, even more so to the loved ones of the 20 innocent little ones, 6 courageous educators, and the mother of the shooter, all who lost their lives on 12.14.12.   

To the families, the responders, the classmates, the staff of Sandy Hook Elementary, and the people of Newtown, Connecticut...   
Our hearts are broken, but are spirits are strong.

May you feel the prayers of so many lifting you up and may you rest in the knowledge that God is faithful, especially when the road turns darkest.


Megsy said...

That was so beautiful. Thank you for bringing comfort to today.

Unknown said...


Heather L. said...

I love this post. Thank you for your uplifting words. You are a true testament to God's love. xoxo

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing, beautifully written.

TaDa! Creations said...

Thank you for encouraging all of us.

Virginia said...

Yes, my dear child. Those were dark days for you...and for me and all the people that love you. But you came out stronger, with a more profound faith, and He has blessed you with a beautiful family. As it says in the song "On Eagles'Wings" (one of my favorites), He will always hold you in the palm of His hand, and He will do the same for all those grieving families. Let us all continue praying for them.
Love you more than words can express,

Jessica said...

Hugs to all of you!!