Only God can change tragedy into beauty. And it is only because of Him we can give thanks in everything, and by doing so find joy.
I first met her 2 years ago when she became my neighbor. I’m really not the bold and brazen type who randomly knocks on a door. And I’m certainly not a door-to-door evangelist, but that day something drew me there. As I drove by, I noticed her playing in the yard with her sweet little boy, and couldn’t shake the nagging feeling to go over and say hi—to walk over and invite her to our church’s Mom2Mom group.
I unloaded the kids and we walked back to her house, but they were no longer outside.
“Really Lord? Am I really supposed to knock on this door?”
Worried about looking weird or being rejected, I knocked anyway.
And what followed has been two years of heart-felt friendship, two years of joy.
She spent a year at our Mom2Mom table, connecting as only moms can.
A summer of group Bible study and discipleship, reading One Thousand Gifts, and our lives transforming by learning to give thanks in all things.
And she’s the one who gave it to me at the end of that discipleship summer … the plaque that gently reminds me:
In Everything Give Thanks
Because she believed it and purposed to live it, one day at a time. And that’s just the kind of friend she is, full of gifts with such meaning and purpose—a heart that loves with abandon and gives generously without holding back.
And then another year sitting at her Mom2Mom table, inspired by the leader she had become.
I’ve watched her husband grow stronger in Christ, their marriage strengthen, and their family grow with the birth of their third child last spring.
And it is this foundation of history and relationship that held tragedy last week.
My oldest daughter turned ten last Tuesday, and we’d gone to get donuts … a first-of-the-morning breakfast treat!
Then, it all happened so fast…
Them just arriving home from kindergarten drop-off,
Their suburban still in the driveway with its doors wide open,
And our car.
Our car slowly passing through, ready to round the corner and almost be home.
And then we felt it … like an out-of-place speed bump in the middle of the road.
And then we heard it … the loud screams from directly behind.
The tires gripped the asphalt as our car jerked to a stop, and it seemed my heart was about to stop too.
What had I hit?
Dear Lord … What had I done?
I never saw a thing. Never heard a thing.
My shaking hand flung open the heavy door right there in the middle of the street, and that’s when I saw her, hovered over him, calling his name and begging for him to get up.
We hit him, we accidentally hit him. Their beloved dog Ziggy there, just lying in the street.
And what words?… WHAT WORDS in this tragedy … when you’ve caused pain you can’t take back?
There are no words.
No words for a day you’ll never forget—the end of the first decade of your daughter’s life and the end of Ziggy’s altogether.
I cried and we hugged and the words “I’m sorry” just weren’t enough.
We celebrated her 10th birthday. And we prayed for them—for comfort and for peace.
And only God can transform anger and grief into grace and thanksgiving …
Through Him, even in this, thanks can bring joy.
I text her the next day, and say again, those not-enough words …
I’m. So. Sorry.
And her text in return is full of grace—grace from Him…
Her caring for me.
Thankful for me.
Urging me not to worry,
And acknowledging that God is in ultimate control, even when we don’t understand.
And she typed her love for me in the XOXOXO’s at the end of her text–reassurance for my heart.
Her, in her grief, caring for me … this kind of love that can only be from Him.
All of this evidence of tragedy changed into beauty … and grace and thanksgiving bringing joy.
With continued prayers for my friend and her sweet family, and much thanks for the grace I’ve received,
How has God changed your tragedy into beauty?
How has thanks amidst tragedy brought you joy?
#1591 A husband who is smarter than me
#1592 Plenty of work at the hospital (397 deliveries last month!)
#1593 She Speaks CD’s to listen and learn
#1594 Surviving a solo 10-mile run
#1595 Completing all of Matthew 5
#1596 A new leadership opportunity with a new friend
#1597 More open doors to speaking … Yikes!
#1598 A second child now in the double-digits
#1599 Slumber party with 7 sweet 10-yr-old girls
#1600 Edible fruit basket from dear friends
#1601 A jacuzzi tub for tired muscles
#1602 An inspiring mentor and her life-giving words
#1603 A lovely new regional park to enjoy
#1604 A morning of worship and praise
#1605 Grace and mercy that is new, every. single. morning