1There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
In a few days, I am most likely going to have a REALLY exciting announcement to make here on my blog. I mean, like SUPER DUPER exciting. Something that hasn't been in the works for too long...but which, I promise, you will most certainly want to come back to read about!! I can hardly contain my excitement about it - and really, I can hardly keep my mouth shut about it!! I want to tell you NOW. But I can't. Really, I can't. Not just yet. But my stomach, oh my...it is rumbling with excitement. I can hardly focus on anything else, and sleep? That's out the window...I'm literally counting the hours until I can let you in on the big secret!
There's always a but, isn't there?
All the while, as I am counting the hours toward this huge, exciting, wonderful thing that's about to happen in my own life, I have just learned of two other lives who have also been changed - tragically, horrifically, for the worse. First, yesterday afternoon, I learned through the wonders of the internet - Twitter, to be more precise - that Paula Prass, an artist and fabric designer who I do not know personally, but whose work I adore, and who, thanks to the internet, I *feel* like I somewhat know, lost her son Jonathon. I do not know the details, but I don't have to. I "only" had a miscarriage, and I was devastated. I was completely broken. It will be 4 years this coming week, and I still remember the pain. I cannot EVEN begin to imagine the horror of raising a child, watching him grow up, and then having him die. The world just isn't supposed to work that way. Parents aren't supposed to have to bury their children, at any age. They just aren't. And still, they do. One of my very best friends buried her daughter at 6 months of age. I can't imagine.
Within an hour of learning of the death of Paula's son, I received more tragic news yesterday. In the past, I have blogged quite a bit about my daughter Mackenzie's special needs, leading to her involvement with the Early Intervention program in our state. We have been blessed - HUGELY blessed, to have had ONE teacher for the entire 2.5 years Mackenzie has been in the program. Susan. Dear Susan has, as I've said before, been a God-send to us. Not only is she absolutely wonderful with Mackenzie and has done amazing work with her, but she is much, much more than a teacher to us. She is a friend, and has become a part of our family. While Mackenzie is the only one in the program, Susan has always worked with both twins, even though she doesn't get paid for that. She even lets Anthony participate. She lets me vent about whatever is going on with me. She looks at my artwork and ooohs and aaahhhs and gives me pats on the back, and the encouragement I sometimes need to keep going. She picks up cold medicine when I'm sick or the kids are sick and I can't get out of the house. She has brought me soup when I was sick. She VERY often lets me leave while she's here, so I can have a little break from the kids. She and her husband have even stayed with the kids so my husband and I could have a date night.
So, you see, Susan is not just Mackenzie's teacher - she truly, truly, is a dear friend, and a dear, sweet part of our family. And yesterday afternoon, she was so broken that she couldn't even call me - she had to instant message me - to tell me that her father had died, suddenly and unexpectedly. Her father, who raised her, because her mom had died of breast cancer when Susan was very young. Her father, who was her best friend. She couldn't even speak. She is broken. She is lost. She feels guilty, though she has nothing to feel guilty about. She blames herself, though there is no blame to be placed. She knows now that when she has children, neither of her parents will be here to see them or hold them, to rock them to sleep or to help in those early days of night-feedings and frequent changings. She's not even 30 years old. And she feels orphaned. My heart is breaking for her. I have no words to comfort her...both of my parents are still living. I don't know what it is like to lose a parent. I don't know the grief she is feeling, but I know my friend, and I know pain, and I wish I could take it away for her.
"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18
I have such a mixture of emotions today...hope mixed with grief, joy mixed with pain, fear mixed with laughter. It's sort of a strange place to be, because it leaves me feeling both unbelievably grateful, and yet somewhat guilty at the same time.
Please pray for these families. They are hurting. They will be hurting for a long time. I thank God for His promise, though, that there IS a time for everything, and that "while weeping may last through the night, joy comes in the morning." -Psalm 30:5