Today as I was eating breakfast in our quiet apartment, cityscape draped in rainy clouds out open windows, I had that rush of hot, stinging tears to the back of my eyes that comes when you're quickly overcome with emotion.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my Master's graduation from Wheaton.
Two days ago was the day I was to be Moody's chapel speaker.
I crossed the room to grab my journal and Bible, with the full intention of facing these losses. Acknowledging them, grieving them, making sense of them if I possibly could. Yet as I went to sit in the big armchair, I was afraid if I sat down, I wasn't sure if or when I could get up. My grief threatened to overcome me if I gave it too much space.
So, instead I went to the bedroom and started making the bed. I got dressed for the day. I found my eye-makeup remover that had been lost to me the night before. I removed the day-old smudges, and all the while I reflected in my heart on an email I received from my mom the day before. She enclosed the following written by Paul Tripp in the face of suffering:
"It's hard not to look at the day as a day of futile activity accompanied by needless discomfort. You can't honestly look at the day and make sense out of it...Suffering transports you beyond the boundaries of your reason and your control...Suffering is a kidnapper that comes into our lives, blindfolds us, and takes us to where we do not want to be.
But suffering is not just a kidnapper, it is also a teacher...It points you to the fact that there is little that you actually control. It instructs you as to where reliable comfort and sturdy hope can be found. Like a patient teacher with a resistant student, suffering pries open your hands and asks you to let go of your life. Suffering invites you to find security, rest, hope, and comfort in Another, and in doing so, assaults the irrationality of personal sovereignty that is the delusion of every human being. In that way, suffering is not just a kidnapper, and not just a teacher, it is also a liberator. Suffering frees us to experience a deeper comfort and hope than we have ever had before."
Today, with remembrances of landmarks or losses, I'm living in these words, tossing them around in my mind, using them as water for the seeds that God has already been planting in my heart in this field. I never wanted to be in possession of this field, but it has been promised that it will come forth with some good-tasting fruit. Maybe, just maybe, it will taste even better than I ever thought possible.
Romans 8:28, "For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes."