Of course in the face of tragedy


Of course, it is human nature when tragedy strikes that we collectively ask “why.”

Why did this happen?

Why didn’t someone do something?

Why would God allow this?

I know I have asked a million questions over the past few days after receiving a horrific call telling me that Taylor was gone. I have tried to be strong and present for my family so they can be strong and present for Taylor’s friends and family. I told a dear friend that I spent my time this weekend trying to make my home protected, safe, and undisturbed.  I don’t know how to let us all be human and experience this pain without thinking about everything I would do to erase this pain for my children, for their friends, for Taylor’s family. This same friend reached out to me to figure out how he could me be what I need to be to everyone right now. My phone is blowing up. My messenger is blowing up. So many of those I love are impacted by this tragic death. I don’t have any answers. I don’t know what is next. And I think this is what scares me the most.

Because if I don’t have a place to park this in my heart and brain then it will continue to ramp up speed on the race track of my head. Panic and fear will paralyze me over thinking which of my children or their precious friends will be overcome by the demons of drug and alcohol abuse. Will I see it coming? Will I have done all I can do to help break chains? What if I fail?

I was given the suggestion to respond to all these frantic anxious questions and thoughts with the phrase, “Of Course.” And not in an Eyeore way of, “of course bad things happen to good people” and “of course there is nothing we can do to change the course of the trainwreck,” and “of course we should just all lay down and die right now because nothing will ever be right again.”

Rather, what if we used the phrase “Of course” to put us in a posture of sweet surrender to God.

“Of course, I don’t have a place to park this in my brain, because these things are not supposed to happen.”

“Of course, I don’t understand what to do or say in this instance because I have never experienced this tragedy before.”

“Of course, I do not have all the answers because I am not God.

I believe my favorite scripture is saying just that.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 43:10

Be still child, not shut up child, but rest child that all you need to know in this life is that I am God.

Be still and know because I am God never will I leave you never will I forsake you.

Be still and know when the world seems to be spinning backward and you can’t make heads or tail of anything in front of you right now I am already calming the storms and their torrential rains and destructive winds.

Be still and know when everyone is looking to you for the answers make sure your gaze is set resolutely on me. Because I am God I will give you and everyone else everything they need.

Be still and know that because I am God I cannot help but love you more than you can imagine.

The few days, weeks, and months after a tragedy of any nature but especially one of young beautiful soul cause us all to circle the wagons and close ranks. We are sadly reminded that life is short and our only real option is to love each other and to keep loving each other. I pray this time we don’t get lazy in our love or lose hope in our love, but that we simply love gently and generously and graciously every day we are given.

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