Bad things happen. It’s a matter of fact, but we don’t have a God who just throws a lightning bolt down and says make them suffer oohhh hahahahaha… he says this is going to hurt and I hurt with you. Please know I am with you and will never leave you.
When I was a year old my aunt passed away. It was always a family fact. I was too young to have remembered her but I love to hear stories about her. She was 19 years old and she suddenly got sick and her parents had to suddenly decide to remove life support on their beautiful, vivacious 19 year old daughter. It was never more than a family fact to me until I was 19 and thought how young I was and how young my aunt was. Then when I became a mom I looked at my grandparents differently. I looked at them differently because I was now a mom. A mom who was suffering herself with being a mom, I was a mom begging God to let me swap brains with my daughter because I loved her so much that I wanted to take her suffering away. And when I became a mom I thought about how my Grandma and Grandpa must be different people from who they used to be. I can only imagine when you lose a child there is the you before and the you after. I had only known the after for my grandparents and I looked at them through different eyes. Unfortunately I only got to see my grandma a couple months with those new eyes because she passed away when Lily was only 8 weeks old. At only 69 years old my Grandma Norma passed and we were all devastated, but there was no doubt that she was celebrating in heaven with Jesus and her beautiful 19 year old daughter Karen. So what is good about a 19 year old passing away suddenly? How did my family get “blessed” by something so tragic? How did we know she was in heaven with Karen? Because Karen at 19 was the first person in our family to accept Christ. She became a christian by going to church and was discipled by a wonderful family friend to whom our family's christian heritage started from and she just so happened to be one of my longest life long friends Grandma. Karen became a christian and her illness and death introduced new people into my families lives and when the time came they all accepted Christ as well.
It was a sudden change for everyone. They all changed their lives completely. They changed because something really bad happened. They changed because their hearts were broken and they found a way to heal their brokenness. I know Karen rejoiced when she saw her family change because they lost her. I know Karen will be greeting us all one day and I can't wait to meet her. I know Grandma and her have been playing a lot of scrabble up there and singing praises because it was what my Grandma liked to do. I bet she even watches the Suns play and gets frustrated still with them. I honestly don't know who I would have been if tragedy didn't strike when I was too young to understand it. I don't know who any of us would have been. I don't know who I would have been if Lily was off to dance class and volleyball like I planned on her doing. I don't know if I would truly understand what it is to have a servants heart if I didn't serve my daughter every day. I don't know if I would ever appreciate my husband for who he is if we didn't almost loose each other several years ago.
I honestly don't think I would have liked who I would have became if things came to me easily and the only heart break I knew was from a boyfriend. Heck I am able to appreciate my health after we all had the most miserable flu ever last week. You really can't taste the sweet if you never knew sour. We go through stuff and I know some of you go through some STUFF and it is hard. It is ugly. It can make you want to not continue living. But you can come out stronger and better. It is all a beautiful woven masterpiece but you really have to take a step back to see just how marvelous it really is.
This hand written note took my breath away. It is my heritage. It is proof to me that God 100% is in control of it all. And it is amazing to see my grandma used my favorite verse on this paper I had never seen before.
This is a what my grandma Norma wrote on a Sermon Note about Karen's funeral:
"Ted Symonds gave a beautiful service for Karen. He was the pastor of Tri City Alliance Church where Karen attended. Our beautiful Karen had accepted our Lord just 11 months before she died, and because of her death, her mother, father, sister Nancy, brother Danny, Jim and Ronald, her brother in law Ted and her sister in law Paula also came to "Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and gave their hearts to him. I know that Karen is rejoicing in heaven and thinking of the verse in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things works together for good to them that love God"