Thanks to all the Zoe family for asking me to participate in the conferences again this year. My time in Nashville this past weekend was rich and healing. Brian McLaren challenged me, the worship inspired and moved me and spending time with old and new friends warmed my heart.
I can't tell you how tired I am of being sad. I'm afraid I'm not bearing all that well under the heavy weight of mourning. I fear I'm becoming the phone call you dread receiving or the party guest who constantly brings the room down. I want to have a different answer when people ask me how I'm doing, but a different answer would not be an honest one.
I wish there was a ransom to hand over to get our energy back. I wish there was a toll to pay that would allow us to cross over the bridge of hurt. If I could cry it all out, I would. If a vacation would help, I'd take one. But sometimes the tears won't come and there is no escaping sadness even on a beach or mountain somewhere.
Connor's tragic death was the blow that bruised us deeply and as my friend Joel reminded me, once you are bruised, anything that pokes that bruise is painful. Our "pokes" this summer have included other losses including a miscarriage and the death of Steph's grandmother. They've also included other death's, divorces and illnesses that by themselves would be difficult to deal with, but together can make you feel like you are at the bottom of a very large dog pile.
I'm holding on to the fact that things will get better, that this is a season, that time will heal the wounds and I'm hopeful that the scars left behind will turn to beauty marks.
Today, I'm thankful for community. I'm thankful for the hugs and whispers of prayer and encouragement I received from so many at the Zoe conference. I'm thankful for Brandon's understanding and Eric's prayers; for Paul and Pat's story and for the listening ear's of brothers like Rich and George. I'm thankful for old friends like Murray, Val and John Scott who make me feel loved even when all we have time for is a quick hello. I'm thankful for Julie's "hand-hug", Judy's wisdom and Mike's warm greeting. I'm thankful for the Henderson's ability to laugh and love and serve in ways that inspire me and for the joy of being with younger disciples like Luke and Josh and their families and Peter and Lindsey and Kylar and Jeremiah and so many others who are such strong ambassadors for Christ. And I'm thankful for the warm reception I received yesterday when I returned home to Lake Cities.
It's people like you, family like you that give me the strength to go on when I don't feel like it. It's people like you whose prayers hold me up.
It's people like you who bring Zoe (life) into the midst of my sadness and remind me that God is good.