I'm feeling the need to post something some would consider controversial. I don't know why God or heaven or religion has become such a sore spot for some, since everyone is free to believe what they wish. I'm not attacking anyone with this post, I'm not saying what I believe is right and true is better than what anyone else believes.
I just believe it, and I teach my kids what I believe because I hope it helps them navigate their way through this unpredictable, often scary life.
This isn't heaven.
A few days ago, a very dear member of our community was killed suddenly in a car accident. Our town is small, and he is a father, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend and a coach. He has four young children, and most of them are the same ages as my four kids.
I just sat with his wife at a camp event last week. She was taking pictures of all the girls, making sure to capture moments for parents who couldn't be there.
When I heard her husband was killed, my heart twisted and my stomach ached. I couldn't believe this family was experiencing the worst day of their lives. These kids were hearing words they never imagined possible, this mother was suffering for herself and probably even more for her kids.
How does this happen? I've heard so many people in my life question how God could "let" certain things happen. While I don't have all the answers, I know what I believe and what helps me through.
This isn't heaven. I say this with love and faith. God doesn't let these things happen and God never promised this life would be easy. There is sin. There is bad. God's heart is broken too, and He will comfort. This life is a struggle but hopefully, if we get there, our life with Him in heaven will be easy.
We won't experience pain and we won't feel sadness.
But here on Earth, where sin is everywhere and people turn away from God, we will experience pain. And we have to hold each other and have faith that with time, we will heal. Most importantly, we need to focus on the many blessings in our lives. And we need to believe that God does have a plan, and it is bigger than any of us.
He isn't to blame when things go wrong, or when pain shows up at the door. But He can comfort like no one else.
After this terrible tragedy, I'm reminded that there is beauty all around me and I need to look around and drink it in. And I believe there is a better place than this.
I have to believe it, because this isn't heaven.
Today and for the next several months I'll be praying for this family in my town. I'll be doing what I can to help, along with everyone else in our small, tight-knit community. I'll also be trying my hardest to enjoy every minute, because this was a harsh reminder that life is most definitely short.
Happy trails, hug your friends and family.
Feel free to kindly share what gets you through tough times. I'd love to hear it!