While in Houston, I had good time with family, especially siblings. Love you guys! It was refreshing to be able to bicker with them in the midst of such pain and grief. That may sound strange. But there's something special about the relationship between siblings. With a sibling, you fight just because you can. And you don't always mean it either. But even when you do mean it, the relationship isn't severed. It perseveres because that's the beauty of family. You love each other despite of your differences.
William likes to pinch our love handles. We have to protect ourselves.
A sibling trip to Tastee Delite.
Brendon took the pic.
Left to right: William (17), Madison (William's girlfriend), Meg (step sis, 14), Cassidy (Austen's half sis), Anabelle (16), and me. We were just missing Alex (11) and Baby Morgan (19 mo)!
Back to life...
Coming back to Dallas has been difficult at time, comforting at others. I just kept thinking that coming back would be hard. Everyone else's world went on as normal, and mine stopped. It didn't just stop. It was shattered. And in the midst, I lost almost two weeks. Some moments I am overwhelmed by the loss of my brother and the loss of time, but other times I am just thankful for the amazing community God has put around me.
One of those communities is my DTS family, who has been amazing. I am so thankful to be there during this difficult time. Friends created a care calendar to bring us meals, as I'm trying to finish school. And professors have given me a lot of grace. It's awesome to be surrounded by believers during such a trying time. I did have a minor issue with the registrar, but thankfully that has been resolved. Also, I applied for an extension for course work. I'm banking on that, so hopefully it will go through. I think the extension would allow me to maintain sanity and emotional stability. Beyond that, I am still set to walk in May and graduate in August!
And tons of people (non-DTSers too) have reached out to us. I've appreciated all of the cards, meals, cookies, gifts, and Facebook messages. Thank you for them. I've gotten a few messages in the past few days too. Some of you have worried you were late or that I wouldn't want to hear from you anymore. But honestly, while I hate the circumstances, it is nice to know you care. And like I said, it's hard coming back to a world that continued on while mine stopped. It's nice to be validated and to not be expected to be finished grieving after two weeks. So thank you. I always appreciate your words and prayers.
One more thing. It's been really cool to see the faith of my family during all of this. A friend told me about a friend's family that lost their 21-year-old daughter in a car accident last summer. She said watching their grief, even now, compared to that of my family in the past two weeks has been starkly different. I don't know what to say. I haven't met this family. But I understand their pain. I can't imagine being on their journey without the faith I have in the Lord. Because without the Lord, I don't know how I would make it through each day. I know my parents feel the same way. The Lord has provided an awesome peace (though the waves of tears still come) and assurance in the midst of this tragedy.
By this next part you will probably be able to tell I'm a seminary student, but I'll take the risk... I've never understood the eagerness some Christians have for end times, when believers will be raptured and get to delight in the Lord's presence and reign with Him in the millennium. I love the Lord, but honestly I love my life here too. I look forward to being a mom, being a grandma, and maybe even a great grandma. I'm excited to see what God has in store for me as far as counseling and/or ministry. And the thought of spending another sixty years with my husband thrills me. Why would I want to give any of this up?
Maybe this is because I have never lost anyone close to me or truly mourned the state of our world. But for the first time, I have found myself looking forward to the new heaven and new earth. I yearn for that time, when,
"He 1 will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” 2 (Revelation 21:4, NET Bible)
God is carrying me through now. But someday, He will conquer. And that will be a great day.