Time is a mystery. Some moments it feels like it was a lifetime ago, and then other times, it feels as raw as it did yesterday. The actual date is most likely December 2, but to me, I always feel it the deepest the Monday after Thanksgiving. That was the day my world changed forever. I wouldn’t know about it until the wee hours of Wednesday, and you can read about it here if you want (this is the beginning of a memoir I wrote for the girls to read one day).
Double Murder at the Lake House. Sounds like the perfect plot for the next great bestseller. Or the latest story line on CSI. Until it is real life. Until it is my life. And my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Until it shatters my happily ever after life. Until I’m 22 and dealing with evil so horrific that my heart is shattered into a hundred or more unrecognizable pieces.
So here I am 15 years later, pondering some of the things my heart has discovered along my journey of healing. (for those of you who do not know, this tragedy continued with a not-guilty verdict at trial, an equally difficult thing to deal with)
- As much as my heart still wants justice, I’ve discovered that the one thing more powerful than justice is grace. Grace is forgiveness undeserved. Along with that, you must forgive as often as you need to. Again and again.
- Life does go on. And you can still live ‘happily ever after’. But it’s also okay to occasionally break down and cry, because sometimes the pain just needs to be released. They will always be missed. And that is okay.
- Sometimes you get to choose your life path. Sometimes life chooses it for you. Just keep travelling, and enjoy the journey. Figure out what’s important and remember, you always have time for the things you put first.
- Sometimes it takes the tragedy to see the goodness. I wish it didn’t have to be this way.
- Yes, we live in a broken, messed up world. With pain and evil. God gives us free will to choose him or not choose him. To choose goodness or choose evil. And some people choose evil. And even those of us who choose goodness still must live with the suffering caused by those who don’t. It stinks. Yet, there is a God who is here, in our lives, carrying us, especially when we find ourselves hurting from a life that has indeed given us too much to bear. He never leaves us. Ever. Even when it may feel like it.
- God is big enough for our toughest questions and our never ending ‘whys’. He embraces our transparency and authenticity.
- Healing takes time. There are layers upon layers of healing. I’ve worked thru many of those layers and yet, if I’m completely honest, I’m still healing. Still layers of pain and confusion my soul is wrestling with.
- You are never ever promised tomorrow. Enjoy this moment. Cherish the relationships that are a part of your life right now. Love BIG.