Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dear Sandy Hook Families,

If I could share my heart, here is what I would say. 

Dear Sandy Hook Families,

One moment changes everything.  My story is not your story. And yet it is.  Tragic stories happen to other people, not to people like us. One moment. Double murder of my loved ones. 16 years ago.   So began a journey I never asked for and didn't want to take. And when I hear heart-ripping, horrific stories like yours, my heart can go back to that pain in an instant.  I wish I could take away your pain. I really, really wish I could.  You will cry even after you think you could not possibly cry any more. You will ask 'why' more times that imaginable. You will be he who committed this horrific act, at his family, at society, and even at God. You will wonder how you can go on. You will hold a million unrecognizable pieces of your shattered heart and wonder if it's even possible to be reassembled.

But let me tell you this. It is possible and it does happen. You WILL heal.  Oh, your life will never ever be the same again. Ever. It's reality.  But never, ever, give up the journey of healing.  It is worth taking.  Because despite the fact that I grieve deeply for you, your tragedy has made me realize how wholly my heart has healed.  The joy I presently know in my life - deep joy - is more than I ever imagined possible in those deep dark moments at the beginning of my tragic journey.  Your journey will look much different than mine, but, with hope, I believe you too will one day heal, even if it takes more than a decade.

I offer you this present comfort, there IS a Heavenly Father who loves you deeply, who grieves deeply with close your eyes and crawl up on His lap often. Feel Him wrap his arms around you, hold you, and as he rocks you back and forth, hear him whisper in your ear, 'shhh, shhh, I've got you, I've got you.' And rest right there in the protection of His arms.  And this, Romans 8:26, "The Spirit (of God) helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  So when you have no words, when the pain is too overwhelming, just take comfort in knowing that His Spirit is interceding on your behalf.  And the prayers of a nation, as well as, the prayers of those who are closest too you, are interceding on your behalf too. May you know that God is near. So very near.

I hope on your journey will you be overwhelmed by love and transformed by the power of grace. I trust that your pain will assist you in seeing all the beauty that is everywhere around us.  And I hope one day when you hear of another painful tragedy in the news, that while your heart is breaking immensely for them, you will not only just believe in hope for them, you will also know the reality of hope - joy, once again.

My deepest sympathies, from my heart, to yours...


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