5 years ago tomorrow.
I sat in the back of a church on a wooden pew watching as people mourned the death of a friend, a teammate, a 19 year old whose life was gone in the flash of a crash.
Death rarely makes sense, but it’s so much easier for the heart to process when the struggle has been long and the person old enough to have “lived a full life”. There were so many hurt, confused, angry people in that church.
I sat in the back with my mom, nervous for my team. Worried about her parents. Sad for her being gone. Watching.
My mom and I slipped out quickly to drive 30 minutes so a doctor could remove melanoma from my stomach. The timing of that week could not have sucked more. A diagnosis and a crash on the same day. A funeral and a surgery on the same day. It was too much to handle. Yet, God’s grace and mercy covered that week like a beautiful security blanket. While my heart raced and my soul cried, He was present.
This past Friday – the 5 year mark of her death and my diagnosis – I ran into her family in Branson, MO. It’s one of the few moments in my life when I knew God had orchestrated an appointment. My role 5 years ago, was the same role I was asked to play this week – love, support, offer hope. We had a great conversation, exchanged years worth of hugs and discussed exciting things for all of our futures.
Offering hope doesn’t mean we have to bring up past hurts and remind people of dire situations they are in – they know it. Offering hope quietly acknowledges that we all come from painful places and encourages you to press on towards life – even when that means you are fighting your way through. Hope keeps pressing. Hope clings to the promise that new and good will come. Hope is not always stated; sometimes it’s just felt.
5 years seems so long and yet so short. I’m so thankful for God’s healing over my body, His strength in my weakest moments and His offer of hope.
I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.