I had just gotten home from school on Friday and was in a pretty stable mood. Stable is really the only way to describe myself during this season of life; I wasn't brimming with tears or laughing hysterically. I was stable.
Scrolling through my phone, I saw a facebook status that gripped my heart. I couldn't process it, and I finally let my heart realize what had happened. Lindsay, a dear friend who has experienced more in her life as a young woman than most people will experience in a lifetime, had just lost her dad unexpectedly. Lindsay is in her late 20s, and she has an adorable sister who recently got engaged. Her mom is soft-spoken and beautiful, and she smiles with such grace. Lindsay described her dad as a rock, and it was the first description that came to my mind as well. He was so proud of his girls; he loved Jesus and it showed.
I will never forget sitting with Patrick, Lindsay, and Jeremy at Ayden's memorial one dusky evening not long ago. Their family was there as well, and I considered it such an honor to be included. This was such a time of healing for me, as we were expecting a little boy as well, and our friends had just said good-bye until heaven to their little boy. Lindsay's dad gave us big bear hugs as we loaded up into the car. I could see tears in his eyes. He thanked us for being friends to Lindsay and Jeremy. I tell you, I am a pathetic friend sometimes. I feel like during those seasons of grief, we could have and should have done so much more. He was thankful anyway. I remember getting the call about sweet Ayden; I was at work, just a few hundred feet from where Lindsay's parents and sister were gathered. I went right away to see if Lindsay was still there, and I found them gathered in a quiet room. I apologized for barging in, but he made me feel welcome. He immediately hugged me, and we all cried together. I could sense he was trying to take pain from me, as an almost new mom, even though he had just lost his precious grandchild.
That's just the kind of man he was. He thought about others first. These are just a few examples, but I know Lindsay and her family could share large volumes of priceless stories.
I find myself going down the path of wondering. Why, God? Why more hurt? Why more grieving? I know he is rejoicing with Jesus; he is home, and he is showering little Ayden with so many kisses. I know that although the earthy life has come to a close, real life is just beginning. But I also know there are really rough hours, days, months ahead. We don't grieve for him. He is with Jesus, and he has been told "well done, good and faithful servant". He blessed my life.
Please pray for the Joneses especially tomorrow as they celebrate his life. Continue to pray for them as they walk through the days ahead. This is a season of grieving, but we don't grieve without hope. I know that. You know that, but it doesn't make it any easier or the hurt any less.
And the Father knows that, too. I am always comforted by the account of Lazarus in the Bible. Jesus wept. Two little words yet so much meaning. He is not a stranger to our suffering or our situations.
In life, there are times to grieve. It's ok to say you are upset, you don't understand, and you just want to cry in the corner. In fact, I think it's healthy to grieve and grieve completely. There are no awards for who can be the strongest in a situation. Lean into Jesus during those times that the hurt is so deep it feels raw. And lean into Him during the times of rejoicing as well.
I am thankful for godly examples in my life, and Mr. Tyson was one of those. I know his example will continue to shine through his wife, daughters and grandchildren.
May you continue to see the windows of Grace in every situation of your life.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26