I mentioned the other day that I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Bud is an awesome napper so while I get a lot of stuff done around the house… I also have a lot of time to think. There are a lot of things I don’t understand. One being, lavender cupcakes. Please don’t tell me, “Oooh you just have to try them!” You know what? I did try one. And it was like I was tonguing Crabtree & Evelyn.

And two, why people have to suffer through tragedy.

One thing about the internets is that I find my naive and ungrateful eyes being pried open and weeping over other families’ stories. Like the Fitzgeralds. Or this family. Or this one. I’m talking ugly, loud weeping over these families having to suffer. I end up wanting to wake Bud up from his nap and just snuggle on the couch and praise God that He has allowed us to have Bud, even if its just for a little while.

These stories are happening all around me. A college friend Settle went to wake her sweet boy Webb up in the morning only to find he had gone to be with Jesus. I cannot imagine that heartache. I don’t know if I would survive it.  But she has. And she is fighting for her family to remember the joy he brought to their lives.

Two nights ago I stood in our living room and hugged two close friends who had become like family out here with tears in our eyes. He was leaving in a couple of hours to a war zone. He will be gone for a year and in 5-6 months she will be bringing their first baby into the world. I sat on the couch with her the next day and cried with her because I knew there was nothing I could say to make her feel better and I didn’t understand her longing, her worry, or her pain.

Daily I think about all of the families that will be spending Christmas in a hospital instead of by a Christmas tree. Daily I think about my old clients in North Carolina and pray they will find a warm place to lay their head and some food to eat.

I find myself clinging to my Father for answers and on my knees yelling, “What do I do with all of this?!” I have never been one to just flip open the Bible and hope that whatever I turned to would somehow unfold all of the burning questions I have. But I was at a loss yesterday morning. I prayed a simple, “help.” and flipped open John 9. It’s about Jesus healing the man born blind. The disciples asked him who had sinned to cause this man to be born blind. Essentially, the disciples were asking the same question I’ve been asking, “why does he have to suffer? why.” And Jesus answered,

   “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.”

I cannot spend my time focusing on the hurt, the pain, and the tragedy. Where is the hope in that? I have to spend my time focusing on the glory that can be brought to our Father through these stories. I have to hope that His love and his kindness will be revealed through these stories. I have to pray that the God of Justice that I worship will be revealed. I have to hope that one day I have an ounce of bravery that these families have. I also have to hope that we all have a role in these stories, doing His work. These families don’t need my pity. Shame on me. These families need my prayer. They need us to fight alongside of them. They probably need me to stop bitching about stupid things like losing the last 7 pregnancy pounds and being far away from family.

I don’t think God wants us to sit in the mud for too long. He wants us to realize there is work to do and no matter how dark things may seem, He wants us to hope He’ll bring the light.

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  • Deana Dunlap

    You’re so wonderful Martha and you did all the right things and made me feel so at home and just being a great friend. I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you again and I love you!

  • Kim

    I’ve been feeling the same way as have families around us-our neighbors with a mom who was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors last week, a fellow EOD spouse with a wounded husband, and so many more during this December. It has gotten me down-but what a great reminder of future hope!

    • Its hard to have untamed hope but I’ll be praying we both pursue that!

  • Katy Regan

    Wonderful job putting it all in perspective Martha! Well done 🙂

  • makes you appreciate all our “frustrations” a bit more eh? praying for your friends!

  • hey martha! i commented on here long ago (i went to high school with sam and came across your blog through the mcdaniels’ blog) but just wanted you to know that i was creepin on here again and this post was great. its so easy to get caught up in “why the heck is there suffering and pain” and yet so difficult to remember that we need to turn that sadness/pity into prayer and search for the glory in the situation. thanks for the reminder. and side note: lavender cupcakes sound like vom to me too.

    • thanks jessi! amen on searching for the glory… its so easy to forget the big picture yes?