It was all up to me to keep things safe and contained for everybody.
I said things to myself like this: "If X happens, I would never be able to handle it."
Here are some things I wish I had known.
- I cannot control everything by sitting tight and being good.
- It's not my job to be make sure everything comes out OK.
- I don't have to handle everything.
- My attempts to control, fix, and handle everything are making it worse.
- My one right way to make it better may not be the way to make it better.
- It's OK to let go and let God. In fact, that might start to make it better.
- Bad things happen, and that's not the end of the story.
- I will survive the pain.
- I will learn and grow and be strong again.
- Healing comes with time.
- God has something in mind for me that is beyond what I could ever dare to ask, think, or dream.
- Redemption cannot be derailed. By me, or anybody else.
In the story of Pandora, there's one thing left in the box.
And in the book of Lamentations, in the middle of weeping and groaning and grieving, where everything is lost and stripped away, there are these words:
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the unfailing love of the Lord never ends. By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh every day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" Lamentations 3:19-24, NLT
Even when the lid is off the box, and chaos is loose in the world.
It's not right. It's not fair. It hurts like crazy and we're scared to death.
But love never lets us go, no matter what. And so we still dare to hope.