I wrote this last week and am just getting the opportunity to share it.
An amazing concept to think about, two opposite concepts, ideas, features, feelings that are working together to create the circumstances we have to deal with. It surrounds us every day in so many ways. Day versus night, good versus evil, simple versus complex, contradictions surround us everywhere, look around you.
On the 24th we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. On that day I remember it being beautiful and joyful, full of laughter and smiles. I also remember that it started out rainy and gloomy leaving us to wonder just how nice it was going to be that afternoon. I had no idea the path that I was taking my first steps down on that day. Ups and downs, gains and losses, birth and death, the past 11 years have been amazing and I am so blessed to have them. The ironic thing about this week that has led me to thinking of the contrast of these contradictions in life is that as of the 29th my parents’ 32-year marriage is over. The divorce decree was written up and signed this morning. Celebrations and mourning, sometimes they go hand in hand.
I just read recently words that said something along the lines of this. Sometimes it is in our greatest trials that God’s best plans come together. Those are not the exact words, it was better phrased and I wish I could remember the words, they were a perfect reminder for me. It is when we are down and dirty that we can see the hand reaching down to lift us up to help us dust off and the light shines brightest through the darkness.
Living He loved me, dying He saved me, because He loved us He made the greatest sacrifice ever by giving us His Son. The tightrope I have been walking this last year was not easy to stay balanced on. For several years I have watched my parents’ marriage crumble around their addictions, pride, attitudes and fall that their feet. Meanwhile I’m trying to build a solid marriage for the babies that I carry and bring into the world. I’m stumbling along in a new found faith that these two people had planted into my world years ago when I was around seven years old. They didn’t know how to nurture me and teach me about it so for several years it was just ‘there’. Once I married and we started our routines church and fellowship became regular parts of our week. Our children now attend the Christian school and I see them learning these words and being guided to God’s teachings and it propels me to want to learn the same things. A wonderful woman I met just over three years ago also shows me the beauty of His love and leads me to do and learn more.
A sweet fresh from high school graduate has just lost her earthly life to rise to the glory of watching us from Heaven. The losses of tornadoes and other natural disasters are what pull together a community and show the beauty of helping each other. An aching empty womb of a woman and a scared pregnant teen, each asking and wondering but not knowing what’s next. The stark reality that life doesn’t come along as we want it, but as the Lord plans it is awe inspiring to me. My days do not always follow my plan, but I can sit in the evening and reflect in the beauty of God’s surprises that flow through my day. The sweet tears of innocence, the beautiful smiles of happiness, bittersweet memories, the ache of a heart full of love, they’re full of contradiction.
Jesus died so that we might fully live. An extraordinary God uses the ordinary of everyday to rain His love upon us. A simple babe, born in a manger is the One that led a glorious life and suffered just like I, so that He could carry my sin in His death and then rise to the throne and sit at the right hand of our Father.
Contradiction, the black and white, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, it’s a struggle of holding on and letting go. The kiss of benediction in a life well lived is seeing it, believing in the beauty of it and being thankful for it, for without it where would we be?