“And the more of the blessings I name, this theological problem deepens, the kind that manifests itself between the breakfast table and the last light out. If I am numbering gift moments to one thousand and now beyond-what moments in my life count as blessings?…How do you know how to sift through a day, a life, and rightly read the graces, rightly ascertain the curses?…” Ann Voskamp
For the moment, I am alone in the quiet of this house. The older four children are riding scooters in the heat, waiting to go for a swim. They must have all come in at least twice and asked, “Is it time to go?”. The babies are on my bed, together, snuggling and trying to catch a quick nap before they trek back out into the heat.
I am on the couch, catching up with my friends through email and Facebook. The first couple of status updates were funny and I “liked” a few of them. A few scrolls down and my finger paused on one update. Someone we love has just lost one of their children.
My sunny afternoon just became cloudy. I had just journaled a string of glorious gifts. My gift list is getting longer and I am hit with the reality that this life that I get to live is just a vapor. I can journal and journal and rest in God’s faithfulness and His goodness, and journal some more, but I am still going to have hurts and experience huge loss.
How does a parent lose a child and still find the goodness of God in the midst of huge loss?
I began my journal of 1000 gifts 90 days ago. Those first 100 gifts flew off of my pen and onto the paper. I listed things that happened or were given to me: a husband, children, food, shelter, etc. Easy. All of them definite blessings. The closer I got to 200, the more I noticed that my gifts were becoming harder to identify. I found myself searching for the gifts in my day because they were not always evident: a crying baby-I get to hug her through the crying, a need-I get to see God provide. The gifts I am finding are making me more aware of the character of God.
It is taking discipline to find God in the moments of my day. It is taking even more discipline to find the blessings of God in the hard moments of my day. God is always good and I am always loved and He is the giver of all good things-even when the good is hard to see.
This discipline of searching for God in all things is creating a sweet relationship with the Giver of all things.
May the Giver of all things bring beauty out of such ugliness of loss and draw those who grieve into a sweeter relationship with Him.