Go be Awesome!

“Go be awesome!”  Undoubtedly, that is what they would say.  And, go and be awesome, I will.  But first, I’m learning to breathe again.

Sometimes life pulls the rug right out from underneath you.

One minute you are fine and full of life and the next you can barely breathe.

2 times now I have experienced that kind of unimaginable loss.  The horrendously painful kind of loss when the sacred is torn from your life and you can barely breathe.

You know those big heavy feather beds?  Not the comforter, but the mattress topper.  The first time the sacred was torn from my life I had to sleep underneath one of those.  I needed the weight of it to hold me to the earth when I couldn’t stand the pain of my world unraveling.  It somehow stopped my mind from racing and the fears that swirled to slow just enough that I could pass out.

I remember still hearing the words spoken, “it’s over”.  All of time stopped.  My body hardened like cement.  I was paralyzed in panic and grief and shock.  My heart cried out, “God, NO!  Don’t let this be happening.”  Everything I loved, everything I planned, my whole future was evaporating right in front of my eyes.

Last month, that kind of news came, and once again my earth stopped.  This time it was about a man I loved like a dad.  And not just him, 2 of my mentors.  Real world changers.  3 men that taught me to dream big God dreams.  Men that showed me how to have great courage.  Men that lived the word of God, not just theorized it.  Men that said nothing was impossible with the God we serve.  Men I loved.  Men that believed deeply in me and saw beyond my reality to what could be.

Time stood still.  The sacred was torn from my life.

Here is the thing – there are 3 widows.  There are 19 fatherless children.  This isn’t my story, but my heart is still so broken.  I don’t know how to process this pain.  My heart grieves for my friends.  Their heartache, their absolute gut wrenching pain.  I understand their wanting to celebrate the lives of the men they loved, but anguish floods you with every happy memory knowing life will be forever changed.

I know 2 things.  God never leaves us or forsakes us.  And God is faithful.  It is not easy.  It is not pretty.  It is not fun.  But it is truth.  God is faithful and He is with us.  It is not a magic wand that makes it all better, but it is a healing balm.  God’s word covers us and heals us.  Somehow it binds up what is broken and soothes the pain…the overwhelming pain.

I wish none of us had to know this truth to the depth we will have to know it.  I wish there was another way.  But I have to choose to trust my God.  So I take His hand and fix my gaze on Him.  I pray strength over the children and widows whose loss is indescribable.

And..I learn to breathe again.

In my learning to breathe again, I hear their voice.  I feel their encouragement.  I tearfully remember them a hundred times a day and I know exactly what they would say.  They would tell me their work continues on in me.

“Go be awesome”, that is what they would say.