Well, friends, I think we would all agree that this year has been an eventful one. It seems like almost each day brings a new wave of SURPRISE! Am I right? If you're wondering what the photo has to do with the title of this blog, keep going. It will be revealed. :) As mentioned in my last blog, Shelly and I left school on March 13 fully expecting to go back in a week or two. But no. We never did. There was the announcement for Shelly's family (along with a lot of you) that school events were cancelled. There was the next wave of disappointments with the delay then cancellation of prom, graduation, etc. Then there's the uncertainty of the economy, the loss of jobs, the struggles of business owners and so much more. Shelly felt the heart break shared by some of you of not being able to be at the birth of a precious family member. My family missed out on being present at a wedding of a family member. The first time we were passing out AMI packets to our school families...adjusting to a new way of teaching... I remember thinking that morning, Lord just keep us out of the doctor's office or emergency room during all of this mess. Not long into the process, I got a call that sent me racing to the hospital for my son. He was having a serious allergic reaction. This wasn't a new thing for us, but it is scary every time. Standing in the emergency room, I remember thinking, "Don't laugh, Christy". (I am an inappropriate laugher.) But it just seemed like, good grief. Now? It was one of those moments you need to laugh at the absurdity to keep from crying. Later, Shelly would end up in the emergency room with a family member as well, when an over zealous play with a doggie turned into a bite. We specifically didn't want to go to the hospital right now, Lord. Come on! But that is life. Like so many of you, we have prayed ourselves and our families through this pandemic. We have been fine. We have experienced inconveniences. Yes, some were heartbreaking. Some were difficult. But they were still inconveniences compared to so many. You may be thinking of your own difficulties, as you're reading this. Those moments you thought, "Really? Now this?" The daily rising numbers in sick and deaths have been overwhelming. But for a brief moment it was something happening somewhere else. Then it hit our counties...our towns. That's a little too close for comfort, right? Then people you know personally became ill. For me, two people I can call by name have passed away. Then, we had a tornado in a nearby town that destroyed homes and businesses. (And of course that was the day the Steeles decided to take a "safe" trip to the town to look at vehicles and got a close up view of that scariness.) And I stood there thinking, "God, this too for this community? This too?" And then I drove back to my cozy home. And I felt thankful, but I felt guilty. Doesn't it seem like every time we get brave enough to peek outside our safety zone, the next thing hits? It makes me think of the meme on Facebook that's circulating: "If June brings flying spiders, I'm out!" And the latest? There have been riots. Not in our state. We're fine. But we were heartbroken again. And we prayed for peace and healing. Then, the riots sprang up in other states. And now it IS happening in our state. I've read online that they aren't riots. They're peaceful protests, but this isn't a political post. And I by no means have the correct words for any of it. But the picture at the top of this blog was taken outside of our state's capitol. This is where my daughter works. She lives minutes away. I just can't make it look "peaceful" in my mind. This picture was taken at night, and she wasn't there. Thank God. But when I saw it the first time, it was surreal. And I wept. If you have read our previous blogs, you may remember the anxiety I had when she moved there. So I wept because I felt my fears becoming a reality. I wept for our communities. I wept because why can't we all just love each other? I wept because we are ALL affected whether directly or indirectly by what's going on in our world. I wept for the parents bringing new little babies into this scary world. I wept because so many of us are turning a blind eye and thinking it won't happen to us. Today, I received a notification that the governor was going live for his regular updates. I literally said out loud, "I can't do it today, Asa. Carry on without me." LOL! But I am also hopeful. I see hope in the spring blooms. I see it in the faces of the sweet babies and children. I see it when I finally start seeing a few packages of toilet paper on the shelves. I know God can make all of this count. He can bring beauty from the ashes. Even when we are stripped of everything else, we have hope. Please join us in being hopeful.
(Photo Credit to KAIT8 news post.)