I’ve been writing this post since Monday without much success. To be more truthful, I’ve written three completely different posts and three times I’ve deleted it instead of publishing it. Nothing I’ve written seems to fully capture the magnitude of what that day three years ago meant for us in Blacksburg.
In this post today, Sandy said much of what has been on my heart. A huge part of me is never going to get over this. There are days when the events of 4.16.07 (and the later losses of Audrey, Ian, David, and Heidi) are ever before me and it hurts.
In the past three years I have become profoundly acquainted with grief. Every time I start to think that maybe, finally, this town has suffered it’s share, we are given another reason to mourn. But by His wounds we are healed.
This isn’t something I am going to get over. While I didn’t know any of the victims personally, something was taken from me as well. I no longer live under that sweet but terribly false illusion that I am safe and because I belong to Him, nothing horrible can happen to me or to those I love. It can, and it has. And I have asked Him the hard questions. “Who told us we’d be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares? We’re asking why this happens to us who have died to live – it’s unfair.”
But in moments of desperate despair, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40)
I’m not claiming to have figured it all out. I still don’t understand. I still ache. But I have been comforted.
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved, and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We’d be held
I could go on and on and share with you all the songs, verses, and stories that have helped me sort through it all, and maybe someday I will.
For now, I will leave you with this (from David Crowder)
At the start, He was there.
In the end, He’ll be there.
And after all our hands have wrought, He forgives.
All is lost, find Him there.
After night, dawn is there.
And after all falls part, He repairs.
Everything has changed
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same
But the GLORY of it all is He is here
With redemption for us all that we may live
For the glory of it all.
He is here, and our hope endures.
If all is lost for you, I pray that He will be found.
Lord, increase our faith.