Life is truly funny, you know? You go through most of your life feeling/thinking you're invincible. I don't know if it's the technology that exposes us to what REALLY is going on in our world, or if it's just our age. But, I can say, life is really tough sometimes.
I remember when we found out about Peyton's diagnosis. After a few months, Nick and I had accepted the path that God had chose for us. Don't get me wrong, we were truly hoping that the doctors were wrong and that this was all some sort of bad dream. But then, of course, reality hit, and the doctors were right. We were forced to truly accept our new path. I feel that we've done this with grace and level heads. And- we attribute this to our family and friends' support. Honestly--- it's not that we ever felt like we were being punished with the hand we were dealt, but I kind of felt like we were taking one for the team. Right or wrong, I can remember telling God, okay-- you took my baby, now just protect all my family and friends. I seriously believed that that meant there were no "it comes in 3's" or anything like that. One and done. My baby, that's it. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case.
It's crazy the negotiating that we do with God when it comes to death. Isn't it bad enough that my child suffered and died? Does God really have to take any more children? UGH. My heart is of course broken and I know that this is all part of the process. But seriously?? Since September, we have lost a sister, had friends lose their babies to miscarriages, friends with children diagnosed with cancer, family losing their children, family in the hospitals... can we catch a break? Seriously.
And to be honest-- the saying "God only gives you what you can handle"...
What have Nick and I learned from all of this? When life throws you curve balls, you learn how to catch them, throw them back, and stand taller and stronger than you were the day before.
Often times, we find ourselves searching for our purpose in life. Through our life experiences; whether that's through friendships, career paths, losses--- these all help guide us to the direction that we're supposed to go. I know that Peyton would want us to make sure that we stayed true to the course and helped others that are struggling with loss in any way we can. Even if it just means telling others we are here.
So, I feel that it is fitting on this Ash Wednesday, to challenge each of you to set a goal for this Lenten season. Are you going to pray with your spouse, together, on a daily basis? I know I am. Are you going to enjoy the sun rising and setting everyday, allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy the life you're living? I know I am. Are you going to work to not take life for granted and live in the moment rather than focusing on the past or the future? I know I am.
When there are so many bad things happening in the world, even in our own back yard, it is SO easy to get caught up in that, as opposed to focusing on how we can make a positive impact on those around us, but more importantly on ourselves. It's so simple to get stuck in a rut and think that the world is crashing all around you. My daily devotion is to avoid the negative and focus on the positive. I pray that any of you that are facing your own trials can find peace and comfort.