A year ago yesterday marked the beginning of a new way of living for the Lyle family. Most of you are familiar with our story but for those who are not, feel free to check my blog archives beginning 6/17/2011 and you will learn of what the gracious God of Heaven deemed best for us upon our journey. Mark my words, we never would have requested this path. It has been too painful to have been desirable. Fear has assaulted our senses more times than we could count. Explaining to small children about death and God’s sovereignty and why bad things happen to God’s people has proved taxing on our minds and emotions. No, we never would have asked God to permit this into our life-chapters, but He is wiser than we and has made it so. Amy has been called of God to learn a new way of living life physically without the full use of her leg. This challenge is accompanied with her having to live without the presence of her mother and best friend, that great saint, Deborah Samples, affectionately known to us as MaMa. Our story is shared by Danny, Mark, Darlene, Jeanette and so many others in the family who grieved afresh yesterday on the one-year anniversary of the collision. I’m not going to tell you that any of it feels good because none of it does.
But we never stopped trusting our God. He is more real to us today than ever before because we have known some of the deepest pain which humans can know. Real pain forces real Christians to run to a real refuge for real comfort. Because of this undeniable realness of God, we know that He is working something good in us, for us and through us. When we are able to grasp unselfish moments and think only of Deborah we know that she is healed from the Lyme Disease which brought her so much suffering prior to the collision which ultimately ushered her into paradise. She has also received her innermost desire of being free from sin and in the fullness of holiness – nothing between her and her Savior. She is this very moment with the King that she wrote of and sung of and taught of. She is alongside of her mother and father and baby brother. She sees with her new eyes what we only tinker with down here in our limited understanding. Hallelujah, we are certain that she will be there when we arrive…so we can patiently endure as a family as God shepherds each of us to process our loss in the way He has designed for us. We can cry and laugh. We can be both sentimental and resolute in our hearts. We sing of God’s grace and glory while at the same time, in the weakest of our moments, secretly ask Him “Why?” in hope that He might be willing to aid us in making some sense of it all. In the end, it is our faith in Christ that reminds us constantly that the power of His resurrection can only be realized after we first experience the fellowship of His sufferings. Our pain is temporary but our relief is to be everlasting. There will come a moment when the last vestiges of pain, fear, regret, sadness, loss and deferred hope will be replaced with the unspeakable Light of God’s very presence. A holy hush will envelop our own souls in that moment and we will never need to ask a question again. It is only then when all will make sense so, for now, we have chosen not to live by explanations but, instead, by faith. We have found that it is enough.
What have I learned? It is quite simple: that God is good and trustworthy. Of this I am supremely convinced.
(check back in this week for great guest posts from David Price & Doug Lyle)