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Our lives will inevitably face loss, at times inexplicable loss. We often ask why, in hopes that an answer might soothe the hurt. But I don’t think an answer to the ‘why’ is actually what heals us. More than any explanation, we need a balm for our stinging souls. We crave an assurance that ultimately everything is going to be ok. An assurance that doesn’t explain away the pain, but one that promises we will be held in the midst of hard times; because there will be hard times.

I used to bristle when people offered up an ‘everything is going to be ok’ too quickly. It felt trite, like an attempt to quickly push passed the pain, bury it, or rush to the sunny side of things. Every shift I work, I’m reminded the ways our lives can be turned upside down in an instant. And I’ve witnessed the myriad ways we grasp for hope in the midst of such suffering. As for me, my imagination is quick to draw up worst case scenarios, and unfortunately I have found myself walking through some of those worst case scenarios. In the midst of it, experience has been my teacher, with such nuanced depth and complexity, that yes- everything, every thing, is going to be ok. I am going to be ok.

This assurance has grown as I’ve found that my ability to carry on hasn’t depended on any change in circumstance. I am ok because God sees me, carries me, holds me, cares for me, loves me. Suffering, perseverance, character, HOPE. In that order. In sadness and heartache, He has carried me through. I stumble and get up, and even without the answers to my whys- I am ok. And so we do it again, and He draws me closer to Him each time. Experiencing that I can do hard things through His strength has become my source of hope. That hope has planted an assurance so deep within my soul- one that knows, that I know, that I know, that I’m going to be ok.

Heartbroken and held, confused and carried, overwhelmed but not overcome, devastated but not deserted. Each step further into our journey of building a family has drawn us deeper in our dependence on a Father who sees more than we see. I have prayed so many times in so many ways that we might cross this valley and get to the other side. Time and again I find myself in the paradoxes of this messy middle, but learning now that I’m going to be ok.