Tuesday, July 29, 2008

this life

     One of my fears--especially on tour, for some reason--is getting that scary phone call.  You know, the one that relays the very worst.  Usually, I am fine because I don't let my mind go there.  I also realize that there is some sort of incomprehensible grace that comes when you are in the moment of tragedy; but imagining that moment is not the same--there's just no grace for it.  However, when one of my family calls and has anxiety or sadness in their voice, my chest immediately tightens and I dread what I am about to hear.

    Last time I was on tour, there was a space of about 10 minutes in which I missed three different calls from various family members--one from Josh, one from Jase, and one from mom.  Well, I figured this probably was not good, and so I listened to the voice mail with growing apprehension.  Mom cryptically told me to call home--and there is something about the sound of anxiety in my mom's voice that makes me terrified.  Josh left the same kind of message, and same from Jase.  Finally, I got a hold of Josh and he told me that I didn't need to worry (yeah right! like that was gonna happen), but pop was in the hospital...Thank God, it turned out that he had a kidney stone--yes, extremely painful, I know, but nothing permanent. He was fine.

   Anyway, today I awoke to my sister, Jenna, calling me.  I answered the phone groggily and she was like, Jess--you wanna hear something really sad? I immediately woke up and asked her if everything was okay, thinking that maybe something was really wrong.  She was like, I'm fine--everything's fine--it's just that Bennigan's is going out of business. Oh.  My mood brightened, because it was just a restaurant that was ending--not the life of anybody in my family.  We did, however, discuss how sad it would be to no longer enjoy the pretzel role that comes with the turkey o'toole, or the kilkenny country chicken salad.  Or the brownie bottom pie.  Or the deliciously soft melt-in-your-mouth-roll with the honey butter.  Oh--I guess I am really sad about Bennigan's closing down...

   After that phone call, Drew called me.  His voice was broken up and again, I found myself fearing the worst.  What's wrong, baby? I asked.  Well, he told me some really sad news.  A friend of his from high school called him today to let him know that his ex-girlfriend, who he had been in a relationship with for 4 years, had died.  Libby was only 26 when she died from ovarian cancer.  Drew was really upset, understandably so.  I keep thinking about her family, about how unfair and senseless it is for someone so young to leave this earth.  I have been praying for the people who love her; for God to bind up their broken hearts, to be present in all their pain and grief.  I don't understand this world, it hurts so much just to be here sometimes.  But, I know that there is a God who transcends this world and all its senselessness.  And I know that Libby is truly living with Him, experiencing a joy and health and hope that dims what we have now in comparison.  I just can't imagine the pain that those she left behind have no choice but to walk through today. And tomorrow. And the next day.  And I can't imagine navigating this life without God's promises, without his hope and peace--and the knowledge that this fleeting earth and all it's insecurities is just that--fleeting.  

      My prayer is that though I will be sorrowful at times, I will still always be rejoicing, because I know who I have believed, and His grace is sufficient for me.  And this doesn't change.  This is why I can laugh at the days to come and smile at the days behind me.  This is why hope still lifts its head, defiantly; challenging the world and just waiting to have the last word. Because it will.

    And I will know, there's more to life 
   Than the sorrow and the sadness, than the chaos and the madness,
   Than a down-trodden spirit, than harm and those who fear it.  
   And I will hear the sound of hope as it wraps itself around me, 
    I realize every day is new and free. 
    The light is drawing nearer, making every moment dearer.
     And I am becoming one with life, yes I am becoming one with life.   



merry said...

I seriously miss you so much and I wish that I could see you.

Jessica Latshaw said...

I feel the same way, my friend.

kathiek said...

I don't remember how I handled tragedy before I accepted Jesus. I have been "navigating this life" with Him, with His hope and peace, for 30 years and I can't imagine any other way now. I am glad and grateful that I do not have to do so. I'll lift up Drew (and Libby's family and friends).